Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show?
* * *
On Wednesday, November 9th, 2016, the 88th anniversary of Kristallnacht, I awoke at 4 AM with a pounding hangover and puffy eyes. After sifting through the sea of misery that was my Facebook feed for a few hours, I left my apartment to go to work, skipping showering and brushing my teeth. There was a larger-than-normal cluster of homeless men in front of the donut shop—I took their orders and bought them all breakfast, while also purchasing a chocolate and a glazed donut for myself. I’m trying to cut down on my sugar intake, but as far as I was concerned, Wednesday was a cheat day.
There was a beautiful young woman sitting next to the window on MUNI. When the train left Civic Center station, she spontaneously burst into tears.
Five minutes after settling into my chair in front of my desk, one of my colleagues entered my office, stared out my window for an awkward thirty seconds, and then muttered, to nobody in particular, “No words. No words.”
After work, I had dinner with an old friend. He insisted that, for the entire duration of the meal, I tell him about my recent vacation in Colombia. Every time I tried to change the subject, he would ask more questions. “What was the food like? Is it easy to get around without knowing Spanish? Let me see your pictures!” I was more than happy to oblige—it was clear that neither of us had any desire to address the elephant in the room.
Upon arrival home, I immediately logged back into Facebook to catch up on the day’s deluge of angst, anger, and fear. My friends who are not white, or who are LGBT, or Muslim, or women, or some combination thereof, posted articles explaining why they were afraid. White males displayed their recognition of privilege and pledges of solidarity. And many of my friends posted messages attacking Trump’s supporters and Republicans in general. As one friend succinctly put it: “If you voted for Trump, then you are a racist. Period.”
I want to believe that most Republicans are not racist.
* * *
I followed the 2016 presidential contest more closely than I had any election before. The amount of energy I devoted to reading articles about the candidates far eclipsed any interest piqued in the 2008 election, which between Obama and Palin, was the last time I had allowed myself to indulge in extended political obsession. Although the dramatis personae of the 2016 campaign included a very strong supporting cast, featuring the Falstaff Chris Christie, the Iago Ted Cruz, and the Lady Macbeth Hillary Clinton, it was American Caligula Donald Trump who received, by far, the bulk of my attention.
I recall a barbecue in Brooklyn in July, in which we were discussing some of the more comical election-related moments of the recent few weeks. I pointed out how I was flabbergasted by Trump’s supporters. “They’re obsessed with Trump,” I noted. “Dude,” replied my friend. “I’m obsessed with Trump.” And I was too—hell, we all were. We updated HuffPo and WaPo and NYT every three minutes, waiting to read about the next hate-filled, ignorant, or downright stupid sound byte to come out of his pie hole. And mind you, this barbecue occurred before the dawn of the “Grab ‘em by the pussy” era.
And so, for fifteen agonizing months, the Donald was the butt of every liberal joke, the target of every left-wing insult, and instigator of endless decent-person rage. Not just in America—my friends in the U.K. and Europe (I’m getting used to treating those as separate places), Australia, Israel, and Japan contributed their fair share of anti-Don zingers. People in Colombia even wanted to talk to me about Trump, even though my recollections of 7th grade Spanish usually left me nodding incessantly and just repeating “si…si…” with a confused look on my face. I did learn a new word though: pendejo.
Then Donald Trump won the election—there, let’s say it, let’s admit it, let’s acknowledge it, the 45th president of the United States is a former failed steak salesmen who has never held political office and who has an affinity for younger women whom he fathered. We’re all drowning in waves of shock and depression—hell, it took me three days before I could even shower and I’ve eaten nothing but breakfast burritos, chocolate croissants, and Chinese food since he won (okay, admittedly, that’s not too different from my normal diet). And you’d better believe I have a serious Grizzly Adams look going on right now.
