On election night in November 2016, then President-elect Trump said he would be a “President for all Americans,” and would reach out to those who did not support him in an effort to “work together and unify our great country.”
In a more pointed declaration, Trump reassured his supporters that they would be “really proud” of the “hard work” they had put into his campaign.
For a small minority of voters who are now ex-Trump supporters, both assurances have been broken.
One such ex-supporter is David Weissman, an Army veteran who served for 13 years and was twice deployed to Afghanistan. Weissman gained a significant following on Twitter earlier this year after he left the “MAGA community” and changed his party affiliation.
Weissman, who regularly writes columns and blog posts, discovered Democratic politics after engaging in a conversation with actress Sarah Silverman, who explained some of the misconceptions conservative media had propagated on issues such as DACA, gun reform, and abortion rights.
It’s not “more than”! That’s an odd twist to put on it. This is a country of immigrants. Our greatness comes from our inclusion. These people pay taxes, serve in our military. They are not “other”- they are us. You come from immigrants, David. We all do. ❤️ https://t.co/h6D2JMijUE
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) January 24, 2018
In comments made to MediaFile, Weissman said that being a lifelong Republican, he supported Trump because “he knew what conservatives wanted,” adding that, “the conservative hatred for Hillary Clinton was a part of it as well.”
In a piece written in June, Weissman wrote that he had met many Trump supporters who felt “stigmatized or ignored,” and had created online groups that amplified their voices and were free of judgement.
Reflecting on his change in party affiliation, Weissman told MediaFile that he was happy, but was also disappointed by conservative media and pundits who lied to their viewers and readers about certain issues.
Weissman said that divisions between Democrats and Republicans “seemed to have gotten worse” during the Obama presidency, but added that conservative media didn’t improve the situation.
“I blame a lot of it on them [pushing] false talking points and [their] agenda. Trump knew what was going on and I think he made it worse; definitely amplified it,” Weissman said.
In light of President Trump praising Representative Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a reporter last year, Weissman said that inciting violence against the free press “shouldn’t be tolerated.”
“It doesn’t help when he continues to label the press as enemy of the people,” Weissman added.