On my Facebook feed this morning I saw an article titled, “I’m a Silicon Valley liberal, and I traveled across the country to interview 100 Trump supporters—here’s what I learned.”
Click. Read. And then…
Are you fucking kidding me? It was snowflake central.
Look, I get it. We’re all still trying to figure out why so many people voted for this guy; indeed, I’ve tried to have the same dialogue (clearly, this author is better at making friends than I am). And, perhaps not coincidentally, there have been a couple of op-eds in the “failing” NY Times recently suggesting liberals have to stop being mean to Trump supporters—or else.
But before we get into the reasoning these Trump supporters gave for making their awful choice–and why they’re wrong–let’s get a few things straight:
- If you’re a Trump supporter, liberal criticism of the president is NOT ABOUT YOU. It’s about the President, his cabinet, his party. Don’t take it personally. No one is attacking you—we’re attacking him. With good reason.
- We don’t need Trump supporters or Republicans to change sides to win future elections. There are more than 90 million people who didn’t vote in the last election, and if we can convince just 10 million of them to turn out and vote next time, it’s over for Republicans. Even as it was, Democrats won the popular vote for President–and the Senate, overall. It’s just that we have the insanely archaic electoral college that gives rural voters far more power than urban voters.
- Having voted for Trump doesn’t mean you’re married to the guy or you owe him your allegiance. You don’t owe him a damn thing. You can walk away anytime, and no one will fault you for it. There are plenty of good reasons. Oh, like I don’t know, Jeff Sessions. Russia. Goldman Sachs…
OK, now for what Trump supporters actually told Altman, the author. The TL;DR quote, which I just learned means “too long; didn’t read,” or basically the main takeaway, was:
“You all can defeat Trump next time, but not if you keep mocking us, refusing to listen to us, and cutting us out. It’s Republicans, not Democrats, who will take Trump down.”
Bullshit, for reasons I just explained.
But even so, what kind of attitude is that: if you make fun of me, I’ll vote for a man who’s totally unqualified to be President—out of spite? No one who feels this way can say he/she cares for their kids or spouse or family. Your position is entirely reactionary and irrational.
If you want to know why some liberals think Trump supporters are stupid, that’s a good place to start. But I have to say, it speaks to a quality in Trump supporters I found in my own quest—this tremendous sense they’ve been wronged, that everyone’s out to get them, that so much as questioning any decision they’ve made or being critical in anyway is justification to act like selfish, stupid assholes. It’s really quite an entitled, sensitive, and irrational position for people to take who have no problem calling liberals “snowflakes” and “libtards.”
“He is not politically correct.”
Yeah, and look where that’s gotten us? Trump’s on his way to offending everyone in the international community (except Russia) and alienating our staunchest allies. In fact, he’s so obsessed with his ego and whining on Twitter, Republicans haven’t even passed any substantial pieces of legislation to date.
“He says true but unpopular things. If you can’t talk about problems, you can’t fix them.”
Yeah, but I also hear this a lot from Trump supporters:
“The left is more intolerant than the right.”
OK, so which is it? Trump, in his political incorrectness, says lot of intolerant, mean, nasty, and morally reprehensible things. When he scapegoats Mexicans as criminals, condemns all Muslims as terrorists, and says horrific things about women, that’s intolerance.
Was the immigration ban tolerant? Is sending ICE to round up immigrants who’ve been here for decades, raised their families as Americans, and never committed a crime other than being here, tolerant? Is allowing states to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans tolerant? Is trying to silence the press tolerant? Is threatening states who’ve legalized marijuana that the feds might come in and shut them down, tolerant?
Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. If you like Trump for not being politically correct, then don’t turn around and demand political correctness and tolerance from liberals.
More importantly, it’s not intolerance to oppose intolerance—especially when it’s in violation of our core values as a nation. It’s called patriotism. What we lefties don’t get is this: if Trump supporters are so big on tolerance, why it was OK to vote for a guy who’s the fucking master of intolerance?
“It’s a lot like political discussion in the Soviet Union, actually…”
Wait. Let’s stop there.
You voted for a guy who said Putin was a better leader than President Obama. You voted for a guy who does everything he can to silence and discredit the press. You’re part of a movement that rejects anything the “liberal” media reports contrary to the conservative propaganda on Fox, Breitbart, Drudge, etc. Oh, and Trump is currently being investigated by multiple intelligence agencies for his campaign’s contacts with Russia before the election, a nation who hacked our election for Trump’s benefit–and members of his administration have tried to silence those investigations. Heard the latest about Jeff Sessions?
So… maybe not the best comparison?
But go ahead, continue:
“… I think the inability to acknowledge obvious truths, and the ever-increasing scope of these restrictions, makes it particularly frustrating. And personally, for whatever reason, I find inability to have more subtle discussion very frustrating—things are not black and white, but you can’t talk about grays since the politically correct answer is always white.”
I think there’s some truth here—I’m particularly struck by the #BlackLivesMatter vs. #BlueLivesMatter debate. Obviously, in some cases police officers are justified in using deadly force, but there’s an awful lot of statistical evidence to suggest African Americans don’t get a fair shake from our criminal justice system–and that’s putting it lightly. The truth is that each case is different, but even on that issue, we see the same extreme reaction on the right as we do the left. Liberals support the victim; conservatives support the officer. In almost every instance. And that sort of knee-jerk reaction isn’t productive.
But then isn’t Donald Trump pretty black and white? I certainly wouldn’t accuse him of subtlety. But the real problem, again, with the charge of “political correctness” is that Trump supporters seem to think it only applies to people they disagree with. They demand we tolerate racist, sexist, and/or bigoted narratives on the right, whether the targets are Mexicans or Muslims or women or the media, but they don’t want to hear about white privilege or #BLM or gun violence or Climate Change or wealth inequality.
So again, which is it? Because you can’t just say whatever the fuck you want and then turn around and tell the other side to STFU about things you find to be politically incorrect.
“He is anti-abortion.”
Ah, the single issue voter. OK, so if that’s your issue, understand something: being anti-abortion doesn’t make you a Christian and it doesn’t make you compassionate. It doesn’t even make you pro-life.
And here’s the real kicker: I’m pretty sure God doesn’t give a fuck.
Because you’re also supporting a party who refuses to do anything about gun violence; no restrictions on types of guns, clips, ammo or who can buy them—not even for the mentally ill.
Because you’re also supporting a party who led us into Iraq, an unnecessary war based on lies that cost 5,000 American and more than 500,000 Iraqi lives.
Because you’re also supporting a party who doesn’t recognize Climate Change and just confirmed a director of the EPA who hates the environment and wants to drastically increase industrial pollution.
Because you’re also supporting a party who fought against giving Americans better access to healthcare via the ACA aka Obamacare, a system they’re now promising to dismantle–for the worse.
I could go on, but the point is, Republicans hold a lot of positions that frankly, kill people, either directly or indirectly. So being “pro-life” has nothing to do with it. It’s just that you’ve chosen a position–a dumb one–and you’re sticking to it. Because it makes you feel good I guess?
“I’m socially very liberal. I’m fiscally very conservative…”
Stop. I know where you’re going with this, but here’s the thing: if you voted for Donald Trump, YOU ARE NOT SOCIALLY LIBERAL. You may think you are, but you voted for a guy who bragged on camera about grabbing women by the pussy, a guy who said multiple racist, bigoted things on the campaign trail, a guy who ran on demonizing immigrants and Muslims. People who are truly socially liberal do not vote for those kinds of candidates. Full stop.
“Stop calling us racists. Stop calling us idiots. We aren’t. Listen to us when we try to tell you why we aren’t. Oh, and stop making fun of us.”
Geez, calm down snowflake.
We get it. Not everyone who voted from Trump is a racist or an idiot. Keep in mind, if you’re not a racist and/or not stupid, WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU. However, there are actual racists out there supporting Trump. People who hate black people, Jews, Mexicans, and Muslims. Publicly. And he doesn’t disavow their support, or at least not in very strong terms. Indeed, he rarely says anything about it.
Hell, Trump is a racist, and I can pretty much guarantee that Trump won the racist/idiot vote at least 10 to 1. Look the fuck around: you’re on the same team as the Nazis (make Nazis great again?), alt-right white supremacists, Milo Yiannopoulus–who says it’s OK for kids to have sex with adults–and a whole lot of ignorant, Confederate-flag-waving, old-fashioned racists.
Plus, what has Trump done so far? A Muslim ban and a massive program to round up illegal immigrants—think those ICE agents are going to spend as much time looking at the papers of white European illegal immigrants as they are of brown people who speak Spanish? Probs not. So the policy, if not the intent, of both actions have a pretty strong racist flavor.
