Don’t Ask Me to Give a Chance on an Unrespectable Man

To the Trump supporters and voters out there, I know the election’s over and that your guy has been elected president fair and square through the Electoral College process thanks to your votes. It may not seem fair to me since my candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote (even by a narrow margin), but that’s how the system works. Yes, I am heartbroken that my candidate didn’t win through this bitter election and I didn’t get much sleep that night. But now that Donald Trump is president-elect, you tell me it’s time to come together, have an open mind, and to give him a chance to lead that he deserves. After all, you tell me that this is a time of civility, unity, and reconciliation. Besides, you insist that he may not be as bad as I think and my refusal to do so just makes me a whiny sore loser. You want me to treat this moment as a normal election which I should get over with and move on with my life as if everything in this country within the next 4 years will be fine.

However, asking me to accept a Trump presidency is something I cannot do. Not now, not ever. You may call me a whiny liberal with a sense of entitlement who can’t get over her candidate losing. You may call me a spoiled crybaby who can’t accept not getting what she wanted. You may call me unpatriotic for refusing to get behind the future president you voted for. You call me out of touch and immature for saying that Trump is not my president. You may say by not accepting Trump I have no respect for the presidency, the will of my fellow Americans, or democracy.

But in truth, my rejection of Trump has nothing to do with my politics or being unable to accept reality. I accept that Trump won the presidency and will be come January. I know there’s nothing I can do about it. Besides, I’ve experienced political setbacks before which I can deal with. Had the Republicans won this election with a viable presidential candidate, I would more likely put aside political differences and accept that person as my president with little complaint. Sure I’d be sad that my candidate lost, but I’d get over it. But this is not one of those times. Because with your votes, you elected an unrespectable man as president of the United States. No unrespectable man deserves a chance to lead even if he did win the White House.

When you’re asking to give Donald Trump a chance to lead, you’re asking me to accept what I already deem as fundamentally unacceptable in everything that a US president should be as well as represents America at its worst. President or not, Trump is a man I have absolutely no respect for in any capacity and that will never change. Now that he’s set to become the next president, I have never felt so ashamed of my country in my life. I am deeply horrified that so many of you could vote for such a thoroughly despicable human being with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I am appalled that so many of you were willing to excuse this man’s gross violations of basic human decency that you wouldn’t tolerate in anyone else. I am absolutely disgusted that so many of you can be fine with electing a con artist who’s cheated his customers, investors, contractors, bankers, and employees. And I can guarantee that he will cheat you. I am upset that you could choose a man to lead our nation whose campaign was built on unfiltered disdain toward racial and religious minorities as well as endorsed by white supremacist terrorists. I am outraged that so many of you could be okay with a president who’s a sexual predator with a long history of objectifying and denigrating women. I am deeply distressed that you would vote for a man who is an entitled elitist who is corrupt to the core and doesn’t think the laws apply to him, an unrepentant and vindictive bully who uses litigation as an MO to anyone who’s challenged and criticized him, a pathological liar who’s constantly made promises he never intends to fulfill, and a irrepressibly greedy sociopath who’s tried to enrich himself by abusing trust others have placed in him whenever he’s in a position of authority. I am greatly troubled that you could ever support a man who has little respect for norms of ethical and acceptable behavior. I am angered that you voted for a man who never takes responsibility for his action, never says he’s sorry, and never admits he’s wrong. I am deeply incensed that you’re willing to choose a man to lead our country who’s had a history of unethical business practices that’s hurt thousands, who’s unwilling to release his tax returns and medical records, who’s surrounded himself with sycophants and outright criminals, who’s praised and done business with notorious dictators, whose flag waving patriotism is a sham, and who’s willing to use people as pawns in order to get what he wants and doesn’t care who gets hurt. Finally, I am extremely distraught that you elected a man who clearly has no respect for American values, American institutions, the rule of law, or constitutional rights that have made this nation great. And the fact I know very well that most of you aren’t bigoted monsters only makes it worse.

I know you will tell me that you voted for Trump because you hated or distrusted Hillary Clinton, your stance on the issues, his campaign promises, or what not. But whatever it is, I absolutely don’t give a damn. If you don’t like Trump for any reason, you should’ve tried to stop him regardless of what you believed even if it meant supporting a party that doesn’t share your beliefs and electing a candidate you despise. Hell, you shouldn’t have voted for him during the primaries in the first place and not let him take over the GOP. You could’ve easily stopped him then but you didn’t. But plenty tried, even within the Republican Party. And to be honest, I actually agreed more with Bernie Sanders than Hillary. But I voted for Hillary in the primary anyway because I knew people outside the Democratic Party wouldn’t get behind a candidate like Bernie Sanders even if they were white working class. And as much as I wanted change and see Bernie’s policy ideas a reality, I really didn’t want Trump in the White House and he was already the presumptive GOP nominee by then. I knew he was an unrespectable man even then, just not to the degree I know now. Yet, I also knew that unrespectable men must be stopped. Hillary Clinton seemed to be the only reasonable choice available to me. But unlike you, at least I made the right one I would never regret. I can’t say the same for you even if you don’t now.

Whatever your reasons may be for supporting him, they don’t excuse the fact you have given validation that racist, xenophobic, and misogynist and sexual predatory behavior as well as legitimized greed and authoritarianism as acceptable. It also doesn’t excuse the fact your vote for Trump sends a message that it’s okay to bully, intimidate, incite violence, and lie to people in order to get what you want and not take responsibility for all the hurt you’ve caused as well as being fine with a leader who’s eagerly willing to violate your constitutional rights. I know you don’t intend to say these things when you voted for him. But that doesn’t matter since your vote shows you’ve decided to live in Trump’s world of vanity, hate, recklessness, untruth, vindictiveness, and his disdain for democratic norms that will lead to national decline and suffering. Yet, what’s worse is that you didn’t care. You may not really like him. You may not really believe what he stands for. But casting your vote for him doesn’t make you any less guilty of giving legitimacy to this revulsive message of this unrespectable man.

I thought you were better than to vote for a candidate like Donald Trump who goes against everything this nation stands for. I thought regardless you perceived about Hillary Clinton, you’d do the right thing by electing a leader who’d make people feel proud to live in this great country. Even if you think Hillary is a criminal who belongs in jail. But you voted your self-interests to “take my country back” and elect that despicable demagogue who promised to “make America great again.” Sorry, but voting a man like Trump for president doesn’t make America great again and never will. Nor does it take your country back either but allowing it squandered by a sociopathic demagogue who’s only playing you for a pawn as well as put the dignity of the presidential office in jeopardy. It’s not a matter whether he’ll betray your interests but when. And when that time comes, you will come to despise him as much as those who’ve opposed him. In fact, your election of Trump makes the rest of us lose our faith in the America we’ve known and grown up with and the promise that it brought us that all are created equal and endowed with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It especially shatters my faith in the American people beyond recognition as well as in the people I know and love. And for millions of my fellow citizens, the inevitability of a Trump presidency makes them live in fear, many for their lives and families being torn apart. Their fears are entirely rational since Trump fueled his campaign on bigotry as well as promised to do terrible things to them. But what message Trump’s election sends to the American people bears no resemblance to the values I was taught to exercise, admire, respect, or value in anybody, let alone in a president-elect. And I’ve learned many of these values from you, which makes me see your vote for Trump as a betrayal of those American ideals you taught me. Now I’m not sure if I know who you are anymore. To accept Trump as my president would be to normalize him as just a regular politician he’s not, which I won’t do. To accept Trump as my president is to give my stamp of approval of his character and behavior which I will not tolerate. Winning the electoral college doesn’t absolve Trump from fueling his campaign with bigotry and hate or the grave sins he’s committed against millions of Americans. And it’s because of that I’ll never stand united behind a president who’s an unrespectable man.

Don’t tell me that it was economic anxiety that led you to vote for Trump. Because most voters earning less than $50,000 a year voted for Hillary even among whites with the most economic grievances. Besides, while many white working class voters may be struggling but they make more money than their poor neighbors and are very much the middle class of their rural communities. Not to mention, white people across the board voted heavily for Trump. Sure non-college educated whites came out by force but nearly half of white college graduates voted for him, too. I’m sure everyone in the Rust Belt states know those good factory jobs left due to policies that were at least 30 years old and knows they’re never coming back ever. You know that any promise to bring back those jobs is just a mere pipe dream that will never materialize. Also, if Trump’s election was really about economic anguish then I’m not sure why you’d go for a so-called multi-billionaire from Manhattan. Don’t tell me you voted for Trump because he’s an “anti-establishment outsider” because I know though Trump may not have any political or military experience, he’s very much part of the establishment. For God’s sake, he’s been a member of the 1% his entire life and he’s more likely to support his rich buddies than your concerns if you’re white working class. Not only that, but I’ve grown up around people like you and I know very well how you complain about your taxes going to social programs like Obamacare or welfare as a thinly veiled way to poor shame as well as denigrate minorities and immigrants. I’m also aware of how you put rich people on a pedestal as if they’re successful entrepreneurs to be revered regardless of how they earned their money or how much their greed destroys. Now I’m sure that some of you may have legitimate economic concerns, but it’s very clear to me that you couldn’t care less about economic woes unless they pertain to your struggles or your tax dollars going to programs you don’t like or to beneficiaries feel are beneath you. Sure some of you may not like the elites but many of you make wealthy corporations and businessmen sacred cows who can do no wrong. But most of you like to scapegoat minorities and poor people for taking white people’s jobs, mooching from your hard earned tax dollars, and are protected, coddled, or exploited by the white affluent liberals you revile. But those liberals at least care much more about you than the big piggy billionaires, corporations, big banks and Wall Street people you constantly excuse. Besides, out of all the candidates in the 2016 Election, the one really cared the most about you white working class folks was Bernie Sanders. But I know you wouldn’t vote for him because of how much you don’t want to unite with your brown and black brothers and sisters in solidarity since they have more in common with you anyway and how America would be much better off if you did. You shirk at the notion of him calling himself a Democratic Socialist, which you view with suspicion. And I know you don’t like paying taxes either which I know you already view as big government even if it’s for your own benefit.

