The most nationalistic President Donald Trump supporters have started jumping off the Trump train.
The president ordered a missile strike on a Syrian airfield Thursday night in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government that left dozens of people dead. And his actions have seriously divided his supporters online.
Trump has long railed against the idea of any kind of intervention in Syria, and many of his nationalist supporters jumped onto his campaign wagon because they believed he was an isolationist, someone who would focus his energies on their preferred anti-immigration policies rather than become involved in another war in the Middle East.
So when that assumption proved incorrect, some of his most prominent supporters bailed — or at least balked.
Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Mideast. Said it always helps our enemies & creates more refugees. Then he saw a picture on TV.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 7, 2017
Peruse pro-Trump channels on Reddit and 4Chan and you'll find a digital field marred with infighting. Some insist Trump duped his supporters by launching a strike in the Middle East, asking, "Why did he betray us?"
Others implore their forum friends to wait and see what happens. "He bombed Syria, 1 f*ck up. Let's give him some time," one wrote. And a third group are seemingly happy to support the action, asking why others care if missiles are exploding in Syria.
Furious tweets came thick and fast after the intervention.
The USA was not attacked.
Why are we attacking Syria?
I 100% don't support this.
— Baked Alaska™ (@bakedalaska) April 7, 2017
Guys, I can't vehemently oppose destabilizing the Syrian government for 6 years and then support it just because Trump did it. Sorry.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 7, 2017
Trump's base of support is gone if he goes to war with Syria, the same people who betrayed before election will betray him again.
— Mike Cernovich ?? (@Cernovich) April 7, 2017
White nationalist Trump supporter Andrew Anglin wrote on his website that he'd been up all night crying and drinking and slamming his fist into the wall.
Self-help author and noted conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, meanwhile, has constructed something of a media empire around his support for Trump and lambasting of what he believes to be "mainstream media."
However, he is so opposed to the strike in Syria that he tried to put the blame for the chemical attack on the U.S. "deep state," a common reference to intelligence officials some believe are the ones truly controlling the U.S. government. The hashtag was #SyriaHoax.
The conspiracy theorist site Infowars also wrote that the chemical attack was a left-wing conspiracy, and the outlet both bashes and praises media in a baseless defense of this claim.
Some, however, have praised Trump for ordering the strike, including prominent supporter Bill Mitchell.
Trump struck fear into the hearts of his enemies and united the world behind his leadership. Stop me when I get to the part you hate.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) April 7, 2017
From nationalists to isolationists to those who will generally back Trump because he's Trump, all kinds of supporters are watching the intervention in Syria carefully. This strike has made a divide much more apparent.