A Heartfelt Message to Trump Supporters

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

I have a confession: I am sad and mad and finding it extremely hard to be optimistic about the future of this country.

Candidate and then President Donald J. Trump was a test — and an easy test at that, if you ask me. He is a demonstrated liar, a cheat, a deadbeat, a womanizer (and worse), a racist, a selfish egomaniac, a bully, a braggart, and a transparently insecure wannabe dictator in desperate need of attention. He is all the things we are supposed to raise our children not to be.

And yet, 63 million people voted for Trump for president in 2016. Over the next four years he proved to be thoroughly uninterested in and incompetent at his job, thus leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people from a pandemic he thought he could yammer his way out of. And then, 74 million people cast ballots for him to serve a second term.

We were given the most corrupt person our system could belch up, and millions of people were like, where do I sign?! As long as he promised to cut taxes and nominate conservative judges, they were A-OK with the deal. Many of those who think of themselves as principled, decent, and hard-working people were willing to abandon their standards to remain loyal to the GOP and its boorish new leader.

After a deadly attack on the seat of our democracy and those who serve there, many a conservative voter still struggles to find their moral compass. The people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 showed us exactly what the Republican Party stands for right now. I heard the events of that day likened to a lynch mob, and it’s true. Some people were there to commit vandalism, theft, and violence, and some were just there to enjoy the show. But they all felt righteous in their roles.

We can condemn Donald Trump, but he is not the final test. There are plenty of forked-tongue agitators eager to slither into his shoes as soon as he’s gone. And maybe the next person won’t be as obviously corrupt and pathetic and craven as Trump. So, it will be a bit more difficult for us to pass the test.

I’ve heard people say, “this is not who we are,” and I’ve heard people point to U.S. history and say, “but this is who we are.” Well, when a gallows is erected in front of the Capitol, I think we all have to admit that this is part of who we are. And we need to reckon with it.

I wish someone who voted for Trump in 2016 and/or 2020 could reassure me that they took this past week to reflect on their decision and have come to their senses. It would be encouraging to hear folks say that they are leaving the Republican Party because their personal values, their fellow human beings, and the future of this country are more important than being associated with someone in a “Camp Auschwitz” t-shirt.

I am deeply disturbed, and I would like some hope, please. Can someone who voted for Trump tell me that they are going to give President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris an honest chance to lead this nation? I don’t want to hear rationalizations or equivocations. I don’t want to hear right-wing talking points about unity. I want to hear honest introspection. I want to hear you acknowledge that the Democratic Party did not steal the 2020 election and that the actions of Jan. 6 were unacceptable.

Some of us saw the GOP train leave the tracks years ago, and some of us are just beginning to see it now. Either way, we’ve got a lot of work to do, and it would be nice to have many more hands helping to clean up this mess.

Pondering humanity, feminism, and motivation. Writing about gaining fulfillment by overcoming self-doubt and distraction. Blogging at bittersweetnugget.com.