Saturday, November 12, 2016

I'm Not Mad At Donald Trump, I'm Mad At America!

Before I dive head first into this post which will no doubt displease many people, including many people I love very much, I need to probably say one thing: Political ideas shouldn't end friendships or incite conflict. And in my opinion, political ideas don't do that at all. I am from the liberal camp, as most of my generation especially outside of the States, but part of that means also being confronted with lots of people who think differently, and it has never been a major problem. The reason it is now a problem is not because "we" are "losing", it's because we thought we were on a path towards a better world, and in our understanding we have just been proven wrong although there was no indication we'd have to realize that. So what I am hoping, for the sake of this divide ever to stop again, is an open mind. I realize I don't need to sway votes. It's too late for that. All I hope to do over the next 4 years is explain to you, the people who aren't terrified just now, why we are!

I mean, how privileged does one have to be to just
not vote at all, considering people died for them to have that right?
I want to start off with just a scenario. For the sake of hypotheticals I am going to assume I understand all of your reasons for voting Trump/ Pence. So the next day, when half of America was in tears, you assumed it was a normal reaction: they lost, you thought, and they are scared of losing the horrible grip they had on the country for 8 years. You then remember the year 2000 when the exact same thing happened: people voted for Gore, but your guy won, and it made people very, very angry. Let me tell you that this time that's very different. So even if all this applies, were you wondering for one second why black people, women, and Muslims, to name a few, were actually terrified? I'm saying scared, not unhappy. Did you think this was an overreaction? The voting statistics show that a very large number of the people I just named had a different preference, and I am just wondering if you, as a Trump voter, who is likely not a disadvantaged minority or haven't experienced your disadvantages fully, asked yourself why an election result would make people question their safety.

By talking to Trump voters for over a year I heard some convincing arguments. Safety is of course a nice one, and to those who voted for him because they feel unsafe in the US I genuinely have nothing nice to say as that is a level of privilege I cannot fathom. But there are more reasons: Not everyone believed Putin is a maniac we should oppose. This might be a good policy decision for peace, but it is definitely not right. Vladimir Putin has no respect for international law and various freedoms mentioned in the US Constitution. Saying that appeasing him would be a good idea is not wrong, but it's the same as accepting authoritarianism for safety: definitely prudent, but just not right. The same goes for the notion of illegal immigration that some people based their vote on. Of course, even liberals can understand the frustration of feeling like jobs go to people with no "right" to be in the country. But then again I would like to ask what people see when they see the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence. It is not my intention to make anyone feel bad about their choices, yet I truly believe that citizens who are closing their eyes from needs, even of those who don't share their citizenship, are mocking Thomas Jefferson's ideas.

Historically, of course, there is plenty to say. The USA is a white country, founded by former rebels who came from the whitest place on this planet. Yet, over the last 200 years, the US has become the number one in the world, surpassing the power of their former white original state, by accepting people to be part of it who aren't white. Every American, white or black, female or male, knows that the greatness of America lies in its diversity. The moment a democratic election chooses to acknowledge a man who has openly expressed to those not desperate enough to see it that America does indeed have a preference in race, and even gender and religion, the progress of these last two centuries is taking a step back. Now you might be white, Christian and male, so why would you care, right? Women are definitely not equal in present day America, and women should know that, but sometimes they don't. Black people are not equal and crime rates can prove that. Religious freedom is often compromised for those who have been vilified, most notably Muslims. Yet, many of these minorities saw in a man who has often insulted them the better option, and I wonder how that could happen based on the fact that Donald Trump never did anything to appeal to them, while his opponent did for 30 years.

I don't get it, and I likely won't. The hate for Hillary was stronger than the desire to vote for someone who hasn't insulted minorities, and I'm scratching my head but so be it. Many called it the choice between Pest and Cholera, to which even if I had agreed I always said "you choose cholera, come on, of course you choose cholera!" Especially in this contest I find the analogy rather fitting because cholera knocks you out, really freaking sucks but you survive with a certainty of up to 90%. The pest nearly wiped out all of Europe a few centuries ago. Its highly contagious and means your most certain death, having a survival rate of up to 5%. I am truly hoping that Donald Trump won't kill us all, and I don't think he will, but he is definitely the pest. His rhetoric being rewarded with the presidency now means that it's perfectly okay to speak like that. I heard it being called the end of political correctness, and people seem to like that idea. That political correctness merely saved gay people from openly being called fags and black people the n-word goes without saying. Yeah, well these days are over. To me, this legitimized hatred is truly, genuinely the pest. It makes me sick!