The exit poll data makes it perfectly clear that most of you who voted for Trump are way more white than working class. But that doesn’t stop the mainstream media from blaming the white working class for resentment of people of color and immigrants. But I know full well that white people at all income levels deride immigrants and minorities as well but they try to conceal it through their fiscal conservative rhetoric thinking liberals like me won’t even notice. If not, then you talk about it through the lens of securing our borders or fighting terrorism. Though the latter is quite ironic to me since you don’t seem to mind voting for a candidate who was endorsed by white supremacists. Or how you talk about how deindustrialization left the poor white working class without good jobs while Democratic party abandoned them for minorities, immigrants, LGBT people, women, and the environment. Sure I may empathize with the white working class on some level and why they’d be discontent with the establishment as well feel that they’re disrespected or left behind. But I find it very hard to believe that the Democrats really don’t care about the struggles in their communities. After all, weren’t the Democrats the ones to talk about paid family and sick leave, improving Obamacare and making healthcare more accessible, environmental protection, network neutrality, making college more affordable, and a higher minimum wage? Meanwhile, Republicans want to curb collective bargaining and union power through right to work laws. To say that the Democrats left behind or disrespected the white working class makes absolutely no sense to me. Or how you talk about it through rampant voter fraud that doesn’t exist. But you don’t fool me. It’s now perfectly clear to me that you still benefit from institutional racism and want it to stay that way whether you admit it or not. I mean the fact that many of you believed Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US or was a secret Muslim illustrates my point. Besides, many of you said that Barack Obama was “not your president” when he was elected in 2008. And I know it wasn’t because Obama wasn’t an unrespectable man since he was a man of great dignity who earned that chance to lead. Trump isn’t. You voted for Trump to preserve your white privilege which you thought was under threat by the nation’s increasing diversifying cultural landscape. Even if it means voting for a man who’ll only drag you through the mud along with your fellow citizens you deem as undeserving. There is no way around it. But while I don’t write off every one of you racist, sexist, or xenophobic maniac, I have to acknowledge that each of you decided that maniacal racism, sexism, and xenophobia wasn’t disqualifying for the President of the United States. Or that your selfish reasons for voting Trump matter more to you than protecting the rights of your fellow countrymen. I’m sorry, but I’m not letting you direct blame to the white working class who you scapegoat in order to avoid responsibility for the man you voted for. It’s another way of saying, “Don’t blame us, it’s the ignorant rednecks’ fault since they’re racists facing economic peril.” You knew liberals would blame them if Trump won as well as feel guilty that they’ve been out of touch with these people. For a while, I almost believed you. Yet, later it became apparent that these white working class voters only consisted of a part of Trump’s support. And those whites who were working class weren’t living on the edges of the economy either. But even if you fancy yourselves as non-racist or non-sexist virtuous people, you deserve all the shame you can get, possibly more than the proclaimed racists. Because you knew by voting for him you willingly handed the reins to a selfish, racist snake (sorry snakes). This makes you complicit in stating that millions of your fellow Americans don’t matter no matter how much you try to rationalize it. And I will not stand for it because it’s not okay.

Look, I know I probably have racist views that I may not be conscious of. Yet, as someone who’s studied history and researched political issues, I’m much more aware than most of my fellow whites. Though that hasn’t always been the case. I know I benefit from inequality and often fail to call it where I see it. But this election wasn’t one of those times since you failed to stop someone whose explicit aim was to scapegoat and pursue discrimination into law as well as in new and dangerous ways. You can’t be blameless for this no matter how strong your love for this nation’s ideals are which I now currently question. And in many ways, I feel like I didn’t do enough to call you out on your bigotry earlier when I should’ve since I knew it was always there. Even then, I underestimated how deep your disdain for the Other until today. And now I’m absolutely disgusted with you like I don’t know who you are anymore. What I find hard to accept is that many of ordinary Americans like you would vote for such an unrespectable man to lead your country. Look, I understand if you’re frustrated by the government dysfunction in Washington and that you may want change. But that doesn’t mean you should latch yourselves onto a wolf in sheep’s clothing who goes against your national ideals. And I know full well this wolf is the man you voted for. So if you berate me for rejecting Trump, don’t call me unpatriotic or a sore loser who won’t accept the election results. Because I do accept the results. But I also accept what Trump’s election means for this country and what it says about the American people. And to call him “not my president” means that I oppose his version of America and everything he stands for. Trump doesn’t represent me or the majority of Americans who voted against him no matter how small the difference. And I will fight him and his government tooth and nail to protect the American values I hold dear which I didn’t abandon on Election Day. I can’t say the same about you. So don’t tell me to embrace or support Trump because we’re one country united. Don’t lecture me about patriotism or values. And don’t ask me to give a chance on an unrespectable man.

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