It can’t be easy.
Even if you like President Donald Trump’s policies, if you agree with his tax cuts and his judicial appointments and his attempts to build a wall at the southern U.S. border, these are difficult times for Republicans. Trump frequently violates the norms of decency and decorum and civility. He is, in summary, an awful human being.
At least that is my opinion; you might disagree. But in the name of journalistic integrity, I wanted to find out what Republicans think. What they honestly think. What they talk about with spouses and friends and trusted advisers behind closed doors. Because it is one thing to walk the tightrope between party loyalty and human decency in public; it can be quite another in private.
So, I reached out to several elected Republicans and promised to anonymously share their thoughts. Typically, The Columbian does not use unnamed sources; but we wanted officials to speak freely without concerns about repercussions from the Republican base. And there obviously is a strong base; Trump lost Clark County in the 2016 election by 0.16 percent, and he won Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.
Admittedly, I spoke with Republicans who tend to be somewhat moderate. Strident Trump supporters see his flaws as a feature, not a bug, and are unlikely to change their opinions. But among those interviewed, the consensus is that the president’s personality is insufferable.
“We are in interesting times,” said one. “It is completely different, the lack of civility, the lack of acceptance, and I don’t know if Trump caused this.”