This goes out to the Trumpites out there:
For the last sixteen months or so, you’ve been supporting Donald Trump, and it must have been frustrating for you, a thinking, feeling person, being painted with a very broad brush because of your choice of candidate. You were voting for Trump because you didn’t like Hillary–but not just because she’s a woman. You didn’t like Hillary because she represents more of the same, and you don’t feel the Democrats were leading us to a very good place. You don’t like Hillary because of her Wall Street ties. Or because of her e-mails. Or Benghazi. Fine.
Or maybe you’re a business owner, or a top earner, and you were not looking forward to yet another round of tax hikes on your income bracket. Or you are not confident in Hillary’s ability to get us out of the Middle East and end the threat of ISIS. Or Russia. Maybe you’re from coal country or gas country or oil country and view the push to renewables to be a threat to your livelihood and were fighting to keep your job. I get that.
And I get that it must have been frustrating over these last sixteen months or so to constantly have friends and relations on social media calling you a racist, a bigot, a xenophobe, a homophobe, a misogynist. The memes that were all over the place basically equated your choice for president as a Mussolini, a Hitler–and, by association, they lumped you in there, too.
“I am not those things,” you said. You were not one of those people chanting “Build the wall” at Trump rallies, or “Lock her up.” You were not one of those people throwing punches at protesters, or spitting on them, or calling people who looked like they might be from south of the border “beaners” and telling them they’d soon be deported. That wasn’t you. The thing about politics is there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate. They all have some kind of baggage, some position that we do not like, and that forces us to prioritize, make choices, and live with things that make us uncomfortable. Maybe you’re not comfortable with things Trump has said (and done) in the past, but you really feel like the nation is being strangled by over-regulation, and Clinton sure isn’t going to cut any of that back. So you put up with the bad stuff and say, “That isn’t me. I’m not like that.”
And now it’s time to prove it. Your man is president elect. In two months, he’ll take the oath of office and he’ll have a semi-friendly Republican majority in Congress at his back. And sometime in the next year–more likely, within a few weeks of taking office–something’s going to come out of the White House. It may be a proposed law. It may be a program. It may be a plan. Whatever it is, it’s going to tick off one or more boxes: racist. Misogynist. Discriminatory. There’s no telling which group it will target. It will almost certainly be gussied up as some kind of action that will keep our borders safe, or boost the economy, or limit voter fraud, but it will be definitely targeted at a group and close inspection will reveal it for what it is. And that’s when you will have to prove that you are not those things people have been saying you are.
I hope you do.