A year has passed since the election. I’ve been reading lots of think pieces about it this week. I can tell you I’m still mad. I still believe the election was corrupted, and I find it quite impossible to recognize Trump as a legitimate president. I understand he’s the president, I just don’t think he’s legitimate. A few of the articles related to the election that stood out to me this week:
I’ve been speaking with white surpremacists. This one. Woah. The fear. Where does it come from? It’s similar to the protecting-your-family discussion we had a few weeks ago. There’s no data or facts behind the fear. Just fear.
One year on, Donald Trump is still an illegitimate president.
Brave enough to be angry. (NYT)
The Glorious Anger of Female Voters, One Year Later.
The Democratic Party owes black female voters a big ‘thank you.’
My travels in white America – a land of anxiety, division and pockets of pain. A line from this one: “Increasingly, for many white Americans, their racial privilege resides not in positive benefits of work and security but in the sole fact that it could be worse – they could be black or Latino. In other words, their whiteness is all they have left.”
When I think about why I am still angry, it probably boils down to the realization that a Trump presidency has turned out so much worse than I had imagined. With Trump at the helm, America has become more entrenched in our racism, more fearful of refugees, immigrants and anyone we can “other,” and more violent in very real ways.
A year ago today, I wrote this post and made a lot of people mad. I just re-read it and gotta say: I still stand by it. I still believe when I see support for Trump from people I know — people who have good jobs, good community systems, and stable lives — it’s support for racism, division and hate, no matter how unintentional it might be.
On Twitter, I sometimes see tweets from an account called TrumpRegrets. As you can probably guess, the account retweets Trump supporters who express regret for voting for Trump. I have found it interesting over the last year to see what finally changed their minds. In my own life, I know a lot of Trump supporters, and I haven’t heard anyone I know personally express regret for voting for Trump.
If I’m honest, I find it difficult to muster respect for those I know who still respect him. Though not for lack of trying. It seems like I’ve read every book, article and essay in existence on the life and thoughts of Trump supporters. And still, I don’t understand. The essays describe people who live in desperate, forgotten towns. I know that’s real, but the people in my life who support and continue to respect Trump aren’t desperate. They’re well off. They’re successful. They have beautiful lives. So what’s their motivation for supporting such an awful human being? When interacting with the well-to-do Trump supporters in my life these days, at best I can muster passable good manners, at worst, I can muster pity. I imagine, I hope, this is a temporary feeling.
When I try to come up with positive outcomes from the election, I can think of three things. And they are related. First, the election seemed to function as a great-awakening for many of us who had been fairly complacent. I’ve made more calls to my representatives in the last year than I made in my whole lifetime before this. And I’ve been much more diligent about keeping up on the news in general. I know I’m not unusual in this. And I see this wave of intense citizen engagement as a good thing.
Another good thing: the wave of citizen engagement also seems to apply to our kids. I imagine their generation will value voting in a way that my generation has not.
And third, women are fed up. There’s a line in one of the articles I linked to above: “It became clear that you can be the most qualified woman and still lose to the least qualified man.” Something snapped in a lot of women on election night. A whole lot of gross men are falling like flies right now. And the list keeps getting longer. Would that have happened if Hillary had won? I would like to think so, but perhaps we would have stayed complacent, feeling like hey we won the Presidency, so we’ll be content to remain quiet about all the other horrors.
Some of the think pieces I’ve read this week have complained that people like me just need to accept the fact that he’s president and move on with our lives; that we’re whining too much. Certainly, I think that’s nonsense. Of course I’ve accepted that he’s president. I’m brutally aware of it 24 hours a day. And like many others, I spend a good amount of energy trying to prevent him from harming the country I love.
If I didn’t accept that he is president, if I was in denial, my life would look differently. My head would be in the sand, I would mostly ignore the news, I would never discuss politics, I wouldn’t take public stands, I would never call my representatives. If I didn’t accept that he is president, I would pretend my country is going along just fine. I would pretend that all the social and political norms he has destroyed were meaningless. I would pretend that the president isn’t actively trying to tear the country apart.
On social media, many of my liberal friends have kept up the political talk all year long. But many of my conservative friends (not all!) have been really quiet regarding politics. I can’t tell if that’s really real, or if Facebook and Twitter are just editing my feed. I’d love to hear what you’ve observed.
How are you doing? Do you feel the same about the election as you did a year ago? Have your feelings changed? Whether you voted for Trump or Clinton or a 3rd party or wrote someone in or abstained altogether — do you have any regrets? If the same election happened today, would you change your vote? It’s possible I offended too many people last year and they are no longer reading here. But if you are reading, and you didn’t like my post about the election last year, what are your thoughts this year?
278 thoughts on “Yep, I’m Still Angry. How about you?”
Things I have never done before this year: call my senators 5 times a week. Attend a protest. Organize a protest. Visit my senators’ offices. March with a sign. Explore veganism as a way to personally help stop climate change (Watch “Cowspiracy”!) Speak at a press conference. Attend a city council meeting. Meet candidates in person. Make new friends who are as fired up as I am. Give an interview to a TV reporter. In this brutal year, activism is the best salve for me.
I just want to say that this is truly inspiring and a really big deal! That’s a long list of very impressive first actions. You’ve inspired me to do more.
This year has been hard. The one thing that has gotten me through is when I am reminded that I am not alone. So many of us see clearly what is happening.
Thank you, Gabby, for being so open, honest, and articulate about your deep concerns. It matters.
I have some very religious friends who have taken the stance that this stuff is just not to be talked about. I disagree. And honestly, I feel like there’s this overall message right now that protestors and people disgusted with Trump need to try to reach out and understand the Trump voter. I want to see the Trump voter make an effort to understand me.
“I want to see the Trump voter make an effort to understand me.”
Yes. I’m feeling that sometimes too. Why are Trump voters not expected to come to the middle? Especially when Republicans have control of the Senate, the House, the Presidency, and now the Supreme Court too. Where are the articles that help the Trump voters understand people who don’t like Trump?
Mika, no matter which side of the fence you are on this is a staggeringly impressive level of engagement. You are to be commended as you are ‘walking the walk’. If only more people had this level interest and engagement, and possessed themselves of the facts, rather than opinions and became part of the change then this country would be a better place. You are doing a great thing and I hope that just a little of what you do touches others and encourages them to do something. You are a great role model!!
Pity? You can’t respect them? You are the what is the problem with our country. If we can’t respect each other how can we ever find middle ground? I’m done with your blog.
I get where you are coming from because I do think reaching across the aisle to understand others is more critical than ever. I have personally been actively trying to find positive things about the Trump presidency or at least understand what his supporters care about. And I have thought that some media coverage of Trump was stupid. For example, there was media coverage about how he uses ketchup on his steak. Who cares? I don’t think we should bother with that stuff. I get the temptation because that is the kind of stuff Trump himself likes to do to his opponents. But I expect more out of professional journalists.
However, I also get where Gabby is coming from. The deliberate avoidance of facts in Trumpland makes it really challenging to respect some of his supporters. I think the ugliness, racism, and ignorance often spouted by himself and his surrogates does not deserve respect.
But this last year has opened my eyes to the fact that somewhere in all that garage they say, there are real people with concerns that matter to them. I may disagree with them on how things should be but I do think that many of the people themselves deserve some respect.
“I may disagree with them on how things should be but I do think that many of the people themselves deserve some respect.”
I whole heartedly agree with this. And until last year have never found it difficult to respect people I disagree with. And it’s really not about the disagreement. I’m fine to disagree and that doesn’t affect my respect for someone. It’s Trump. How do I respect someone that respects Trump? If they said, “I can’t stand Trump and I disagree with you on all of your politics,” I could still easily respect them. I’m unclear how to get over the Trump factor.
You know, a good start would be to find out why they were mad enough at the previous administration to vote for someone that most of them don’t respect either. I know many who voted for Trump–not because they like him–but because they truly hated what was done in the past 8 years (as well as dislike for the Clinton years). It would take more effort on your part to set Trump aside and get to know what would cause more than half a nation to vote for someone who is obviously crude and less fit for the presidency than any other candidate, but it would be worth your time to pay attention to the needs/concerns/issues that were important to those people.
