Trump Supporters Finally Social Distancing ... From Friends, Relatives Who Think They’re Assholes
Donald Trump is a terrible person. This isn't breaking news, but for the past four years, the media has subjected us to an endless barrage of stories where Trump supporters rationalize having voted for the worst president in American history. We're supposed to feel sorry for them, because they are judged harshly for their morally bankrupt choice.
The pity parade continued with a piece in Reuters about how Trump addiction has torn apart families. Mayra Gomez is a supposed “lifelong Democrat" whose son cut her out of his life because she's voting for President Klan Robe.
"He specifically told me, 'You are no longer my mother, because you are voting for Trump'," Gomez, 41, a personal care worker in Milwaukee, told Reuters. Their last conversation was so bitter that she is not sure they can reconcile, even if Trump loses his re-election bid.
People have quit smoking because their loved ones demanded it, and although cigarettes cause cancer, they don't personally put children in cages. The pertinent question isn't why Gomez's son won't accept his mother supporting a racist but why Gomez would prioritize her vote for Trump over her own child. The so-called president might've pulled a Music Man scam on the gullible in 2016, but it's 2020. We know what Trump is. As Nietzsche once said, “What was once merely sick has now become indecent. It's indecent to be a [Trump supporter] today."
"The damage is done. In people's minds, Trump is a monster. It's sad. There are people not talking to me anymore, and I'm not sure that will change," said Gomez, who is a fan of Trump's crackdown on illegal immigrants and handling of the economy.
Look at this lady coming at us with 2016 Trump bumper sticker slogans. Who even cares about “illegal immigration" right now? Besides, Gomez lives in Milwaukee. Is she worried about Canadians stealing our jobs? Trump's supposed “crackdown" of something that was never an actual problem resulted in human rights violations. Trump's maliciously incompetent COVID-19 response is also why the economy's in the crapper. Tax cuts and immunity for businesses that give their employees and customers COVID-19, the only bullet points in the GOP Economic Recovery Plan, won't make the coronavirus go away.
No one's required to maintain personal relationships with idiots, especially if they openly approve of child torture.
Throughout his nearly four-year norm-smashing presidency, Trump has stirred strong emotions among both supporters and opponents. Many of his backers admire his moves to overhaul immigration, his appointment of conservative judges, his willingness to throw convention to the wind and his harsh rhetoric, which they call straight talk.
Beyond restricting abortion rights and kicking LGBTQ Americans in the teeth, can any Trump supporter explain how “conservative judges" improve their own sorry-ass lives? Besides, any random Republican president would've picked this week's special judge from the Federalist Society circular. This isn't a unique service Trump provided.
“Conservative judges" is just the thin filling in an asshole sandwich: Trump supporters like that he's cruel to immigrants and treats their shared “enemies" like garbage. Trump is an inveterate liar who denigrates women and promotes violence against political opponents. That's only “straight talk" if you're just as horrible as he is.
Voting for Trump is a moral choice, and that choice endorses willful ignorance, outright viciousness, and arguably criminally negligent homicide. You are free to make that choice, but you are not free from its consequences.
Gayle McCormick, 77, who separated from her husband William, 81, after he voted for Trump in 2016, said, "I think the legacy of Trump is going to take a long time to recover from."
McCormick made the morally correct choice, and it wasn't without personal sacrifice. I don't mean ditching her husband. He's probably a jerk. No, two of her grandchildren won't speak to her because she voted for Hillary Clinton. That's their choice, but it's important to stress that Clinton and Trump aren't morally equivalent options. McCormick is also estranged from Trump-supporting relatives and former friends.
Former New York Times writer Bari Weiss argued that "politics-as-religion has rotted away at friendships, families and romances," but genuine relationships are based in shared values. The modern Republican Party has no shared values beyond demonizing everyone different and taking joy in their suffering. It's not just Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won't bother passing a stimulus bill this year that could help struggling Americans, but he boasts to cheering crowds about deliberately scheduling Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation on Hillary Clinton's birthday. Pettiness has become policy.
It's fair to mourn for the good person you believe a Fox News-viewing Trump supporter might've been, but ignoring what they've willingly become doesn't help anyone. It's how we got here in the first place.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."