Trump’s victory was a huge upset, and now we find ourselves asking, how the hell did it happen? We play the blame game—it was that bitch Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC sabotaging Bernie, who obviously would have smashed Trump. It was the liberal, Jew-controlled media, who gave Trump infinitely more attention than he deserved. It was Nate Silver, for convincing us all that Hillary’s victory was a shoe-in and causing us to become too complacent. It was the lack of education in the Midwest and south that led to a generation of stupid bigots. It was Huffington Post. Honestly, fuck that website.
I blame myself. I sincerely believe that the reason we lost this election is because I and other like-minded people hid in our liberal, coastal elitist bubbles and ignored what was happening in the rest of the country. We refused to acknowledge that Republicans were people worthy of respect, and they eventually got their revenge. I take responsibility because I have lived on this planet for 35 years and, of my 706 Facebook friends, I can name around 5 who identify as Republican and one (1) whom I know voted for Trump.
I’ve been ignoring and avoiding Republicans my whole life, because I’ve been taught (brainwashed?) to believe that Republicans are sleazy, cheating, bigoted, and otherwise immoral. During the election cycle, a number of Republicans had the audacity to point out that, in 1865, 150 years ago, it was the Democrats, and not the Republicans, who opposed the abolition of slavery. Of course, anybody with a rudimentary understanding of U.S. history knows damn well that, since the Civil Rights era in the 1960s, the Republicans have been the party most supportive of racist ideals. But despite that—
I want to believe that most Republicans are not racist.
* * *
My earliest of memory of any sort of cognizance about politics was in 1987, when the hearings against Oliver North were televised and America became wise to the full extent of the Iran-Contra scandal. I was six years old at the time, and I remember my father watching the television, shaking his head, and saying, “Oliver North—what a dummy. North, Reagan, all of the Republicans—what a bunch of dummies.” One strange quirk about my father is that when I was younger, he had a horrible swearing problem (which is why I have such a fucking filthy mouth today, I suppose), but the most scathing insult he could ever bestow upon somebody was calling him or her a “dummy.” He used the term very sparingly. Although he would toss out “fuck” or “shit” or “asshole” or “sonuvabitch” without batting an eye, but it was only when he was overflowing with livid rage to the point of tasting bile in his mouth that he would call somebody the dreaded D-word. When my father called somebody a “dummy,” it was his way of saying that they were a daughter-raping, criminal, immoral, depraved, moronic, son-raping, disgusting, deplorable, imbecilic, cowardly, ugly, father-raping, psychotic, uncouth, immature, intolerable, mother-fucking, titty-sucking two-ball bitch with a ping-pong pussy and a rubber dick.
And this was the earliest term I heard used to describe the fifty percent of the U.S. population who identify as Republicans.
When I was in middle school, there was a program to try to instill some kind of work ethic in students in which they’d encourage us to sell magazine subscriptions, and reward us with “weepuls,” which were essentially collectable colored cotton balls with plastic googly eyes. They came in dozens of types, with different little hats or other accessories.
The “Weepul Man” would stand on stage in the auditorium and thrill us with the bounty of rewards that awaited us if we would excel at bothering our parents and parents’ friends to convince them to buy discounted subscriptions to Readers’ Digest. Weepuls were just the beginning—I think if you sold 20 subscriptions, you got a Sony Walkman. The top saleschild got picked up in a limo and taken to McDonalds.
Each different weepul had a unique name, which was usually a pun based on its accessories. There was one weepul named “Jumbo” who had an elephant’s trunk and ears and a red, white and blue hat. He was one of my favorites, but when I proudly showed my weepul collection to my older sister and her friend, they pointed out that Jumbo was a Republican, and encouraged me to throw him away. I did.
It’s a metaphor, people.
