I drew a little schematic of an idea to try and show how some on the right have reacted to Trump.
I’ve naturally focused on my intentionally weird sample of Puppies/right-leaning SF writers. It is also not intended to be particularly accurate at this point – more of a rough sketch of how I see the views shifting. In particular, the starting point is arbitrary- I didn’t double check when the first comment made about Trump’s candidacy was.
The vertical scale runs from opposed to Trump to supportive of Trump through different degrees.
- Opposed to Trump: the person is simply against Trump for multiple reasons.
- Opponent is worse: the person is opposed to Trump but sees him as preferable to Hillary Clinton.
- Anti-anti: The person avoids talking positively about Trump but talks negatively about those who are opposed to Trump.
- Sceptical support: The person has doubts about Trump but is prepared to support them.
- Supportive: The person overtly supports Trump
The people listed are based on how I see their publicly expressed views changing over time.
- LC – Larry Correia. LC expressed strong dislike of Trump, particulalry at nomination time. I think my line is a bit off as he was still talking about both candidates as being equally bad even at the election. However, now when he talks about such issues his position is more anti-anti.
- JCW-John C Wright. Wright had a more complex journey. I’m not sure how anti-Trump he was initially but Trump was not his favoured candidate. These days he actively promotes what he sees as Trump’s accomplishments.
- SH – Sarah Hoyt. Initially opposed to Trump, her views became closer to sceptical support over time.
- VD – Vox Day. Consistenlypro-Trump.
So has Trump won over the anti-Trumps and does that make his position more solid? I assume similar paths are followed by others at the further end of the political spectrum but it is important to consider why some of these people were anti-Trump.
A consistent theme among the early opposition to Trump, aside from his general obnoxiousness, were four important factors:
- Concern that he was a stealth Democrat based on his past financial aid and general hobnobbing with East Coast Democrats.
- Concern that he would follow ‘populist’ stimulus style policies – particulalry mass infrastructure spending.
- Concern that he would mess up the nomination of a new Superme Court Justice.
- Concern that he was the candidate Clinton could most easily beat (I actually think Ted Cruz was more easily beatable but that’s irrelevant here).
The last dot point was made moot by Trump actually winning. The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court mean that Trump achieved a core goal for the right of the GOP in general. Finally the first two points have been reduced as concerns by Trump largely following the more standard GOP-right policy agenda.
Over time, Trump has become a more conventional extreme-right GOP politician in terms of policy and hence opposition to Trump in that arena has reduced.