Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Existential Danger of the Friendly Trump Supporter

In previous posts, I've begged Trump supporters to come to their senses before it was too late for America. I kept thinking that I would go to my grave and never understand why they support him. I kept thinking that slowly but surely, they would see the error of their ways and privately, if not publicly, turn against him.

I don't think that anymore because I finally understand. And the truth is much worse than I feared.

I know a lot of Trump supporters. You probably do too. Nearly all the ones I know are white and live comfortable lives. Most of them are men, but there are a number of women in there (I truly don't know how any marriage in which only one person is a Trump supporter survives). These folks hate paying taxes and they hated Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

They're successful, they're friendly, they raise solid families. Their kids are sweet and polite and respectful. They donate to charitable causes.

They don't worry about poverty or LGBTQ rights or minority rights or reproductive rights or immigrant rights or the Constitution or really anything. They're not really opposed to them, per se, but these things don't really affect them.

And these people constitute a towering threat to American democracy.

I don't say that lightly. Speaking from personal experience, this presidency has cost me at least two relationships with Trump-supporting family members and friends, and more may be ahead. But we cannot keep quiet. I mean, after all, the new hotness is that resistance to Trump is waning.

Anyway, back to your friendly neighborhood Trump supporter. I was talking to a friend recently about them, their thinking processes, and why they believe what they believe.

I've seen a few approaches they take when defending him. All of them are some variant of this question:

What's he done that's so bad?

Well, I am GLAD YOU ASKED (everything here is linked to a major media outlet website, including one conservative site):

He cheated on his wife with a porn star and then paid her hush money.

He sexually assaulted at least sixteen women and bragged about grabbing women by the pussy on tape.

He supported child molester Roy Moore (as did the rest of the Republican Party).

He defended a White House staffer who is accused of domestic violence by two ex-wives.

He dismisses Russian interference in our elections despite multiple indictments.

He sided with neo-Nazis and the Klan. HE SIDED WITH NEO-NAZIS AND THE KKK.

He brought us to the brink of nuclear war for no good reason.

He is under investigation by a special prosecutor for multiple crimes.

He has all but admitted to obstructing justice on Twitter and on television.

He ran a fraudulent university and had to pay out $25 million to settle the suit.

He has two advisers who pled guilty to crimes relating to Russia and two more dead to rights on money laundering and God knows what else.

He didn’t release his tax returns so we don't know who he's financially beholden to.

He profits off the presidency through the Trump Organization in violation of the Constitution.

He had his son meet with Russians at Trump Tower for dirt on his opponent.

He refused to implement a Russia sanctions law passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress.

He encourages regular assaults on the media and talked about curtailing the First Amendment.

He is so stupid and uninformed about issues that members of his own party were taken aback.

He demonizes immigrants but conveniently fails to call out white mass shooters.

He needs a military parade down the streets of D.C. to stroke his ego.

His speeches and interviews were actually utter gibberish and nonsense coming from the mouth of a profoundly stupid human being.

He is a pathological liar.

Just about the only thing he hasn't done is murder a mistress on live television.

So there you have it. Towering and overwhelming evidence of this man's lack of fitness for office and the damage he does daily to this country.

But they look at us as though we're the ones with the problem. As though we're the crazy people. They smile and nod and tilt their heads and say things like, "well, we'll just have to agree to disagree!"  Or they say, "well, Obama did some terrible things too!" Or my favorite: "you can just send me your tax cut money," because, as I am learning, virtually every Trump supporter values money and guns over ALL ELSE.

And as I considered this, it hit me all at once.

They know exactly what he's done that's so bad.

I mean, we're not talking about stupid people here. They can read, and they can see his tweets, and they can listen to tapes. And I cannot believe it took me so long to accept this truth.

They just don't care.

Or if they do care, they actually care more about saving the wealthy white "Christian" America they believe they're part of, and so, in their cost-benefit analysis, Trump wins. It's why some Obama voters easily voted for Trump. It’s why his approval rating has been trending upward. It's why Christians so easily accept him.

Because the alternative is losing the America that works for them only. And rest assured, if they can't have America on the terms they dictate, they won't let anyone have it. Remember - whites across all income brackets have nothing to fear from a Trump presidency (well, except dying in a nuclear firestorm like the rest of us). Whiteness is what unites a majority of this country, from the richest Koch brother down to poorest white in the poorest county in Kentucky. As Lyndon Baines Johnson once said: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." 

If you think of America as a Tootsie pop (STICK WITH ME), this makes sense. Heterosexual Christian white males live at the center of the pop. There's good eating there. Always. Others - women, LGBTQ, minorities, immigrants, non-Christians - can get to the center, but it takes a little more work. And the farther out from the center you are, the harder it is to get to the middle (please tell me we can agree on which demographic has it easiest in this country). And the farther out from the center you are, the easier it is for you to fade away. OK, it's not a perfect metaphor.

No one will come for their guns, and no one will come for them. They can continue to claim America's status as a Christian nation without ever having to admit that modern American Christianity is just a cover for white supremacy. No one fears fair elections in this country more than Trump supporters. They don't need much less want fair elections. Because fair elections will bring their version of America to an end. The next time the Republicans lose the House and Senate may well be the last time they lose it.

I now firmly believe that Trumpers will burn down America the way Iraqi soldiers burned oil wells as they retreated during the Gulf War. And that was the thing we did not anticipate. 

And the scary part? They don’t actually have to do anything. They are destroying America by doing nothing about Trump. 

So I am done explaining myself, Trump supporters.

But please stop acting like you don't know what he's done that's so bad. You insult my intelligence and you look like a fool. All to defend a man who literally would not piss on you if you were on fire.

I cannot believe it took me so long to see this.

So we are at war.

Not a shooting war.

But a cold civil war, as I heard someone put it.

A war for the soul of this country.

And you don't want to negotiate.

I am done negotiating. I am going to do everything I can to take this country away from you because you don't deserve it. We could have worked together. You didn’t want to. Instead, you kept your heads down and pretended nothing was wrong, ignoring the cancer spreading through conservatism, as was on full display at this week's CPAC Conference. You made jokes and you laughed.

So go ahead and laugh at me, mock me, tell me I'm overreacting. 

That will be your undoing. It won't be mine. 

You sold out America, Trump supporters. You sold us all out. 

And in the end, your price wasn't even that high. 

2 comments:

  1. Another brilliant post. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. You’re welcome. As you can imagine it gives me no joy to write these things about people I know.

      They’ve left us no choice. I’m tired of being treated like a fool. And that is exactly what they are doing.

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