Responses to the Washington Post’s “Why I Voted for Trump” Story

The Washington Post is running an article where they post comments left by Trump voters. It’s sort of thereapeutic to read. I need to know why people constantly and consistently vote against their interest. I will comment on each, though for space reasons, I only cite a portion of their remark:

To Kristen Johnson who voted for Trump because “Then Trump came through, and the energy and passion was astounding. He overflowed an airport hangar with 24 hours notice on a Sunday during a Vikings home game. Holy crap. So, in the end, I voted for the economy, against Obamacare and against a corrupt government, just as I was planning to for Johnson.”

Governance isn’t about filling a stadium. That’s religion, if you want a good revival there are megachurch pastors who give just as good as Donald Trump. There are 20 million people insured through Obamacare, thanks for your humanity. Re the economy: Trump went bankrupt 6 times, that means he has a fundamental misunderstanding of money. Not sure he’s the guy you want. Re corrupt government. What you call corrupt is actually complication. What you will see in the next 4 years will be nepotism, bribery, shilling for corporate greed, and the revolving door. Meanwhile Hillary was cleared by EVERY SINGLE INVESTIGATION.

To Nick Flores, the legal immigrant “To witness some illegal immigrants gaming the welfare system boils my blood.”

I understand this rage, really I do. My wife is a legal immigrant. But Trump and the alt-right aren’t against illegal immigration, they are against non-whites. (Even if that distinction is so far deep down that they don’t know it themselves.” I guarantee that you, or someone you know, will be hurt by Trump’s election. Try to have a heart next time, mmkay?

To Nicole Citro, “after that rally I knew without a doubt Trump was going to be our next president. He had tapped into what the everyday Joe — and Jane — were feeling but had become PC-shamed from expressing.”

There’s that idea of the rally again, as if getting amped up on testerone and endorphins was more important than carefully thought out policy. It’s not. We are only now learning what Trump will actually do. His campaign promises were just words, he never laid out any actual plans! More important to me is this idea, that being Politically Correct is shaming. What sort of thoughts are you having that are so damned incorrect? If they’re about blacks and hispanics, gays and non-Christians, then dollars to donuts your thoughts are bigotted. Frankly, we all have those moments, being PC is a process: it’s learning to speak and to think in a way that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. You do not have the right to insult other people. Freedom of speech doesn’t allow you to be an asshole, it allows you the freedom to dissent. As to your everyday Joeness. This too is short-sighted. Hillary won the popular vote, that means that at least 51% of the population agrees with her. They don’t call it the 1% for nothing, the rest of us are just Joes like you Nicole.

To Erin Keefe, the educated white lady who voted for Trump. “The government needs to be run like a corporation, simple as that. His degrading language toward women bothers me, and his views on global warming are a problem for me. I do not 100 percent love Trump, but I am convinced he can lead this nation. I was part of the silent majority. My friends would bash those who leaned toward Trump and comment on how insane, uneducated and racist his supporters were. I was afraid to speak my mind because of the possibility it might hurt my reputation socially and professionally. I respect everyone’s opinion and vote, and it’s wrong to be ridiculed for supporting someone you have a right to support. I scrolled through my Facebook page on Election Day personally hurt. Friends accused Trump supporters of not loving them because they are gay, a woman, a person of color or an immigrant. My stomach dropped knowing what might happen if someone found out that I supported him and that they thought I did not love them for that. I voted for Donald Trump because he can create change for our country, economy and world.”

Dear Erin, your comment is heartbreaking on so many levels. First you are 100% wrong on your only pro-Trump point. Truth: Trump has had to put Lobbyists into his transition team because NO ONE IN A CORPORATION KNOWS HOW TO RUN A GOVERNMENT. A government is not a business, there is no profit motive for the government. You might view this as a bad for business, but when a corporation can’t afford it’s staff it fires it. When a government can’t afford it’s populace it has no option. It can’t simply say, ok, well we can’t afford 30 million of you, you have to leave. And if it tries to force them out, that means billions of dollars of expenses. This means deficits. Sorry. Something I have said for years, this veneration of American capitalism, this idea of American corporation as being some mecca of phenomenal management is wrong on so many levels. Most recently, exhibit A, the Great Recession: caused by American companies, American corporate greed, and lax regulation. I could write a book on this, but I’ll leave it to address your other points.

He cannot lead this nation. Just no. He will lead Trump supporters. Maybe the same could be said of Hillary, but Trump is incapable of unifying anything. As for being the lone bigot in the herd: I have little sympathy. Mike Pence just took over the transition team, be afraid for your vagina and it’s right to choose (Interesting thing about that link, it goes to great lengths to debunk that the law does not actually force women to pay funery expenses, but it does nothing to deny that Pence signed the law, which forcibly demands women to confront their aborted fetus).

