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24 July 2016 @ 10:17 am
when nice people say they’re voting for trump  

Earlier this summer a friend said they were going to vote for Trump.

I turned bright red, I kid you not. Bright bright red. Even I thought it was funny. They said, “I take it you’re a Hillary fan,” and I said, truthfully, that it wasn’t so much that I was pro-Hillary as I was vehemently anti-Trump. (This has changed: I’ve really had to examine my prejudices against Hillary and question how many of them were instilled by 30 years of media telling me she was evil and corrupt, but that’s another post.)

My friend said, “Why?” and I said, “Because Trump thinks that women are things, not people, and if he’s elected President he’s going to be the person appointing at least two, up to probably five, Supreme Court justices, and every right women have will get rolled under. If you think, for example, that there are any circumstances ever under which a woman should be able to have an abortion, you should not vote for Trump.”

(I don’t know if I had the clarity of mind at that moment to actually say “You in fact need to vote for Clinton if you think women are people,” because a vote for a third party in a two-party system isn’t a protest vote, it’s taking support away from whichever major party, whether you like it or not, aligns more closely with your values, hopes and expectations of your country. Which is also another post.)

I asked them why they liked Trump, and they said they liked the sense that he was cutting through the bullshit and saying what he thought and that somebody who wasn’t tied to the political system seemed like they could do a lot of good.

I said I understood that, to a degree, because I *do* understand that it feels like politicians frequently say one thing and do another, and that they’re always very careful about what they say so they aren’t committing to anything, and I *get* that there are millions of lower and middle class white Americans who feel like nobody in Washington is listening to them.

I also said that Trump is a billionaire, he was born a billionaire, he’s going to die a billionaire, and he absolutely does not care about the lives or futures of people who are not billionaires, regardless of the stories he might tell from the pulpit.

I said as somebody for whom the environment is an important topic I thought Trump would literally burn the world down in the name of making a profit for himself and his billionaire friends and that it would do the rest of us no economic good at all. And I said I didn’t have any great hopes for Clinton improving things environmentally but I thought she at least wouldn’t make it worse.

My friend said I’d given them something to think about, and admitted they hadn’t thought beyond the surface of Trump’s presentation. They said that that was on them, it was something they should have done.

I don’t know if I convinced them to vote for Clinton. Obviously I hope I did. But honestly for me what mattered most was that we had a conversation about politics and nobody (especially me, because who are we kidding, I’m prone to this) flew off the handle, and that we both made each other *think* a little bit. And that’s valuable, not just to me personally but to our political system and our future as a whole.

(Ad hominem attacks in comments will not be tolerated.)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Davehowlin_wolf_66 on July 24th, 2016 12:27 pm (UTC)
It's nice to think that maybe it's possible to give food for thought, whilst still being civil. :-)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 24th, 2016 01:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you thank you THANK YOU.

Yeah, Hillary isn't my idea choice either, but better her than Trump. God, better my dog than Trump.
Carlton Maxc_maxx on July 24th, 2016 11:09 pm (UTC)
Hear hear!
joycemocha on July 24th, 2016 03:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I worked on Jerry Brown's campaign in 1992. The howling crazies were just getting their hate screeds started. Even then, something about the things they said reeked of manufactured conspiracy theories. I have problems with Clinton for other reasons--the impact of how their organization yanked the Democratic Party to be a right center party and marginalized left-leaning activists--but I ain't gonna be a party to getting Trump elected.

Wise words.
saare_snowqueensaare_snowqueen on July 24th, 2016 04:42 pm (UTC)
I think we all need to have these kind of lucid discussions again and again and 100 times again, until as many good people realise what a vote for Trump would really mean.

We cannot be silent and we must fight his poisonous rhetoric with logic, honour and dignity.
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on July 24th, 2016 05:09 pm (UTC)
Very well said. I agree with every word.
martianmooncrab: pic#59898509martianmooncrab on July 24th, 2016 05:10 pm (UTC)
I dont see any of Trump's children doing a stint in the military if they love America so much.
Lolaidancewithlife on July 24th, 2016 06:51 pm (UTC)
The more exposed I am to DT the more I think he is likely a clinical narcissist. If true that means that *anything* that doesn't serve his ideas, goals, and sense of self will not only be rejected out of hand, but will turn that person or system into an enemy. He will be capable of *pretending* to a particular presentation for a while to meet his root goals for himself, but as we have seen, when confronted the pretense falls away to become hostility, lies,and/or evasion. This man as president is dangerous to the world, and, unfortunately, a lot of dangerous things are presently coming to pass :-(

And yes, I agree that your presentation to your friend was awesome :-)
Carlton Maxc_maxx on July 24th, 2016 11:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, you're definitely right, thumbs down on the gender issue. While I am strongly against several of Clinton's policy initiatives, she's not a pure loose cannon, and I can trust her around the red phone, unlike some.

All that noise about Benghazi, it was Congress that failed to vote funding for additional security...

Edited at 2016-07-24 11:09 pm (UTC)
jayethirteenthjayethirteenth on July 25th, 2016 06:49 am (UTC)
It's an important time, and your words are wise. So much of this is going to come down to the Swing-states, and I'm hoping you're in one of them speaking these wise words, or that they spread and things start making sense again. Five more months. :)
kitmizkit on July 25th, 2016 07:09 am (UTC)
I vote in Alaska, which generally goes conservative, sadly enough.
jayethirteenthjayethirteenth on July 25th, 2016 07:15 am (UTC)
I'm in NY.... which is the opposite!
Kevenn: Wonder Woman Lynda PTNGkevenn on July 26th, 2016 01:24 pm (UTC)
Well done! I admire what you did and your grace in the way you handled it.