This week, Trump gave what might be his worse press conference in the history of his administration. While we have every confidence that he can and well do an even worse one, leaping to the defense of Nazis in Charlottesville is pretty bad. Even for him.
We don’t think that the majority of his supporters care. Maybe they’re just so full of spite that they want to see Trump cut off America’s nose to spite Obama’s face, or maybe they really don’t know any better.
For some who’d defended Trump in the past, though, this week was the final straw. One of those defenders was Clay Aiken:
You know how some of the only people still defending Bill Cosby are people who’ve known and personally worked with him and can’t imagine him being the sort of predatory monster that dozens and dozens and dozens of witnesses have described?
Well, it’s not uncommon for people to have trouble reconciling what they’ve heard or even know about someone with a person who’s met them and, personally, been nice to them.
Whether it’s your friend’s parents who are always super nice to you but you know that they’re awful behind closed doors or a friend who’s super nice to you but has been beyond shady with other people, we don’t always see people for who they are.
We don’t always want to see people for who they are.
That’s why celebrities who’ve known Trump, stars like Clay Aiken and even the beautiful and talented Paris Hilton, have defended him.
It’s not that they voted for him or defended his atrocious political views or even his many failed businesses.
They just can’t wrap their head around the avowed racist that he’s shown himself to be, because that’s not what they perceived about them in their personal experience with him.
Sometimes, though, things just suddenly “click.”
Like Robert Kardashian realizing that his buddy O.J. didn’t deserve his friendship, people go past the limit of what they can accept or deny.
It looks like, with this week’s intense and bonkers press conference where Trump “accidentally” identified himself with the rallying Nazis in Charlottesville and said that there were decent people and also blame “on both sides,” Trump went too far for Clay Aiken.
Clay Aiken took to Twitter to admit that he’d been wrong to defend the orange mound of humanity’s worst instincts, and also to apologize.
“Remember all those times I defended @realDonaldTrump and believed he was not actually racist? Well… I am a f—ing dumbass. #imsorry.”
To be clear, Clay Aiken didn’t vote for Trump.
He does not and has never supported Trump’s campaign or ever-shifting politics over the past year and a half.
Clay had just been claiming that Trump wasn’t a racist despite, you know, the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Remember, Trump announced his campaign by saying that Mexican immigrants were rapists.
That was literally day one for Trump’s campaign. And it’s gotten worse since then.
Clay tweeted out some clarifications about his stance on Trump:
“I’ve always thought he would be a dumpster fire as a president, and I was right about that. I just didn’t think he was racist. #wrong”
We’re not sure how Clay was able to overlook quite so many incidents.
Even if we stick to only the race stuff … there’s so much.
From Trump’s failure to disavow the KKK and David Duke when he was being praised and endorsed by them on the campaign trail.
To Trump hiring white nationalists as his advisors.
How about Trump appointing Jeff Sessions The Racism Elf to be Attorney General?
To be fair, though, we don’t quite understand how Trump’s actual supporters managed to overlook his racism, either.
For some, it was literally why they voted for him. Because, you know, evil.
For others, though, they voted to spite President Obama or to spite Hillary Clinton or because they always vote red or, in a few rare cases, because they genuinely weighed their options and thought that he’d be better for business or whatever.
(This is a man who bankrupted a casino among various other failed ventures, but whatever)
In the past — like, in interviews — Clay Aiken had described Trump’s blatantly racist statements as reminding him of embarrassing statements that a drunk uncle might make at a family gathering.
“You still love him, but you’d wish he shut up.”
Clay, if your uncle gets drunk and starts referring to Mexicans as rapists, then your uncle is racist. He just might hide it better when he’s sober.
Clay Aiken did not want anyone walking away from their Twitter feed thinking that he’d voted for Trump and is only now having regrets.
“My party is the Democrats. I didn’t vote for the idiot. Never ever implied that I did or would. Was VERY vocal about not voting for him.”
Some polls suggest that as many as one in eight Trump voters have had serious second thoughts or even outright regrets over their vote for him.
That doesn’t mean that Trump’s opponent, or Pence’s if Trump has resigned or been carted off to jail by 2020, will have an easy fight.
Republicans in Congress still want to strip away healthcare and essentially dismantle many parts of the United States government. They know that they’ll need a fellow Republican in the Oval Office in order to do that.
The same people who voted for a screaming mound of earwax out of spite will probably do it again.