Trumping Trump 

  • Photo by joseph sohm/

OK, I've waited long enough. Let's get into it.

Only three kinds of votes were cast for Donald Trump: stupid, selfish, or both. This logic is easily proved. Believed his lies? Demonstrably stupid (whether uninformed or misinformed). Knew he was lying but voted for him anyway? Stupid again... and likely selfish. A wall-building aficionado? Selfish. Hoping he bitch-slaps China or bombs someone? Dangerously selfish. His business acumen will make your life better? Selfish beyond belief and a special kind of stupid. His racism, misogyny and xenophobia made sense? A sad kind of selfish. Didn't back his hateful rhetoric but knew you'd make a killing in the stock market? His kind of selfish. He wasn't a "liberal elite" (a pejorative conservatives have managed to equate with knowledge and expertise), see point one. A fan of mob violence? Well...

And on it goes. It's an easy post-hoc analytic when any of today's brand of conservative is elected. I turned it into a drinking game — keeping me hammered for the nine dark years of HarperCon rule. If you don't believe selfishness and/or stupidity motivate such voters, look at the divisive policies being promulgated to appeal to "the base" in the leadership race for the Conservative Party of Canada. Almost funny if it weren't so shameful.

This isn't to say some Trump voters didn't have legitimate beefs with the status quo. Certainly the neoliberalist agenda has stolen the future for many on a range of fronts, but that doesn't excuse voting based on personal anger or the hallucinatory premise that an extra $5 a week will somehow improve your lot, with the damning implication of not caring about the effect on others or long-term consequences for all.

Since casting my first ballot at 18, I've wondered why so many vote with their wallets and not their heads. Is it bad parenting and/or poor education? Because when both are functioning, voters are surely better informed, more forward-thinking, impervious to fear-mongering, and concerned with the collective good over their own. And all anthropological evidence points to this "progressive camp" being the way forward for humanity.

As a metric, take post-election behaviour. After "Twitler" (latest Trump meme) was handed an oval-office pass, many Americans were seen sobbing in the streets, shell-shocked, holding and comforting each other. Not because Hillary Clinton lost or they worried for themselves (many did), but because a brighter future was suddenly stolen from everyone, white and black, young and old, gay and straight, Muslim and Christian, citizen of America or any other country. They cried because though we'd all watched a pathetically ignorant demagogue mock a disabled person in front of a crowd, equate a woman's worth with her looks, spout hateful racism, and advocate for war crimes, treason, anti-science and environmental destruction, somehow many were convinced to willingly support his racism, sexism, cruelty and bullying. This, parenting and education had taught them, augered poorly for our ability to work toward a better future.

Trump disgusted them, yes, but that he didn't disgust his supporters was more terrifying, the reason there will be no rapprochement, that they won't be coming together with Trumpkins to "move forward" but instead to personally and collectively resist, as the mayor of New York has voiced, with "moral fortitude."

Let's be clear: had he lost, Trumpkins would not be crying and hugging, seeking solace in the yoga instructors and therapists of America, but instead, fuelled by inchoate anger, spewing their vitriol even harder, waving pitchforks and guns, swastikas and Confederate flags. What does that say?

An opinion by Stephen Troope for CBC News mocked the "elitist" Harvard Medical School's offer of free counselling for employees who wanted support. "It's time for a deep breath," he wrote. "Time to listen a bit more, to stop preaching and denigrating Trump voters."

Bullshit. It's times to ramp it up.

Charles Taylor, writing on willful ignorance in the Boston Globe, noted "... since the (election), in the guise of tolerance and understanding and that most useless of bromides, 'having a dialogue,' we are being told that there should be no shame in not knowing... that Donald Trump was elected by people... sick of being looked down on by liberal elites. The question (those) pushing this narrative have not asked is this: Were the elites, based on the facts, demonstrably right?"

They were, and must now vocally promote these progressive principles. In other words, as another recent meme alludes, if you haven't lost Facebook friends over Trump, it's time to step up your game.

Readers also liked…

Latest in Pique'n Yer Interest

More by Leslie Anthony

© 1994-2020 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation