Donald Trump did not just magically become a despicable, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, asshole overnight. It’s not something that he has just developed as part of his campaign. He’s always been like this. It’s literally been part of his schtick for like, 30 years.
Donald Trump did not just magically become the republican nominee for president. He was put there by people who believe in the same things he does, who support him, and who genuinely want him to lead this country.
Be not afraid of Trump; be afraid of the people who support him.
Donald Trump is just being Donald Trump. He is running his campaign, participating in debates, running his sphincter of a mouth exactly in the manner one would expect him to — assuming you were at least somewhat aware of him prior to this election year.
He’s just as morally repugnant as ever, and just as indignant about it.
Of course, that’s just how his supporters like him. When they say they like Trump because he “tells it like it is,” and that he doesn’t worry about being “politically correct” all the time, what they mean to say is that he is not just openly racist, homophobic, sexist, and ableist — he’s fucking proud of it.
People like Trump because he gives them permission to no longer suppress their intolerance. He promotes pride in prejudice.
There are people more dangerous than Donald Trump, and they are people you interact with in your community. They are people who you know, they might even be members of your family or your friends.
Even if Trump does not become president, his supporters will still exist, and they will have been invigorated by the rhetoric of this campaign. Trump has made them brave. Hillary Clinton has made them angry.
Whenever a Trump Dumpster Fire erupts, consider what’s being said. Then realize that those people in your life who support him are having a direct impact on you and the people you love.
There are men in your community who would use their positions of power (or even just their white, male, privilege which gives them power anyway) to look at you, or your daughter, and say they’d “grab them by the pussy” given the opportunity. Maybe they wouldn’t even need the opportunity, because when men are powerful they “can do anything.”
There are men who look at you and think you’re “disgusting” or a “pig”. They either think your daughter is also disgusting — or, that they’d like to “try and fuck her”, they’d “move on her like a bitch.”
Consider that your child may be in a classroom with someone who knowingly excludes the narratives of native people from their curriculum, who white-washes history, who downplays the achievements of people of color, who subtly or not-so-subtly asserts their white supremacism into your child’s life. Perhaps their Sunday School teacher promotes homosexuality as a sin without actually explaining homosexuality at all.
Look at your parents. Did they teach you to be afraid? Did they point out people in the grocery store, in your church, in your school and say things to you like “laziness is a trait in blacks,” or “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
Do you still believe those things? What’s your knee-jerk reaction when you see a black man on the street? What do think when you hear a mother speaking Spanish to her child at the store? When you see a a woman wearing a hijab?
Trump is not the problem; he’s the result of a systemic problem, of which we are all a part. If you aren’t actively against what he stands for, you’re part of the problem. If you are silent, you are tolerating hate.
This doesn’t just go for this election, either: this all predated Donald Trump and it will continue when this election is over, even if he doesn’t win. The only hope we have that it won’t be insurmountable is to make sure he doesn’t win. But remember that the people who support him will be angry, fueled, and ready to fight in his honor.
It wouldn’t take a Trump presidency to throw us into a Trump world.
We’re already living in it.
Now that this piece has made the the rounds, a lot of Trump supporters are slidin’ into my DMs like, “You can’t lump us all into one category!” and “We aren’t all like that!”
Look, if you support Donald Trump, I can’t be sure that you’re not a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobe. So it’s safer to just assume, for now, that you’re all like that — see what I’m saying?
Tell me, how does it feel? Pretty bad? I bet you don’t like being judged based on what some of the other people who share your beliefs have done.
Well, guess it’s a good thing I’m not running for President. Can you imagine voting for someone who —
Abby Norman is a journalist and writer. She’s currently working on a memoir for Nation Books. Her work has been featured in The Rumpus, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen Magazine, The Independent, Quartz, Bustle and others. She lives in New England with her dog, Whimsy, and wishes Gilda Radner would haunt her apartment. She’s represented by Tisse Takagi in New York City.