* * *
I rooted for Michael Dukakis because my parents voted for him. I rooted for Bill Clinton because my parents voted for him, although admittedly I kind of liked Ross Perot, because even at 11 years old I could see that the two-party system was problematic. My parents explained that they believed in paying more in taxes in order to fund schools, and that made sense to me. I learned the difference between pro-choice and pro-life and decided that I was the former. In high school, I met a few out-of-the-closet students and teachers, and they seemed fine to me—I didn’t understand why any person would have a dogmatic opposition to homosexuals. I read Atlas Shrugged and disagreed with Ayn Rand more and more with every turn of the page (and I turned A LOT of pages). I decided that I was a Democrat.
I went to an Ivy League university where most of the student body was in the same camp. There’s a memory that sticks out—it’s the day before Election Day in 2000, and at the end of my Literature Humanities class, one student stands up and says, “everybody, don’t forget to vote tomorrow!” The dude sitting next to him turns to him and says, “I will, but I’m not sure you’ll like it…you see, I’m a Republican.” The first guy said, “that’s okay, I’m a Republican too.” They smiled and shared an awkward moment. At the time, I made a joke about how they kind of wanted to kiss, but didn’t know what to do because they were homophobic. But I also realized something then: Republicans were a minority at my school, and they were taught to keep their mouths shut about it.
I don’t remember ever getting into any political debates with Republicans when I was in college. I also don’t recall being very political. I think I went to one meeting of the anti-death penalty student organization but I found the members to be insufferable. I saw John Kerry speak when he came onto campus and wasn’t terribly impressed. I knew I hated George W. Bush, and even more, I knew I detested Dick Cheney. Watching the news of all of the blood that was being shed just so Cheney’s cronies could make more money made me sick. I began associating Republicans with greed and an utter lack of concern for human life. That old joke resonates with me—you know the one. Cheney, Bush, and Rummy are sitting in the war room, planning the invasion of Iraq. Rummy says, “we’re gonna go in and kill a million Iraqis, and one blonde with big tits.” Bush says, “why the blonde with big tits?” Rummy turns to Cheney and says, “see, I told you nobody would care about us killing a million Iraqis.” Ha ha ha?
After college I spent three years teaching English in Japan, in a small area called Toyama. We had a high concentration of English teachers from Indiana and North Carolina, due to the fact that the two largest cities in Toyama were sister cities with Fort Wayne and Durham. Some of the teachers from those states were staunch liberals who were fleeing their conservative homelands. Others were heartland Republicans who, contrary to popular liberal misconception, actually owned passports and were interested in seeing other parts of the world and helping people. When W was re-elected, most of us mourned, and the Republican JETs generally stayed silent. Again, I don’t recall much political debate.
Then I was off to law school at UCLA, which was packed with Democrats hoping to change the world. Some of them did end up doing something like that, which is great—many of us just ended up working for the other side in huge corporate law firms. There were also a few Republicans, who were mainly interested in the money-making aspect of lawyerdom. For the most part they stayed quiet during Constitutional Law class (and they rarely if ever took Criminal Procedure), so we rarely got into any sort of debate on social issues.
Near the end of my first semester 1L year, a classmate informed me that our slated second semester property teacher was a racist who singled out, attacked, and humiliated minority students and made them feel horribly uncomfortable. I was asked to sign a petition requesting a different teacher. The thought of a blatantly racist professor troubled me, so I signed the petition. I would later learn that the impetus for drafting the petition was that this professor had published an article in which he denounced affirmative action, citing empirical evidence that the practice actually hurts black students.
I regret signing the petition. I understand that this particular professor was and continues to be an extremely controversial figure in legal academia, but stating that somebody is not allowed to do their job because they have different political beliefs than you is dangerous, cowardly, and, in my opinion, part of why Trump got elected. His property class was, like all 1L property classes, dry and boring. When I took the bar exam, there was one multiple choice item about the Rule Against Perpetuities, and I just blindly filled in “C” without actually reading the question. I still passed.
[a little inside lawyer joke for ya]
The Sander incident did have one positive effect on my life. Since then, I will never blindly sign a petition until I have thoroughly researched the issue. And to any of my law school friends who are reading this now, grinding your teeth about how this professor is a horrible racist and you felt horribly mistreated every time you walked into his class, I’m happy to be educated.
