Wajahat Ali, writing an op-ed in the New York Times, has given up on Trump supporters:

We cannot help people who refuse to help themselves.

I get it. It was shocking that Trump actually gained in the vote count after four years of doing everything he could to diminish American standing and influence in the world, and the rights and lives of people within his own borders. It is worse to have lived through an era in which the Republican Party went from a political movement with some bad ideas about taxation and social services to a full-on fascist personality cult.

It’s easy to blame Trump. He is a problem. But he is not the only problem. Ali hits at this deep into the article (my emphasis added in bold), stating something that is vital to understanding the predicament we are in:

Trump is an extension of their id, their culture, their values, their greed. He is their defender and savior. He is their blunt instrument. He is their destructive drug of choice.

The thing we should not forget about the Trump supporters is that they empower him—it’s not the other way around. If Trump is a lightning rod, his supporters are the lightning.

You can’t turn your back on those people because they are still here and are not going anywhere. Changing their minds might be a generation’s worth of work, but it is work that has to be done because social institutions are breaking down, and not by accident. The Republican Party transformed itself over the past fifty years into what it is now, through planning, determination, and lots and lots of money. There is no reason that the Democratic Party can’t do the same. It takes a lot of things, but most of all will.