They should be encouraged to pour their energy into joining third parties that most closely align with their beliefs or establish an “American Solidarity” movement instead of continuing to consume crazy theories emanating from the fringe corners of the internet. Other suggestions include volunteering with electoral and voter reform NGOs and those that have been established to push back against Big Tech’s growing influence over society.
Donald J. Trump, America’s 45th President, defied many of his supporters’ expectations by ultimately ensuring the peaceful transfer of power in the United States. He left the White House after never successfully “draining the swamp” like he was elected by them to do after Washington remains mostly the same as it was when he first arrived four years ago. The only exception is that the Democrats now control the executive and legislative branches of government in a clear reversal of the state of affairs compared to when he first entered office and the Republicans were the ones who held that power after the 2016 elections.
Nevertheless, there are still many Trump supporters who “trust the plan”, to quote the infamous catchphrase associated with QAnon. Its adherents sincerely believe that he had a “master plan” to defeat the “deep state”, and some still cling to this claim. Its most objective interpretation is that he intended to change the power dynamics within America’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies and between them and the elected representatives of government. At its most extreme, it refers to the ridiculous belief that Trump was waging war against a secret cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile cannibals.
Both the most objective and extreme interpretations of this belief have been debunked. America’s permanent national security bureaucracies are stronger than ever, having unified in the face of the unprecedented domestic threat to their democracy that reared its head on 6 January after an enraged mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol. Despite going along with the infamous chant to “lock her up”, Trump never brought any charges against Hillary Clinton, the figure popularly associated by his supporters with the most extreme interpretation of the “deep state”. By all measures, Trump totally failed to “drain the swamp”.
It’s understandable to an extent that so many of his supporters had such high hopes that he would, though. The viral spread of the “swamp” concept was due largely to the fact that a lot of Americans had grown disillusioned with their democracy by the time that the 2016 elections rolled around. Whether it was the pervasive accusations of political corruption that plagued the Democrat Party at the time or quite a few folks’ disgust with their inability to rein in their country’s unrestrained aggression abroad that their government commits in their name, it makes sense in hindsight why people voted for the self-professed “outsider” to “drain the swamp”.
Hopes dies last, as the saying goes, so those who held such dissident views put all their faith into believing in what eventually became a secular religion for a substantial share of them. To “trust the plan”, which was teasingly revealed to them as they thought through what they described as QAnon’s so-called “breadcrumbs” shared on fringe corners of the internet, became a ritual required to reinforce their belief in American Exceptionalism. After all, many of these Trump supporters sincerely believe that America is a “shining city on a hill” destined to succeed against all challenges, including their interpretation of the “deep state”.
That’s why it must be so devastating to quite a lot of them that Trump so epically failed in all that he set out to do, be it defeating the “deep state” (however one describes it as being) or even simply winning re-election, to say nothing of reversing what he insisted was the electoral and voting fraud that cost him his victory. Practically every American knows someone who still to this very day “trusts the plan”, which is illogical at this point in time and speaks to how extreme beliefs have become. Those people need to be treated with compassion and gently made to realize that there wasn’t any ”plan” to begin with lest they become truly radicalized in the future.
They should be encouraged to pour their energy into joining third parties that most closely align with their beliefs or establish an “American Solidarity” movement instead of continuing to consume crazy theories emanating from the fringe corners of the internet. Other suggestions include volunteering with electoral and voter reform NGOs and those that have been established to push back against Big Tech’s growing influence over society. These are all causes that Trump supporters believe in, and they can do a lot of good for their fellow Americans if they focused their efforts on these instead of “trusting the plan” that totally failed.