As for your friends anger, they are worried, and they have real reasons to be worried. Your social anxiety pales in comparison to the very real rights they will lose in a Trump/Republican administration. When you were making your decision, were you considering the very real impact your vote will have on them? How did you make your justification. Really, I’m curious. Was deficit reduction or bloated bureaucracy such a concern that you were willing to let the civil rights of your friends be trampled on? I’m guessing the answer is that A) you don’t care and are secretly bigoted against your friends, or B) you don’t think Trump will actually do any of the things he’s said he’ll do. Which if the answer is B) why did you vote for him in the first place?

To Deniz Dolun, the Muslim American in Florida, “As people who have actually experienced Islamism in its purest form, back in Turkey, we supported the candidate who promised to help us fight that issue, regardless of any of his other policies.”

Ok Deniz, hopefully Trump won’t deport your family back to Turkey, or imprison your family in Guantanomo for no better reason that he is anti Muslim. Really, I do hope that. And, here, a helpful link on a program you already may know about from George W. And if he does follow through on any of his anti-Muslim policies, I hope that you or your community is exempted. Maybe you can explain to the bigots who live near to you that you voted for Trump. That could be enough to get them to not scrawl hate on your cars, homes, or worse. However, of the two candidates, only Hillary Clinton had actual experience fighting terrorism. She was secretary of state, it was her day job. Trump’s day job was firing people on TV and not paying contractors for their hard work on his poor investment strategies. The only war Trump knows anything about is Twitter War.

To Diane Maus in NY “The commentary was all about how Hillary Clinton was set to get down to business once the pesky election was over. It was obvious watching the election returns on several networks that not one of them prepared for the possibility of Donald Trump triumphing. Why was that? My vote was my only way to say: I am here and I count.”

To Diane, who voted red in a blue state, that can be tough — all that tolerance and economic prosperity. I can’t see why a lifelong Democratic voter would switch sides on this one. Particularly one who probably had heard of Trump before Celebrity Apprentice. Your comment didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, your focus on Hillary preparing for life after the election is weird to me. Particularly in light of the fact that your candidate was absolutely unpreprared, and two weeks later is still unprepared to take office. That sounds like a government ready to get shit done. Hooray! I don’t much understand your math on this one. Your vote counted, it always counted, your vote was 5,034 of the 2,640,570 who voted for Trump in NY. Still, we’re all happy that you feel heard.

To Howard Gaskill, who remembers the Clintons so fondly. “The lies never stopped. Then came the Clinton Foundation, foreign donations and the emails. I have 100 percent Clinton Fatigue. If Bernie Sanders had been on the ballot, I would have voted for him, even though I agree with him on virtually nothing.”

Though I didn’t cite them, you mentioned Whitewater, Flowers, Lewinsky, billing records, and the Clinton Foundation. To your credit you did not mention Benghazi or the Server Scandal. However, that may have simply been an oversight. As I expressed to Kristen, politics is complicated, and the dozens of investigations brought by “your people” against her on each of these matters turned up embarrassingly little, wasted actual dollars, and the public’s time. Last, you say you would have voted Bernie despite not agreeing with him on anything. Can you see how this makes no sense? Can you see how, thinking about trust, we liberal elitists might not trust you based on that comment alone?

To Phil McNeish in Virginia, “Donald Trump, despite his imperfections, will be the most left-leaning Republican president of all time. Hillary Clinton would have steered the country further to the extreme left, while Trump will be a good mix of left and right. We, in the middle, are weary of partisan bickering.”

Well, that panned out well, huh? No ones bickering now! Sigh. Phil, Phil, Phil, let me condescend at you for a moment. The whole election, the whole reason Hillary failed to capture the Bernie vote is that extreme Left never really believed in her. Hillary WAS the centrist candidate you twit! As to your comments about left leaning Trump. While in some respects I agree with you, he just appointed Steven Bannon voicebox of the alt-right to Karl Rove’s position. That sounds pretty left leaning to me. The point is, not sure you really thought this true. You liked what he said at rallys but never investigated the substance of his claims. Which is weird because you spent so much of your time reading about the scandal plagued Clintons. Admittedly, blowjobs are better reading (and receiving) then complicated policy manuals, but… check your bias dude.

To Lori Myers who felt the media was unhinged. “They were unhinged in their obvious role as the Clinton campaign propaganda machine. The collusion was just too much.”

You may have something here Lori, the media was in collusion with Donald Trump. They gave him tons and tons of absolutely free press, while at the same time running tons of material on “scandal” plagued Clinton. Apparently, you guys agreed with everything he said, and they broadcast it unrepentantly. “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,” Moonves, the CEO of CBS said. Liberal outrage against Trump was pretty obvious, but I notice you haven’t disputed the veracity of those claims, only the frequency. Sorry, that’s your bias, not ours.

To Debra Knox, concerned so worried about the middle class “I am concerned about my impossibly expensive health insurance and the impact on my family. I am concerned about undocumented immigrants and the Democratic Party’s propensity to give and give to everyone. The middle class is in dire condition. I haven’t had a raise in 10 years.”