By the time I graduated from law school, Obama was president and I had 4 or 5 openly (and vocally) Republican friends on Facebook. I have since de-friended three of those people (two whom I know from high school, one from law school) from both Facebook and life, because they made disgustingly racist comments about the country’s first African-American commander-in-chief. In other words, 60-75% of my outspoken Republican “friends” demonstrated to me that they were bigots.
I want to believe that most Republicans are not racist.
* * *
There are two problems:
The first problem is that both political parties have shifted to the right. Bernie Sanders aside, neoliberalism and capitalism in general have essentially become the de facto positions of the Democratic Party, and many of the prominent Democratic politicians have aligned themselves with corporate interests. Republicans, meanwhile, have doubled down on conservative social issues, which include opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, and black people. As a result, about half of my friends who voted for W in 2004 voted for Obama and Hillary (who both would arguably be considered to be moderate Republicans if our loadstar was 1976), and the other half are now identifying as Libertarian.
The second problem is that, in my heart of hearts, I genuinely believe that the Republican stances on most social issues are genuinely immoral. I believe that the pro-life position is injurious to women. I believe banning LGBT people from marrying those they love, or not allowing them to use the restrooms in which they are comfortable, is tantamount to stating that they do not deserve to be treated as human beings. I believe that stating that “all lives matter” makes you ignorant at best, but most likely a fucking racist. I believe that calls for massive deportations of brown-skinned immigrants is an act of cruelty comparable to the Trail of Tears, which would also have devastating effects on our economy without actually providing any “real Americans” (whatever the hell that means) with gainful employment. I believe—no, I know with absolute certainty—that being a Muslim does not make you a terrorist. Republican social positions, combined with Republican economic “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” philosophies, makes me feel like Republicans are the party of being mean.
This one-two punch means that I rarely interact with actual Republicans, and when I do, I quickly run into fundamental disagreements that are impossible to resolve in an amicable manner. Four occasions come to mind in which I (or my friends) have tried (and failed) to understand the other side:
In law school, I briefly dated C. She was beautiful—born in South America and adopted by a family in the U.S. east coast when she was a baby, with caramel skin and deep brown eyes. A classic Los Angeles story, she had initially come to the city to do promotional modeling but was now doing marketing for a video game company. She lived in Marina del Ray and had a puppy chihuahua. When I got my wisdom teeth removed, she came over with the puppy and we watched all three Naked Gun movies, followed by L.A. Story. Little lady, let your mind go and your body will follow.
This was in 2008, and after taking a trip to Nevada to knock on doors for Obama, I became very active in UCLA’s phone campaign for the no on Prop 8 campaign, attempting to preserve the right for same-sex couples to get married. One night, after finishing up my shift at the phones, I met up with C for burgers in West Hollywood, the epicenter of the Los Angeles gay community. The people whom I had called that evening had been extremely supportive of the cause, and I was rather excited telling C about it
“Um,” she said, “I actually think I’m going to vote yes on 8”
“What?!” I was completely flabbergasted.
“Well, you know I’m adopted, right?”
“And because of that, I have a lot of friends who are adopted.”
“And I know some people who were adopted by gay couples, and it didn’t work out so well.”
I paused for a moment, then questioned her logic: “Okay, do you know of any people who were adopted by gay couples where it did work out well?”
“And do you know any people who were adopted by straight couples, where it didn’t work out well?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Then doesn’t it seem that the success of an adoption is dependent on many factors beyond the sexuality of the parents?”
C shook her head. “You just don’t understand because you weren’t adopted.”
She was right, I didn’t understand. We broke up shortly thereafter.
If anybody reading this was adopted and can help me to better understand C’s argument, I’m all ears.
