A Quick Note to Trump Voters
This article is my response to a Trump supporter on Facebook. Instead of stoking a political fight, I hope I can get some people to truly listen. Remember that politics is supposed to be about coming together in support of our common values and mutual benefit, not about a seemingly intractable rift.
The reason politics has become so contentious and divisive is that both liberals and conservatives feel like politics is more than a difference of opinion, it’s of almost existential importance. It’s about whether America will survive as a country that they want to be a part of. It is troublesome to think about the ways our lives might change under the wrong presidency. These days, political affiliations and views aren’t just opinions, they are statements about a person.
For minorities, LGBT+, people with disabilities and medical conditions, and so many other marginalized groups, these issues about their survival, safety, and right to coexist as equally valid members of society. One’s political stance is about believing that all people are equal and deserve to have the same rights and opportunities or not. If you are a Trump supporter and claim that you do in fact support this, where were you when Trump refused to denounce white supremacists on national television? Why is this not terrifying to you?
This election is also about respect for the Constitution and our legal system. You claim to support the police and law and order, but deliberate and flagrant corruption and manipulation of our basic foundations of our Republic are acceptable? Congressional votes are made almost exclusively on party lines. We look at the House and Senate as controlled by one party or the other. The minority party’s seats are almost irrelevant. What happened to considering a bill based on its merits and its effects on the American people? Blind allegiance to a political party is the antithesis of our supposedly sacred democratic ideals.
We are also talking about the ethical treatment of people in immigration detention centers (but Obama wasn’t any better, you may say). The fact that this is a political issue based on who did what is telling. Why aren’t decisions being made based on doing what’s right? I think it’s very apparent that detaining foreign nationals indefinitely in inhumane conditions is indefensible. If you disagree or make it about petty political squabbles, I don’t really know what to say to you.
My point is that political views have come to represent our fundamental values about human rights, equality, the rule of law, and so many other things. When you say you support Trump, us left leaning people hear that you support the ostracization of minorities, the abuses of force by police, the abuse of power by the President, and many other things that feel counter to our humanity.
If you don’t want to be prejudged and demonized by “liberals,” explain these things before saying you’re a Trump supporter. Tell us why your views are consistent with respect for others and our supposed American values. Be clear about what you really stand for over who you stand with. Ask yourself these questions. Are you really voting for the things you want to define your identity?