As for the making fun issue, people on the right use the term “lib” and “libtard” as pejoratives—we don’t have an equivalent word on the left for conservatives–not because we couldn’t make one up, but because we’re not that dedicated to being assholes.
Point is it goes both ways. If you go around calling people “libtards” and listening to right wing hate radio, maybe you shouldn’t be so sensitive when those libtards fire back in full length sentences with most of the words spelled correctly.
Here are a couple good ones:
“I’d also like to add that the demonization of Trump by calling him and his supporters Nazis, KKK, fascists, etc. works very well in entrenching Trump supporters on his side. These attacks are counter-factual, and, in my opinion, very helpful to Trump.”
“So far, his election has driven our nation apart. So far, I see most of the divisiveness coming from the left. Shame on them…”
Gee, where to begin? OK, so as I pointed out earlier, there are actual Nazis celebrating Trump’s victory, the KKK has held marches in several cities, and Steve Bannon, Trump’s right hand man, is an alt-right, white supremacist. Those are facts, not alternative facts, Kellyanne. What are we supposed to do—NOT call Nazis… Nazis?
Besides, the overall sentiment again seems to be, “if you call me a bad person then I will be.” Well, OK then. Do that. Be a terrible fucking person out of spite. See where that gets you.
As for divisiveness coming from the left, DID YOU NOT LISTEN OR PAY ATTENTION TO ANYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST EIGHT FUCKING YEARS?
The Republican Party obstructed everything President Obama and the Democrats wanted to do–like infrastructure, tax reform, and not allowing corporations to ship jobs overseas–things that would’ve helped ordinary Americans, up to and including stealing a Supreme Court seat.
And what was the drumbeat, lifeblood, raison d’etre of the right during his Presidency? “He’s a secret Muslim, Kenyan, Marxist, Communist, Socialist, watermelon eating, black incompetent fool who hates America and is day-by-day selling out our interests.” I mean, the lies and racism and filth and heaping loads of garbage Republicans threw at Obama during the past eight years was both disgusting and astonishing. And to boot, almost all of it was dishonest. But now you’re pissed because there’s been a few protests?
I mean my God, look what you did to Hillary. Benghazi, Benghazi, lock her up, Trump that bitch, Hillary for Prison… and now what do we hear from the right on Russia, Flynn, Sessions, and/or whether Trump is using his office for profit? Fucking crickets. Hypocrites!
What divides this country is the fact Republicans and conservatives get their news exclusively from dishonest right wing media organizations who regularly lie to, spin, and mislead their consumers into thinking that everything wrong with America is the fault of liberals and Democrats.
What divides this country is the long con-job Republicans have pulled on people in rural America for the benefit of the rich and powerful, who can’t see it because they’re detached from reality and full of hate—courtesy again, of right wing hate radio and Fox News.
What divides this country is the appalling hypocrisy and dishonesty on display by the right, day after day after goddamn day. Alternative facts? The Bowling Green Massacre? The size of Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd? Climate Change is a hoax? I mean Holy shit! These people are lying straight to your faces and yet you continue to believe them! Fucking why?
OK, so here’s the takeaway: we need to listen more and continue having a dialogue. If this last election has any silver lining it’s that. But it’s not just liberals who need to do some soul searching—anyone who voted for Trump ought to be doing the same.
We hear you: you don’t feel like people are listening to you… so what do you have to say? You don’t feel respected—OK, well we don’t either. You feel like political correctness has gotten out of hand—fine, but then respect our right to speak as well instead of getting outraged over every protest or criticism of Trump.
I guess what it comes down to is it has to go both ways.
But finally, here’s one thing the right needs to address if you ever want to be taken seriously again: you can’t continue pretending everything you don’t like or makes Trump or the Republican Party look bad is fake news. It’s not. In fact, you’re far more likely to hear something that isn’t true on Fox, Breitbart, Drudge, or right wing hate radio than you are on CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, MSNBC, or even the Huffington Post. And until Republicans, conservatives, etc., come to that realization, the truth is they don’t really know what’s the hell is going on—because right wing media screens everything out that isn’t convenient for the Republican agenda.
And if you don’t have a strong handle on the facts–on reality–you’re going to feel pretty stupid most of the time, or angry because people don’t share your fake, manufactured views where everything Republicans do is morally just.
So escape from the bubble. Think for yourself. And then… let’s talk.
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