Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

You Bought It, You Own It.

This is for the people who voted for Trump and are now downplaying the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic aspects of his campaign. For the people the news keeps telling us voted for him “in spite of those remarks, not because of them.” For the people distancing themselves from the reports of the behavior of the racists, misogynists, homophobes, and anti-Semites who did vote for Trump and are now emboldened by his victory.

Here’s the deal. None of this stuff was hidden. Maybe you thought it was just rhetoric. Maybe you thought the political process would stop the more extreme ideas before they even got started. Maybe you just didn’t want to take the chance that our next president might send an errant e-mail. Whatever your justification to yourself, you voted for him, and you got the whole package. You can’t just claim the aspects you wanted and ignore the rest; that’s not how it works. You are in part responsible for these people feeling free to express their hate on our streets, because you endorsed and helped elect the candidate who told them it was okay.

But this post isn’t meant to shame you or anything. You’re an adult, you made a decision, and your decision came with consequences. So if you’re really not okay with hate, if you’re privately horrified by the threatening letters, the hateful graffiti, the confrontations in public, you can do something about it. When you see attempts to roll back progress–like the Trump transition team discussing registering Muslims in a database–stand up and say that it’s not acceptable, loudly and often.

Here’s the most important thing, though: take action. Donate to the groups that are specifically fighting hate: the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, and so on. The lists aren’t hard to find. And call your elected representatives. Tell them you don’t want a radical anti-Semite as your next President’s chief counselor. Tell them you don’t want immigrant deportations, minority groups forced to register in a database, gay marriage overturned, Roe v. Wade overturned. Your voice matters, especially if you’re in a red state or represented by a Republican at any level of federal government.

If you really aren’t down with misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, or any of the other hateful philosophies our President-elect and his running mate have endorsed throughout their campaign, do something about it. You bought this presidency. Now own it.

One response to “You Bought It, You Own It.

  1. Sam Serious November 16, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    First of all, I want to make plain that the mere fact Donald Trump wasn’t laughed into irrelevance years ago says unflattering things about society, and that him winning the presidency is nothing short of a national disaster. I do not support that man in any way.

    But nor do I support the claim that people who voted for him are fully responsible for his actions. After all, had Hillary won, would those who voted for her be responsible for her ties to large banks, or her support for damaging trade deals that she withdrew not because she objected to them but because they became politically unpopular? Had she won, would her supporters be tasked with donating to the EFF and the Guardian Project to resist her calls for greater invasive surveillance (for other people’s e-mails, not hers), and moving their money into local credit unions to prove they don’t support the too-big-to-fail banks she got millions from?

    That isn’t to say Hillary’s faults are anything on par with Trump’s; they aren’t. But similar to how many voted for Hillary just to keep Trump out of office, there are many who voted for Trump just because he wasn’t Hillary. To those voters they were both repugnant, just in different ways. And from that perspective it was not a choice of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil. It’s a sad fact of America’s primitive voting system that you often must choose the lesser of two quite repugnant evils, and in those situations it seems very unfair to assign people full responsibility for the evil they detested less.

    I am not trying to defend Trump or the people who supported him in any way. He was a monster unfit for any office and any rational person could see that. But I don’t agree that those who voted for him should be accountable for all of his wrongs, if people who voted for Hillary don’t share the same responsibility.

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