A Vote for Trump Is an Attack on My Kids

Nobody can claim ignorance when they cast their vote on November 3rd

Walter Rhein
Aug 26, 2020 · 5 min read
Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke

I live in the middle of the conservative corner of northern Wisconsin. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching people whom you have spent time with and who know your wife and kids regurgitate propaganda that is meant to embolden hatred and racism.

My wife is an immigrant from Peru and my children are of Hispanic descent. We are all just regular people working hard to make a good life for ourselves, and it’s not right that the president and his base drop snide comments and blistering attacks daily.

The president’s behavior hurts us directly. Yet friends and family continue to steadfastly praise him.


I’ve been out with people I’ve known for years and out of the blue they’ll start ranting an raving about immigrants. They repeat, verbatim the lies and propaganda of conservative radio. I have to stop them.

“You know my wife is an immigrant right?” I’ll say.

Most of the time when you interrupt somebody to inform them how they’re insulting you, they at least have the decency to act appropriately chastised. But not Trump supporters.

“Oh, we don’t mean her, we’re talking about people who didn’t do it legally.”

“Well, that might be what you meant, but it’s not what you said.”

I’ll usually launch into a discussion about why we need to cultivate compassion for everyone who is in this country, no matter what their legal status. But the Trump supporters’ ears are already closed at that point. It doesn’t matter if a foreign child needs help. It doesn’t matter if the CIA has destabilized a country that leads to a stream of refugees.

They have no compassion. They only want to blame immigrants for everything that’s wrong with the world. They insist on holding their inaccurate belief out of terror and cowardice.

Where is your basic decency?

The worst of it is I’m surrounded by people who are contributing to evil, but who insist that they are good people. In fact, they become annoyed and dismissive if you suggest otherwise.

I have a hard time comprehending how they rationalize that belief. What evidence is there that they are helping anyone?

Honestly, I don’t mind if people show disrespect towards me. Bring it on. But anyone who contributes to an attack on my children is less than scum as far as I’m concerned. That’s my right. My job as a parent is to protect my children. That’s a basic fact of nature.

We’re not having a debate, I’m telling you as a courtesy that Trump is a threat to my kids. Anyone who votes for him will receive the same treatment as any other direct threat to my kids.

This isn’t politics, this isn’t argumentative. It’s a matter of situational awareness. If you start prattling off white supremacist dogma in my presence, Rush Limbaugh isn’t going to be there to back you up in the ensuing conflict.

Statements like that cannot be left to stand uncontested.

The “White Power” tweet

Donald Trump tweeted a video of a man screaming “White Power.” Trump supporters are willfully ignorant about the damning consequences of that action.

When the President of the United States publicly makes an endorsement of white supremacy, it emboldens the most repugnant element of our society. This is irrefutable. It happened.

Turning around and claiming, “but he deleted it,” is meaningless. The damage was already done and Trump did nothing to undo the damage.

The “White Power” tweet is not Trump’s only transgression. It’s one in a deplorable sequence of ill-considered, terrible, reckless actions that have all contributed to a rising cesspool of hatred that threatens to drown my children.

If you vote for Trump, it makes you a bad person

No matter how long I’ve known somebody, do you think I’ll suffer that person to attack my kids? And if you would contribute to an attack on a person’s children, that makes you a piece of garbage, plain and simple.

People like to sit there and deny Trump’s evil, but you can’t vindicate yourself through self-delusion. You can’t sit there and punch my children in the face, deny that you’re doing it, and then squeal like a piglet when you are retaliated against.

The right like to get themselves all puffed up because the left doesn’t strut around overcompensating with loud engines and semi-automatic weapons. But just because the left is not inclined to violence, does not mean we’ll lay down when we perceive an attack on our children.

If you think you’re a good person, then go help somebody today. Help an immigrant. Help a family living in poverty. Help a person from a minority group that has lived his/her whole life battling systemic racism. Don’t make some hysterical comment on an obscure internet article demanding how great you are despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Publicly denounce Trump

I’m fed up with conservatives, and, truth be told, I’m on the verge of being fed up with silent liberals as well. Everyone has a voice. The forces of darkness never seem to hesitate or fear any consequence from screaming their message on every platform they can get their grubby little hands on.

Decent people, people of decorum, tend to remain silent. They stand and watch, fearful of the inconsequential bite of the incessantly yipping dog. But the fact is, there is nothing wrong with publicly denouncing our racist president.

In fact, you have to denounce him or you risk sharing the blame of his abhorrent behavior.

We can’t afford to remain silent

The conservatives have no qualms whatsoever about stating their beliefs even though those positions make them look like bigots and fools. The other side must become emboldened to mirror that behavior but from a position of decency. Every social media feed needs to be filled with anti-Trump messages. We can’t silence the voices that oppose us, but we can drown them out with a unified call for peace, decency, harmony, and compassion.

This is not a normal election. There will be consequences for making your position known, but those consequences will be less than the result of another Trump victory. You might lose friends, you might become estranged from family. However, ignorance and pride do not justify supporting a racist. Your life will be better for having excised that malignant cancer.

Speak out. It’s your right. It’s your duty.

40 Fathoms

Deep dives into humor, politics, ideas, essays and mysteries.

Thanks to Nicole Bedford

Walter Rhein

Written by

Small press writer with Perseid Press, Burning Bulb Publishing, and Harren Press. I have a web page about Peru at www.StreetsOfLima.com. walterrhein@gmail.com

40 Fathoms

Deep dives into humor, politics, ideas, essays and mysteries.

Walter Rhein

Written by

Small press writer with Perseid Press, Burning Bulb Publishing, and Harren Press. I have a web page about Peru at www.StreetsOfLima.com. walterrhein@gmail.com

40 Fathoms

Deep dives into humor, politics, ideas, essays and mysteries.

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