While on an extended lawyering assignment in Tokyo 5 years ago, I flew home for the holidays. P, a brutish-looking, tattooed, white American who looked like a younger, meaner Brock Lesnar, was sitting in the aisle seat, staring across the plane and seething. He turned to me immediately after I sat down next to him. “If I see that Iraqi over there—” he tilted his head to point to a brown-skinned man who could have been descended from any Middle Eastern or South Asian country—“If I see him start to move towards the cockpit, I will not hesitate to immobilize him by any means necessary.”
I attempted to distract P so that he’d stop focusing on the darker-skinned man. Within 30 minutes, he had explained to me that he feels nauseas whenever he sees any “illegals” in his hometown of Vacaville, and how it’s unfair that the “gay communities” don’t have to pay taxes. I inquired as to the genesis of his beliefs on the last point, and he looked at me as if I were insane and said, “because of the loopholes the Democrats put into the tax system.” I then noticed that he had an MMA magazine, and switched the conversation to that.
We ended up talking about MMA for practically the entire 10-hour flight. P was a wrestler and boxer who had spent a month in Tokyo training with some famous sensei, with the hopes of someday making it in the UFC. At the time, MMA was my favorite sport to watch and I followed it somewhat religiously (I have completely stopped watching since then, for unknown reasons—it really is an incredible sport).
The point is that I was able to connect, and even formulate somewhat of a friendship, with P—as long as we avoided any discussion related to politics.
Several of my British friends from my JET Programme days have started a number of fun Facebook groups, like “Sport Chat,” “Film Chat,” “Music Chat,” “Book Chat,” etc. We make recommendations, share funny links, and have light-hearted conversation about these different elements of pop culture. There’s also “Politics Chat,” which for the past year has focused on Brexit and Trump. Of the 20-ish active members of Politics Chat, there is only one who is conservative—let’s call him H.
H is British, and happily gloated about Brexit and the Tory victories. The other members of the group made concerted attacks against him, which only made him more defensive and, as a result, more offensive. He was fighting alone against 19 others—what the hell did we expect? There was a private discussion around banning him from the group. I voiced by dissent, stressing the importance of having at least one opposing viewpoint in our political forum.
After Trump won, H again expressed his pleasure. My fellow members again asked about banning him, and I replied that although I wanted to punch H in the face, I would not want to ban him from expressing his opinion. I quit the politics chat group—not because of H, but because I can’t fucking deal with any of that shit anymore. My friends informed me that after I quit, H was banned. We need conservatives in the group, they noted, but only “good” conservatives, which I suppose means conservatives who are smart and reasonable and willing to capitulate or shut up when pounded by morally and intellectually superior liberal rhetoric.
D is a rather close friend of mine (who is not on Facebook) whom I’ve known for nearly 30 years. I can say without hesitation that I love him dearly. Since I’ve known him, he has always been an unapologetic Republican. Over the course of our friendship, we have engaged in countless political debates. Not once has either of us persuaded the other to change his views—if anything, we have only reinforced each others’ pre-conceived biases against the other side. But through all of these arguments, we have maintained a deep mutual admiration and respect. In recent times, some of D’s arguments have revealed elements of bigotry that are not too subtle, and I have no idea how to respond to them. Since Trump’s victory, I have not reached out to him, and frankly I don’t know when I will be able to do so again.
Soon, I hope.
I want to believe that most Republicans are not racist.
* * *
If you’re on Facebook, there are two links you have undoubtedly seen by now.
The first is this video of an angry British man explaining why we lost. In case the link is not working, you can see it by searching for “This is who to blame for Trump.” Chances are, you’ve already seen it and re-posted it.