Sometimes I think hatred of Trump himself is an excuse liberals use to avoid digging deep and finding out WHY he could get to be our President. The real reasons, not the ones the media makes up. The ones where real, honest, good, intelligent people actually disagreed so strongly with the liberals that they voted Trump into office.
I don’t think it’s fair to assume I haven’t done what you suggest. One of the main things I’ve discovered in my conversations, is that many conservative voters who embraced Trump have a deep, bizarre and unfounded hatred of President Obama. They will tell me sincerely that he was thoroughly corrupt — the most corrupt President we’ve ever had. They raise their eyebrows knowingly and tell me he wasn’t born in the U.S.A.. They insist he was out to take their guns, and confess that they couldn’t sleep because of this fear.
But as I’m sure you know, none of that has any basis in reality. So where does that leave me? What should I conclude? And what should I say in response?
I agree that some of those things are unreasonable. However, there were many things President Obama did that left me sleepless at night. While I readily recognize that you will heartily disagree with me on these issues, I think it is worth accepting that people have different life viewpoints. We want to see different things happen in our nation. What one person applauds as progress, others are crying over. Many people were extremely upset over his dismissal of the Defense of Marriage Act. The Socialist side of Obamacare is certainly also relevant. We may not agree as a nation on these issues, but we need to recognize that we are all entitled to our opinions. It’s why we get to vote. Sometimes the number of people whose opinions don’t align with yours will surprise you when the votes come in.
Emme, I’m a bit confused by your comment. I agree that we want to see different things happen and have different life viewpoints. I have no problem with that and I’ve never said otherwise.
Since I was old enough to vote (1992), the president has not been the person I voted for 2/3rds of the time. So most of my adult life, I didn’t vote for the president in office. I am well aware of what it feels like to have a President move in a direction that I don’t agree with, or that seems worrisome to me — I didn’t agree with GWB taking us to war over weapons of mass destruction and finding out later they didn’t exist. I felt like Obama’s use of drones was excessive and didn’t like that either. That’s just part of the experience of being an American citizen.
It sounds like you felt some of that uncomfortableness with Obama, and maybe you hadn’t felt it with GW Bush so maybe it was a new feeling for you? I have no idea. But it’s not a new feeling for me. As I said, I’ve had those kinds of experiences for most of my adult life.
You can compare what you felt with Obama to what I felt with GW Bush. But you can’t compare what you felt with Obama to what I feel with Trump.
Trump is different. He’s not of sound mind. He is dangerous in a way no other president has been. He does not care about our country, he does not care about you or anyone who voted for him. He only cares about himself.
More than half the nation? Sorry, Emme, incorrect. There you go, feeding into the “uneducated” stereotype of the “Trump voter”.
Please, for my benefit, bullet-point what the previous administration did to make it a responsible act to elect the man who has put our country in our current situation. All the comments I ever read in support of Trump, are an ejaculation of anger without substance.
Your divisive use of the umbrella term “liberals” is offensive and reveals your own simplistic and binary understanding of the population. You are a clearly a serial commenter, so it would behoove you to make a more nuanced argument if you’d really like to engage people.
I find your comments a further frightening revelation of the rotten underbelly of our population. Granted, I also sometimes read the comments section at Breitbart, and I’ll admit, at least I can stomach responding to you..
PS. I see now, in reading your additional comments, it’s an issue of “social agenda” and “traditional values”. Got it. You are offended by gay marriage, and don’t want to share the bathroom. Just say that; it will make the conversation so much easier.
PPS Bravo Design Mom for braving this post!
Something a few people have said here is that they want to know why Trump voters didn’t try and understand their perspectives. I have never thought of that. I guess I wouldn’t expect a Trump voter to do that because I don’t think of them as analytical but instead entirely emotional. As I say that, I realize that I might be having more trouble respecting them than I am willing to admit. Also to me, Trump voters are a kind of curiosity. I see their views as very backward and old-fashioned and I thought that segment of society was nearly extinct. I was wrong and have been grappling with that all year.
This comment typifies what many conservatives have been feeling for years: the liberals don’t respect anyone who might disagree with them. Have ye re-read your comment to see how ridiculous it sounds? You honestly believe that half of the nation is beneath you? Or that because they grew up with different values, education, etc., they are not as intelligent or rational?
Here is some food for thought: Conservatives have been watching as liberals pushed a huge, meticulously-constructed social agenda that destroyed both traditional values–that have been the very fabric of our society since the birth of our great nation (and for thousands of years before that as well, I might add)–and capitalism–also the fabric of our democratic republic. For some reason, it is beyond you that we might not want to throw those things out the window to try a new social experiment and see if the nation can succeed? Unravel the tapestry and see how we come out?
We aren’t ignorant. We just place value on different things. I didn’t vote for Trump. But I certainly didn’t want to see Hillary as the President! I know many people who DID vote for Trump–none of them like him. They just hated what our nation was being pushed into by a liberal government, so they were willing to make a drastic change.
Emme, I know you were responding to B. But if you don’t mind, I’m interested in hearing more about what you mentioned in your second paragraph about the “meticulously-constructed social agenda that destroyed both traditional values and capitalism.”
When you say traditional values and capitalism have been “destroyed by liberals,” I don’t know what you mean. From where I stand, I can see traditional values are alive and well in our country. Our fellow citizens love their families and communities, they want to help others, they work hard, they’re inclusive and want to make people feel welcome, they try to be healthy, they’re generous, many are church goers (or people looking to connect with a higher power). And as a small business owner, I know capitalism is also alive and well.
I don’t think liberals are out to destroy the country. And I don’t think conservatives are either. (The only person trying to do that is Trump. And I suppose Bannon too.) Could we come to an agreement that conservatives aren’t “backwards and old fashioned” and liberals aren’t trying to “destroy traditional values and capitalism?”
I think we could come to that agreement. But since this entire post is about how you can’t cope with Trump and can’t possibly respect his supporters, let me just try to illustrate this in a different way. You are trying to prove to me that in your world, traditional values and capitalism are alive and well… (even though some of Obama’s policies rocked those same things in my world)… yet you can’t figure out how you could possibly respect a Trump supporter.
In your own example you mentioned citizens loving their families and communities and being inclusive… like Texas, for example. With the onslaught of the hurricane, all of those Trump supporters banded together to help those who had been affected so terribly. You can’t respect those people simply because they support ONE person? Those selfless, giving people who acted as wonderful neighbors to people they often didn’t know in their time of need… you can’t respect or understand them?
I think the problem is that we all need to look PAST Trump. HE isn’t necessarily what people were voting for (as backward as that sounds, given the obvious). People wanted something that was NOT Obama and NOT Hillary. Trump certainly is everything they are not–both in good ways and terrible ways. Maybe it would help if liberals stopped saying they can’t respect Trump SUPPORTERS and tried to truly understand who they are. They are the people who showed up to dig the mud out of houses for days in Texas.
Your examples pointed out how, despite Obama’s policies, many things remain the same. First and foremost: Americans are great. We care about our country and the people around us and throughout the world. That didn’t change just because people voted for Trump. Maybe that is what you should focus on!
Emme, as far as your flood example goes, couldn’t I give you basically an identical one but with fires? Just 40 minutes north of where I’m sitting right now fires decimated whole towns and neighborhoods. Literally burnt them to the ground. And all those liberals here in California have come together to help. To host families who need a place to stay. To rebuild schools and homes. To search the wreckage for anything salvageable. And you’re convinced all those good people have a “meticulously-constructed social agenda that destroyed traditional values, the very fabric of our society, and capitalism?”
I think it’s wonderful that Americans come together to help in times of need. And I think we should both note that in recent natural disasters, it wasn’t just Trump supporters who were helping in Texas, and it wasn’t just Liberals who were helping in California. Everybody helped. Everybody. Which is awesome.
If you told me a Trump supporter spent hours digging out mud from the home of a Muslim American who lives in Texas, I would say that’s wonderful! I’m so glad! What a good thing to do! If you then told me that same Trump supporter posts anti-Muslim crap on Facebook and thinks the Muslim ban is the greatest thing ever, I would say that’s really awful, racist behavior.
People are complex beings. It’s possible to support racism, while also being willing to help your neighbors.
