I know that a lot of people who were not inherently or originally Trump supporters voted for him because of party allegiance. Many of them were worried about a Supreme Court that would be packed with liberals. Some bought into his vow to bring about change in Washington (oh yes, but what kind of change?). I think they placated their concerns about his fitness for office and the dangers he may pose by imagining that he’ll be controllable by the GOP establishment types in Congress. (I don’t see much evidence to support that theory.) Also, let’s face it: there’s a lot of hatred for Hillary out there and so that surely motivated some to support Trump, just to make sure she lost.
Others were more truly the Trump rally types that we see on videos shouting “build the wall”,”lock her up” or beating up protesters. It seems hard to deny that those folks are motivated by hatred, racism and xenophobia.
Many of my good-hearted liberal intellectual friends have suggested, sympathetically, that the essence of the Trump supporter is someone who is feeling economically and culturally displaced. I heard a guy on the radio yesterday who sounded really country, not particularly well-spoken, yet expressive. He said that he has never voted in his life, but something about Trump’s message really grabbed him. He not only voted for the first time but he made all his family vote. He kept saying “I’m just a regular working man, I go to work every day, I just want everyone to play by the rules.” Not sure what rules he thinks others are breaking that he’s forced to follow, but I gather that he’s anti-undocumented workers or maybe anti-affirmative action that favors women or minorities. Anyway, hearing that interview answered a question I’d had about where the hell did all these rural Trump voters all of a sudden come from… turns out they were out there, part of the vast number of people who were politically “off the grid” and Trump, with his simple way of talking, with his lack of polish or PC-ness, said the things that resonated with them.
But understanding all that, as sympathetically as I can, I still think Trump’s very dangerous, especially with the House and Senate in GOP control. Here are my predictions: They will repeal the ACA. Trump’s DOJ will put together some type of deportation force. He will build a wall — I’ve heard folks scoff at this, but he can’t not act on his signature policy proposal. He will restrict freedom of the press and his Supreme Court may overturn Roe v Wade. and marriage equality. His Attorney General, Giuliani, is probably going to prosecute Hillary. And then there’s all the stuff that needs to get done, but won’t. There will not be any furtherance of common sense gun restrictions. There will not be any curtailment of fossil fuels and coal that are driving global warming. There will not be economic programs or a living wage for the poor. And we will be seeing more and more acts of violence by the deplorables out there whose racism, xenophobia and homophobia are now legitimized. These are realistic and scary prospects for our country now.
So to disavow all that and to let those who will suffer terribly – real human consequences that will be heart-breaking – under a Trump presidency I proclaim that he is #NotMyPresident. I understand that he will become President, but I will think of him always as the offensive interloper into our government and democracy that he is.
And with the means I have I will be part of #TheResistance. I will support and join with those who share my values and I will not let political activism again be a once every 4 years kind of thing. And I’m not the only one. And we are not going away.
So, should I give Trump a chance? (Sing it now, everyone – “All we are saying…is give Trump a chance!”) You know what, he has a chance whether I give it to him or not. Let him act on that nice speech he gave yesterday and prove me wrong. But I will not be holding my breath.