The only ethical way to carry on in the age of Trump: Goodbye Republicans!
Dear Republican/Trump Supporter,
Given your political views, I cannot continue to interact with you in any capacity.
I apologize for how abrupt and offensive that sounds, but I don’t mean it that way. I do say it with all sincerity, but I also with tremendous sadness, because there are so many parts of you that are good.
I’ve seen them. I know. We’ve laughed together, played games, made small talk. We may have even expressed having deep feelings or love for each other, be they platonic or romantic.
However, by supporting President Trump and the Republican Party at this time, you and I are on opposite sides of some momentous issues, and not in a good way. We’re talking fundamentally about how we treat human beings: women, people of different races and ethnicities, children, the elderly, the middle class, and the poor. We’re also talking about respect for our system of justice, our sovereignty as a nation, and whether or not we have a real democracy. Ultimately, this is about whether we want to live in a functional, modern capitalist society, and perhaps most importantly, about the health of the very planet we rely on for survival.
And whether you know it or not, by supporting Trump and the GOP, you’re on the wrong side of nearly ALL of those important issues — again, issues that go to the very core of who we are as a nation and species.
Problem is, there’s nothing we can do to convince you to change your mind. I myself have tried for years: blogging, commenting on social media, and when it seemed reasonable or appropriate, speaking in person, etc. And what I found is that I can cite all the facts I want; the arguments can be flawless, reasonable, and emotionally compelling — but those who describe themselves as conservatives or Republicans are unmoved.
Because being right doesn’t matter. Fact don’t matter. No, for Republicans and Trump supporters, tribalism and party loyalty trumps everything.
Now you may say the same thing about me — and I’ll admit: you’re right. There’s nothing you can say, for the most part, that will make me change my mind. The difference is that my beliefs aren’t dependent on what Democrats say, or the New York Times, or any of the other media outlets you so fondly refer to as #FakeNews.
No, my beliefs are based on evidence and reason, but more importantly, in a fundamental respect for the dignity of human life (if you object on the ground that I support Democrats and therefore abortion, read below*).
Because #BlackLivesMatter is an important anti-racist movement calling for better policing, something we should all be for, regardless of our race. More simply: racism is wrong. We in the Resistance believe that people should be treated equally regardless of race, gender, creed, or religion.
And the fact is: if you support Trump and the Republican Party, you don’t.
Now I’d be happy to explain all this, thoroughly, using facts — but as mentioned earlier, that seems like a waste of both our time. Because the fact of the matter is you’re so invested in Trump, the Republican Party, and Fox News there’s no argument I can make or set of facts I can cite that you’ll believe. You simply see me as someone attacking your tribe, even though we, as Americans, should consider ourselves to be on the same tribe.
It’s the same story on almost every major issue:
- Climate Change is real and we should be doing something about it.
- Single-payer/universal healthcare is cheaper AND would deliver better healthcare outcomes than our current system.
- We don’t spend nearly enough on education, and we spend far too much on the military.
- Women who get sexually abused or raped should get our support and sympathy, not a shrug of the shoulders.
- When we lose 30,000 of our fellow Americans every year to gun violence, we should do something about it. The same is true of the opiod epidemic.
- When a foreign country interferes in our elections, we should do everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- We should want MORE people to vote and be politically engaged, not less.
- The justice system does not treat minorities, particularly black people — especially black men — the same as it does white people. That is a problem that goes to the very heart of who we are, and we should fix it.
- The rich and powerful should have LESS influence on politics and pay MORE in taxes, rather than the other way around.
- Immigrants make our country stronger, not weaker, and we shouldn’t be heartlessly deporting old people and the parents of children who’ve done nothing wrong other than being here.
I could go on, but the fact is, Republicans disagree with every single one of those statements. Every single one.
Actually it’s not just bad: it’s horrifying. Indeed, when I read back through those statements it’s literally sickening. I feel ill. Because the correct position should be so obvious, and yet so many Americans believe the opposite.
In other words, you’re wrong.
And not wrong in a way that’s understandable or reasonable — no, you’re wrong in a way that means millions of people will suffer and die needlessly; wrong in a way that means some people’s lives are worth more than others, where the law is neither fair, nor just, and where elected officials are crooks in every sense of the word. It means that in many ways, my life — the lives of my family members, friends, co-workers, peers — will be measurably worse.
That’s not hyperbole. It’s the truth.
But again, I can’t convince you of any of this.
Because if you to this day support Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the information you get is such effective propaganda, makes you so angry and confused and afraid and upset, that all you’re left with is loyalty to the very people who are cheating you. And deep down you probably know you’re wrong — that you’re being lied to and used. But you either don’t have the courage to admit it, or there’s so much venom in your heart you don’t care.
Anyway, I don’t wish you ill, and it’s not worth arguing about as I’ve mentioned, because my views are based on facts, reason, and a respect for the basic humanity of all people, and simply put: yours are not. Good luck with things, and if you ever change your mind — radically — feel free to contact me.
However, if you continue to vote for Republicans — if you continue to support Donald Trump — please do not contact me in any way. Ever. I have no desire to interact with someone who has such hateful, inhumane, barbaric views about the world.
A common criticism of the left or reason given for support of the Republican Party is the issue of abortion. And I’ll be 100% honest: if you think abortion is wrong, it’s one of the few issues I can’t make a strong argument against.
However, what I’d ask is that you take a look at the larger picture. If you oppose abortion because you, as I, place tremendous value on the dignity of human life, the problem is that voting Republican accomplishes nothing on this front. They have not succeeded in overturning Roe v. Wade. Not yet anyway. And even if they do, given our changing demographics, the backlash will be swift and permanent.
Because in every other way, the Republican Party does not support life. They do not support universal healthcare, which means millions of American women don’t have access to good doctors and hospitals assuming they did want to carry their pregnancy to term. And what sort of world awaits the kids who are born: a society that acts in the interests of the rich and powerful while ignoring the scourge of poverty; a society that foists the cost of higher education onto those who can least afford it; a society that allows rampant gun violence; a society where the cost of living is outrageous.
It would be a much more compelling argument if Republicans stood against abortion and valued life in all other circumstances, but the truth is they don’t. The truth is abortion is a wedge issue they employ to win votes — I’m not saying Republicans don’t sincerely believe abortion is wrong, most surely they do — but when they show they don’t value life in almost any other circumstance, it’s awfully hard to take that belief seriously.
Finally, I’ll offer this hypothetical — though I can’t claim credit for inventing it: suppose you’re in a fertility clinic and the building suddenly catches on fire. In the room you’re in, there’s a two-year-old child, and a fridge full of hundreds of human embryos. Unfortunately, there’s no way you can carry both of them to safety — and though the two-year-old can walk, there’s no way they can get out of the building without your help. So the question is: who do you rescue?
Most everyone would save the child (if you say the fridge, you’re an awful person I never want to talk to again). So in the end, saying embryos are people in the same way living, breathing humans are people is just not true.
Thanks for reading. I’m writing daily posts now at ChuckingRocks.com, though most aren’t political as you’ll see if you visit the site. This is the last time I’m going to address Republicans or Trump supporters — from now on I want to focus on motivating those of use who want something better.
Thanks for the support! And remember to join me at ChuckingRocks.com!
— Jeff Allen