Having your behavior or beliefs called out as racist is not the worst thing in the world. I’m called racist every single time I host a race discussion here or on social media. And for sure I’m still holding on to racist views or ideas and don’t even recognize it. I mean I grew up in America. We’re all racist. The difference is, when my racism is pointed out to me, I try hard to recognize it and correct it. And I don’t actively or knowingly support racist leaders and racist policies.
When you suggest that people wanted something that was NOT Obama and NOT Hillary, that’s fine with me. People don’t need to want those. But they hated those options so badly they were willing to embrace Trump? And a year later still embrace him? I remain mystified.
I recognize all of those things–see my last paragraph. We have good PEOPLE in our nation–both liberals and conservatives. We voted for different people for many different reasons. It is ridiculous to disrespect thousands of people you don’t know because they voted for someone and you don’t know or understand their reasons. (And as I mentioned, I didn’t support Trump. I don’t think he embodies the class or virtue a president ought to have. I’m simply commenting because I think I can understand many of the reasons he was supported by others.)
Well, as I wrote, it’s not for lack of trying. I mean Trump is as gross as Harvey Weinstein, and no one expects me to respect Weinstein or Weinstein’s defenders. If you’re up for continuing the conversation, I’m curious what you feel conservative voters or Trump supporters are doing to help us find a middle ground?
On the Harvey Weinstein thing, how are so many horrified by this behavior and speak out but Trump gets a free pass?! Trump literally said he sexually assaulted woman and yet his followers can conveniently ignore that fact and dismiss it as “locker room talk”. Give me a break. This ability to either ignore his disgusting behavior or simply not care is one reason I have such a hard time “reaching across the aisle” to his supporters.
Gabi, I read your blog to gain insight into alternative perspectives. These comments are deeply compelling and informative. Thank you.
Emme, I live in Texas and was affected by Harvey. Your assumption that all of the rescuers were “Trump supporters” is false and ignorant.
As a civilized people, we give respect when we first meet someone. That respect can be developed and fostered, or it can be destroyed. I understand completely what Gabbie says that she finds it difficult to respect those who respect Trump.
Everything Trump has done has been destructive, divisive, and hateful. It is difficult to respect those who support this viewpoint/ideology. We can differ about politics – but Trump’s positions are always about politics. He fosters hate-mongering. He supports kleptocracy. He demonstrates a proud adherence to the goal of dismantling our democracy. His election was a sad day, but everything he has done since then has been worse.
So, yes, I also find it difficult to respect those who support Trump.
I live in a liberal-leaning area, so I don’t know many people who voted for him. However, two of my white, male, privileged co-workers voted for him. Their only reason for voting for him was that they didn’t trust Hillary. They both expressed that they could not stand to vote for her, so they voted for Trump. These are college-educated (both with graduate degrees) men who have positions of power and influence (we are all lawyers).
I still can’t grasp their reasons. And, I lost my respect for these men.
Typo – I meant to say “Trump’s positions aren’t always about politics.”
There’s no middle ground for me to find with those who believe that poor people should die instead of receive adequate medical care, that brown people should be imprisoned or forced to leave the country, that it’s okay for men to rape children as long as they’re Republican Senators from the South, or that women shouldn’t have control over their own bodies. This isn’t a polite disagreement between friends, this is legit a battle between good and evil. There’s no middle ground here, only VERY clear right and wrong.
I am still angry, too, and your words from last November absolutely hold up.
I did not vote for Trump and I do not think he is accomplishing anything good. However, my anger has turned to deep, deep sadness for the country and people I love. I have always voted, contacted legislators, attended city meetings, but am saddened that so many can not disagree without using hate-no longer does it feel like we are a country of “can do” problem solvers. I am saddened by the number of “leaders” that Trump has appointed who are so extremely wealthy and no concern, understanding or charity towards majority of American citizens. Where are the representatives who will listen to citizens without deep pockets to contribute? Where are the problem solvers? I have never used CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance) program, but the idea that it is ending shows we lack charity even towards our most vulnerable. It felt like as a country in the sixties and seventies that we were trying to address racism, but no longer. I continue to be involved, but often I can not find words to express my sadness.
Still angry (and sad) here too…
I love Trump. I’m thrilled he is our president. And based on his electoral landslide, many people around the country agree with me. I do know how you feel though. I was angry for 8 years when Obama was president. I believe he is the most corrupt president in this country’s history and it just made me sick that he was the leader of our country. I know you don’t like to be contradicted. You blocked me on Instagram because I disagreed with you on abortion. I’m just surprised someone whose business relies on having many followers would choose to alienate such a large demographic of people.
I didn’t block you for disagreeing with me about abortion. It’s obvious from the comment sections of my posts that lots of people disagree with me a lot of the time, and I have no problem with that. You were blocked on Instagram because you were being a jerk. If you can’t express your opinion without being a jerk, it’s best not to participate in Design Mom comment sections.
I didn’t vote for Obama the second time around, and I would have voted for Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush or maybe even Ted Cruz this last time around. I consider myself a moderate. But Trump is the most corrupt, childish, disgusting President in my life time-and how anyone can think he deserves to lead our country is still mind boggling to me a year later.
It’s an insult to children to call Trump childish. Children want to learn and explore and emulate the wiser and more mature people around them. Children can be selfish and impulsive and rude, but I’ve seen a heck of a lot more growth in my preschoolers this past year than I have in our president.
I also consider Trump’s presidency illegitimate because of the interference from Russia that tipped it. I like to believe my own fellow citizens couldn’t have been duped into electing him fairly, though I have very close family members that voted for him (and not the down-and-out rural white voters we always hear about), and some of them stand by him because they say he’s cutting a lot of regulations and protecting the interests of wealthy people (though they aren’t sold on the new tax plan).
Wow. I have followed your blog from the beginning and always loved it. But the anger and bitterness toward those that disagree with you is getting old. I left one short, respectful comment about my feelings on abortion and was blocked. I don’t think anyone would have read my comment and thought I was being a jerk.
Jessica, I admit, I have no memory of what you wrote on Instagram. Perhaps you weren’t a jerk at all and I got it wrong. I just know that it takes a whole lot for me to block someone on Instagram. I don’t block casually and I rarely, rarely, rarely delete a comment.
Jessica, I am sincerely curious about what made Obama the “most corrupt” president. Please share your thoughts.
I want to hear the same! There are so many countless comments here calling Obama corrupt. Please, Jessica, outline that corruption for me here. I am ready to read your concerns of corruption and fact check so I can try to see your point of view.
You seem to feel very strongly about this and so you must have proof informing your opinion?
I agree with Jessica. I’ll miss Design Mom, but if other readers who are the least bit conservative feel the same as we do about her dismissal of our beliefs and choices, and choose to frequent blogs which can respect the way they voted- about half the readership is gone. We made our heartfelt choices, and I guess Gabi is making hers.
I felt I was clear in last year’s post that I couldn’t respect votes for Trump. I take it that post didn’t bother you, but this one does. I’m curious what the difference is for you?
The difference is that I thought you were posting that in the immediate aftermath of losing, and I remembered how I felt in the previous two elections and so I felt compassion. But as time went by after our conservative losses, I had tried to reconcile myself with those losses and attempted to move on and see what positives there were and to hope for the future.
I get that. I think in this case I would see it as a false equivalency. If we were talking about a past republican candidate, say Mitt Romney, I wouldn’t have any issues. I may not have voted for him, but I wouldn’t have been troubled at all if he had won. I would have had no reason to write last year’s post, and I can’t imagine I would have written today’s post either. I’ve gone back and forth over the years voting for both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates — as long as they are in the normal-decent-public-servant category, I’m okay. In fact, my preferred presidential candidate has lost on most election years and it’s never been an issue for me.
But Trump isn’t like Mitt Romney. Not even close. So I don’t think anyone should be surprised that those of us who didn’t vote for him haven’t moved on.
Enjoy your echo chamber, I’ve heard it’s a very comfortable place to exist.
I’m with you, Barb. I too will miss reading Design Mom. Gabi is an intelligent and incredibly creative woman, but I feel alienated by posts like this that make sweeping generalizations of Trump supporters like myself as being racist and hateful people. To assume that about those who voted for Trump is an incredibly arrogant thing to say. I’ve not ever made any assumptions like this about those who voted for Clinton last year. I respect Gabi’s personal political convictions. But I don’t want to continue reading a blog that tells me what kind of person I am based on who I voted for.
