Breach the Bubble: Meet a Former Democrat Turned Trump Voter



Katie, If you don't want this poor soul torn to shreds, you should turn off the comments, otherwise you're just offering this man up for slaughter.


@1: I think we can maintain decorum.

Good work Katie.


I found a lot of what he said made sense.
(And make no mistake: the only way I'd vote for that bloated con is to that he be fitted for an orange jumpsuit)


The people that won the election for Trump were derided, for a generation, is inconsequential, immaterial cousin-fuckers. Coastal Elites absolutely abused them - and will again this election too. (Side note: I was one of these people, until roughly 1996 or 1997, when a classmate muttered under her breath how much she hated republicans during a discussion of the Dust Bowl and great depression - this is when I realized that rural people are human beings just like me, a cool city kid). Alas.


I have to say: voting for Trump in order to 'protest' is pretty damn deplorable (and deeply, profoundly stupid).


Katie, you rock. Thank you for a fair-minded look into the mind of a Trump voter. You show that they're often thoughtful people who just don't necessarily see the issues from the same POV you or I might, but one thing for certain: they're not the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, rock-eating racist simpletons most of your colleagues try to portray them as.

Like many, I was flabbergasted when Trump one. I didn't see that one coming. I ended up going on a bit of a 'listening tour', getting friends of mine who would admit to voting for Trump to share their thoughts. I didn't judge or challenge, I just listened.

And I heard narratives much like what you've shared here.

Hubris lies at the heart of Hilary's 2016 loss, and that same hubris on the Left may well yet give the Cheeto Bandito another term.

We ignore the Heartland and the Working Class at our peril.


Good stuff. Helpful to hear from a Trump voter that is not on the attack and just being honest.


Yeah, Hillary was an abomination. But Trump is worse.


So, it’s a spite vote?
Those people were mean to me and people like me (without harming them explicitly through policy, just implicitly) so I will do what they don’t want.
Also he seems unwilling to see the damage this president has done.


So, it’s a spite vote?
Those people were mean to me and people like me (without harming them explicitly through policy, just implicitly) so I will do what they don’t want.
Has he heard his party call us baby killers and so forth? Or the pres calling for our demise?
Also he seems unwilling to see the damage this president has done.




So we're trying to normalize these people now? They have no logic, reason or empathy. They are contributing to the destruction of the country, because they wanted to be spiteful. They are condoning white supremacy, sexual assault, obstruction of justice, etc. by associating themselves with Trump and they can't crawl back under their rocks soon enough. Hopefully there's enough country left for sane people to try and reconstruct.


I've heard some of these same arguments from other people as well. Some people just are always going to feel like casting a vote means you're hanging your hat on all of someone's future policies, something that was especially difficult to do for someone like Hillary Clinton. At least with Trump, you could claim it was a "protest vote" or "I didn't know it would be like this, I took him at his word." As if this somehow lets you off the hook for trusting the guy who has been an incompetent pathological liar his entire career.

The other part of it is that they get extremely hung up on very specific instances where it feels like they or their tribe is being personally attacked (regardless of the sum of all other actions), and can't ever let it go. Once they've been convinced they were wronged (i.e. deplorables), they feel like they're owed something and if they never get it then it's "fuck you I'll vote for the other guy." There's no way to win.

The problem is that these are both psychological traits that are very easily to exploit through media manipulation, and it truly does come down to how prepared and educated you are. The problem is they think the college kids are the ones trying to manipulate them.

These guys are also almost universally bad at math and relative scales. Ask this guy which he thinks is worse for our economy: corporations and billionaires dodging taxes, or immigrants sending their savings home to their families in Mexico. Then look up the scale of both of those forces in dollars.


@11 as it turns out, they are normal. Like, 46% of the electorate normal.


The key sentence here has to be the last one: "I won't vote for someone who I think despises me."
If nothing else makes sense to you, surely this does.


You are a very brave soul Katie Herzog!
(Well done).


@11: No, not trying to normalize. If you want to understand what's going on, you need insights into our adversaries. No reason to feel threatened.


@13: Totally plausible. Enough Obama voters went for Trump, or stayed home, to make a difference in the electoral states Trump won. In addition Trump was a life long democrat before he started taking over the GOP.


None of this is surprising. Donald Trump is a disgusting, xenophobic, racist, misogynistic, corrupt, lying, buffoon. But I, though in a very different position, can identify with the subject of this interview. Hillary Clinton is a brilliant, well-qualified, experienced, business-pandering, warmonger.

