Here’s an intriguing suggestion from Power Line’s John Hinderaker:
My guess is that throughout the general election campaign and continuing to the present, Trump has been stunned by the insane outpouring of hatred against him and his family from the Left and the Democratic Party. My guess is that he didn’t see it coming. He wasn’t particularly conservative, and had never had anything to do with the social issues, the main locus of left-wing venom. As an urban real estate developer, he had worked collegially with Democrats in various cities. He had been a Democrat for much of his life; heck, he even had been a friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He must have been shocked by the hysterical hatred that the Democrats unleashed against him and his wife and children. Trump spends a fair amount of time on Twitter; how do you think he felt when he saw that #RapeMelania was one of the top trending hashtags?
Conservatives often wonder how it is that reasonable people don’t see what we see on the political battleground — who originates most of the vitriolic extremism versus who is reasonable and charitable. Progressives have expended a great deal of effort over the last five decades making sure that the pop culture narrative always points the negative finger at conservatives, and that’s a subtle influence to conceptualize.
Rather than simply observing good behavior versus bad, people seem to need to be thrown into positions of forced sympathy with conservatives. I’ve certainly gotten that impression from some people locally who once bought the nonsense about my evilness but then attempted a reasonable challenge to their political friends and had to reevaluate what they’ve been told by those allies about their opponents.
Maybe Trump has started to wonder whether, if he’s being called these horrible things, those whom the Left has told him are horrible aren’t so bad, and if he’s now interacting with those “deplorables” and finding them to be caring, responsible, and moral people, that could be quite a lesson. As Paul Mirengoff notes elsewhere on Power Line, if one can muster even a modicum of sympathy for Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general pick, it’s difficult not to be offended at the injustice of his being slandered.