Trump in Florida: A Wake-Up Call

A recent poll of Florida voters conducted by Morning Consult for Politico news site and the AARP reveals that Donald Trump is more popular in this state than South Florida progressives would like to believe. 

According to the poll, 48 percent of Florida voters approve of Trump’s job performance while only 49 percent disapprove. (Nationwide voters are 45 percent for Trump and 51 percent against him.) Men are more approving (53 to 45) than women (43 to 52); Republicans are more approving (87 to 12) than Democrats (11 to 85); and voters over 50 are more approving (52 to 44) than voters age 30 to 44 (47 to 49). (I saw nothing about race in this poll, though I presume whites are more approving than people of color.) 

All in all, this Florida poll suggests that the “blue wave” that we hope to arrive in November might be harder to come by, at least in the Sunshine State. It certainly was a disappointment for the AARP which tends to take a progressive stand on issues of importance to the elderly.

Though the Politico/AARP survey might be an outlier, the fact remains that Trump enjoys a lot of support. While some principled conservatives - John McCain, Ana Navarro, Steve Schmidt, George Will and the Bush family - have criticized the president, most Republicans are devotees of Trump. Evangelical Christians, who are quick to attack sexual or gender diversity or a woman’s right to choose, are in thrall to a president who has no morals: a narcissist, a bully and a pathological liar who would not know the truth if it sat on his face. 

Many Trump supporters love Trump almost as much as he loves himself; and flock to his rallies with cult-like devotion. Some of those deplorables share in the president’s prejudices; and hate anyone who look, think or love differently than they do. Others, however, support Trump for more complex reasons.

I must admit that I found the Politico/AARP survey startling, since I spend my life in Florida’s most progressive bubble. I live in Broward County; have progressive friends; belong to progressive groups; listen to progressive talk radio (primarily Sirius XM Progress); read progressive blogs and news sites. 

I have nothing to do with Trump supporters who live in north or central Florida. And they have nothing to do with me. By the same token, liberal Jewish retirees who live in Century Village have little in common with conservative Christian retirees who live in the Villages. (Though both groups support Israel, Social Security and Medicare.) This political and social segregation is at the heart of the virtual civil war that has divided our country as it hasn’t been divided since slavery split us apart in 1860. 

I am not trying to reunite America Red and America Blue; a task that I fear is nearly impossible. Nor do I think it would be possible to separate Florida in half between a conservative north and a progressive south. But I would like to know what Trump supporters think. What is it about Donald J. Trump that appeals to his devotees? There might be some good reasons to support this president, though they seem to escape me at the moment. If you, my reader, think Trump is doing good for our country, please let me know.