The Democratic party was and may still be out of touch. They handed Trump his victory. And if they nominate, say, Biden, they'll likely hand Trump another four years.


Great idea and well done! Next time, please ask about their news sources.


If there's one comment Hillary Clinton made during the campaign that was undeniably true then, and has only been triple-proven to be accurate since, it's that a solid half of Trump voters (and she did indeed say "half" not "all") ARE deplorable, assuming "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamaphobic" are part of your definition (those are the terms she used). No intelligent observer can fail to see at this point that a large chunk of Trump voters fit that definition.

She actually expressed EXACTLY the view this guy seems to think she failed to express about the OTHER half of Trump voters, saying they “feel that the government has let them down,” are “desperate for change," and “those are people we have to understand and empathize with."

And anyway, people who vote for any change whatsoever, no matter what it is or what kind of complete shitbag gets elected because of it, are simply exercising bad judgment. Full stop. They're like little babies throwing a tantrum. Voting is an adult decision, and if you couldn't muster the maturity to see that Hillary Clinton was a better choice than Trump, you shouldn't bother voting at all ever again.


@13 and @20 GermanSausage for the WIN.

"Lifelong Democrat who voted for Trump", my ass. Oh, and I'm Melania---NOT! Take off that ridiculous MAGA cap, Tim, and THINK AGAIN before you lose all your remaining brain tissue. We know your front teeth are already gone--but that don't matter none if it's all in "God's plan". Did you bother to read the fine print? Trumpty Dumpty and its lackeys are out for THEMSELVES. Do you honestly think they give a shit about you?


Sorry, but you either have to be (1) incredibly dimwitted, (2) outright racist, and/or (3) very rich and greedy to have EVER supported the Overgrown Orange Toddler™ …anyone with half a brain could tell he was full of shit after 3 minutes: "You won't believe how great it's gonna be...everybody will have health insurance, and it will be WAY cheaper!"


@22 schmacky: I nominate you in a tie for the WIN with German Sausage! Bravo, and well done, sir!


@25 Griz, while we typically disagree, you're at least arguably a decent person. germanSausage is a straight up piece of shit (who also, if you recall, was a lifelong Republican until I dunno Obama or something. Weird that he seems to think a midlife opinion change is impossible, having done it himself. Then again, he's part of the far-left "I am perfect and cannot be questioned and my only response is ignorance" party, so whatever. Anyhow, he's straight trash and there isn't any place that wouldn't be instantly improved by his sudden and unnoticed disappearance.


White Privilege for $200, Alex.


@22 This is an excellent point. It is certainly wildly paranoid as well as wildly inaccurate to believe that 'deplorable' was a sweeping put down to all of rural/exurban America. It is as clear as the sun in the sky what she meant: most of the bellowing yahoos in the photo accompanying this article. Rage addled bigots who have been with us since time immemorial. What's kind of funny is that this remark is considered to be as self-defeating as Romney's 48% remark. He was the one who was totally clueless however. A huge chunk of that 48% (people who don't pay income taxes) are in fact deplorables. Reliable Republican voters!


@22: Your third paragraph is true, nevertheless don't you think it's important to try to mitigate it? Yes, it's easy to say it's a lost cause. But if there's an "off-ramp", if you will, for Trump 2016 voters to not vote for Trump in 2020 that will be a good thing in what will surely be a very nasty and possibly a very tight election. Every little bit helps.


@2, care to reassess your comment, what gives me the ultra sad is this mans circular logic will be reinforced by this.

@Katie, if you’re really trying to change peoples minds you’ll turn the comments off on these articles. Putting the information out there is enough and I do believe a good exercise.
Don’t teach a toddler to keep their hands to themselves by putting them in a cage full of nasty badgers.


I kinda skimmed the article earlier, then read it more thoroughly later. That guy is doing so many mental gymnastics I'm amazed he didn't have a stroke.

"I know I made a stupid decision, but I'm willing to make that same mistake again because I think people don't like me because I'm being irrational..."

The purest definition of insanity... Yeesh...


Just out of curiosity... who here HAS voted for someone they believed despised them?

This ain’t rocket science folks.


It's been a long time that I've read something in the stranger that was useful and not a waste of time. There's insight in here. Well done.


Great job, Katie. I am always a huge fan of your work. We need to be seeing more interactions like this. This interview really answered a lot of questions that I had. I don't agree with Tim but I 100% understand where he is coming from.