Lettie, I’ve been taught (and believe) that when someone does something evil or hateful, and those who observe it are silent, then that equals support and complicity (even if they don’t mean it to). Silence supports the status quo. Do you disagree?
No doubt you already understand this, but the way that translates here is: Do you object to Trump’s racist policies? Do you fight against them? Do you use your voice or take action? If yes, then that’s wonderful and I’m sure everyone who knows you can see you are not racist. If you don’t object and remain silent, then why wouldn’t your fellow citizens assume you are totally on board with Trump’s racism?
What’s your take on that train of thought? How do you see it?
I absolutely agree: silence supports the status quo. Which is why I chose to speak up here in the comments.
Your question of whether or not I’m voicing opposition to what you believe to be Trump’s racist policies appears to me to be a loaded question and is based on what your perception of what racism is. It also assumes that, if I should support any of these policies that you consider to be racist, then it’s safe to say I’m simply a hateful human. What if I should have other legitimate reasons for supporting policies that I don’t consider to be racist and don’t believe are fueled by racism?
Lettie, you’re right. We may be talking past each other if we don’t agree on what racism is. And if you don’t find Trump and his policies racist, then it sounds like we do indeed disagree on what racism is.
I have a nephew who is a conservative thinker (he’s a grown nephew, a lawyer in his early 30’s). He’s disgusted by Trump and doesn’t consider him to be a true conservative. But despite his disgust, my nephew wrote an essay where he gave his own definition of racism and then argued that Trump isn’t racist. I thought the essay was a load of bunk. In large part because my upper middle class nephew who has never experienced racism, virtually never interacts with people of color, and who lives a life that is the very description of white privilege — down to getting a job at his father’s firm — is really in no position to define what racism is.
Maybe you’re in a great position to define racism. I don’t know, because I don’t know you. I’m not someone who has experienced racism personally, so over the years I’ve learned about it by reading and by listening to the people in my life who experience racism daily. If they say something or someone is racist, I believe them. (And yes, they believe Trump and his policies are racist.)
It sounds like you have a definition of racism that does not include Trump.
I am curious, why do you like Trump and his policies? I would love to hear specifics.
What about Obama was corrupt? I’m genuinely curious.
I also find it odd you accuse Obama of being corrupt but give Trump a free pass.
I’m curious why you think Obama was the most corrupt president in this country’s history.
What lead to you to believe that Obama was corrupt? I see him as one of the most selfless public servants in modern American history. My family includes both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, and while we may differ on political ideology (i.e., taxes, health care, abortion rights, etc.), everyone generally agrees that Obama was a good and decent person.
I cannot recall any time in modern American history where the President of the United States has been so vocally racist, sexist, misogynistic, and hateful.
It’s not just me. My very, very conservative, Catholic, Republican mother-in-law cannot stand him. She finds everything he says offensive and disgusting. She’s a retired pediatric nurse and she’s heart-broken over his attempts to dismantle children’s health care. My very, very conservative, Catholic, Republican father-in-law finds him disgusting. He’s a 70-year old diary farmer and relies on immigrant labor to run their small farm, and has seen the first-hand effect of Trump’s hateful speech toward immigrants – he can no longer find legal immigrant labor because of workers are fearful to travel for work. It’s one of the few things my in-laws and I agree on.
Clarification – my in-laws cannot stand Trump.
Mrs A: Thank you for your two very well-worded comments. I too am just dumbfounded at how insane this all is. And more flabbergasted that people can think the times are just fine and dandy. A year later, I’m so upset that I have a very difficult time putting my thoughts into coherent words. One theory that has resonated with me is the “last hurrah”. Human nature is extremely resistant to change. And boy are things changing rapidly now in so many, many societal areas. I believe the vote for Trump is a last ditch effort to stop the tide of change. But like any massive tidal wave, that’s unavoidable in the long term.
And a million thank you’s to Gabby for not hiding from the hard topic
“And more flabbergasted that people can think the times are just fine and dandy.”
Yes. This. To me, you could only think this if you haven’t accepted that Trump is the president, or refuse to acknowledge what that means.
I am very interested in learning why and how you came to believe that Obama is the most corrupt president in this country’s history. No anger and animosity here. Just respectfully looking for examples for your rationale. I do not want to negate your feelings, I just want to learn. Thank you.
Ah the electoral landslide. Let’s remember the popular vote too! Mrs. Clinton won that by 2.9 million votes!
Can you please inform me- what was corrupt about Obama?
We have a president in office who has tweeted about pardoning himself if found guilty. How is that not more corrupt than any other president we have had in the history of this country?
I wonder if, in some cases, “corrupt” is a euphemism for “black”.
I understand (though I don’t agree) with those who disliked Obama’s legislation on same-sex marriage and gay rights because of their religious beliefs, and kind of understand those who think his approach to health care was too socialist, but neither of those policies, in my mind, can be described as ‘corrupt’. I’d argue that they improved the lives of many Americans, and I’d have difficulty saying the same thing about any of Trump’s actions so far.
I agree, Sue.
YES. I do not understand the hatred of Obama unless it was because he’s black. I, like Gabi, rarely had “my” president elected, and even when he was, I was often critical. But I never ever felt hopeless by the actions of the person in charge. I have never been this embarrassed.
I’m very curious–what makes you feel that Obama is “the most corrupt president in this country’s history”? Do you have actual evidence and examples you can point to or is this just a feeling? Because I have some feelings about Trump’s corruption but they’re backed up by an ongoing federal investigation.
They have no evidence because there is no evidence. It’s coded racism.
Jessica, can you please elaborate specifically on how Obama was corrupt? People keep writing about how he was the worst president we’ve ever had, but with no specifics. I’m trying to understand where you are coming from and what makes you think so poorly of Obama. I’m really trying to understand the other “point of view”.
I’d also like for Trump supporters to give specifics on how he (and his administration) is making their lives better, and, by extension, the country better. I’d really and truly like to hear details not just slogans about making us great again or putting America first. I want to understand how he is making our lives better. Here’s your chance to educate those of us who can’t understand these things.
“Electoral landslide”? His electoral college victory ranks 46th out of 58 elections. How can that be characterized as a landslide? And my god, I don’t think another president has ever mentioned their ‘landslide’ victory as many times or for as long as Trump has. He lives in alternate reality.
Fascinating. Many, many polite requests for anyone to explain why they thought Obama was corrupt, and yet… crickets. Nothing. Nada. Bupkis! This is amazing to me. People like to throw around phrases like “most corrupt ever” and then the second they’re asked to provide one shred of data to back it up, they fold like a cheap suit. You’ve got nothing, and yet, I’m quite certain you’re going to continue to use your “most corrupt ever” claim as often as you can. It’s shameful. How can you so strenuously argue something in the absence of any facts whatsoever? Did you just decide to believe it because you want it to be true? It’s this kind of nasty posturing that drove me from the Republican party. I’m so disgusted.
You read my mind, Allison!
I voted third party for the first time ever last year, and found that the Presidential election caused me to consider my views more critically than in the past. However, I disagree that Mrs. Clinton was the best female candidate (although she may have been up against the worst male one). The recent headlines about corruption within the DNC remind us of that. I hesistate to feel pity for either side here. Pity is for those who are less than us, and that is a dangerous position to take, People can no longer hear one another and fail to see any overlap in the other side – if the “what” is the same, the “how” is just too different. If activism and a throwing off of apathy are the results of Trump’s election, flawed or not, then maybe it was worth it.
The quote is that she was the most qualified (not the best). Personally, I think she was both, but I know not everyone agrees. Just as an FYI, the recent headlines of corruption in the DNC were reported false the following day.
Still angry, still sick. Still terrified that he’ll use a nuclear war to distract attention.
And I have only one thing to say to those who still support him: either you are a racist, or you are willing to use one to advance your agenda. I have no respect for either. I feel about you exactly as I felt about those who supported George Wallace–and at least he repented in his old age.
To make it very clear, although I am a lifelong Democrat, if you voted for Romney, or McCain, either Bush, or even Nixon, we can still be friends. We can still argue. We can agree to disagree. I would have voted for Richard Lugar if he had not been primaried; I rarely agreed with him, but I respected him.