Oh Debra, you move me to tears. First, I admit to surprise that your last raise was during the Bush years, especially given that Obama raised the minimum wage (which has an inflationary effect on all wages). You might also be concerned to know that when Trump takes office he will likely uproot recent Obama legislation that will allow for people under 46K to be considered non-salary, a move which would qualify you for overtime. Well, you can kiss that good-bye. One thing I’ll never understand, if Trump is in fact a billionaire, something I think is dubious at best, how in god’s name do you find him more qualified to get you a raise?! Hillary’s biggest campaign pledge was to do more for working families. Including increased maternity and paternity leave. That is literally giving away money to American families! Dear dear Debra, things will only get worse for you in the next four years. And I’d be more sorry for that if it weren’t now true for all of us. Thanks again.

To George Erdner who wants the CEO-President “It was time we had a businessman with strong executive skills leading our nation back to capitalism. We must reverse the trend toward socialism, and who better to make that change than a capitalist?”

George you are 65. If you haven’t already retired, you will soon. Did you not want your pension, your medicare, your social security? Too much socialism for ya? Maybe you’re so rich you don’t need any of that. If that’s the case, don’t let Trump manage your money, depositing his seed money in an Index fund could have performed better than he did as a Real Estate developer. The government is not a corporation, I can’t emphasize that enough. The largest corporations in the world don’t have nearly the number of employees as the Federal government, scale alone makes government a different animal. There are several dozen government agencies whose sole purpose is to protect “we the people” from corporate fraud. Oh and by the way? Your last president was a failed business owner too. That is exactly what they said about George Bush. Boom.

To Christopher Todd who is so excited for a conservative supreme court. “The Constitution is a social contract, not a poem to be variously interpreted. If people want to permit gay marriage or abortion for any reason, then make both legal through the legislature”

First, we interpret and reinterpret contracts all the time. And social contracts are particularly up for revision: slavery for example. I think your main problem is that you don’t like gays or aborted fetuses. Fine, just own it. You’re a bigot and part of the religious right. We had a conservative court, it got us Citizens United, yay more money in politics. Last but not least, we have made it legal in the legislature, and then asshats like you contest it in court!

To Mackenzie Gans who doesn’t like tap dancing around Iran and the federal deficit “Tap-dancing around our national debt, our failure to contain Iran and North Korea, and our long-term unemployed citizens helps no one.”

No one likes tap-dancing. You’re seriously telling me you prefer the guy with six bankruptcies to his name as someone ideally suited to dealing withdebt? You know what bankruptcy is right? This thing where your debts become too high to pay and your creditors take you apart bit by bit? In that case, our biggest creditor is China, so hopefully Trump’s talk about punitive trade tariffs hasn’t pissed them off too much. This idea about “tax and spend Democrats” is completely bogus. The past two Democratic regimes have seen unprecedented commercial growth. Democratic economic policies have made a lot of money for a lot of people, particularly for the middle class. Last point. Our unemployment rate is now down to 5%, which constitutes full employment by the BLS and most economists. That was after as high as 10 percent during Bush W’s financial crisis in 2008. Give us some credit Mackenzie.

To James Brady who voted for Trump because of Christian values. “Too many things she sought to get passed were against any Christian belief for those who are true to Christ.”

I don’t know how you squared this circle Mr. Brady. The only thing I can think of is if you’re a book of Job type of Christian. In which case, you’re actually a bigot, not a Christian. Because Christs most holy message was one of love and compassion, something that Hillary has ALWAYS expressed as a primary area of her platform — even more so than Bernie. Maybe you ought to examine what this True to Christ world you desire would actually looks like. I can think of a few religions that restrict people’s freedoms, encourage fanaticism, and are militant in their desire to expand the perimeters of their religion. Didn’t know you were for Shariah law Mr. Brady. Admittedly that is not fair to the Shia.

To Helen Berkowitz who wanted someone to understand complex budgets, “Meaning the United States should be led by someone who knows how to delegate, and understands complex budgets, negotiation and leadership. That is why I voted for Trump. I don’t need my president to be nice to everyone and to give them a warm, fuzzy feeling. Get a bathrobe for that. I also don’t have to agree with him on every single opinion or policy. I don’t need to be friends with my president; I need him or her to lead the country, provide solutions for our problems and make a stronger and greater United States.”

Helen, I really appreciate both your candor and your writing style. Still, good luck out there in Israel, because Trump’s foreign policy is already stirring the pot. Oh, and his Chief Strategist is an anti-semite. Not sure how you missed that. Let’s talk about delegation: First, Trump went through three campaign managers. His staff was a revolving door. He won, sure. But he won because Hillary lost. Not because he was so super effective. Two, I’ll be surprised if his current cabinet choices last through the first quarter. Already Chris Christie is out completely (yay!) Re budgets: Six. Bankruptcies. Let me say it again, even slower… Six… Bankruptcies… Re leadership, please do not mistake personal magnetism for leadership. Leadership isn’t just about rabble-raising. It’s about inspiring and getting shit done. Trump has inspired hate crimes, and his shitty track record of business well, as Warren Beatty hedged, “well, he’s good at licensing”.

There, I feel better. Not really, but this was a nice chat. Thanks.