The punchline, if you watch to the end, is that the reason Trump won is because we failed to listen to Republicans, to understand their troubles and why they are so angry. I think of my failed attempts to discuss issues with the few conservatives I encountered. I think of how we banished H because he disagreed with us. I notice the sudden uprising of “Secret Groups” on Facebook, which allow liberals to have a safe space in which they can discuss Hillary Clinton without being attacked by conservative trolls. Let that soak in—my liberal brethren who, unlike me, are not blessed with having very few conservative family members, are so exhausted from having to deal with their racist/sexist uncles that they’ve created an artificial way to circumvent such fruitless dialogue. How the hell are the two sides supposed to speak to each other? I can only speak for my side, and I can tell you that it’s damn near impossible to have constructive dialogue with somebody who I think is racist.
The other link I’m sure you’ve seen is a list of tweets by LGBT folks, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, women, and people of color who have been the targets of horrific homophobia, Islamaphobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, and racism in the day or two immediately following Trump’s victory. I refuse to include this link on my blog. Please tell me that these are just anomalies, not representative of the millions upon millions who voted for Trump, because…
I want to believe that most Republicans aren’t racist.
* * *
Where can I find these “good” conservatives? These populists who voted for Trump because they were angry, but would have gladly voted for Bernie. These Republicans who, despite their party affiliation, can be persuaded to vote for the candidate who wears a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt and a hijab while getting an abortion—she got accidentally inseminated by a man she slept with, despite being married to a woman—because despite all that, she believes in small government and self-reliance. Where is that conservative?
We have them in San Francisco—we call them “moderate” Democrats. Despite my rabid “#fuckedlee” diatribes, I have close friends who voted for Scott Wiener, or for Prop Q, or for the death penalty. I have close friends who are less troubled by wealthy members of the tech class displacing long-time San Francisco residents. Don’t get me wrong—we debate, and those debates get heated. And we don’t persuade each other. But we don’t see each other as morally corrupted human beings. And all of those people voted against Trump.
The snooty liberals (like myself) look at the Republican platform of hatred and believe that the right wing is incapable of empathy—that George W’s “compassionate conservative” was as much a lie as the blowhard, inexperienced demagogue claiming that he will “make America great again.” But, from what I understand, those in Trump country find us to be just as lacking in empathy. How can you have empathy when for Trump supporters when you hide in a bubble and never encounter them in the real world, and the only context in which you hear about them is when you see them spray painting swaksticas on synagogues and dressing up in KKK robes. And then we demand the non-racist Republicans to speak out against these people, after getting aggravated at the ridiculousness of demanding that the Muslim community condemn every terrorist attack?
Where are these “good” Republicans? Let’s assume that if one simply ignores (and therefore passively accepts) Trump’s racist and sexist rhetoric and votes based on economic concerns, then he (or she—WTF?) is still “good.” Even under that assumption, do these people exist? I don’t know them, and I don’t know anybody who knows them. I put out the bat call on Facebook asking if any of my friends had gotten any sort of sympathetic responses from their Trump-supporting family members, and the answer was a resounding “no.” But I watched those clips with Van Jones in Gettysburg—he seemed to have found some folks who aren’t racist at all, they’re just looking for a change. Maybe these folks are just not vocal because they’re scared of us PC thugs? Maybe they’re communicating their anti-racist beliefs in Secret Groups?
They must exist. There must be millions of them. The bulk of Bill Clinton’s supporters did not condone his adulterous ways, but still voted for him. I really want to believe that the same is true for Trump’s fans (but replace “adulterous” with the litany of your choice…which should also include “adulterous”). But seeing the way his offensive comments are cheered at his rallies…it’s hard for me.
Without exposure to the “good” Republicans, I’m the rich white, spoiled white kid in Westchester County who only knows of black and brown people as “the help.” I’m the Midwestern farmer who learned everything he knows about Muslims from 9/11. I’m the young schoolboy in Austria in 1932 who has never actually spoken to a Jew, but knows that they remain very secretive in their fenced-off ghettos and sincerely believes that they wear those funny little hats to hide their horns.