He wasn't a lifelong dem. From Wikipedia... "Trump's political party affiliation has changed numerous times over the years. He registered as a Republican in Manhattan in 1987,[271] switched to the Reform Party in 1999, the Democratic Party in 2001, and back to the Republican Party in 2009.[271] He made donations to both the Democratic and the Republican parties, party committees, and candidates until 2010 when he stopped donating to Democrats and increased his donations to Republicans considerably.[272]"

The article you link to appears to be specifically referencing political donations. Rich people donate to both parties rather lucratively for a number of reasons, mostly to curry favor for pet causes. Doesn't make them a member of said party.


Who cares about this guy? I'm sorry his frail ego can't handle the impression that the reasonable candidate doesn't like him. If that's really your motivator, you really shouldn't fucking vote. I don't like Clinton and I doubt she'd like me, but you know what, the country's welfare is a little bit more important than some hyper-individualized choice based on a bruised ego. But by all means, let's pretend voting for a quasi-fascist, tinpot dictator is perfectly normal and okay because Democrats are weaksauce and hurt this guy's feelings. Why have standards at all?


35: Doesn't matter. These people are here for the narrative, not the underlying reality.


The Overton Window has drifted rightward, not only nationally, but globally, since 1980. I feel this is incredibly dangerous. The 19th century began with a Leftward drift, followed by a rightward drift that continued into the early twentieth century. This culminated in the 1920’s and 1930’s, when the most popular model of car sold worldwide was called The Dictator. Mussolini was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. Conservative economic theories that were considered fringe during Lincoln’s administration were the centrist position by the Coolidge administration. Woodrow Wilson showed “Birth of a Nation” in the White House, a film that glorified the thing we fought and died to stop in the Civil War, and sang its praises. All over the world, from Marshall Pilsudski in Poland to Generalissimo Chang Kai Shek in China, the military and its leaders were glorified to the point of cult worship. The wild orgy of blood that was WW1, the flu pandemic, the stock market crash and then the rise of fascism all came out of that. The first half of the 20th century was by any measure horrific, and because the whole world was caught up in the madness, there was nowhere to run.

I’m terrified of returning to that era. My decision to become a Leftist was intentional and conscious- I wasn’t raised by Communists or intellectuals, my parents were Reaganites who listened to Focus on the Family on the radio and deliberately broke picket lines. They went to Church and really really hated Communism. We had a Solidarity poster on the kitchen wall. So don’t think I came into this world wearing a red diaper.

I did however notice that the stuff FDR talked about wasn’t in common political parlance anymore by the time I was an adult. The only options I was offered on the ballot all looked kinda far to the right of Kennedy or Johnson. And it’s just gotten worse every year.

So, I decided to do whatever I could to push things the other direction. This is a game of tug of war, and you don’t win tug of war by adopting a centrist compromise position. That knot in the center of the rope only moves back toward what looked like the middle at the start of the game if you pull very hard to the Left.

The Democrats compromised with the GOP, but the GOP pulled farther and farther to the right. Because the Democrats kept on compromising, what was the Far Right became the center. Now, FDR’s ideas are the same as Bernie’s and y’all think that’s Far Left now, but in the 40’s, that was the political center, the middle of the road. Compromise does that, you know. It’s like being coerced by a domestic abuser, you keep giving in thinking it’ll get better and just hold on for now and keep quiet, and eventually, it doesn’t get better, you just get dead.

Hillary did suck, because she is and always was a Goldwater Gal. Those positions were so Far Right, they scared the crap out of America in the 1960’s, but here she was, the Democratic front runner, pushing that same position. If LBJ ran against her in the primaries, we might have seen the Daisy advertisement with her as the target, I saw that, and so did this guy, but he voted even further to the Right, whereas I voted Jill Stein.

Keep giving in like that, and we’ll all be right back where we were in 1932. Militarism, strong men authoritarians, nationalism, and a particularly savage brand of No holds barred or regulated capitalism, all the ingredients are there. The only way out is to pull the rope to the Left, so we can get the knot back over to sanity and away from the madness of the extreme right,


Another privileged white guy voting against his best interest. Color me shocked. Anyone that’s working class or middle class that voted for Trump thinking he was going to do anything to help them hasn’t been paying attention the last several decades.

Can’t wait for the next installment of Meet the Mouth Breather...


Gosh, must be nice to vote without having to consider your and your daughter's bodily autonomy.


"I am the face of everything that is wrong in this country."

Most intelligent thing he said.


@29: We don’t need these people to vote Democrat in the next election. If they don’t vite at all, that’s mitigation enough.


What is: the REAL reason "Tim M" and all other MAGA trash like him DIDN'T vote for Hillary Clinton is that ---GASP!!!!--on top of not only being the only candidate qualified to be #45,--sh-she's a-a WOMAN??
Dumbass White Male Privilege for $1,000, Alex---Whoa---Daily Double!!!!


Fragile white men and their white supremacist ideology and their deep seated misogyny will never, ever earn any sympathy, ever. We literally have the epitome of white supremacist, white male entitlement, and white male misogyny in Trump. All you have to have is white skin and a nasty case of entitlement that allows you to believe you can do whatever the fuck you want to whomever you want and anyone who believes otherwise is an enemy trying to take what is rightfully yours. This is what those who support Trump believe. And the white women who support him, they either believe their whiteness protects them from the misogyny or they believe that the misogyny is acceptable, as long as the whiteness keeps them in second place behind white men. Fuck every last one of them. I am sick to fucking death of white men whining. White people whining. White people in general. Other people exist. Get the fuck over yourselves.


Good stuff, Ms. Herzog. Thanks.


@36 Meanwhile, The left wing media is trying to pin a trans woman's suicide on Dave Chappelle because he told some jokes. If it's so easy to vote for a candidate who hates you, go vote for Trump and find out how easy it is.


This interview has reminded me why I made the mistake of voting for Clinton in 2016, and why 2020 I won’t be making the same mistake.


Wow. Killer interview. I hope Herzog sticks around, but whether here or elsewhere, she has “big time” written all over her.


46: I don't care because I'm not a culture warrior dipshit who listens to what some fucking "leftwing" vloggers or content miners are saying. The vast majority of people on the left don't give a shit about Chapelle actually. Just because I reject rightwing bullshit doesn't mean I take marching orders from whatever media the right is calling "left wing" these days. This culture has gotten so dumb partisans can't even imagine that someone else might not a partisan. It's sad that the kinds of idiots who think Trump makes sense as a candidate are now so prevalent.


I find it sad that about half the people commenting here seem to have wasted the past three years not bothering to leave the safety of your echo chambers to learn the other side's viewpoints and better hone your arguments and talking points against Trump and his policies. Instead you continue to hurl derogatory pejoratives at these people, causing them to dig their heels in even further. Honestly, you are just as insufferable the people in MAGA hats dismissing everyone with even a slightly different point of view on an issue as "libtards".


I agree with the praise for Katie Herzog here. She had done and is doing a lot of really good work. If her career doesn’t end with her at the top of the journalism profession, then there ain’t no justice.

OK, first of all, there is a little dissonance there. Democrats are too much about “free stuff?” But they don’t do enough for the working class? Who the heck is Medicare for all for? And how are we supposed to pay for all these Trump tax cuts?

Which tells me that the real objections here are the sense of being despised. And yeah, that is illogical when voters like Tim stand to benefit from Democrats in government. Personally, I think he’s been manipulated into supporting a party that actively works against his interests, but Democrats have also done quite a bit to play into that narrative.

Tim mentioned churches, and I think that’s something worth considering. A lot of conservative Christians are terrified right now because they sense that they have lost the culture wars (which they largely have, outside of the Deep South at least). That feeling may be illogical too (from our perspective they still have outsized influence), but it should be taken into account. For instance, maybe we don’t have to go after every single little one-person operation that refuses to bake a cake for same sex weddings. We can draw a distinction between big national corporations and franchises on the one hand and little artisan shops on the other. (And maybe, too, if someone turns down your flower order or whatever, we can have the grace to say, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but if that’s what you want, I’ll take my business elsewhere,” and just drop it instead of making a federal case out of it.)

Some of this is just having a little empathy. Sure, getting rid of AR-15s makes a lot of sense. But if I happen to own and like an AR-15, and you want to take it, maybe it’s reasonable for them to react by saying, “Hey, what did I do? Why are you coming after me? I didn’t do anything!”

But we’ve retreated into this posture where we just automatically assume that the only reason someone might oppose us is because they’re evil.

Here’s a hint: calling people evil doesn’t dispose them to vote for you.



Understand Tim's viewpoints?

