Blanket hostility to Trump supporters isn’t just counterproductive; it’s unjustified. I’ll admit it is sometimes tempting. Almost all of my interactions with Trump supporters have been online and unhappy. A lot of them have consisted of racist jibes at me (I’m supposed to go back where I came from, which incidentally is a pleasant land called Kansas City), followed by my quick use of the delete key for e-mail and the mute button for Twitter.
Other commentators I know who oppose Trump tell me they, too, have been experiencing much more racism, anti-Semitism and misogyny than ever before.
Even the non-racist feedback I’ve gotten from Trump fans has tended to be unreasoning, hypersensitive — especially galling coming from people who assail “political correctness” so much — or just plain stupid. If there’s any of it I find amusing, it’s when people use anonymous accounts to call Trump’s critics a bunch of wimps.
Luckily, Twitter isn’t at all representative of the American public, and neither are website comment sections. They could be an especially bad proxy for the roughly 10 million people who have voted for Trump. Kirchick has done valuable reporting on white-nationalist support for Trump. But most of Trump’s voters aren’t hiding under the same rocks as the “alt right”; most of them haven’t heard of it.