After cleaning up on Super Tuesday, it now seems clear that the unimaginable is going to happen: a fascist demagogue will be the nominee of a major US political party. While I am not as troubled by this as many, mostly because I think it’s more likely Trump’s nomination will spell the end of the GOP vs. him actually getting elected, and I’m not that surprised Republicans would flock to a guy like Trump, I still have some serious questions for his supporters and his GOPers haters.
Trump Supporters: How can you support him and say you’re not a bigot?
In what is actually an impressive thing here in America, I have not seen anyone deny that Trump is a bigot – except for Trump. And how could someone? He said most Mexicans were rapists and criminals; he led the Birther Movement, kick out black students from a rally simply for being there, and he’s called for a ban on all Muslims entering the country. Still, America is full of clear examples of racism that often get followed by calls for people to not believe their lying eyes (see Trump’s denial of his own racism).
That said, while I have not seen anyone deny what Trump is, I have seen plenty of his supporters claim they are not similarly inclined. To me, this all raises the question of how someone who says they aren’t a bigot is able to vote for someone who so clearly is? Isn’t this a bit like saying, “I don’t support Hitler’s views on Jews, but I think he’ll be able to get the trains to run on time”? But perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise since I’ve known a lot of moderate Republicans who voted for the GOP because of their tax policies while turning a blind eye when it came to the party’s anti-gay positions.
Republicans Who Hate Trump: How did you not know your party’s base was full of bigots?
I’ve been writing about politics for several years, and I’ve often repeated the line that while not all Republicans are racist, most racists are Republicans. Despite this saying making it clear that a person isn’t a racist just because they’re a Republican, I still get a lot of push back about claiming racist are a significant portion of the party’s base (and it’s establishment). But with the rise of Trump, I now find myself in the position of getting to say I told you so about this and SO many of the other things I’ve claimed about the Republican party over the years.
Trump Supporters: Does Trump carry himself the way you think a world leader should?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed seeing Trump call lying politicians liars to their face, but for all his brief flashes of honest commentary, he has also lied often, and been insulting, bullying, quick to anger and easily goaded. What about any of this says strong leader to you? The man’s ego and temper are dangerous, and, believe it or not, being diplomatic and patient is key to getting the rest of the world to work with us and follow our lead.
Republicans Who Hate Trump: Please tell me you can see how your party has helped create this mess?
After years of ignoring inconvenient facts and being constantly hyperbolic by telling your base every other event and policy is an existential threat to “their” America, members of your base are now so convinced the country is about to be destroyed, they have given in to their base instincts of tribalism and racism. (Click here to read an article I wrote last month for a more detailed list of how the GOP helped Trump succeed.)
Trump Supporters: What specific thing has Trump said that makes you think he’s the answer?
There are real problems in America and a lot of them have to do with the concentration of wealth at the top and the economic situation many people in this country find themselves in. Not only has Trump been a huge benefactor in our country’s war on the poor by exporting jobs and importing cheap, illegal labor, he’s not laid out any plans to deal with any of the problems you’re mad about (and blaming immigrants and the China does not count as a solution). What I haven’t heard from Trump are any specifics on what he wants to do outside of building a wall and getting Mexico to pay for it, neither of which won’t happen. And if you think “He’ll make America great again” counts as a specific plan, I think you should lose your voting rights. By the way, just out of curiosity, when was the last time America was great? (I’ll bet it was at a time when not all Americans had equal rights.)
Republicans Who Hate Trump: Is your Party going to pay for its sins and fall on its sword?
Your party – for the second time in 8 year – has allowed someone extremely dangerous to get ridiculously close to the White House (Sarah Palin was the other). We might not agree on where and when your party went wrong or what caused it, but the fact is that your party is collapsing (and has been for a long time). So, Republicans who hate Trump, since y’all so often claim to be the sole owners of patriotism and love-of-country, isn’t it time for you to put up? If y’all love country more than party, then it seems to me you need to fall on your sword: Run a 3rd party candidate to ensure Trump won’t win, even if it means giving the election to the Dems. If you love this country as much as you say you do, then you have to see that saving us from Trump is more important than losing one election cycle. Y’all made this problem, which actually is an existential threat to America, and you need to save us from it.