Dear Trump Voter
An Outstretched Hand
Dear Trump Voter,
You probably don’t think we know each other, but we do. I was raised with you, live next to you, work with you… I talk to you every day, but I have to confess that I stopped listening. John Biggs reminded me of your voices.
He reminded me of my own voice. I was raised in rural Northern California. Those outside of California (and many in California) tend to think NorCal means San Francisco. While I lived in the Bay Area for awhile, my Northern California is the top of the Sacramento River Valley. It is the Northern California of A Country Boy Can Survive. Second home to Haggard and others. Cris LeDoux and a Jason Aldean youth. It was ranch country. Mill country. Timber country. Now it is the same mix of poverty and gentrification you see too many places.
I miss it. It stopped being the place I grew up a long time ago. The world I grew up in died a long time ago. I understand the appeal of Make America Great Again. I honestly believe anyone who grew up in a pre September 11, 2001 world can understand that appeal. It is an appeal that goes beyond political affiliation. Political affiliations that have been tested to the point of breaking as politicians on both sides of the aisle consistently betrayed their constituents.
I understand the sense of desperation. #thestruggleisreal might be an obnoxious hashtag used to describe things that are really just #firstworldproblems for people who need to #checkyourpriviledge but for a lot of people in this country, for a lot of people I know, the struggle is real. The struggle is working more than full time, finally getting a job but being underemployed, having to decide which bill gets paid by which has the lowest late fee, just trying to survive. I understand people trying to live off the land in a state where the precious water needed to raise the crops that will pay the bills is going to fill pools and keep lawns green over 12 hours to the south. I understand the anger.
While it makes me sad, I even understand accepting the easy answer. Who has time to dig through newspapers and blogs, to watch three different news channels? My generation was about the last generation to get decent public school educations, and that fades from memory pretty quickly. I understand having to decide whether or not college is worth the debt… I understand even that not being an option. Debt or going to work, earning money. I understand people getting angry at being told they are just ignorant.
It is easy to do. I’m guilty of a lot of it, because while I understand the urge, while I understand where you are all coming from, there is one thing I don’t understand… why Trump? I used to ride for a guy a lot like Trump. He spoke big, gestured big, “told it like it was” though if you knew him well enough he was talking out his ass, and had gone bankrupt a few times. Sure, you would sit and have coffee with him. Laugh next to him at the horse auction. I rode for him as long he paid me. You couldn’t trust him as far as you could throw him though (and he was a big guy) and if he said he was going to do something, you didn’t hold your breath.
In other words, Trump isn’t your guy. I get it, I really do. I get you. But Trump is exactly what you rage against. He is a white collar billionaire from New York who wouldn’t understand a real days work if it bit him in the ass. He has never struggled, he pays his lawyer and his accountant to wiggle the finances, goes bankrupt, and moves on to the next thing. He doesn’t know what it is like to do the books and know that if it doesn’t turn around in the next month the doors are going to close and he is going to have literally nothing. The struggle is real, but he doesn’t know that struggle and he doesn’t care about that struggle. Everything in his history says he cares about him. He uses you. He laughs at you. I don’t say this to sway the election, I say this but I care. You would be better off hoarding your vote than voting a man in who will honestly make it worse for your life.
In an election full of hate and anger, I want you to know I love you. No matter who wins, I will keep on loving you. If I can do anything to help, I will. That, in my opinion, is what we all need. That is how we make our lives better. Let the clown and the crook fight it out, neither will be good for the struggles most live through every day. If we all help those in need on a personal level, if we all share the good things in our life and work together to support each other, we can enrich our lives. I grew up in a small community. I had cows, a friend had vegetables, I train horses, a guy with horses was a mechanic, my truck was always breaking down. The puzzle fits. Washington will never care. Sad truth. I always will.
A Clinton voter on your side.