Yesterday I shared that I think a vote for Trump was foolish and that America made a mistake electing Trump. Despite an abundance of potential reasons, I can boil it down to one: Trump's campaign was run on a platform of inciting violence between Americans. The POTUS is supposed to keep America safe and strong. Inciting violence between citizens fractures the country. His campaign encouraged divides along lines of race, religion, class and gender. Even if he is now recanting to save face, he still built his presence on dividing the United States. That is definitively anti-American.
I share that and I know the assumptions will fly. Let me help you.
1. If I didn't support Trump, I must like Hillary.
False. And stupid. I don't like Hillary any more than I like Trump even if she didn't run her campaign on violence between citizens on American soil. I strongly object to her foreign policy. Would I like to see a woman president? Yes. But not her.
2. If you like Trump, you are stupid.
False. You can like whoever you want. I do think voting for him is foolish for my own reasons. Electing him even more so. But that is because you have to either be racist and sexist and know it or willfully ignore his actions, reputation, history and who he is because what? You like money? Divorcing yourself from empathy for humanity to line your pockets or secure that lining makes it all pointless. But that is my opinion. I believe in freedom of opinion and speech, so you do you.
3. If you support Hillary, you are on meth (or other drugs or not able to correctly process information due to a neural deficit).
Hahahahahahahahaha! Yep. Go check my comments. The internet trolls are out, it would seem. I'll clear this up. I'm not on meth, but you know what? Trump probably is on cocaine. sniff sniff sniff
Okay, seriously now. I recognize the internet is not the lap of civilization, but we don't have to be raging assholes to each other to make our points. So let me say this the nice way: I get that you're reactive, but your reactions are not my fault. My vote is my business, yours is yours. I am allowed to disagree with you and you with me. I apologize if my opinions hurt you in some way. In the future. please let me know how and why without intentionally trying to harm me through aggressive language and incendiary implications and we can have a conversation. Cool? Cool.
For what it's worth, if I did support Hillary, it would be because I believe I have the right to not be physically abused or sexually violated, that I am more than an object, that disability does not make me less than human, or that as citizens of the same nation, we need to come together in support of one another rather than beat each other down based on the differences we are born with. Those are legitimate reasons to support a candidate. Especially if, say, your life is literally at immediate risk if another candidate is in power. This could be for reasons of race, religion, culture, location, bodily autonomy or health care access that is keeping you alive but part of Trump's campaign states will be done away with.
4. If you don't support Hillary, you support Trump.
False. Come on, people. There were not just two candidates! Unfortunately, the media boiled the race down to two candidates and because we let the media rule our thoughts, they locked the race into Clinton v. Trump. We need to get organized offline before we do our voting so we can break out of binary dynamics and thinking, to be honest.
5. If you voted third party (or for yourself), you wasted your vote.
False. No vote is wasted. Even if you felt Trump or Clinton was the worst possible choice. Although I do have a lot of friends now kicking themselves. They voted third party because they thought the rest of the country would support Clinton rather than because they believed their candidate would win. Their voices were heard and Trump won because of it. I think what happened is that women who have been sexually assaulted became vocal enough against Trump that no Trump seemed a sure thing. In my world bubble, that was definitely true. I work with many victims of sexual assault. In fact, in my circle, 9/10 women have survived rape or molestation, so voting for a man who thinks bragging about sexual assault is locker room talk was a hard-core nope. And when Clinton adjusted her campaign strategy to afford physical autonomy and a voice against sexual assault and objectification of women, that was enough for these individuals to support her.
@dantheman remarked that I am against Trumpkins based on my "cognitive biases." Um, yeah. We all vote based on personal interest or cognitive bias. That's part of being human. Look back at item 3. If I supported a third party candidate, it would be for all the reasons I would support Hillary AND reasons of environment, foreign policy, and education reform among others.
