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For the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s election, we brought back Mike’s friend Joe, who Mike talked to in the ‘A Trump Supporter Speaks‘ episode in October of 2016.

At the time, Mike thought it would be good to hear from an actual Trump supporter (as opposed to an ‘anyone buy Hillary’ Trump voter) to get a sense of how Donald Trump convinced so many people to follow him down a path that would surely lead the Republican Party to a crushing electoral defeat giving President Hillary Clinton House and filibuster-proof Senate majorities.

Obviously, things didn’t turn out that way. One year on, how does an intelligent, decent Trump supporter see the Trump presidency? In this interview you’ll find out. (And no – ‘intelligent, decent Trump supporter’ isn’t an oxymoron. Mike says that Joe is one of the smartest and most fundamentally decent people he knows.)

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15 thoughts on “Trumpaversary”

  1. Hello mike and Jay, I am a 25 year old conservative from a predominant liberal city of Madison, WI. Listening to the episode today from Mike’s friend “joe” made me about puke. Joe is everything wrong with our politics today; not for his view on policies, but rather his views towards the other side. He regularly mocked and degraded the other side. (ie. lick the sweet tears). I thought this show was about reasonable debate and getting both sides in a civil logical debate, not spewing hate just to purposefully upset anyone why disagrees with you. I understand he is your ‘friend,’ but if he is ever invited back onto this podcast, or anyone like him, I will regretfully be leaving this podcast. I will not support a podcast that contributes and gives a platform for the hatred I heard from the episode today. There are enough Trump supporters out there who aren’t egotistical, bible thumping, idiots this this guy. And this is coming from someone shares his political views for the most part.

    I have been a listener for well over a year now and hope to continue being one. Keep of the hard work.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Joe can be somewhat inflammatory at times, I agree, but I wouldn’t say he’s at all a hater. Of course, I realize that it’s easy for me to say that because I’ve known him for 20+ years. Believe it or not, I think that he toned down somewhat from last year’s interview and I’d say he’s definitely not as much of a bombthrower as someone like, say, Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter, who I interviewed a while back.

      Still, I do wish that invective and inflammatory comments were essentially removed from political conversation. I’m certainly not a paragon when it comes to this, but I try my best to carefully listen to the views of others without jumping to conclusions or returning the anger I sometimes feel them projecting. It can be very difficult at times, but I think it’s worth doing. – Mike

    2. I listened to Joe last year and enjoyed the episode. Looking forward to the download. I’ll let you know my thoughts. I’m curious to see if he is nearly as bad as nearly as bad Ol’ Colonel Schlichter.

  2. I’ve been a regular listener for the past year and a half. I appreciate Mike and Jay’s stated goal of having big picture political discussions that allow respectful consideration of multiple points of view.

    Your guest today, Joe, doesn’t seem to know the meaning of respectful dialogue. He came across as condescending, spiteful and full of himself. When he carried on about antifa and the “crazy women’s march”, I knew I’d heard enough. If Joe is what you consider a decent and thoughtful Trump supporter, I am dismayed at your judgement. I was genuinely curious to hear proof that those qualities aren’t an oxymoron, but no such luck.


    1. Sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the episode. I have reached out to other Trump supporters who I believe are smart & thoughtful people – particularly the folks at American Greatness – but I haven’t heard back from any of them. – Mike

      1. Thanks, Mike, for your efforts in that regard. It would be interesting to hear from a well-reasoned and considerate Trump supporter. However, I think the Trump brand feeds off anger and macho condescension, so that’s all I’ve ever heard from his supporters. It would be so refreshing to hear from somebody, from either side of the aisle, that focuses on how our elected public servants can help the greater good, rather than this self-centered, cynical blame game from Trump’s playbook.

        1. Mike stop responding to every comment! You have work to do. Gotta push those razor blades! To follow-up with Jessica’s point. I have known several reasonable Trump supporters in person. But they are lacking in the media landscape. On the internet….forget it. It’s all buzzwords….SJW/Triggered/Snowflake etc…

          The interesting thing about my reasonable supporting friends is that they are far less vocal one year out. I think many people made a calculated gamble. I think Senator Corker is the best example. He stated that he was hoping that he would moderate and unite upon taking office. Instead, he has veered hard into his base and divisive tactics. Most people I know didn’t like Trump, the man, but did like Trump, the policies. Unfortunately, we have been getting the man more than policy overall.

  3. I have enjoyed listening to your podcast over the past six months. I think it is important to hear arguments from the opposing side in order to challenge one’s own beliefs. Jay has argued plenty of positions that I disagree with but I never felt he did so dishonestly.

    In the most recent podcast “Trumpaversary” MIke asks Joe about Trump’s “casual attitude about facts” and the detriment to public trust it may cause. Joe responded with several whataboutisms including Obama saying “you can keep your doctor”.

    Mike failed to bring up Trump’s promotion of birtherism and questioning the citizenship of President Obama. I can’t believe that this was not addressed when discussing Trump’s unprecedented endorsement for lies and conspiracy theories. For the first time I couldn’t finish a podcast. Trump promoted a crackpot conspiracy theory that Obama was not a natural born citizen and delusional people still believe it to this day, despite the fact that Obama released his birth certificate. But Mike accounts all of this to “all politicians lying”. It was disappointing to hear this go unchallenged.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Maybe you didn’t catch it, but in the episode I said that President Trump flat out lies to an extent we’ve never seen before. I just want to make that crystal clear. We didn’t get into the birther issue because I wanted to focus on politics and policy since Donald Trump became president. Also, if I tried to challenge Joe on every major lie that Donald Trump has told since he launched his presidential campaign in 2015, we’d have a 12 hour podcast. – Mike

  4. I would expect this to be the April fools episode.. What was this? He is truly in love with Trump and all the hatred and bigotry he stands for. I will ensure to not tune in next time Joe is on.
    Unfortunately, Jay is turning into a blow hard Trumpet such as Joe, but at least I don’t feel the need take anti-acid after listening to him. Best of luck with keeping sponsors.

