They were gaslighted. Just like what George Bush and Dick Cheney did when they lied about WMD to start a war (for oil) in Iraq.
Look how easy it was to send 5,000 American Soldiers to their death ... in Iraq. They created an enemy, hid their true motives, and convinced the public that something drastic had to be done to rid the world of the enemy they created.
Trump is on the same path. But on a grander scale. He creates these artificial enemies ~ the immigrants, the media, Democrats, blacks, Hillary, Obama, NATO, Europan allies, (the list isn't complete yet) to dogmatically and with constant repetition (propaganda) to steer the public down the path he needs to achieve his true motives.
Trump wants to be the most powerful dictator of the most powerful country on earth ~ a goal that far exceeds those of Vladimer Putin and Kim Jong-un. He wants to be Number One among them all.
Believe it or not, he's already started. Pompeo proclamation about a Human Rights study is only going to have one outcome. They'll build on that to eventually convince the public that the Constitution itself is archaic and needs to be re-constructed.
It's a workable plan. The public is easily frightened and easy to sway with the right propaganda. The DOJ has already been rendered useless, Congress has been cowed, and the Supreme Court will be completely co-opted by Trump's next appointment.
Red flags are waving all over the place and nobody is paying any attention.