In the period since Donald Trump’s inauguration, we’ve seen countless instances of Trump voters expressing dismay over him doing exactly what he promised he’d do during the campaign, as President.
Probably the best, and most ironic example, is that of the American family of Syrian immigrants turned away at Philadelphia airport, who themselves voted for Trump. But also, there’s this guy, who thought Trump’s talk of banning travel from certain Muslim countries was just “for the media” and that he wouldn’t actually pursue a ban. And people like these who seemed to think Trump represented their socially conservative and/or Christian values and have been dismayed to see him do exactly what he said he’d do on immigration, which, it turns out, differs from their beliefs.
Some of this may be the result of voters being insufficiently educated about politics, the statements of politicians, and so on. Some of it may also be the result of the kind of attitude I wrote about in The Atlantic, where certain reliable members of the traditional Republican coalition willingly overlooked Trump’s behavior and comments in order to justify a vote for him. But in any event, the trend is real. And it appears that now, a whole state that supported Trump might be getting in on the action. From the Wall Street Journal:
“President Donald Trump’s vision of a sea-to-sea wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is running into an unexpected obstacle: opposition from Republicans in Texas, where most of the unfenced land is located.”
Among the people now apparently pleading with Trump to not do what he said he’d do regarding the wall, after his having said it for months and months and months, over and over, are Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Will Hurd, and even Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who ran a whole campaign predicated on the notion of stopping an “illegal invasion.” There are also people like Chris Bauer, a Texas farmer, who backed Trump and whose property is already divided by the existing border fence, and who doesn’t want more fencing. “China had a wall, Germany had a wall. It’s good for deterrence maybe, but people are going to find a way to come through… I supported Trump, but some of his ideas can be a little less expensive,” the Journal quotes Bauer saying.
>And there’s one Dennis Nixon, a big Trump and RNC donor, who I wrote about here. The Journal quotes Nixon saying the wall is “a silly idea that has not been well thought out.” Nixon probably has even more cause to be dubious of Trump’s general anti-Mexico rhetoric and Mexico-relations-skeptical attitude than your average Texan who just knows there’s a lot of business done between the two countries and longstanding economic, familial and cultural ties. That’s because his bank sits “1,000 yards from the [Rio Grande] river” (and portions of the existing wall had to be built a mile or more inland) and rumor is, Nixon is involved with efforts by a business associate, CY Benavides, to build a landfill for Mexican toxic waste in a Laredo floodplain area. If relations with Mexico totally nosedive, as Trump’s behavior and policy suggests he wants, it’s going to be very tricky to import that toxic waste and make bank off of it.
It’s one thing, in red Texas, to have voted for Trump because the state has been a target for Democrats, Hillary Clinton really was that bad a candidate, and Evan McMullin or Gary Johnson were not going to win there. It’s another to have proactively raised money for Trump, gone out of one’s way to gin up support for him. The sad fact is, a lot of prominent Texans fall into the latter category. It looks like all of them can now join the ranks of so many other Trump voters who, for whatever inexplicable reason, didn’t think Trump was actually going to do what he said he would, and get themselves featured by @trump_regrets and MSNBC.