Whoever does that is an asshole, but they now feel like they're
good to go with this behavior since America voted:
being a dick is fine!
So I'm just wondering if people considered this because I have talked to many Republicans, and they usually agreed that this is unacceptable because, you know, Republicans are not shit people. However, when asked how something like these hostile attitudes towards minorities most of us are part of would affect their vote, I usually just got "but I really just hate Hillary!" The media was also quick to be blamed which empirically just cannot be a legitimate reason  since opposition of a candidate on this scale is almost impossible even in dictatorships. I'm sure everyone has heard about populism now, and nobody seems to have looked up what it means. Meanwhile, the same people are now saying "we should give President Trump a chance", and these are the same people who told me as a teenager to not take crap from boys and respect myself. Why should I give a man a chance who has limited me to my appearance, believes I can't do the same job a man does just as well, and suggested that my pussy is something he is entitled to because he is a celebrity. Trust me, I know plenty of these boys (not using "men" here on purpose) and you know what I did? I dumped their ass. I didn't make them my friend, boyfriend or husband, never mind my President. Why is it so easy for his voters to look past that?

My genuine interest lies in trying to understand. The majority of my friends in the States voted Trump, and I still love these people just as much. Since I am seeking the conversation, and have already changed my mind many times on different attitudes, I was hoping to hear answers that matter, but where is the explanation that Mexicans vote for a guy who has called them all, collectively, "rapists" in his first ever speech? Why do women vote for a man who loves the patriarchy? How are people who are not racist or minorities themselves allow for their friends who are to now feel like they are not welcome? I am a woman, so I guess I have some insights into being mocked by the President-Elect, but I find his supporters' attitudes towards black and Muslim people even worse, and that has nothing to do with me. I dislike he is trying to take away the right for women to decide about their bodies because I'm a woman, but I also don't appreciate that the while, male Christian guy DT calls his running mate believes his rights need more protection than a Muslim's. If that's what you believe, you are nose-deep in privilege and Jesus would likely love for you to show some humility.

So I truly couldn't care less about President Trump; it's those people who scare me. I am aware that the vast majority of people who read this and voted for him would agree with me that racism, discrimination and xenophobia are bad attributes, but I don't think all of you have looked deep down if you are definitely not at least a little bit infected with these. I'm talking to Democrats, too. If my candidate would be the subject of black churches burning, Klu Klux Clan celebrations and gay people's cars being smeared, I would, at the very least consider, how this happened? Liberals don't hate Republicans; it's the willingness to close one's eyes from the threats to progresses made towards equality in the last century. I get that baby boomers want the past back, so do I. I'd love the 90s back. I'd love it. But we are talking about an easier time for US, you and me, the privileged people, not the world. If America comes first, that means that everyone else will be second, and that's an attitude you cannot expect anyone to be okay with. President Trump will see this soon enough because I don't think he's an idiot (just an asshole), but it's the voters that need to realize it. They might not have executive power, but they have the power to make our survival here on Earth pleasant, and elevating your problems over those directly and indirectly connected to you is a really freaking crappy quality.

After half a week of watching, reading and trying to understand everything, I found Seth Meyers to have the best words because it's positive, yet not Jimmy Fallon naive or neglectful that something terrible just happened. Most Trump voters would not watch this anymore because they believe this to be part of the establishment (when I'd say "maybe you just want to consider we, the "establishment", actually made a decision at the end of a long, fact-based thinking process") but trust me, my three days of crying were not coming from "losing". In fact, I "lost" in my own country in every election I ever participated in, and I never cried. It's coming from thinking America was more than a place for scared, privileged people. I thought I was finally going to see a woman president, decades after we had one in Europe. And with that, I'd hope you actually consider Seth Meyers' words... 

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