6. If you are a Trump supporter, you are a violent person and undeserving of empathy.
False. Chill, people. Yes, lots of Trump supporters voted because they were stoked that they have been granted authority to make a pile of not-white faces they can stand on to level up, but the majority are looking for a lost cultural history or for financial security. In addition to being a violence-inciting psychopath, Trump is also a mogul with a family history of white, male dominance that speaks to a cultural loss in America. White men in rural areas are committing suicide at an astounding rate because they feel useless. Their purpose has disappeared with outsourcing, they are adrift in an economy their grandfathers established and dominated. They want their place at the table back. It's a very human feeling--the desire for purpose and belonging.
The same empathy can be extended to women voting for Hillary. I mean, dictionary.com knew what it was all about. The word of the day on election day was "suffrage." While Hillary is not my choice for first female POTUS, I admit to being very excited that the country has come far enough to consider a woman for the position. You know, until it elected a misogynist whose campaign ran on the blood of your virgins and who, you know, had a anti-choice, anti-LGBTQIA+ rights running partner who also enacted RFRA in Indiana to allow religious discrimination and shut down so many Planned Parenthoods (and thereby needle exchanges and access to sexual protection) he created a health emergency. Cool story, right? That doesn't even touch Pence's environmental legacy. In short, it's more than about the head honcho, especially when he has zero governing experience and will have to turn to his running mate to get shit done.
7. I'm angry.
True and False. I'm angry that we've allowed the media to dictate so much of our political process. @kyriacos wrote a great post about that and what to expect in the next little/long while. Rhetoric is everything in a political race, and America has fallen hook, line and sinker for rhetorical ejaculate of mass media. I wish more people would make decisions based more on evidence and less on how it's spun. Like, you can't tell me that Trump isn't a xenophobic, violent, erratic, sexually abusive, racist asshat. He said so himself. Over and over. Every time he opened his mouth. And you can't tell me Clinton is not an intelligent, power-hungry, no-holds-barred terror because that woman has her shit together, and any woman who has that is scary. Not just because women aren't allowed to be bosses in the public sphere, but because she has a fucking consistent history of being merciless. O_o
I wanted something better. I'm angry that it didn't happen. But the I'm excited now because the whole world is judging and watching and listening. All the men and women of this country who were vocal against Trump's bullshit now have a chance to stand up and stay vocal with the world watching. Not to be too cliche, but we have a chance to be be the change by forcing it. Polls show we are more than half of America, and that's a big fucking deal.
Is it scary to think about standing up to an oppressor? Sure. But Trump is already editing the aggressive oppression from his campaign which means his people are getting organized to turn him into a leader. It just got real for Trump. Can't be fun for a narcissist to now be saddled with all that external expectation and responsibility. This will be . . . interesting.
8. We should all be afraid.
False. We should all be proactive. Let your new leader know your expectations. Always use your voice and your vote. I say this even though I am afraid. Post-9/11 was a scary time for me. I'm brown. I was targeted and still face regular aggression. I started writing because I was tired of the assumptions being thrown at me about my religious, cultural, national, etc affiliations based on my skin color. People needed to fuck off, so I told them. I broke it down for them, and while the changes have been incremental, I have made changes. No matter who we are or what our situation, we can work to increase empathy.
You may have noticed this post and the last were riddled with snark when my other writing tends to stay away from incendiary language and statements. The reason I choose not to write this way most of the time is because it is not inclusive. I believe in finding commonalities and standing together. I also believe in a right to opinion and personal expression. It's okay with me if you disagree with any and all points raised here. But let's be civilized. Let's rise above the language America's future leader used throughout his campaign and not actually become the anticipated idiocracy. Our leader's emotional and intellectual deficits do not have to be our own. And no, this isn't a last swipe at Trump. He has literally portrayed himself as deficient in these areas, and he is now the face of America. Seriously, regardless of who you wanted to win (assuming you wanted any of the choices) let's not follow his example. Let's all of us, the whole world, force him to reshape it.
This ends my political thoughts on Steemit. I'll be back to my more personal posts after this. Thank you for reading.
images via pixabay.com