Here's what I read:

"I demand a hip, fashionable president. One who is cool and "with it" and speaks the lingo of today's kids. Knowing how to run the country is mostly irrelevant. Being trendy is more important than being practical. That, and they must go out of their way to make me personally feel liked and special.

If my personal favorite is not selected then I will vote for the person who will do the most to destroy the weakest and most vulnerable members of society while I am safely insulated. And I will spend the next 4 years seeking attention to whine and pout and show the world that if I don't get my way I'll throw a temper tantrum."

Did I miss anything?


50, You’re not completely wrong though i seriously doubt there is anyone on the “other side” even trying to bridge the divide, or for the cooler heads among them to call for moderation within their ranks, so if ~half of us are willing to listen we’re already a step ahead. When a large share of trump supporters are motivated purely by spite it’s a lot to ask of the rest of us to try to be understanding, but some of us are trying anyway.

Also, what 22 said. Hillary’s point when she mentioned deplorables was that, despite the trolls, there were a lot of trump supporters who felt left behind. If those people actually care as much as they say they do they should probably pay closer attention.


@52: Yeah, you missed a lot. You were never asked to understand or concur with Tim's viewpoints, just know what they are as a means for an insight into such thinking. But if that doesn't interest you as an intellectual exercise, there's always whining and pouting.


50: Here is an interesting thought exercise: what if I understand Tim's position and, indeed, most of Trump's supporters' positions and simply believe that they're 1) completely irrational, 2) rational but cynical to a gross degree, 3) basically misguided and poorly argued, or 4) animated by racial and sexual animosity? What if we actually heard and understood people like this interviewee, understood how the Democrats fucked up in the last election, and still thought Trump supporters were mostly full of shit? Just because we don't agree with these people doesn't mean we don't understand them. I understand them all too well because virtually my entire extended family are Trump supporters (a lot of them like to use the n word a lot). I don't need to be concern trolled into listening to them. I hear and argue with them all the time.


Adding to my point @55, most stereotypical Seattle liberals or lefties have relatives who are conservative or on the right (like me) and do talk to them fairly regularly. Moreover, a lot of us read conservative op-eds and a range of other opinions from different news sources. The belief that people live in completely sealed-off echo chambers is just a useful political myth. Yes, people do gravitate to echo chambers online, but most also occupy real life or meatspace where they have interactions with people of other political persuasions all the time. I work for an industry lobby that employs self-interested business people of all affiliations ranging from libertarian to Republican to Democrat all the way to socialist. I interact with my Trump-loving relatives on a regular. This is true of a lot of people. We totally understand who Trump supporters are and where they're coming from. We just know supporting him is wrong, sort of gross, and compromises the supporter.


@50 You're a comedian right?

The left-leaning media has bent over backwards, before, during and after the election to try to 'learn the other side's viewpoints'. Infinite interviews in diners in East Buttfuckville, informative chats with Trump rally goers etc. etc. We know what their viewpoints are. They are almost without exception idiotic viewpoints, through and through, from beginning to end. The key to winning elections is not to pander to idiots. Unfortunately in this country we have to wait for the idiots to become demoralized and crawl back under their rocks for a while. That's it.

The Democrats have a wide array of policy proposals aimed specifically at addressing the concerns of 'middle America'. Idiots do not give a shit about any such substantive things. Resentment and unfocused rage are their driving forces. It is being way too charitable to even call these 'view points'.


Stop wasting time on stuff like this.


Katie once again confirms her role as an alt-right plant.


It's nice to see that the stranger is becoming just as centrist as the rest of seattle. Thanks for nothing katie.


I've read a ton of these articles in the mainstream news. They're usually only snippets of conversations. And they often have a theme of "Donald Trump has been chosen by god", which just makes me want to scream.

This is the first time I've read a real, honest conversation about these issues, giving some insight to just how uncertain the electorate can be. Even though I don't agree with the guy's viewpoints, I found it refreshing and honest. And I, too, thought "Hillary just lost the election" when she made her deplorables comment.

It also reinforces my belief that a lot of Trump supporters are simply trying to be contrary and voting for him out of spite. For many of them, I don't think they care about the country and likely have no idea what the Constitution even is. All they care about Donald Trump. This guy comes off as well-informed and seems to care about the country.


@57 "East Buttfuckville"

When Trump called Haiti, Nigeria, etc "shithole countries", everyone erupted in anger at him. Why? Now that you're doing the same to another group of people, what do you think would happen.

