A Facebook friend of mine wrote a post explaining why she’s voting for Trump. She said that she’s a Republican, and she believes in the Republican platform, and disagrees with elements of the Democratic Party platform. She said that she’s not supporting Trump, she’s supporting the Republican party. She was seeking absolution. She wanted her Facebook friends to tell her, “I understand – it’s OK. You’re still my friend.” She wanted to hear “It’s fine to vote Republican – it doesn’t mean you support everything that Trump stands for.” She wants forgiveness.
Here’s what I’ll tell her, and every other Republican voter: I forgive you for voting Trump in 2016. You didn’t know then what you know now.
- You didn’t know that he is a White Supremacist, and that he would openly give support to White Supremacist (fascist) organizations and encourage them to come out into the open to help him divide the country.
- You didn’t know that he would put immigrants seeking asylum in cages at the borders, and separate babies from their mothers – and then be proud of his accomplishment.
- You didn’t know that he would rule the White House like a despot, not only firing anyone who disagrees with him, but then publicly vilifying them.
- You didn’t know that he would foster an attitude in Congress that it’s acceptable – even encouraged – to treat your political rivals as enemy combatants, publicly insulting and degrading them, calling them “traitors” and “unamerican” if they disagree with the Trump agenda.
- You didn’t know that when he said he wanted to “Make American Great Again” he really meant “Make American White Again.” You thought he was about economic policy, trade protectionism, military protectionism, and smaller government. Reasonable minds can differ on such policy choices. Now you know what he’s really about.
- You didn’t know that he would throw our historic allies under the bus in favor of courting relationships with North Korea and Russia.
- You didn’t realize (although you should have) that under his administration, rights for minorities, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and woman would suffer, and be more imperiled in the future.
- You didn’t know that he would openly support candidates for Congress who are out-and-out racists who call for segregation of minorities.
- And you didn’t know that he would put his own re-election and power above protecting the American people from the COVID virus – that he will lie and knowingly make totally false statements and promises, despite it causing death and illness – in order to keep power.
You have seen him for four years. You know what you’re getting – and you know it will get worse if he retains power. Your eyes are now open.
If you vote for him, then you take ownership of all that. You support his White Supremacy, his refusal to take any leadership, his tolerance for racial oppression, his encouragement of racists, his encouragement of crazy conspiracy theorists who attack his political opponents, his disregard for science, his disregard for facts that he doesn’t like, his willingness to undermine public confidence in the press, his willingness to grant to his supporters permission to believe whatever facts they want to believe in furtherance of their political agenda. You support his stupidity, his arrogance, his distain for anyone who has a different opinion on any issue, and his constant lies and misinformation. You own that. You support that. You foster that. You are responsible for that. You empower him and the people who cheer him at his rallies. His ego needs feeding constantly, and you feed it. You can’t distance yourself from your vote. You can’t say later that you didn’t know. He’s a con man, and he convinced you in 2016 that he wasn’t so bad. You bought his hokum. Now, you know better. Fool you once, shame on him. You can’t say you’re fooled now. You know what he is. If you support him, you own that. You get no absolution for your 2020 vote. It’s your vote. Only you can decide what to do with it. You have to live with yourself. I’m not going to give you permission – or forgiveness.