Hell hath no fury like a true believer scorned, and other mixed metaphors


Later tonight, at the stroke of midnight, Donald Trump’s inaugural carriage turns into a pumpkin already rotting from within.

Just a few short months ago, in this fractured fairy tale, Trump put a spell on enough Americans to transform himself from a political joke to the leader of the free world. Yet, as his own supporters begin to peer behind the curtain on the eve of his reign, it’s beginning to occur to them that their great and powerful Oz is just a man from Queens with daddy issues.

Sure, perhaps this is wishful thinking. Perhaps I am Dorothy clicking my red sparkling heels and repeating, “There’s no president like Obama,” “There’s no president like Obama,” over and over again.

Still, Trump will take office with the lowest favorability ratings of any incoming president in modern history. For someone who fashioned his campaign and transition as entertainment for the masses, the premiere of his presidency feels like it’s tanking in a way “The Apprentice” never did.

The problem is, it’s not easy to cancel his term in office after sweeps.

If anyone can do it, though, it will be the people who put him there – the angst-ridden white people who had given up on politicians, but rose from the grave to give Trump a chance. They have been willing, so far, to overlook Trump’s xenophobic view of the world because they, too, are wishful thinkers. Maybe Trump, they hoped desperately during the campaign, can do what no other American politician has been able to do at scale.

Trump has let them think that he – and only he – can create a lot of well-paying jobs, provide quality health care that will cost next to nothing and make college tuition less expensive. And, while he’s at it, end terrorism. A to-do list so easy that Trump can call it in from a golf course in Palm Springs.

Yes, they ignore his racist and sexist rants of past and present. They excuse his childish and cavalier behavior with a laugh, “Oh, let Trump be Trump.” Like a spoiled kid with passive parents, we are indeed letting him get away with stuff that few public officials could attempt today: lying about his charitable donations; spending money raised for charity to settle lawsuits and buy portraits of himself; not paying his bills; and not releasing his taxes. That’s just to name a few.

But, when the rubber hits the road, when the pocketbook remains empty, when Trumpcare reduces benefits and increases costs more than Obamacare and when, most importantly, hopes are dashed, hell hath no fury like a true believer scorned.

Case in point: A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter traveled to Pennsylvania a few days ago and interviewed white Democrats who voted for Trump. One voter, Bob Savakinus, compared Trump to Ronald Reagan as a leader, but made it clear he will judge the new president on job creation. “He has four years to prove himself. And if it doesn’t work out, then we’re going to elect somebody else,” he said.

Rich Zawatsky, also a Democrat who voted for Trump, said he felt Trump’s heart was in the right place about creating jobs and that was good enough to win his vote. But, if Trump doesn’t deliver? “We will turn on him so quick, with a vengeance,” he said.

So quick, I think, even Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway’s machine gun delivery of misdirection and, sometimes, outright lies can’t save her big daddy.

Trump may wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and see those voters, Zawatsky and Savakinus, flipping him the figurative bird and reciting:

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what comes, President Trump, right before the fall?

Karen Hinton is the chief strategy officer at Fenton, a public relations firm, and was press secretary to Mayor Bill de Blasio.