Donald Trump’s Impact: Why I Couldn’t Vote for Him and Why I Don’t Understand How My Friends Could Vote for Him
The election is over and Donald J. Trump won.
I woke up sad. So sad I nearly cried. Over the results of an election. No, really. If you supported the Trump candidacy, you may not understand why I (and 50% of the population) was so dejected by this news.
First, let me say that I am not a big fan of Hillary Clinton, either. Bernie Sanders was the best candidate out there as far as I’m concerned. He is logical, practical, and has great ideas for this country. Alas, Bernie didn’t make it through the Democratic Primary, but I have high hopes that those in power were listening to him and will adopt some of his plans.
But enough about that, let’s get back to Trump. For me, and I think for a lot of people, he represents all of the reprehensible qualities I detest in humans. He’s sexist, racist, bigoted, and impulsive, to name a few. While Hillary is no slouch in the things-not-to-do-if-you’re-an-elected-or-appointed-official, I have no evidence that she is sexist, racist, bigoted, or impulsive. For me, she is a very typical politician, full of the flaws and imperfections we’ve come to expect from a politician. Also, not great, but by comparison? Better.
Trump, on the other hand, is full of flaws that smack of a complete lack of human decency, and that really bothers me. Do we want to live under a president who is OK mocking the disabled, making snarky and misogynistic comments about women, and disenfranchising entire populations of citizens because they are Latino, African American, or otherwise non-white?
I’m not a religious person, as you know, but I feel I treat people fairly, equally, and in a Christian-like way, if you will. I don’t get that vibe from Donald Trump. At all. He strikes me as egocentric and xenophobic, and frankly doesn’t give a damn about anyone else and isn’t shy about saying it. Loudly. And often. And with a lack of intelligence and diplomacy seldom seen in public (unless you watch reality TV).
Which brings me to my next and perhaps more important point. Today, on social media, aside from all of the gloating going on with the Trump supporters and all of the whining going on with the Clinton supporters, I noticed that many Trump supporters were posting things like “We can still be friends! Political differences do not have to ruin friendships!” And while that’s true, on the face of it, this election was not just about politics.
You may think you’re not sexist, racist, bigoted, etc., but supporting him says to everyone else that you, in fact, are all of those things.
It was about moral behavior, socially-acceptable behavior, and what it means to live in this society and be loving and accepting of other human beings who may be different from us. Men, women, children, gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, Latino, Black, White, Asian, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics – you get the picture.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but what I don’t think has been directly said is this: I’m finding it hard to be friends, real friends, with people who support Trump because supporting him means you support sexism, racism, bigotry, and a lack of care for the concerns of your fellow man. You may think you’re not sexist, racist, bigoted, etc., but supporting him says to everyone else that you, in fact, are all of those things.
Let me break it down for you: If I had been alive in 1940 and said to all of my friends “I love Jews! Some of my best friends are Jews!” and then I supported Hitler, you’d balk at my love of Jews, wouldn’t you?
So you can see my conundrum here. You say you’re not sexist, but you support Trump. You say you’re not racist, but you support Trump. You say some of your best friends are Mexicans, but you support Trump.
I don’t understand. I don’t. I’ve asked, very politely on multiple occasions in the past six months for people who support Trump to explain this paradox to me, and not one person has. Not one person has even taken the time to respond.
On a side note, Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” really annoys me because I thought America was pretty great already, and I have for 52 years. Until this election and the lack of humanity that has come from it. I’m embarrassed, and trying to explain this outcome to my bonus children and to my friends who live in England, Australia, France, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, etc. has been a futile exercise. I don’t know what to tell them. They are all shocked, just as they were after Brexit. The fact that so many people from countries outside the US are this concerned about the outcome of this presidential election should speak volumes to all of us.
I’m trying to remain hopeful; I’m trying to remain open-minded to what lies ahead. I hope Trump will be surrounded by good people who will keep him on track. I hope this will be an evolutionary experience for him from which he will grow and learn more about women, other ethnicities, and how to think clearly and express himself diplomatically and appropriately.
Je t’aime, et j’espère.