It’s not a “liberal” thing; it’s not a “conservative” thing; it’s a human decency thing
As I’ve shared articles and posted comments on Facebook, I’ve seen a refrain from some Trump supporters criticizing me as a “libtard” or saying that I’m just brainwashed because I went to college. Beyond the fact that many brillant conservative thinkers have advanced degrees, I feel like these people are missing the fundamental reasons why so many people are so upset about Donald Trump.
Now, that’s not to say that I’m not liberal. I am. Any Republican winning the presidency would have likely been a disappointment for me, if only from a standpoint of policy and the Supreme Court. That also doesn’t mean that I would have been one-hundred percent satisfied if Hillary Clinton was elected president. In reality, none of the major party candidates on the ballot perfectly aligned with my own political views. For example, nobody was selling the “make all drugs legal” policy that I am a very strong advocate of (we’ll leave that for another post).
All that being said, I truly feel that if Marco Rubio was president-elect today, I wouldn’t have such a pit of despair in my stomach. Hell, I’d even take a President Ted Cruz (not happily, mind you, but I’d live with it!)
So what’s my point here? Ultimately, it’s framing Trump as a classic liberal Democrat versus conservative Republican battle. I just don’t believe that is what’s going on here… at least not for myself (and I’m pretty sure many other “liberals” would nod their heads in agreement with this line of thinking).
The issue really boils down to respect for the office of President, upholding the basic values the bind us together as Americans, and to just being a decent human being.
Decency doesn’t mean perfection. I would have never expected a non-politican like Donald Trump to go gaffe-less during the campaign. Clinton had gaffes (“basket of deplorables” anyone?) and she’d been around the block.
But alas, Trump didn’t just have a gaffe or two (or three). He literally constructed his entire campaign on division, hate, anger and racism. He not only suggested a ban on Muslims entering the country; he doubled down repeatedly. He went after a Gold Star family; not once in the heat of the moment, but time and again over several days. He hired Steve Bannon, a white nationalist, to be his campaign CEO.
Some promised that all of this was just rhetoric meant to drum up Trump supporters. “He doesn’t really mean any of this” they would say. Now, I would argue that even if that were the case, it’s completely disgusting behavior that should have denied him (or anyone like him) the White House. Instead, his supporters seemed to, at best case, be complacent (and at worst case, actually racist and bigotted themselves).
So while Trump supporters may want to continue to frame my anger and sadness as me being a “libtard”, I’ll continue to argue that it’s actually not about political ideology at all… it’s about being a capital-G Good person. And for those people who thought post-election Trump would reveal a different, kinder, more reasoned Donald Trump? Steve Bannon being named the Chief Strategist in the Trump White House should probably make it clear that, as so many have said, there is only one Trump.