If you’ve ever wondered, it’s been said, what you would have done in Nazi Germany: it’s what you’re doing right now.
I will not be a good German.
Well said! I too will not be a good German.
Sorry, a German here. We are on the same sides: sad about Trump, sad about our own right-wingers here. Don’t believe wer are the same like the Germans in the 1930s or 1940s. In fact, my grandfathers were strongly opposed Christians, pacifists and strictly against Hitler – and were hard punished.
It hurts if you assume German = German.
I commend you for speaking out when I’m sure it would be easier to stay quiet on a platform such as this. I don’t feel anger as much as disbelief and sadness for our country and the dreamers in it, the people of color, the disabled, the people with preexisting conditions. The election on Tuesday didn’t change much in my small town but I felt hopeful for the first time in awhile that there are a lot of good people out there helping to make a difference and maybe we can. Trump may have won the battle but he will surely lose the war.
You can win an election, but you have to earn respect, and while I respect differences of opinion, I can’t respect ignorance, ineptitude, cruelty, greed, selfishness or moral cowardice — the values embodied by Trump.
I was gutted after the election, but this year has been toxic for our country, worse than I imagined. I never could have imagined I’d hear a US President call neo-Nazis “good people.” Trump has not been able to muster even the barest semblance of dignified leadership when it matters — from Charlottesville to attacking a grieving widow to ignoring the terrible crisis in Puerto Rico (the list is too long: detaining a 10-year-old after a medical procedure, banning transgender troops, the cabinet of horrors he has assembled, the irresponsible tweeting, the endless golfing).
I sincerely do not understand how a reasonable person can look at this president and think he is doing an acceptable job.
I also am completely dumbfounded by those who love Trump. He is an embarrassment to the United States. The ability of his followers to completely discount and ignore or blame the liberal left for his lies is something I will never understand. I think there are two camps of followers: Those that are racist and those that don’t care what he does (sexual assault, racism, lying, collusion with Russia) as long as their own priorities are met (taxes, healthcare, etc.)
The Republicans in Congress I see lie on a daily basis make me as sick as Trump. You want to support Trump? Fine. But I’d have a lot more respect for you if you called a spade a spade.
He really is embarrassing. He’s giving our country’s longstanding leadership role in the world to China.
A lot of people who are extremely racist sincerely do not think of themselves as racist at all. But here are some good questions to think about:
Do you think everything you’ve accumulated in your life is from your own merit, while other (black/immigrant) people often sit back and benefit from your labor?
Are you afraid of black people? Do you think Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization? Why?
Do you think black-on-black crime and their violent tendencies drive our homicide rate, more than inadequate gun control?
Did you choose a white school for your kids? Did you choose a white neighborhood for your family? Why?
Do you think Obama was born in Kenya? Do you think he’s a secret Muslim?
My conservative family members absolutely do not consider themselves racist, don’t use racial epithets, and even have fond acquaintances of other races, but all of the questions above reflect their views. I didn’t think of it as such, but I was raised in an extremely racist family and community, and it has taken years (actually, it’s ongoing), to try to unwind all of it in my head and examine my life.
Oh, that is a great list of questions. I’m saving this for later use. Thank you!
Amen to this post. Sad and tiring times.
When I was a newly registered and young voter, I registered as a democrat thinking that their party was the only caring party. When I grew older and more focused on my faith in God, I left the democratic party and registered as a republican (thinking this route was more in line morally with the Bible). Although I now see how each has had something to offer, but neither gets it right totally.
For the past decade or more, the cracks have deeply shown in both parties and I have contemplated leaving either party. Then when I saw the party of Lincoln become the disturbing, divisive and overwhelmingly amoral party of Trump, I knew it was time for me to go, and I registered independent before the election even took place. I did not want to be counted with those who blindly backed such persons such as Trump all in the name of political power.
I have had at least one friend who was a trump voter express regrets. Internally, it is VERY difficult to see how this (or any) person could not see what and who he and his agenda was and is from the beginning, but really we all need to give each other space to be wrong. I am not going to chastise someone for seeing the light; living in the truth is a very good place to be.
On that note, anyone who can’t engage in a discussion with someone they disagree without throwing insults or tantrums needs to examine themselves. Christians especially need to be asking, “Am I wanting to be refined to righteousness or do I just want to be ‘right.'” God is not a weapon at our disposal. I have learned so much from those I do not agree with; I am thankful for the dialogue. That doesn’t mean I end up agreeing with their position, it just means that I can see them as fully human just like me and have compassion and respect for them as a person. I hope they can see that in me as well.
I find a lot of beauty and love in your comment. Thank you. And I agree that “we all need to give each other space to be wrong.”
“Am I wanting to be refined to righteousness or do I just want to be ‘right'”
You just so well summarized my thoughts and experience with this election. I’m also a registered republican but wrestled with this election, nearly didn’t vote and then voted third party. I stand by my vote. I used to believe that conservative was Christian but I have learned that neither party is wholly correct or holy. And I am thankful for that. I think I will always wrestle with my vote from here on out rather than easily checking a box. This election deepened my faith. It made me realize that I will never fully agree with one side or the other and to be glad for that. It opened me to real discussion with others who I would’ve avoided in the past because I was wanting to be right rather than refined to righteousness. I am also thankful for the dialogue that has opened up over the past year and the efforts I see (most) everywhere to understand one another – to acknowledge and discuss our point of view not because we want to be right or we want to agree but because we truly want to see each other.
April, I loved this. Especially “living in the truth is a very good place to be.”
That is what bothers me SO DEEPLY about Trump, almost more than his predatory sexual habits. He has a complete disregard for TRUTH. Truth is categorized as “fake news” and lies are presented as reality.
It makes me crazy.
Gabby, thank you for your courage and honesty. I’m here to stay.
I echo everything you’ve said here, Nora B, including that I’m here to stay.
Gabby, I love that you use your platform to encourage difficult discussions and no small amount of soul searching.
Nora and Amy, Thank you for the kind words.
Amen to everything you wrote, and thank you for speaking up so clearly. I am sickened as I watch our country devolve into increasing chaos, fear, and inequity. Many members of my (conservative Mormon) family voted for Trump and STILL support him, which blows my mind, because his actions absolutely don’t align with their stated values. I just can’t comprehend their support for him, and I have struggled all year with how to have a relationship with family members that I can no longer respect . Like you said, no one expects us to respect or defend Weinstein, and Trump is just as depraved…and has so much more power. It’s a dark place to be.
Thank you for your voice on this. It is hard to respect people that support racism, xenophobia, bigotry, revisionist history or disregard for history all together, misogyny, etc. etc. One can have real issues that need to be resolved without scapegoating their problems on someone else. That is unfortunately what I see having been exacerbated. The same people who said that African Americans, Latinos, or anyone who could use Affirmative Action should be responsible for their own lives also want to blame those not like them for the problems in theirs. Let’s hope that the awakening we saw on Tuesday will continue. If you look at all the polls (yes, I know, polls…), our country is much more socially liberal than our elected officials represent. Maybe we can get back to the days when conservatives and liberals worked together to find the middle way (with a personal hope that it leans left).
I’ll say it again…………………I look forward to seeing you run for office some day in the future. We will all be better for it. You contribute so much on this blog, but the larger community needs you too.
I just came from a lunch where I met Ben McAdams who is running for a U.S. House seat in Utah. He’s one of the few elected Democrats in Utah right now and works as the Mayor of Salt Lake County.
I was really impressed. He’s a pragmatic problem-solver and he’s worked miracles making bipartisan legislation happen in Utah. (It’s so heavily Republican there, that any elected Democrat better be really good at working for bipartisan solutions, and he is.) He’s a centrist in his thinking and politics, and I liked what he had to say.
At the end of the lunch, as people were chit chatting, he mentioned that he’d been told he and his wife would both wish they hadn’t been born by the end of the election — because they’ll be raked over the coals so mercilessly.
Hearing that was a punch in the gut. It takes a brave soul to run for office these days. I don’t know if I have it in me.
