In the wake of this election, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the number of people I know that voted for Trump. They’re all intelligent, hard-working people that I would never have associated with bigotry and hatred. For them, Hillary represented an “evil” they couldn’t get behind, connected to and part of, a legacy that for them, screamed corruption.
Somehow, they could see past very similar qualities in Trump, added to the fact that he also appears to be a demagogue, thin-skinned narcissist, with delusions of grandeur. A man who said exactly what every hate mongering group in this country wanted to hear, presented no real plans for anything, and sided with every issue and every solution to get the vote. He exploited our weaknesses and shined a light on our failures as a society.
Trump voters were willing to look past the misogyny, jokes about and possible sexual assault, xenophobia, policies and rhetoric that divide rather than build relationships, ties to unsavory foreign governments, tax evasion, and the list goes on and on.
They like him because “he tells it like it is”. He not only tells it like it is, he can’t be “controlled” by the establishment.
I read a comment on a social media site that said in part “America’s sexism runs deeper than its racism…” this axiom only scratched the surface for some. In a lot of ways, America wasn’t ready for a woman president but more specifically, they didn’t want Hillary. In the beginning, I would have said the same but as I talk to the not so “crazy” and “illogical” Trump supporters a different view is taking shape.
While I have no great love for Hillary Clinton I still think she had a better chance of the four candidates to continue the work that Barack Obama started. Which is to say, move this country forward into a global community. Before you get your panties in a bunch about all the failings of the Obama administration, lets agree to disagree and acknowledge that no one president has been able to cure all the ills of all the people.
The point is, you have to start somewhere and continue to build, there are no “all or nothing buckets”. The problem I have, more than with anything else, is the campaign of misinformation that started who knows where but propagated through social media site algorithms, picked up by online “news” sites and disseminated as “facts” to anyone willing to read and spread it, giving voice to the “unknown”.
This misinformation, spread like a virus, hit inboxes, RSS feeds, Facebook pages and Twitter, landing like a hammer of “Truth” for people who “had no clue this had happened”. The perpetrators knowing all the while, that a majority of people, with busy lives and concerns for their families, would barely give half a brain cell to deciphering where the information came from.
The failure is not just because folks read and believed, but on them also for not using any critical thinking skills and asking questions. I place part on our media for not calling out the lies as they happened. Instead they gleefully continued the disinformation, rolling in the money piling up in their collective bank accounts from the circus that masqueraded as a campaign.
Like most people, I don’t get into politics until it’s up in my face. Shameful… maybe? I failed to talk to friends and challenge their thoughts on the candidates, give them a different perspective and maybe, possibly get one myself. I like many others, only look at a ballot when my reality collides with the collective. The problem in the last few years or so, is that the collective has been spoiling for a fight.
The “old” establishment, wants to return to the past, the “glory days of America”, apple pie, baseball games, and where the specific groups held sway in what became policy or law. Another group, let’s call them “progressive” want to keep moving forward, towards the future, a place where all people have equal rights, equal pay and can continue to live and worship (or not) how they please.
And then there are those that are left over… The ones in the middle if you will, who are afraid of leaving the past, uncertain about the present, and possibly terrified of embracing the future. For them, the misinformation was a gold mine full of horrors. The established politician who sold her soul to wall street and killed soldiers with her careless handling of email. The wailing of “lies…oh the lies about it all!” could be heard across the nation.
Just as repugnant would have been the lies about the other candidate(s), except no one needed to make anything up. The third-party candidates were given little time on air and unless you were paying attention you would have missed all but the highlights on how “comical” they were. Not that any of them were comical, maybe not as informed as the person giving the interview or had views outside “mainstream media”. But the front-runner for the republican party, not only appeared to be uninformed about more than a few things, he flat out lied, on camera, every chance he got. He provided all the ammunition a sane person needed (IMHO) to come to a logical conclusion.
But that’s the problem, that’s where logic seems to break down. I have been trying hard to see the other side of this, to really look at exactly what Trump can do that was outside of Hillary’s or any other candidates ability to accomplish.
What did he say that that spoke to so many? He seemed to hit a collective nerve among the “fed up” and the “tired of the same old shit” groups of people living in places that didn’t seem to have a dog in this fight. The same nerve that Bernie Sanders hit, which is to say, the gooey center of this phenomenon lies not in who said what but who was looking for a voice.
While I still don’t get all the reasons why Bernie supporters turned away from Hillary or flocked to a third-party candidate, I do understand a gut feeling. And the guts of too many didn’t or just couldn’t take another cookie-cutter politician in the white house. My fear and I’m sure there are many like me, is that Trump will wreck any progress we’ve made. The casual way in which he degrades people in general is offensive, being polite and respectful to other human beings should not be considered “politically correct” crap because you feel that they’re beneath you.
Donald Trump, with no political experience, no working knowledge of what he truly can and can’t do leaves him at the mercy of the experienced politicians in office. No doubt to guide and steer him in the “right” direction. To show him the way and put him on the correct course that this nation should be heading…on how to bring this country back to 1950 standards.
OK, well, maybe he won’t be able to take us back that far but he’s a business man, he knows how to run a business (sarcasm) and you can run a country the same way, right? Am I being overly dramatic…maybe? It’s my opinion and I welcome others to chime in.
My final thought is this…If we want to change the impact a Trump presidency “might” have on anything we hold dear, we need to keep our eyes open, dig for the facts, and voice our concerns through our elected officials. Don’t do what too many have done and get distracted, pigeon hole ourselves into the group-think propagated through social media, fake or biased news sites and programs. Get out of your head and into what’s going on around you.
Talk to your neighbors, friends, co-workers, colleagues, and people you don’t necessarily like because human concerns are just that, concerns all humans have. Be it a better life for our kids and families, education that doesn’t leave you bankrupt, health care that won’t make you choose between eating ramen noodles or oatmeal three times a day or whether or not our grandkids, kids will be able to breath in the air in the future.
Do I sound progressive? I try to be, but I’d like to think that I also try to think about others and how what I do may impact someone else. I don’t belong to the “entitled” generation or the one that walked uphill in five feet of snow both ways to school either. I’m not a democrat, liberal, or republican.
I am a person who wants to live in a society that values the other people in that society, who is willing to give here, in order to get there. A person who believes that there is enough for us all if we are just willing to listen to and work with each other to get it.
Here’s an interesting clip a friend sent me…I think he’s got it right.
Live, Love, & Learn ♥