Trump’s post-presidency absence baffles supporters: ‘A lot of people have felt abandoned’
Brendan Smialowski / AFP

Millions of Americans believe the election was stolen, and hundreds of Donald Trump's supporters stormed into the Capitol to overturn that loss, but experts are optimistic that the worst may be over -- for now.

Recent studies have found that Trump's most dedicated supporters are "cooling out" and drawing away from politics rather than simmering in their post-election anger, and the former president's disappearance from public life after his Twitter ban may have something to do with that, reported The Guardian.

"I think a lot of people have felt abandoned," said sociologist Arlie Hochschild, who is conducting interviews in eastern Kentucky. "Trump did not pardon [the Capitol rioters]. He went away, disappeared into silence. They feel like: 'Wait a minute: why isn't he speaking up for us? Why isn't he defending us?'"

A small minority of the Trump supporters she's interviewing feel paranoid about big government under President Joe Biden, but most of them have let go of their emotional attachment to the idea of election fraud.

"[On Jan. 6 they] had felt proud, patriotic, defending democracy, and in a day's time that had turned around to dishonor, criminalization," Hochschild said. "They were put down. The law was looking for them."

Hochschild isn't terribly concerned about another round of political violence anytime soon, but she still sees that risk in the long term.

"I do feel there are a lot of people whose position is extreme," she said. "I just don't see it mobilized at this point."