I voted for Hillary and I’m still proud of that vote. This past year has left me very tired. Like you, the Trump presidency has been even worse than I feared. It’s hard to keep track of the racist statements, the scandals, the sensational news headlines, the tragedies. I do not think our President wants the best for our country – I think he mostly cares about himself and maybe his friends and family. He has shown his true colors over and over again and they have not changed. I feel a little bit hopeful by some of the election results this past week. It has been hard to stay engaged after 12 months of this – some days I do want to bury my head in the sand and sometimes I do take a few days off from the news headlines for my own sanity. But overall I’m still more engaged than I used to be and I hope to continue that this next year. As always, I appreciate your willingness to tackle hard topics and your honesty.
So brave to stand up and state your feelings. Thank you! Speak your mind. If a few people cannot handle that, let them go. I for one LOVE your blog!
Interesting to see how sensitive people are being about you stating your feelings – Trump lashes out publicly at anyone who disagrees with him on a regular basis and still these individuals support him and his presidency. So confused!
My most shocking discovery in the last year is that there are people who have, in my opinion, terrible ideals; who support Trump as a person and support hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism and more. I am a little embarrassed to say I didn’t quite realize before last year that there were so many people around me like that. I had the naive assumption that most people, I realize not all, follow the rules of preschool: share, be kind, be gentle, listen, think of others, don’t hurt people’s feelings, everyone gets a turn, respect everyone and everyone is a friend.
“I had the naive assumption that most people, I realize not all, follow the rules of preschool: share, be kind, be gentle, listen, think of others, don’t hurt people’s feelings, everyone gets a turn, respect everyone and everyone is a friend.”
I feel you. And I relate.
Interestingly, during the hurricanes, floods, and fires this year, I feel like we’ve seen a lot of the basic goodness we assume is in our fellow citizens. I wouldn’t wish a natural disaster on anyone, but I’m grateful that I could witness people responding with kindness and generosity (no matter their political persuasion).
This. Everything you wrote, is exactly. how. I. feel. I grew up a privileged (not at all wealthy) non-minority, and there was never a day growing up that it wasn’t expected I would go on to college, find a good job, etc. and be fully supported by my loved ones in any struggles along the way.
How blind I was to never really realized how much of a gift I had been given that had absolutely nothing to do with my contributions, or worth as a human being, until the last ~7 years or so, especially poignant to me these last 3. And I can’t help but feel rage at those similar to my background that don’t acknowledge this, or even worse counter to say ‘not me, no privilege here’, AND DON’T WANT TO MAKE IT BETTER FOR EVERYONE ELSE TOO! And, rage at those in my life circles that have beautiful lives that feel support for him, as though he has even one iota of genuine concern about anything other than himself. I don’t want to feel this rage. Longtime reader, rare commenter. Thank you, thank you, for writing this. There is some comfort in knowing we are not alone, and I love the action steps and links you post. Thank you.
T, I have gone through a similar transformation re: privilege. I really feel your post.
I don’t have a link-but I read a few articles today about progressive, young candidates who won yesterday in various elections around the country. They were completely galvanized by last year’s election and supported by a group that helps new candidates run. It was so heartening to read about people who were initially devastated about Trump winning-but turned their energy into getting involved themselves.
Tuesday’s elections were very encouraging! I felt a burst of hope yesterday as I read the news.
Can I share?
I am especially proud that Wilmot Collins, a former Liberian refugee, was elected as the mayor of my hometown of Helena, the capital of Montana.
That is so cool! I read that yesterday and I was like GO MONTANA!!
Thank you for speaking up and expressing you’re anger. I’m still angry too, still shocked.
My husband is one of the baffling, well-to-do, educated Trump supporters you can’t wrap your head around. And, honestly, I can’t wrap my head around it either. I know he is a good person – and yet he also supports this horrible man. I wonder if there are any other couples or families out their divided like we are in our views…
Oh man. Sending love and strength to you. I grew up in a house with a republican parent and a democratic parent, so I know that’s doable. But Trump takes it to a whole other level.
We are a some-what divided couple. I cannot stand our President (but couldn’t stomach his opponent either) and he just doesn’t “bother” my husband. He thinks he is a showman who is playing the PT Barnum role. When new reports like those this week about the feeding fish “incident” surface, my husband feels justified in his attitude that no matter what the President does it will be shown or interpreted in a negative fashion. We have had some lively and enlightening conversations this past year.
I wish there was more space in all our lives for conversation and true listening. The anger and shouting and judgement does nothing for me personally. As a rural resident of a non-correct-coast state, I feel like there is no place in those on the left or the right coast who care to listen to my friends, my neighbors, or me.
Meg! I’m in the same boat. We’re in marriage counseling :(
Meg, My husband and I also differ on some very fundamental values (not trump; we both hate him thank goodness). I didn’t anticipate being in this situation and have worked very hard for years to find a way to live as a happy, healthy, low conflict family. It’s very hard sometimes but I’m happy to say I’ve made great progress in appreciating that two people who share almost everything (children, home, bed, finances, so much love etc) can also be different emotionally/spiritually in some very important areas. It’s painful; I wish it weren’t the case but it’s the marriage I have. And yet there’s still a lot of joy and love in our family and in our relationship.
I appreciate this comment, Jenny and I’ll bet lots of readers who happen upon it will find it helpful.
Yep. My hubs is one too, though he admits now to not liking Trump. I don’t think I’ll ever understand.
I have a hard time understanding where Jessica’s comment “Obama is the most corrupt president in our country’s history” comes from? How can that be serious, what is she basing her opinion on? How did she come to that conclusion? Where does she get her news? It feels like Trump supporters live in an alternate universe –where up is down.
I think Trump is a disgrace. I am horrified by the measures that Trump is trying to put in place. The seeds that he sows to encourage racial inequality, racial prejudice, disrespect and hate. The unqualified people that he nominates for positions in our government. The seemingly unstable, bizzaro people that he surrounds himself with in his cabinet. His arm-chair twitter diplomacy that takes no responsibility and is careless and ignorant.
But I am glad that more women than ever before are running for office.
I live abroad. I voted in the election. Sometimes I feel like Americans that live in the US think they are the only ones impacted by American politics.
The whole world watches what we do as a country, the choices we make, the behaviors that we condone. The effects are far-reaching and long-lasting.
Gabrielle, thanks for having the courage to post honestly about how you are feeling. I haven’t been vocal enough about voicing my opinions but today I am encouraged to begin to speak out and to take action. Yes!
It reminds me of how Trump talks. He just declares things as facts that have no relation to reality. (We created the most jobs ever! I’ve kept all my campaign promises! I had the biggest inauguration crowd ever!)
There’s a line in this article: “His insistent declarations of success no matter the reality—it’s working. Trump’s inveterate blame-shifting—it’s working.”
I think it’s working too. And I find that deeply discouraging.
First, thank you Gabby for your courage a year ago and today. I agree with all you have stated. I should be getting many things done here around the house but just plain stopped everything to say- someone actually cares how I feel and have felt for the last 12 months?? I have not felt free to express my feelings since the woman was arrested for laughing at a speech or since those who have had their privacy compromised because they looked on a website that encourages impeachment of Trump. Today, I’m voicing my thoughts.
Oh dear, here goes- I am not only still angry of that election being stolen, I am scared for my family (lack of health care, loss of medicare funds), my country (loss of our respect in the international community, ramifications of our unqualified administration and everyone’s fear of nuclear war) and the planet (just look at the EPA). I could never have imagined a year ago how such a large vile group of humans made up this new administration.
I live in a very Republican community (I’m a registered Democrat but voted for Nixon so don’t anyone go off on that line of thinking). Anyway, people in this community still support Trump and the Republicans in Congress. I have only 2 friends I can speak with honestly about our state of affairs. Luckily, some family members who voted for Trump now see what he really is. A little late for that isn’t it? The bad part of that is those same people think Congress can control him and his cronies in the cabinet. NOT.
In all my years I have never needed to contact my reps but have certainly this year.
Your NYT article is dead- on about how I feel as a woman in these times. Our anger and fear is justified if not only for our survival. Trump supporters are racist, bigoted and sexist and do not deserve my respect. They cannot handle the truth because they are brainwashed by Fox News, Breitbart , etc. Those shows are poison.
Even tho I dread watching the news because it is upsetting, we need to know what’s happening in order to survive. Trump and his group are tearing apart our country.
