Last week, a Reddit thread by user PlG3 posed a question to the internet: "If you voted for Donald Trump in 2016 but won't in 2020, what changed your mind?"
The thread quickly went viral, garnering nearly 30,000 replies in just a few days. Here are some of the top-voted responses from self-described former Trump supporters:
1."I was barely 18 when I voted. I was still a senior in high school. I grew up in an extremely conservative town with opinionated parents and a lack of 'access' to the outside world (I wasn't allowed on any social media). Then I went to college and met people of other races/creeds/sexualities, and I learned empathy."
2."I voted and then went to the grocery store with a couple of my younger children. There was a very nice young Hispanic kid working and he helped me put stuff in my car so he could collect my buggy. He noticed my 'voted' sticker on my child and asked me who I voted for. I was instantly hesitant to answer truthfully and I realized I felt shame."
7."I was an 18-year-old high school kid in the rural South, family was always southern Baptist and conservative. I wasn’t really to the point where I held my own political beliefs, just basically took my family's beliefs as fact. I've grown up, I've changed, the world has changed even. 22-year-old me definitely wouldn’t have voted for Trump in 2016, and I won’t be voting for him this year either. While I still do hold many conservative beliefs, I am far from the alt-right/GOP voters who will be voting for Trump in 2020."
9."I’m so embarrassed to admit it...Hillary has just always been drilled into my brain as the epitome of 'limousine liberal establishment candidate,' and I was livid with how Bernie got shafted (I voted for Bernie in the primary). When election day came, I was coming from work at an auto shop, they were all pumped on Trump and I thought, 'Worst-case scenario, he fucks up and looks really dumb and hurts the GOP, right? It’s not like the people around him would actually let him cause any real harm right?' I was really wrong."
10."2016: 'Haha how bad could he be?' 2020: 'Real fucking bad.'"
11."I got stuck voting for what I thought was the lesser of two evils, and honestly? I was very influenced by my father (if influenced is 'being threatened to get kicked out of the house if I voted for someone else'). Don’t get me wrong, I didn't like Clinton, and even now, I realize I don’t like either candidate."
13."The fact that his approach to the COVID thing might cost me my business. A couple billion invested in increasing testing capacity early on and we would have been largely done with this thing by now. Obviously not eradicated, but it would be at a level of significant but not life-changing annoyance."
14."I didn't, but almost voted for him in 2016 thinking he was a successful businessman who would grow our economy and pay off our insane debt. Instead we got the largest deficit (pre-COVID), tax cuts for wealthy, and found out he really wasn't that successful — just a con man who didn't pay contractors. Hard not to make money when you're a professional cheater."
16."One of my friends voted for Trump during our second year of college. He grew up in a conservative household, was brainwashed and really wanted a Republican court even though he knew Trump was a moron. Then he switched about two years later to being totally Democratic. To quote him, he said 'I looked up every issue I cared about and all the facts behind it. And I realized that Republicans weren’t on the right side of any arguments.'"
19."I’ll be voting for Biden after voting for Trump in 2016. His politicalization of a pandemic and poor response to it are the main reasons for the change. I also strongly dislike the way he deals with Russia and the cronyism among his Cabinet."
20."I couldn’t vote in 2016, but I would have voted for Trump. I will be voting for Biden this year. Pulling out and leaving the Kurds to be massacred, never listening to military advisors, committing treason, grossly mishandling a global health crisis at the national level, tear gassing his own people to take a picture with a Bible he definitely doesn’t read. Some things are more important than lower taxes."
21."I’ve just grown as a person. I’ve gotten married, watched my husband get diagnosed with a disease that would bankrupt us if I didn’t have a government job, and it changed how I saw people. No one should have to decide to go bankrupt to get treatment they need to survive. I’m now willing to pay a little more so no one has to suffer like we were so fortunate not to. I’ve also taken multiple diversity and equity trainings since 2016 that have helped me understand concepts like how saying 'All lives matter' dismisses the point that some lives aren’t being treated like they matter."
22."Seeing him handle COVID and claim he was not responsible for anything. That really, really pissed me the fuck off. In the Army, I learned as a leader you are responsible for everything your element does or fails to do, from the team leader right up to the Chief of Staff. The President of the United States is responsible for everything that happens in this country, whether they like it or not."
25."I'm fairly conservative and Trump has done stuff that I agree with but a few things have happened over the last 7–10 months that made me change my mind. His treatment of being impeached, treatment of the pandemic, his unprofessional online presence (I do understand that the online presence wasn't good the whole time but I stopped giving it a pass), and I realized that I am willing to pay more in taxes if it means more people will have life-saving healthcare and places to live."
26."150,000 avoidable deaths [from COVID] changed my mind."
And finally, there was this user who didn't vote at all in 2016...
27."42 years old. I never voted for anybody because I grew up believing it didn't matter who got elected. They were all just different brand names for the same bullshit. I will be voting this time because I see now that it can matter who's in that office."
You can check out the full viral Reddit thread here.