According to an Atlantic article by Molly Ball called “Trump’s Graying Army”, it’s people my age — 71, give or take a few years — living in retirement complexes in Florida that are a core group of Trump supporters. They remember a time when the world was simpler, clearer, better, and when they and their values prevailed.
“Trump’s whole candidacy is predicated on nostalgia—not just making America great, but making it great again, returning it to an imagined, prelapsarian state of greatness. (Appropriately, Trump stole the slogan from Ronald Reagan.) More so even than most Republican candidates, Trump has run a campaign aimed squarely and frankly at old people’s nostalgia, fear of danger, and anxiety about social change.
He has also appealed directly to their desire to protect their government benefits. The need for entitlement reform is a gospel of today’s Republican Party and a hallmark of the budget plans proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan. But while virtually the entire rest of the Republican field was promising to restore fiscal discipline by reforming Social Security and Medicare, Trump insisted the programs didn’t need to be touched.”
On some level I wish I could be at a campaign rally with these folks, as I lived through the same period at roughly the same time they did, and I’d like to ask them what planet they were living on? They are airbrushing a time when women smacked around by their husbands were told to “offer it up” and honor their marriage vows, where children abused by pedophile priests were shamed and justice for them denied, where Emmitt Till was murdered in Money, Mississippi, and his white killers exonerated by an all white jury with barely a nod to their obvious guilt. Aging Trump supporters are forgetting that working women hit on by their bosses had no recourse other than to leave and find another job, where people of color were routinely denied the right to vote or attend the schools of their choice or own homes other than in redlined “black” neighborhoods. Trump supporters are forgetting that most people smoked, even prominent newscasters on TV, that Kodak scientists working in labs poured toxic chemicals down the drain because there were no environmental protections to the contrary, that LGBT family members lived and loved in secret, and women who wanted a room of their own were considered disruptive to the established order.
I could go on, but you get the idea. I wish my age peers down in Florida who are supporting Trump got the idea too.