It would be a shame to think that it took a global pandemic to wake up Donald Trump’s comatose supporters, but perhaps that’s the case. At least it would appear that way, in Northumberland County, a portion of Virginia’s Northern Neck, that Trump carried in 2016 by ten points, although the rest of Virginia has in recent years become a blue state. Trump-Pence yard signs and flags from 2016 used to be prominent and letters to the editors of the local newspapers advocated Second Amendment sanctuary cities and decried Democratic “hoaxes” which were launched against their fearless leader. But all that has changed since COVID-19 cases appeared in the county and life adjusted accordingly. The Insider:
Now, just over seven months from the general election, those yard signs have largely disappeared. A recent letter to the editor printed in the Northern Neck News, a local newspaper, read, “Nothing has highlighted Trump’s ineptness to lead more than the current crisis.” Another in the Rappahannock Record accused the president of “sleepwalking” and being “tone-deaf” in his response to the global health crisis. […]
“A few weeks ago I could ignore the parts of his personality I didn’t like,” Cliff, a 25-year Chesapeake Bay waterman, told me. “That’s over. I don’t believe anything he’s saying now.”
Leaning against a pickup truck after an all-day shift on the water, Matt, a third-generation Chesapeake Bay oysterman and former Trump supporter in his mid-40s, took a long drag on his cigarette. “He’s got no idea what the hell he’s doing, and I think he’s flat out lying to everyone about how bad it really is, and how bad it’s going to get,” he said.
And this gentleman also went on to praise his immigrant co-workers.
Matt told me he has always disagreed with Trump’s attacks on immigrants. “A lot of the guys in shucking houses around here are Hispanic migrants and they’re really good guys. Hard-working guys.” But through it all, from the Muslim ban to impeachment, he stuck with him.
Now, the trust is gone.
“He thinks we’re all stupid and will show up for him no matter what,” he said. “At this point, I can’t imagine bringing myself to do that.”
Who knows how many Trump supporters feel this way? We can only hope for the best. And then there’s this commentary on GOP racist messaging, which appears to be backfiring.
Of late, the Northumberland County Republican Committee has kept a low profile. But the party here remains in lockstep with the Trump administration’s messaging. Beneath an image of Trump and the first lady riding a motorcycle past adoring fans in front of the Capitol, the committee’s website notes that the 2020 Virginia GOP Convention is “POSTPONED DUE TO WUHAN VIRUS.”
If you’re scratching your head, as I was, wondering WTH? Trump and Melania on a motorcycle? Here’s that image, from the RNC website linked to above. It’s part of artist John McNaughton’s opus of Trump love.
Welcome to life in the MAGA bubble. Sure doesn’t resemble any reality ever seen, does it? Although I must say that this image of Trump is more lifelike than the one I saw where he has a flat stomach and broad shoulders, sitting down and playing poker with presidents of the past. I wonder if McNaughton will paint Trump riding into the sunset, like John Wayne? Guess we’ll wait and see, because it looks like some of the MAGAts are having a change of heart. I wonder what surreal spin McNaughton will put on Trump skulking away from the White House in the night, as a pariah?