The Turning Tide: 17 Former Trump Supporters Share Why They Jumped Ship

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - Nov 30, 2018: Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nov 30, 2018. USA President Donald Trump, addresses the press after a bilateral meeting during the G20 Summit.

Former Trump supporters share their insights on why they’ve decided to part ways ahead of the upcoming election. Despite backing Trump in the past, these individuals now find themselves disillusioned and ready to abandon ship. From policy disappointments to Trump’s controversies, they reflect on the reasons behind their change of heart. Their voices shed light on a shifting political landscape as they reassess their priorities and consider alternative candidates for the future. In this introspective journey, they offer valuable perspectives on the evolving dynamics of American politics.

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#1. Speeches and Rallies

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“My dad started out voting for and supporting him and always being annoyed when people talked s*** about Trump. Then the pandemic happened and he spent a lot of time at home watching TV and seeing trump give speeches, then he says, ‘This guy is a f***** moron’ and he became more anti-Trump as time went by.”

This user’s father underwent a change in perspective primarily due to Trump’s incoherent and inflammatory speeches. Observing Trump’s handling of the Covid crisis, many users gradually came to the conclusion that Trump’s approach and decisions were not aligned with their expectations of a competent leader.

#2. Failure to Condemn

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Another user pointed to two key incidents that significantly contributed to their disillusionment with Trump. First, Trump’s failure to condemn David Duke, the former head of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), raised concerns about his stance on racism and white supremacy. Secondly, Trump’s statement implying that certain veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were “not strong enough” indicated a lack of empathy and understanding, further eroding the user’s support for him.

These instances reflected aspects of Trump’s behavior and statements that clashed with the user’s values and expectations from a President.

#3. Decades of Distrust

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“Back in the 80s when he didn’t ever pay his contractors. I’ve hated him for 40 years.”

This user’s distrust towards Trump dates back to the 1980s, citing instances where Trump reportedly failed to pay his contractors. This long-standing pattern of not fulfilling financial obligations contributed to the user’s negative perception of Trump, leading to a deep-seated resentment that has persisted for over 40 years. The user’s comment highlights the enduring impact of Trump’s business practices on people’s perception of his character.

#4. Puerto Rico Response

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“I don’t know how a single person could support him after Puerto Rico. He said their natural disaster broke their budget, begrudgingly visited and tossed paper towels like basketballs, and mocked the pronunciation of the name. Oh yeah, and didn’t give a s*** that an entire US territory was destroyed with thousands of dead Americans.”

Trump’s perceived lack of empathy and inadequate assistance to the hurricane-ravaged territory, coupled with his insulting and insensitive actions, led the user to question how anyone could support him. The user emphasizes Trump’s apparent indifference to the suffering and loss of life in Puerto Rico as a significant factor in his negative opinion.

#5. Unmasking the Confidence Game

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“He was fascinating on Letterman in the 1980s, openly sleazy and immoral, self-aggrandizing, a curiosity to watch, difficult to understand how he could be human. Then I realized he was a malignant narcissist running a confidence game and the charm faded.”

A shift in perception occurred when a user realized Trump’s reality TV persona was a smokescreen for a darker truth. Initially finding Donald Trump intriguing due to his out of the ordinary behavior, a shift in perception occurred when he realized that he was a narcissist out to fool everyone. Consequently, the user’s admiration for Trump’s charm diminished as they saw through his self-aggrandizing and manipulative actions.

#6. Leadership Failure

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“Not me, but my aunt/uncle. Covid did it. They were both MAGA hat wearing supporters until Covid. My aunt is a retired nurse and was horrified by Trump’s lack of leadership. They did not vote for him a 2nd time.”

This user’s aunt and uncle, who were initially supporters of Donald Trump, changed their perspective due to Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aunt, being a retired nurse, found fault with Trump’s leadership during the crisis, leading to their decision not to vote for him in the second election.

#7. Personal Growth and Empathy

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“I voted for him in ’16. The disappointment started on day 1 when he continuously lied that his inauguration crowd was the largest ever, and it was all downhill ever since. Truly tedious BS began to pileup, like demanding the ‘Nobel Prize’ for bringing peace to Korea, his Charlottesville comments. It’s like, come on man, be a President. I had to find excuses to keep supporting him.

By the end of 2018, Trump had his great month-long shutdown and Mattis resigned, and I had determined once and for all he could not be supported. 2019 came around and I was an anti-Trumper, determined to see him out of office.”

The loss of faith in Trump was driven by a series of factors, including his tendency to make false claims, questionable actions (such as the government shutdown), and setbacks (like the Republican party’s performance in the midterms). These instances contributed to our user’s growing dissatisfaction and ultimately led to a decision to no longer support him by 2019.

#8. Parental Influence

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“When I realized the only reason I supported him was because of parental influence.”

A user’s realization that parental influence was the sole reason for supporting Trump becomes a turning point. The comment explores the impact of recognizing external factors in shaping political views, highlighting the importance of independent thought.

