WHEN NOVEMBER 8 ROLLS AROUND, many of my family members will head out to their respective polling locations and cast ballots for Donald “Grab ‘Em by the Pussy” Trump. It causes me great pain and shame to admit this, even though I am not the only liberal in this situation, because voting for Trump means my family is voting against me, my loved ones, and our rights.
Here’s a brief list of people Donald Trump hates:
- Black people
- Hispanic and Latinx people
- LGBTQIA individuals
- Native Americans
- People of size
- People with disabilities
- Poor people
- Prisoners of war
- Victims of sexual assault
I’m six of the people Donald Trump hates, all rolled into one, which means my priority on his presidential to-do list is right below changing the White House drapes. If he’s elected president, my rights and freedoms will go out the window at the first opportunity, because he is the unadulteratedly bigoted candidate the GOP has been waiting 30 years for, whether it knows it or not. Trump’s the guy who will sign whatever asinine bill is put in front of him, so long as it does not affect his bottom line.
Whenever I see an anti-Clinton or pro-Trump post from a family member cross my feed, I wonder: do they know how much his presidency would threaten the existence of entire communities? Do they know that I am a part of those communities? Do they care?
If you’re voting for Trump, here’s what your friends and family want you to know, even if they aren’t saying it.
1. “The Trump Effect” Is Real and Dangerous.
Since the beginning of his campaign, the GOP nominee’s willingness to say what other candidates would only allude to has set him apart. Trump’s unfettered bigotry appealed to a wide base with anti-intellectual, anti-government, and anti-diversity values.
It would be easy to dismiss Trump’s rhetoric as just that — able to fan a deplorable flame, but incapable of starting a wildfire — except for the studies and reports showing the effects of his speeches on children and terrorists. As Trump’s popularity has grown, children from racial, religious, and ethnic minorities have found themselves increasingly targeted by fellow students.
Trump’s speeches have inspired hate crimes directly, particularly against Muslim Americans. Both ISIS and Al Qaeda have used footage of Trump in their recruitment videos, because, as the Terrorism Asymmetrics Project’s Malcolm Nance puts it, his words are “validating the cartoonish view that they tell their operatives… that America is a racist nation, xenophobic, anti-Muslim, and that that’s why you must carry out terrorist attacks against them.”
Trump’s rhetoric won’t change, and the effect it has on bullies — big and small — endangers everyone.
2. Trump Opposes People, Not Policies.
Much has been written about how Trump has flip-flopped on issues important to Republicans, from abortion to health care to immigration. Regardless of whether you believe his changed stances are the result of a religious conversion or just common-sense politics, the fact remains that Trump’s positions — by and large — really haven’t changed all that much.
Yes, earlier this year, Donald Trump made five different statements on abortion rights in three days. But even in Trump’s 1999 interview with NBC’s Tim Russert, in which he calls himself “pro-choice,” the real estate mogul says he “hate[s] the concept of abortion [and] everything it stands for.” That’s just about the nicest way I’ve ever heard of saying you don’t believe in women’s autonomy.
Even when Trump’s positions on the issues appear to vacillate wildly, the driving force behind his opinions — always a form of prejudice — remains the same. He opposes no policies, and has none of his own.
What Trump does have is an intense hatred for all the “right” things, such as immigrants, people of color, women, and the poor. The issues he speaks out on and the platforms he adopts are those with the most overlap among Republican voters. Rather than put forth an original thought or actionable plan, Trump has decided to throw everything against the wall and see what sticks: Build a wall? Check. Overturn the ACA? Check. Roll back marriage equality? Check. Grab them by the pussy? … A rare miss.
3. Trump Is Only Good for Trump.
I’ve talked a lot about how Trump doesn’t care for people like me, but that’s actually a pretty narrow way to word things. In truth, Trump doesn’t care for people who aren’t like him: rich, white, and male.
With a few notable exceptions, the bulk of Trump’s supporters are working- and middle-class whites. More specifically, Trump supporters are largely uneducated, older, conservative Christian men.
Trump has tapped into a base that has been historically duped to vote against their own interests in favor of keeping more marginalized communities from climbing the social ladder. He is using his supporters, and that includes you.