  5. Alright, I finally got around to listening to this episode. I appreciate the other commenters forewarning me about some of the attitude that Joe had, it helped me put my analytic glasses on knowing some of the more inflammatory parts. MUCH to my surprise. I found it extremely enlightening. Here are some of my bullet point observations:

    – Joe really drives home his belief, as an insider, that GOP politics is fundamentally transforming for the first time in a generation or more. I liked his comparison that our current breakdown of conservative groups is akin to the current irrelevance of Saducees and Pharisees. The new brand is tribalism and either you get things done or you are the enemy.

    – He provided great insight into the GOP civil war by pointing out that the GOP leaders have had it easy. They have been saying “we can’t do anything, but give us money.” Now that there are no more excuses, it explains how deferred frustration is fueling the current combativeness in the party.

    – Yes, he plays the Hillary card….but I mean…what did you expect? I was surprised he only played it once.

    – He was way less inflammatory than Kurt Schlichter. Yea, some minor ribbing. If we are comparing firecrackers, Joe’s waving sparklers in our face while Colonel Kurt was putting cherry bombs down the toilet at the Politics Guys Headquarters.

    – Women’s issues. I am a politically moderate white male. I am a way out of my league on feminist commentary. However, it says something WHEN I NOTICE a pattern. Dare I say that conservative men were triggered by the Womens March? Schlicter brought it up in his interview and Joe mentioned it as well. Joe also specifically brought up liberal sleazeballs Halperin and Weinstein without mentioning others. He could have said Weinstein and O’Reilly. But he didn’t. Either conservatives know they are batting really weak in this category or they feel threatened by women? There really is something going on there.

    At the end of the day, you can be an educated Trump supporter by following these three tenets.

    1. Trumps flaws are actually clever moves to manipulate those around him.

    2. Failures can mostly be attributed to entrenched GOP leadership. Change is gradual anyway, be patient.

    3. When all else fails, pull out the Hillary card/Fake News Card.

    Thanks for the follow-up guys. I appreciate it.

    1. Very insightful observations, Jo. I generally agree with your assessment, although I found this episode tough to listen to because Joe’s style is more than a little bit abrasive, and his style of speech is overly pedantic. His rhetoric sounds intelligent [to some] perhaps, but belies a pretty simple-minded worldview that I didn’t find very enlightening. I imagine that he has an extremely high opinion of himself and completely lacks humility, and it would be a complete waste of time to try and change his mind about anything because he, like Trump, could never be wrong about anything (so he thinks). It’s a small wonder that someone like him wouldn’t be bothered by Trump’s style–I suspect that the two share a lot of personality traits in common that would make sharing a room with either pretty unbearable to some (or most).

      He did make some great and valid points, however; and I did appreciate that aspect of the episode. His analysis of the relationship between the GOP Congress and President Trump was unique and rather different from the more mainstream interpretations you’re likely to hear in the media, as well as his perception of Trump’s successes which are discounted by most in the media as well. I also thought it interesting that he focused exclusively on sexual assaults committed by figures associated with the left, while completely leaving out others from figures associated with the right. Talk about a complete lack of balance…sadly, scumbaggery exists on both sides of the aisle (see, and to attribute this disgusting conduct to a single side is to completely ignore the sad reality we need to confront together.

  6. Hi Politics Guys,

    First just want to say that I love the podcast and look forward to your discussion every week.

    I’m in general agreement with the previous comments about Joe’s tenor and attitude. I personally find it unhelpful to political discourse but helpful in understanding how a sizable chunk of voting Americans feel right now. Listening to him play “whataboutism,” it is fairly obvious how a guy whose main purpose is slapping the cultural left got as much support as he did.

    My questions for the hosts and other Politics Guys fans are: Is this attitudinal approach toward politics more prevalent on the right or the left? Assuming people like Joe are unhelpful to healthy and constructive politics, how do we begin to change them?

    1. An excellent question! I’m hoping that Jay and I will have a change to talk about it either this Wednesday or the week after. – Mike

    2. I think the first step is recognizing that our political division is a clear and present danger to the country. Only when we recognize the dangers of the toxic tribalism, can we then discuss the concrete measures to eliminate it. Dan Carlin’s Common Sense podcast just had a very insightful episode about the whole things. We need to compliment the character of those we vehemently disagree with.

      Right now, I do see us in the classic cycle of decline by Aristotle standards. ( Classic Aristotle, not shipping magnate.)

      Basically, we have overthrown the , had a bit of chaos and we now have an oligarchy. This is fine as long as the oligarchy has some standards, but when the oligarchy gets incompetent or malicious…people seek out an authoritarian figure to destroy the corrupt system.

      My concern is not that Trump is going to take over or anything like that. We elected him and if he doesn’t work out, we’ll may want a different, more savvy authoritarian who may very well irrevocably damage the system.

      We are not doomed to this cycle and we can break it. But all Democracies/Republics die the same way. (Invasion excluded.)

      Right now, we are sitting on the examination table and the doctor is telling us if we keep drinking high octane partisanship. We are going to die.

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