#9. Attacks on McCain and Conspiracy Theories

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“Honestly when he posthumously went after McCain, that started to tip the scale the other way, then once all the garbage conspiracy, anti science s*** started to really take off, I though to myself, do I really want to associate myself with a party that is so obviously full of bigots and morons? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with everything the Democratic Party says and does, but as of right now, they definitely align more with my beliefs.”

This user’s decision to distance from Trump came after observing his divisive personal attacks and the rise of conspiracy theories and anti-science sentiments within the party. This prompted reflection on whether to continue associating with a faction perceived as intolerant and ignorant. While not fully embracing the alternative, the shift underscores a broader trend of reevaluating political affiliations in light of evolving beliefs and values.

#10. Unfulfilled Promises

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“When he didn’t do anything he listed on his first 100 days. I was out pretty early in the game.”

This narrative highlights a common disillusionment with politicians when promises remain unfulfilled, reflecting a broader issue of trust and accountability in governance. It underscores the importance of holding leaders accountable for their actions and commitments, regardless of political affiliation. Such experiences often prompt individuals to reassess their support and seek alignment with politicians who demonstrate consistency and integrity in their actions.

#11. Sharpie Gate

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“Why not just admit you were wrong and move on? That idiot took a sharpie and drew on a map to show he was right about where a hurricane was headed. So stupid.”

Sharpie Gate refers to an incident in September 2019 when President Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that Hurricane Dorian was forecasted to hit Alabama. The National Weather Service (NWS) contradicted this statement, leading to a series of events where Trump showed a modified hurricane map with a Sharpie-drawn extension into Alabama to support his initial claim. The controversy raised concerns about the accuracy of information provided by the President and the misuse of official weather forecasts for political purposes.

#12. From Chaos to Education

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“I went from being a young teenager just “wanting to watch the world burn” to an actually educated young adult who wants to change the world if I’m stuck in the middle of it. I joined a political debate team, got educated, and swept many Trumpers while taking state!”

This user underwent a transformative journey from a young teenager with a nihilistic mindset to becoming an educated young adult with a desire to positively impact the world. The user’s commitment to change and involvement in political debates allowed him to challenge and counter arguments presented by Trump supporters, leading to personal growth and a newfound sense of purpose in effecting positive change.

#13. Jan 6 Riot

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“Jan 6 solidified that the man should never hold office again. Whether he had anything to do with it (he did) doesn’t matter, as he sat there for hours doing nothing about it.”

The turning point for the user was the Capitol riot on January 6. The incident underscored her belief that Donald Trump should never hold office again. The user perceived Trump’s connection to the events, whether direct or indirect, as significant. However, what truly shook her support was Trump’s perceived inaction during the crisis. The prolonged delay in addressing the situation and taking decisive action, in the user’s view, amounted to a dereliction of presidential responsibility. This pivotal moment crystallized the user’s decision to withdraw support and marked a shift in their political perspective.

#14. International Relations and Dictatorship

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“Turning point for me is when he started to play buddy buddy with Kim Jong Un and other ruthless dictators. They played Trump like a fiddle.”

When President Trump initiated diplomatic engagements with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other authoritarian rulers, many supporters turned away from him. This shift in foreign relations and the perceived coziness with dictators influenced many to reassess their support for Trump.

#15. Prioritizing Personal Gain

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“I thought maybe he could do a good job since he wasn’t a politician. Within about 2 years, it became clear he was essentially the same person, lining his own pockets. The final straw was the realization that he was funneling money to his golf courses by having the secret service accompany him there.”
Instances of Trump prioritizing personal financial gain, such as his refusal to divest from his businesses while in office and allegations of using the presidency for profit, further solidified the decision to withdraw support. Additionally, controversies surrounding Trump’s tax returns and business dealings raised concerns about conflicts of interest and ethical integrity. These examples underscore a broader pattern of prioritizing self-interest over the public good, prompting a reevaluation of allegiance among disillusioned supporters.

#16. The Inauguration Attendance Deception

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“I voted for him and noticed more and more just how much of a lunatic he was. Starting with the press conference of Spicer arguing about the inauguration attendance count. I got played. Sorry.”

The user highlighted the press conference where Sean Spicer, then White House Press Secretary, argued about the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration. This incident marked the beginning of the user’s realization that Trump’s administration was prone to deception. As the user observed more instances of what they perceived as dishonesty and erratic behavior, he concluded that he had been misled and expressed regret for their previous support.

#17. Ukraine Scandal

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“My support gradually faded away, but the Ukraine stuff leading to his first impeachment was the nail in the coffin.”

The Ukraine scandal, which led to Donald Trump’s first impeachment, played a pivotal role in the erosion of support among some individuals. The controversy centered around allegations that Trump had sought foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a political rival. The revelation of a July 2019 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where Trump urged an investigation into Biden, raised concerns about abuse of power and led to impeachment proceedings. For some, this episode highlighted ethical and legal concerns, contributing to a decline in their support for Trump.

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