The lack of leadership in Trump is scary but the lack of Congress to rectify this disaster is alarming.
I love your blog. Thank you for allowing me to have a voice.
mary in Az
Still angry, at times worn down, but buoyed by this weeks elections. I attended the Women’s March in DC and felt hopeful, invigorated, and proud. I don’t think anyone can argue that the March has had a profound affect on politics. For that I am thankful.
Many of my friends are weary, I pat them on the shoulder and tell them to get up, exhale, keep speaking out, making phone calls and keep moving forward. I have Stage 4 BC and don’t know how much time I have left, but for damn sure I will do what I can to leave this great country better for my children. RESIST!
Sandy, wow. What an encouraging comment! I’m trying to picture what my take on politics would be if I had stage 4 BC, and of course, I can’t even fathom. Sending you nothing but love and well wishes.
Wow, your comment made my day! Sending you love and promising you I will also do my best to make this country better for our children.
Wow! Where do you get the strength and courage? I have slacked off but immediately getting back on the RESIST train to honor you!!!
You are a legend Sandy. Sending lot of love, respect and positive vibes your way. Your children are so lucky…
Thank you for continuing to use your voice on this! I agree with you completely,
Yep. Still angry, and tired, and feeling despair at times. I feel tired just reading some of the comments here. I teach literacy at a large public high school. It’s been hard to be professional when I want to scream. I’m teaching Animal Farm right now. It horrifies me that in all the years I’ve been teaching this book, it has never felt more relevant. Today we talked about examples of power and corruption and how someone’s ignorance can lead to their own oppression. Admittedly, I raised the idea that our senators and representatives have free healthcare, but we do not, just as the pigs got the apples and milk, but the animals did not. Did it make a difference in helping them to be critical thinkers? I’m not sure. Thank you for being so brave. I worry I am not brave enough.
I’ve beent thinking about 1984 all year – we are made to believe that 2+2=5 in this new world. But you’ve inspired me to reread Animal Farm.
Trump is scary and embarrassing but his presidency has pushed me to vote in this year’s non-presidential election…that’s a good thing. I believe in the American system…warts and all. I am thankful for the freedoms that we have and need to exercise. Our children need to know and understand their freedoms. Ignorance will destroy us as a nation. These bullies operate from a position of fear…that is always shaky ground. I stand firm that we as a people know out what is right and just and we will move forward despite all the obstacles and devious behavior thrown in the path. I have faith in each of us. Any leader with the goal of what’s in it for me will be his downfall. Of this I am certain.
Yep, Civic involvement is up! The silver lining, I guess?
Thank you for expressing how so many of us feel, both the post and almost all of these comments. I am still having a hard time with the news, and surprised by how seeing American flag decorations and patriotic things makes me sad now. I worry for our future, for my kids’ future. For the first time in my 40+ years I feel like I can understand people throughout history living under a terrible regime. Interacting with a teaching colleague who supports Trump is a challenge for me, and I can’t imagine how difficult that would be in a marriage. What best embodied my feelings recently was a Facebook event that someone posted yesterday: “Scream helplessly at the sky on the anniversary of the election.” Yep.
Oh do I relate to the sadness surrounding patriotic items. I think of trump and then feel disgusted :(
Totally, and the 4th of July felt so strange to me this year.
Hello! Longtime reader here, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m conservative and voted for Trump. I also fall into the camp like many of your friends who are not regretful of their decision. I’m glad he’s president and I’m glad he won over Hillary who I do not think was better qualified (but rather dragging a long trail of lies and corruption behind her). I don’t think he’s perfect by any means, but his lack of polish or political correctness isn’t a big deal to me; I focus instead on him caring about the well-being of our country (with a strong military) and our economy. However, I have many others in my life like you who are still very unhappy with him. When it’s the appropriate opportunity I like to have open conversations about what upsets them. Maybe it might also help you to have some vulnerable conversation with those friends who support him and also find out why? I don’t think these differences are worth losing friendships over. I think it’s good to hear each others POV but not let the bitterness of those differences ruin the relationship. Also, it seems like many conservatives are quiet because they aren’t upset like progressives. I think those voices are louder because of the anger that’s felt. Lastly, if it helps give some perspective on where conservatives stand, I often tell my friends about Dinesh D’Souza. He’s a leading voice in conservative thinking, and his documentary on “Hillary’s America” is very enlightening on the background and motivations of the democratic party (and how progressives are “progressing” beyond what the founders intended). I’m not offended by your being upset, but I hope that both left and right can have continued civil discussions and understanding.
Do you mean Dinesh D’Souza, the convicted felon? I’ll look elsewhere.
I wish there weren’t so much emphasis on trying to learn why a minority of voters voted for a vile human being. I know many people who voted for him. I have family in Alabama, Florida, and Texas. And a lot of them are racist and sexist and homophobic.
I’d like to focus on the majority of Americans who voted for Hillary and how to make sure that our votes count. I think it’s time to abolish the Electoral College and go with a national popular vote.
This right here. Many of my relatives voted for trump, and they are racist, homophonic, misogynistic, etc. Also, they are the minority! Hillary got the most votes, so there’s that.
Hi Bertie, yes Dinesh was convicted for an illegal senate campaign contribution, and paid for time in a half-way house. Compared to the foundation funds accepted by Hillary from foreign adversaries, I think this is small beans. His conviction doesn’t discount his logic and ability to research and argue for conservative thinking. He’s worth checking out if you’re ever interested in learning more about conservatism and what it encompasses. I don’t think it’s fair to lump a few bad apples in your family with everyone else who is conservative or republican. It’s good to know both sides of the argument. This is what I find peculiar with progressive thinking: it’s all about being inclusive, but when you don’t agree you shut people out, with no desire to understand where the other side is coming from. If you only focus on the side you agree with, how is that fair or helping to bring people together? Also the creation of the Electoral College was a revolutionary idea that acts as a safe guard for the “tyranny of the majority.” This is the only way to prevent a leader from being elected just out of popularity from states with large populations, and squashing every other viewpoint. This is why Trump’s win was such a surprise, because other middle America states are represented by those electoral votes. I hope you can be open to these other voices and not continue to angrily clump everyone together.
Kristy–First, you assume I haven’t read Dinesh D’Souza. I have. You assume I’ve never read anything about conservatism. I have.
Also, I’m not just talking about a “few bad apples” in my family who are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. I’m talking about millions of people who supported a racist, sexist, homophobic candidate. I lived in Texas for 25 years; before that I lived in Louisiana, Alabama, and North Carolina. I am very well acquainted with people in the the deep red states.
Perhaps your experience is the one that’s anomalous?
Bertie, pardon my assumption. It was based on your quick dismissal of Dinesh based on his felony charge.
I guess I don’t make the connection that because Trump is labeled by some as racist, sexist and homophobic that everyone who voted for him should also be given those same labels. It’s such a broad generalization and a sure way to shut someone down and not hear them out. Is that what the left is after, eliminating all voices that don’t agree? If we live in the land of the free that’s a scary concept to me.
I don’t know if my experience is anomalous because I don’t categorize everyone who is conservative or voted for Trump in that way. When I’ve run into forms of racism, sexist or misogyny throughout my life they have not been relegated to a party. They are human ills that come from anyone on any side.
@ Bertie–It’s a common misconception that abolishing the electoral college would solve this problem. Don’t forget that a national popularity vote could allow a candidate to win with only a small percentage of votes if the other votes were divided among several other candidates. The electoral college sort of forces the 2 party system to exist where one candidate needs to win the majority of states–therefore winning widespread (geographic) support. It’s not perfect and I think a couple of things that could change the electoral college is local leadership and boundary lines (gerrymandering) as well as abolishing state rules of “winner takes all” electoral votes instead of each electoral vote counted individually.
I am quite familiar with how the electoral college works and why and how it was founded. The problem now is that with the population growth in is in cities. States with smaller populations get a minimum of three electoral votes regardless of their populations. Because the number is seats in the House is fixed, the larger states can not gain more seats as their populations grow. So each electoral vote in a small state like, say, North Dakota, represents 3,000 voters whereas an electoral vote in a state like California represents 100,000.
