Halifax stu­dent com­piles Trump vot­ers’ re­grets for mas­sive Twit­ter au­di­ence

Cape Breton Post - - PROVINCE/ATLANTIC -

A Nova Sco­tia uni­ver­sity stu­dent who has been col­lect­ing tweets of dis­il­lu­sioned Don­ald Trump vot­ers has at­tracted quite a celebrity fol­low­ing, in­clud­ing bil­lion­aires, Hol­ly­wood per­son­al­i­ties and sworn Trump-neme­sis Rosie O’Don­nell.

Re­al­ity show in­vestors Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca, ac­tress Oliva Wilde and Chaz Bono are also amongst 186,000 Twit-ter users fol­low­ing a Trump-Re­grets.

Erica Baguma, a 23-year-old so­cial an­thro­pol­ogy stu­dent at Uni­ver­sity of King’s Col­lege in Halifax, cu­rates the ac­count in be­tween classes.

The Twit­ter feed fea­tures posts from Amer­i­cans who say they cast their bal­lots for Trump but now feel “ashamed,” “em­bar­rassed” and “dis­ap­pointed” with the new pres­i­dent, some call­ing their vote “the big­gest re­gret” of their life.

The idea came to Baguma while scrolling through so­cial me­dia to see how Trump sup­port­ers were re­act­ing to the pres­i­dent-elect’s re­ver­sal on his cam­paign prom­ise to ap­point a spe­cial pros­e­cuter to look into Demo­cratic ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server.

“I was shocked to see there were so many peo­ple feel­ing be­trayed by him,” Baguma said in an in­ter­view. “I de­cided to keep track of all of it ... It’s al­ways in­creas­ing.”

Baguma said early on, Trump vot­ers ex­pressed mis­giv­ings about his dis­missal of U.S. in­tel­li­gence re­ports that Rus­sia had med­dled in the 2016 elec­tion and wealthy cabi­net picks that some felt con­tra­dicted his pledge to “drain the swamp” in Wash­ing­ton.

The cho­rus of Trump de­fec­tors grew around in­au­gu­ra­tion day, Baguma said, as it be­came clear that Trump’s rhetoric on the cam­paign trail was not just blus­ter and he in­tended to fol­low through on plans to re­peal gov­ern­ment-sub­si­dized health in­surance un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act, more com­monly known as “Oba­macare.”

Many peo­ple have taken is­sue with Trump’s twitchy Twit­ter habit, ac­cord­ing to Baguma, im­plor­ing the Amer­i­can leader to be more “pres­i­den­tial.”

“I think ev­ery­body sort of wanted to give him the ben­e­fit of the doubt,” she said. “(They thought) it would get bet­ter ... Def­i­nitely af­ter the in­au­gu­ra­tion, you couldn’t deny it. He wasn’t go­ing to stop tweet­ing.”

Baguma said in­ter­est in the ac­count surged as sev­eral celebrity fol­low­ers latched on. T.V. pro­ducer Dan Har­mon en­dorsed the ac­count as both “nerve-wrack­ing” and “sooth­ing ex­po­sure ther­apy.”

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