Everyone here who is using insults here is straight up wrong, and is not committed to equity or equality. You're just a conservative brain in liberal clothing.


Congratulations, you found a dipshit.


If obama called rural america east buttfuckville it would have been a scandal and an apt comparison to trump but fortunately an anonymous nobody on the internet is not the same thing as a president so we’re all good here


Katie, you were supposed to submit this homework assignment almost three years ago. We have all read this article word-for-word in 37 articles in the New York Times. Your F is not negotiable. I'm sorry.



So you're equating an anonymous comment on a local alt-weekly newspapers blog to the leader of the free world conducting international diplomacy? Good times.


@64 beat me to it. Damn.


His reasoning comes across as rather egotistical at times - even, dare I say, snowflakish. Clinton said something critical he perceived to be about him, and that is the most important thing in the universe? Maybe elections aren't all about the ego and/or soulful purity of individual voters? Maybe we should look a little further than our own noses? I wasn't thrilled about Clinton, but I knocked on doors for her because it's not about me and my feelings.


66 worth repeating until people understand the concept of false equivalence


@65: So then no subjects are written about more than once? Just because the NYT did it a bunch of times anything else is derivative?

Nevertheless, welcome back.


@69, writing the exact same article over and over adds nothing to anything. It's just lazy.

And it's not even true; Trump was not elected by the disaffected white working class; he was elected by a combination of rich people, voter suppression, and the fucked-up electoral college. "Tim" is full of shit, obviously, but the real problem here is irresponsibly shitty "journalism". How can you spot it? She calls this guy "working class", but the crucial distinction here, as always, isn't class; it's race. EVERY SINGLE ONE of these articles conflates "working class" with "white working class".

And now as a result a hostile foreign power has control of our nuclear weapons, and our friends are being slaughtered by the thousands while the global mafia runs rampant. Fuck you people. Trump voters are deplorable garbage. Fuck you.


@70: Yeah, but the demographics of the voters in those states that tipped the electoral college require examination. Your blanket "race war" explanation is insufficient. I suggest you read Nate Silver's reporting for an elevated understanding of the matter.


@70 'Trump was not elected by the disaffected white working class'. This statement is somewhat dubious. To be sure vast numbers of white exurban/rural voters who went for Trump are not in any way economically disadvantaged but, although this rarely gets acknowledged, the 1% constituency in this country probably leans left or is evenly divided.

If the 'fucked-up electoral college' was responsible this was because of the disproportionate clout of, if not the 'white working class', certainly the white middle class, in sparsely populated swaths of the country. Absolutely do not have to be poor to be deplorable and you are even more deplorable if you aren't. And I grew up in East Buttfuckville. These people can eat shit.


Tim's fucking champion of the working class just endorsed fucking ethnic cleansing of the Kurds. "They had to have it cleaned out", he said today. So tell me more about how the deplorables aren't really deplorable and we should all sit quietly and be civil about these endless crimes against law and humanity. FUCK TRUMP VOTERS. FUCK TRUMP ENABLERS.


@72, Trump voters were significantly better-off financially than Clinton voters on average. Just because the NYT and J.D. Vance and Katie Fucking Herzog find it appealing to insist that it's the opposite doesn't make it true.


@71, the demographic makeup of the states that tipped to Trump don't need examining; they're right out in the open. Empty states vote Republican. The swing states were vote-suppressed to the Republicans, because Republicans have systematically destroyed democracy on the statehouse level all across the country. And the dominionists on the Supreme Court have encouraged them to do so.

I've read more Nate Silver than you have. Unfortunately you haven't read Timothy Snyder, so you don't know what's really happening here.


You do realize that Turkey has been our NATO ally since Truman let them join in 1952... Right?


@57 "The key to winning elections is not to pander to idiots."

I'm afraid I'll have to see some hard evidence before I believe that assertion.


And... Surely you must realize that Trump ran on extracting us from endless wars and bringing our troops home. A very popular policy nationally. Right?


Dare to be stupid!


@75: Okay, then your arguments are more about republicans and the build up to the 2016 election. Still it was a fluke that Trump got elected, considering it was all a publicity stunt that went terribly wrong paired with a whole mess of angry, spiteful voters as well as apathetic non-voters.


