Re: The Phoenix Syndrome
Trevor, whilst I have some sympathy with your position, I might disagree with the idea that Americans knew "exactly what they were getting."
Think about 30 years of Rush Limbaugh. 20 years of Sean Hannity and Michael Savage. Fox News. Bill O'Reilly.
These and propaganda outlets like them have essentially trained a generation of Republicans to believe that professional journalists do not report facts, they report progressive myths. Hence when it was obvious to anyone who checked facts that Trump is unfit to lead the nation, it was far from obvious to those who have been trained to distrust factual reporting.
Evidence: Around half (I've seen figures from 43% to 54%) of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim. Somewhere around 70% of Republicans believe global warming is a myth, although upwards of 95% of climatologists say it is real. About half of Republicans believe Trump won the popular vote, an obvious and easy thing to check.
And 40% or so of Republicans think the stock market has gone down during Obama's tenure. But that's incredibly easy to check: according to Forbes, the S&P rose 235%, and Business Insider pegged the Dow with a rise of 126%.
But too many people don't check facts.
Again: a generation of conservatives have been trained to believe that propaganda and disinformation are the truth. It's not that they voted for a sh*thead out of spite or malicious glee. They cannot see what is real and what is not.
Trevor, to me, it seems that this is the lasting American failure. Trump is one person. But if a substantial number of Americans now make decisions based on falsehoods, then there is little hope for rational American governance. There will be many Trumps.