Why I said “no” to your Thanksgiving invitation

…and why you won’t be getting one from me ever again, either.

Because you voted for Trump. Simple as that. Because now I know who you really are.

You’re spending a lot of time whining about how , god forbid, YOU aren’t racist, misogynist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, or worse — that’s only Trump’s extreme supporters, right? And in truth in all the time I’ve known you, you haven’t overtly shown yourself to be any of those things.

But here’s my problem: you voted for a guy who — whatever his supposed qualifications (and those are questionable, at best) — IS THOSE THINGS, and worse.

You’re spending a lot of energy trying to reassure yourself and others that Trump “just said those things to get elected” and that he’ll be different in office. You seem to be clinging to this belief like a life preserver, despite all evidence to the contrary: from the people who have been saying for over a year that “Trump isn’t the man you see portrayed in the media; he’s worse,” to the people he’s still surrounding himself with, to the unprecedented level of conflicts of interest and obvious disdain for the rule of law he demonstrates on a daily basis.

That miserable gaslighting narcissist you married? I don’t like them, but they are your problem — mostly. Yes, we’ve all broken bread together and I’ve mostly held my tongue. I figured it was none of my business. But your vote helped put a gaslighting narcissist into the Presidency, and that’s now my problem, and my friends’ problem.

You’ve forced us to live with your pathology — your belief that despite all his his fuck ups he can change, will change, is going to change, because you love him. Your lack of self-esteem, demonstrated by your continued defense of your abuser no matter how bad he hurts you or lets you down — you have projected that shit on the rest of us. I’m not going to claim to speak for everyone, but I resent it.

I get it — you just could not bring yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton. Maybe you believe the 30 years of anti-Clinton myth making manufactured by conservative media, or maybe you just can’t stand her personally. Whatever the reason, you couldn’t hold your nose and vote for her. I get it.

But you know what? In my estimation that doesn’t excuse you voting for Trump. I held my nose and voted for Obama, though I fiercely disagreed with his administrations’ lack of transparency, attacks on whistleblowers, mid-East policies, and attitude toward extrajudicial killings with drones. Despite what I considered these serious failings, I voted for a President who stood for the strength of reason, for defending and expanding equal rights for all citizens under the rule of law (at least applied to all US citizens, regardless of race, creed, or sex), for increasing access to health care for all, and for demonstrating an unwavering understanding that in the American Experiment those who govern are supposed to serve those who are governed.

What does Trump stand for? All the evidence shows that he is shallow as a mirror, reflecting whatever it takes to earn him praise from whatever audience he’s performing for. Trump views the Presidency as a marketing opportunity for the Trump brand. Trump seems to believe that being President further puts him above the law. Worst of all, Trump pays at least superficial lip service to trickle-down economics, while those in his circle explicitly support it.

I came of age politically during the Nixon years, shortly after the effects of Louis Powell’s memo began to become part of our culture. I’ve watched trickle-down economics fail to deliver it’s promises to create jobs and improve the economy for 40 years. Even though you may disavow the Nazis and Fascists that Trump surrounds himself with, you voted for at least four more years of this failed policy and gave its most vocal proponents — like Gingrich — their last chance (before they die or go completely senile) to fuck things up even worse for the poor and the middle class in this country where we are raised to believe we are all created equal.

You voted for Trump, when you could have chosen not to vote, or voted for McMullin, or Johnson, or Stein. Your vote said to me that you’re OK with a gaslighting narcissist who surrounds himself with racists, misogynists, homophobes, Islamophobes, and anti-Semites —and you claim it’s just because he’s not Hillary Clinton.

The fact is, you may not be racist, misogynist, homophobic, Islamophobic, or anti-Semitic— but your vote said to me that you are fine with having people who ARE these things running our country.

To me, that shows incredibly poor judgement on your part.

If you were my employee I would fire you for showing such poor judgement in your decision-making.

Were you there when mom and dad were talking about moving after their retirement, and mom said she could never move to California “because there’s too many Mexicans”? Have you noticed that I never invited them back to my house after that? What about when we finally recognized the depth of mom’s drug problem, and came to the horrifying realization that we could never again trust her with our kids’ safety? That’s how I feel about you now.

I can forgive you anything, just like I forgave mom. I can even forgive you voting for Trump. But I won’t forget. Like my feelings for mom, I don’t agree with you and worse, I don’t trust you any more. I can and will be civil if you will, and also if you will own that your vote for Trump means that you are OK with racists, misogynists, homophobes, Islamophobes, anti-Semites, and worse running our country.

Frankly this means I no longer want you in my house or around my kids, I don’t want to be in or around yours.

It’s time for you to stop whining about how you aren’t a racist, and accept responsibility for your vote. As you have reminded me more than once, actions have consequences. For you as well as for me.

Happy Thanksgiving.

(This was written to address members of my own family, but feel free to take it to heart if it applies to you as well.)