Twitter user Barry Weaver voted for Donald Trump, but he’s already outraged by the president’s support of the Dakota Access pipeline. User Debbie Melia also voted for the developer-turned-politician, but now she’s appalled by his opposition to abortion rights. In a tweet directed at Trump, user Linda Smith was even more direct: “Disgusting!!! Sorry I voted for you!”
Those are just a few of the hapless Trump supporters — or, in some cases, former supporters — who found themselves on blast after an assortment of blogs and Twitter accounts highlighted their growing misgivings about the new administration. Reading through the tweets, which often pair an old pro-Trump tweet with a remorseful new one, can be an exercise in high-potency schadenfreude. At the same time, there’s something uncomfortable about calling out comments that, while technically public, were clearly meant more as personal ruminations than universal missives.
One common defense: Users highlighted for their tweets say they still support Trump, even if they take issue with some of his policies.
“I am not regretful at all,” said a user named Timothy, whose tweet against Trump’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act was highlighted on Are You Sorry Yet, in a brief interview with The Outline. “My tweet was to put out there we need a better health care act than [the Affordable Care Act]. The reaction I’ve had unfortunately shows how rude people are at times.”
Still, it’s tempting to look for patterns in the ex-MAGA crowd. Though the sample size is small, a few themes are clear. People are concerned about Trump’s support for the Dakota Access pipeline. The Affordable Care Act, which Trump has vowed to dismantle and replace, as well as the immigration ban are other topics where former supporters seem to break with the president.
Erica Baguma, a Canadian student who runs Trump Regrets, a popular feed that retweets former Trump supporters, has observed that the gripes of spurned Trump voters seem to come in waves. Before the ACA and Dakota Access, and now immigration, became flashpoints, she saw moments of disillusionment about cabinet picks and the decision not to investigate former rival Hillary Clinton. A constant, in her experience, is of Trump supporters chiding the president for tweets they see as unprofessional.
Asked about the concern that highlighting the qualms of individuals can open them up to online bullying, Baguma was pensive.
“I try to talk to them and get a sense of whether they feel bullied, and I'll always un-retweet them if they ask,” she said, “but ultimately I think people tweet to be heard.”