Here we go. My first, and probably only ever, political post. It’s not meant to be an ultimate opinion – only mine, you know, jessie, doing life.
I want to take something back. During this election I unfairly attached homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, and racist labels to all Trump voters. This is clearly not true as I can’t believe that half of America is walking around with as much hate in their hearts as Trump spoke in his campaign.
Trump voters (there’s a difference between voters and supporters) were faced with a choice after the DNC chose the exact definition of “the system” as their Democratic candidate or the new guy, completely outside of “the system” who vowed to break that system down because it wasn’t working when Trump somehow became the unlikely Republican candidate.
Trump’s core message (behind all of the insanely inappropriate bile) was that he was campaigning “for America” and wanted to tear down this supposed establishment that he claimed was responsible for all the woes of our country, focusing on the economy. Hillary’s message became “I’m not Donald Trump and I have A LOT of experience” which only served to prove to Trump voters and supporters that she was the antithesis of Trump, she embodied “the establishment”.
Trump voters felt backed into a corner on election day. Unlike the Trump supporters, the voters were concerned about all of the hate speech and lack of experience that he had but in him they saw a champion of the common, middle class people – they saw a champion for themselves.
I also felt backed into a corner on election day. As a #bernorbust’r myself, after the DNC proved to be just as corrupt as I believed the GOP to be (all my opinions) I truly did not know what I was going to do with my vote until I had my pen in hand, ready to bubble in the circle. I do not subscribe to the notion that voting third party is a waste – NO vote is a waste. This election cycle I didn’t want to vote for any of the third party candidates, even as a protest vote. I was not going to vote for Trump because of the hate speech, his complete lack of experience in government, and his chosen running mate. I voted for Hillary. I did not want to, but four years of “the establishment” was a better prospect to face than whatever Trump would bring.
I followed Bernie’s revolution even after he was forced out of the race (again, my belief) and was initially heartbroken when he endorsed Hillary. Eventually when he released his statement and I got over my juvenile reaction, I read the entire thing. It read like a chore list that a younger sibling owed to an older sibling – written out – except way more diplomatic. Or like when your parents would make you apologize to someone but they had to prompt you through the entire thing. It was something like “I know Hillary agrees with our stance on *this* and will do *this* to ensure *it* happens”. As if the whole thing was a list that Bernie was calling Hillary out for being accountable to in public. I was pleased.
I get it, Trump voters, you had what you saw in your mind was a choice between a big political machine that used tactics as bad as friendly fire to get what it wanted on one side and an extremely inappropriate but more relatable anti-establishment breath of fresh air on the other side. Your choice was made even easier if you were already a Republican – I know how we bipartisan folk can sometimes only think within our own parties, sometimes to our own detriment.
As for the fervent Trump supporters proudly waving their rebel flags because they believe they invoke the fear of white supremacy – fuck you. Y’all came out in full force and made fools of yourselves – we won’t be forgetting that. I wish I could say “Hey, let’s sit down and talk about why you feel this way, we’re all people on the same human team.” but I have a very strong feeling that it won’t work that way.
I don’t think we should take a vote for Trump as a vote for all of the stupid shit he said. View a vote for Trump as a cry out for help – what is that voter saying that they aren’t getting from the current government leaders? Start a basic conversation. Think of his voters as potential new allies to your group – allies that needs some patience and education.
So rather than telling off uncle Jim or unfriending your BFF from back home because they voted for Trump why don’t you message them and ask why. Give them an opportunity to explain. Then ask for the opportunity to explain why his presidency scares you – without lumping them into “the problem”.
To my friends who are Trump voters, I get it. I’m hopeful that if another alternative candidate had been put forward (*cough* Bernie *cough*) you may have seriously considered them. I’m also hopeful that you vehemently oppose Trump’s degrading hate speech and will/do actively speak up for the POC, immigrants, women, differently abled, LGBTQ people around you.