And thus, everything I know about Republicans I’ve learned from reading the news about the most prominent figures in the party: Trump of course, Pence, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly (please, please, please tell me she didn’t vote for Trump), Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain (who, you may recall, was the “cool” Republican before he ran for president), Scott Baio, Reince Priebus, Stephen Bannon, Alex fucking Jones, David motherfucking Duke, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush (who was the voice of reason during the Republican primaries—that’s fucking scary), Jim Inhofe, Ben Carson, the Koch brothers…
I want to stop typing this list, because I want to believe that most Republicans aren’t racist, or sexist, or homophobic, or xenophobic, or climate change deniers, or other people whom I never want to fucking see again, and this is not making it easy.
* * *
What if it’s not the “good” Republicans we should be seeking out? What if it’s the desperate ones? As noted above, most of the Republicans I know well are rich Republicans that stand to gain from tax cuts—I have little sympathy for their causes. However, according to TV and a few other credible sources, there are a shit ton of Republicans in middle America who are so poor that they are struggling to get by and don’t have time to worry about the plight of the other—it’s hard to give a fuck about which bathroom a transgendered person is allowed to use when you’re struggling to put food on the table. The chant of “black lives matter” makes little sense when it’s become quite apparent that your life doesn’t matter to people living big cities. When it seems like resources are extremely scarce (because for you, they truly are), it’s hard to stomach those resources being allocated to benefit people who came into the country illegally. And then Hillary Clinton supporters tell you that you don’t have a right to talk about these issues and you should just “check your privilege.” Is it racist if you’re a white guy who is too concerned with survival to care what other people say about minorities?
Having lived a life in affluent urban or suburban areas, going to top-level educational institutions, and working in the technology sector, I’m probably at least three degrees of separation away from any of these people. But they do exist. In large numbers. And I want to believe that they’re not racists—and maybe they wouldn’t be if their lives had more stability.
I hope y’all read this far, because this little bit right here, this is why Trump won.
* * *
I don’t expect or request the non-racist Trump-supporters to apologize for the actions of others or to engage with terrified minorities. I don’t expect or request any meaningful dialogue between Republicans and Democrats—that would be expecting more from others than I seem to be capable of myself. I do request, but don’t expect, the government to help any poor or middle class communities (whether white or otherwise). But here is what, in my humble opinion, we all need to require in order to heal America going forward:
- Every single person who has any sort of interaction with children needs to be held accountable for preventing bullying. When I was in sixth grade, I said some extremely mean things to a classmate and really hurt his feelings and humiliated him. I received swift punishment from my teacher, principal, and parents. I was shamed and felt like shit—and I learned my lesson. Children need to learn from a young age that insulting others is not appropriate—this is fundamental to ensuring that they do not become bigots, regardless of their political affiliation. Melania Trump claims this is going to be her primary initiative as first lady, and if that hold true, I will respect and support her.
- Democrats need to wake the fuck up on the subject of income inequality. How the Republican party, which invented trickle-down economics and the myth of the “Welfare Queen,” managed to convince so many people who are experiencing financial hardship that voting for Trump was the best choice blows me away, but is not surprising at all given our candidate.
- On a similar note as the above two points, liberals need to stop making fun of white people who live in America. No more calling them “white trash,” or “honkeys,” or “cracker-ass motherfuckers.” No more making fun of them for not going to college or for not knowing the different between “your” and “you’re.” No more bashing them for watching Duck Dynasty (which, I’ve learned is not a combination of Duck Tales and Dynasty—although that would be rad).
- Hate crimes need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Trump wants law and order? Let’s start here.
- You need to watch this video. Right now. And I thank you for reading this whole post—it was a fucking doozy.
p.s. As you can tell from this post, I’ve clearly failed when it comes to maintaining a friend base that spans a diverse range of viewpoints. I’m assuming that many people reading are more open-minded than I and know non-racist Republicans (or even identify as such themselves). If that’s the case, can you please just reassure me, and perhaps introduce me? I’d love to talk to these people. In fact, we all should make an effort to open up the lines of communication—it’s the only way we have a chance of avoiding Trump’s re-election.