Really interesting interview, Thank you Katie. One thing that I would add to this discussion that has not come up at all in the interview or the comments is the threat to democracy posed by Trump and the republican party. Why did you not try to ask Tim about this at all? I know it is a hard sell because most Trump supporters seem to think that this is just hysteria on the left and have an inflated sense of confidence in the strength of our constitutional system. The republican leadership clearly knows what they are doing (since they are closely following the playbook that has led to a shift from democracy to autocracy in other countries). They see this as the only way to advance their policies, most of which are not supported by a majority of voters. This is what made me become politically active after Trump's election. Before, I had confidence in the system and that things would work out OK in the end as long as I did my part by voting. After Trump's election I realized that the republicans might be successful in rigging the system enough that we would have a democracy in name only. I thought that many other people would also see this, but the comments above suggest that it is not front and center on most people's minds.


Katie, one quick suggestion. In lots of states, party registration and actually having voted is a matter of public record. Can you tell us whether you fact-checked the claim of this person and your future article subjects being registered to vote / having actually voted?

If this person really voted for Dukakis they're at least 48 years old, right?


@75 I had not seen your comment before I just posted. Yes, I agree that Timothy Snyder's little book is great.


76 jfc there is no bottom to your ignorance


So you are suggesting we should expand the war in Syria to include military conflict with a NATO member?


@85 Are you suggesting that leaving allies twisting in the wind on a whim is a good foreign policy move?


@85 uhhhh.... no? you.... think this was the only option here? Full blown war or genocide? Really?

Our troops were in n syria as a peacekeeping force to stop erdogan from slaughtering the kurds. Had trump left them in place we wouldn’t be in a position where we were at risk of a wider conflict against a nato ally. This is a mess trump singlehandedly created.


Dude sounds like he's suffering from battered woman's syndrome.


@64 & @87 blip: I fervently nominate you in a three way tie with GermanSausage (@13) and schmacky (@22) for the WIN in this comment thread. Bravo and well done.
@85: Seriously, dude. Take off that MAGA cap before you lose any more brain tissue.


Why does he think people despise him? Might have something to do with trump constantly telling him that democrats want to turn his kids gay and give his job to Mexicans. Right out of the abusive spose playbook. Only I love you baby.


@64, @65, @66 yes - it's the reason people like the interviewee voted for Trump. You're all shitheads, and I demand you vote for me.


Oh yeah, trump campaigned on getting us out of endless wars. I guess that's why hes renting the army out to Saudi Arabia. How much do they pay for each dead soldier?


90 he made it abundantly clear that his beef was with clinton not random people on the internet but even were this not the case your analogy is still trash because you fail to grasp the difference between politicians and ordinary nobodies


No... Our troops were in Syria, according to the man who sent them there, Barack Obama, as part of a global coalition to counter ISIL. Turkey was actually part of that global coalition.

"On 10 September 2014, U.S. president Barack Obama announced a 'comprehensive' strategy to counter ISIL that 'in concert with coalition partners will defeat ISIL and deny them safe haven'."

They were NOT sent there "as a peacekeeping force to stop erdogan from slaughtering the kurds." That was not their mandate. You are wrong in saying that is why they were in Syria.

It could have been (the Turkes, and everyone else in the middle east, have been fighting with the Kurds on some level basically since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire) but it was not. Obama did not send troops to protect the Kurds from anyone, he sent them to fight against ISIL in a collation that included the Kurds. The Kurds were not disinterested parties in the fight against ISIL, they were fighting defensively against the threat of ISIL. We came to their aid in a fight against a common enemy, but we did not commit to solving their long running local disputes with their neighbors, or being their muscle against our NATO allies.


Personally, at the time we invaded Iraq, I thought we should have seized the moment to rip pieces out of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey and reconstitute Kurdistan roughly as it existed before the Battle of Chaldiran, made it an administrative client state to the US and moved all of our troops from Europe into Kurdistan to enforce “regional stability” for the next hundred years or so. But unfortunately that was not what we decided to do.


Trump voter: "The main thing that motivated me was my perception that liberals feel nothing but contempt for people like me."
Liberals: "Only a worthless piece of shit would say that."


@95 I’m a liberal. And unfortunately I think that’s spot on.


92 people are people my dude. politicians aren't sprinkled in magic dust.


93 the reason we were still in syria in 2019 =/= the reason we went in the first place and now we are enabling an ethnic cleansing and the likely reemergence of isis while signaling to our allies that we cannot be trusted because your fave president has no idea what he is doing


Good job Katie - the majority of commenters are positive and appreciate this article.