I’m not favor of a tyranny of the majority but neither am I in favor of a tyranny of the minority, which happened in last year’s election and in 2000.
I know a lot of Trump supporters and stand by statement that many are racist and sexist and homophobic.
Where are the attempts by his supporters to understand those of us who are appalled by him and what he stands for? If someone voted for him, then that person supports or at least condones his behavior.
@ Bertie, yes you are correct but the balance is about as good as we can get maybe. I’m not a trump supporter, but I was simply pointing out that the balance the electoral college brings is needed. Again, not perfect but maybe as close as we can get.
I don’t have a lot of time to talk today, but I hope you will continue to hang out on Design Mom. Earlier in the thread someone referred to Obama as the most corrupt President ever and when asked why there was no answer. Silence. Crickets. That’s the kind of discussion I have seen. I’d love to have a conversation with someone who is willing to say more than Crooked Hillary, blah blah blah!
You say that Trump is making America strong with a big military. I come from a military family whose service goes back for generations. My dad was wounded in Vietnam in a war no one cared about at the time. Where you see Trump making America strong, I see Trump throwing money away to be wasted on stuff the military doesn’t want. We’ve done that before. It’s Pork that politicians want. It keeps their constituents employed and happy. But employed doing what? Making war? Dying in Afghanistan? Dying in Niger and no one really knows you were even in Niger or what happened to you? I think what Trump is doing with the military is sick. He’s a bully and when someone fights back, it’s not Trump that’s going to pay, it’s my son.
And as for the economy. I see Trump making rich people even richer. I think his policies are going to be really good for me and my family. We are just well enough off to make the best of it. I disagree with those policies because I think it is immoral to support something that you know will hurt so many people, that will change a country historically famous for its middle class into one with a small number of rich people and a huge number of poor people.
For a stronger America, I think we need better legal immigration. Not no immigration. We need to make it possible for people to come into this country, work, and safely go home again. We can’t focus on that, though, because 100 percent of our immigration policy is focused on frightening people so much that they leave our country. And farmers can’t find workers. And tech companies can’t either.
We need public education so that we have a population of educated people to support our economy. We don’t need Betsy DeVos diverting money from public schools to private religious ones.
We need tax reform. Actual tax reform. Instead we have another complicated mess that is going to keep the Tax Prep Industry going for another 20 years. And all the every day deductions that regular people take — like school teachers that can deduct the cost of the supplies they buy for their classrooms– all those will be gone. All the grad students getting by on stipends and eating ramen will see their tax bills triple because their scholarships will be considered taxable income. But hey! Corporations will be fat and happy and surely some of that wealth will trickle done! But no. Trickle Down Economics never worked.
I’ve known about Dinesh D’Souza for years. YEARS. He plays fast and loose with the truth. I recommend you don’t trust his documentary any more than you trust Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Both of them are carefully scripted to make their issue look absolutely black and white. They aren’t. I mostly agree with Gore and I mostly disagree with D’Souza, but in both cases you are looking at propaganda, information that has been carefully massaged to convince the easily led.
Yes. Could not have said this better. Yes, yes, yes.
Hi Hope, thanks for your thoughtful reply.
That’s a huge sacrifice for all that your dad went through. Though not injured, my uncle was spat on when he returned home from Vietnam. Even if there are disagreements on where troops are sent or why, I think it’s still fundamentally important for the US to be militarily strong and ready for anything. Where you see Trump as a bully I saw Obama as a weakling. His diplomacy and trying to get along with other nations without a sense of force behind him made us look weak as well. There is no other nation on earth that has the freedom and prosperity like we do. If we don’t act as a superpower then nations like North Korea and Syria who disagree with those freedoms could think they are stronger and act aggressively toward us. I think there are too many threats in foreign leaders with differing ideologies and too many things going on in the world for us to not have a strong and ready military to defend those freedoms. I don’t think Trump is bullying anyone, I think he is flexing our muscles and reminding them of what we’re capable of in response to their threats to us.
I don’t see Trump as making rich people richer. His tax cut will benefit middle class business owners who’ve worked hard and don’t want to see such a large amount of their living go to the government. If you’re going to benefit from his tax cut and you see that as immoral maybe there’s a way for you to invest that money locally and help others in need? I think choosing to give money in that way can make as much of a difference than using it in a government program.
Agree with you on better legal immigration, public education and tax reform.
I think Dinesh is smart and I like what he has to say. I don’t desire to be “easily led” and I like to be exposed to various voices. I think he communicates ideas in a clear and simple way where the other side draws more on emotion and broad labels.
Thanks for the respectful discussion and I’m open to hearing your thoughts.
Sorry, but this is NOT TRUE.
“There is no other nation on earth that has the freedom and prosperity like we do.”
There are indices to this. And it’s clearly not true – at all. I get that you want to believe that, if you are not interested in the facts. But the facts are not on your side. You need to educate yourself.
Love your country as you like, but don’t believe in lies.
Pantherle, true there are other great places around the world to live, but the US is the most desirable by a far stretch—because of the freedom, prosperity and opportunity offered. See facts from Pew here.
Interesting side note about the Obama presidency. After he left office a poll of 1,664 active duty personnel across all service branches showed him with a -51% unfavorable rating. Here is where it gets interesting. Under certain subsets he performed more favorably: +60% Women, +57% minorities, +90% democrat voters.
less than 1% of the US population serves on active duty so the reality is that military families have very little political capital. The policies that effect us deeply and personally are made almost entirely out of our influence. I wish we had some kind of mandatory service for all able bodied citizen. I often wonder if people would be so quick to offer up their own children and spouses to “flex political muscle” and show the world how powerful we are? Lord knows, Im exhausted from offering up mine.
Brilliantly written! Very well stated, thank you!
“tech companies can’t either.”
Hope, tech companies can absolutely find workers. My husband is a software developer. Tech companies don’t want to pay USA workers a fair salary, so they request H1B visas to import workers from other countries, so they can pay them less and wield control over their lives. You end up with immigrant tech workers living 8 to an apartment with no extra money and no way to find another job (because their status is dependent on their visa and their visa is tied to their current job.) The claim that tech companies need more immigration is just corporate BS.
Kristy, thank you for your thoughtful comment, above. I have to say that I am still very angry and this election has, somewhat sadly for me, made me live in a semi-state of outrage, despite a wealth of personal joy in my life. I simply cannot believe that people were able to look past the sexual assault (Kristy, if you are willing to share, I’d genuinely love your perspective). I have three kids in public school and we have an someone utterly unqualified running the Dept of Ed. The EPA head has ONLY met with industry representatives and we are the only country in the entire world who isn’t part of the Paris Climate Accords. Climate change is already impacting our country and economy and it will get worse. I suppose I can understand that Trump supporters don’t see the Russia connection as real but I find it an alarming form of dissonance that in one breath, supporters can make claims about Hillary’s supposed corruption and not acknowledge that a Republican with impeccable credentials is running the Russia investigation and finding plenty to be concerned about. For me the list goes on and on – his response to mass shootings, his response to Puerto Rico, his total lack of a statement about the CA fires. For the life of me, I cannot see this as “lack of polish or political correctness” – to me, it feels like a heartless, unqualified self- serving disaster. Um, so yes, I am still really mad, too. And I hate to admit this, but I find it hard to engage in quality conversations with people who are supporting him. I have Republican friends – this feels fundamentally different on so many levels.
I would love to hear Kristy’s response to your statement about how Hillary can be corrupt but not acknowledge or care about the alarming ties with Russia.
Also, Kristy, I don’t think it’s Trumps political correctness that is an issue for most. It’s more the lying, narcissism, racism, etc. etc. etc. Do those things not bother you?
Hi Renee, thanks for your reply. I will try and address all that you asked. I agree the Billy Bush tape was disturbing. I was able to look past it (and vote for him) because he took responsibility that it was inappropriate and apologized to the public. But yes it was gross and I’m hopeful that he doesn’t act that way toward women now, being that it was 10+ years ago. I think Bill’s behavior in the White House was just as disturbing. Those who voted for him were no doubt appalled but were still willing to stand behind his policies. As far as Betsy DeVos, I think Trump is giving someone an opportunity who doesn’t have the background. I hope she’s wise and makes the needed changes. Let’s see what she can do. Climate change is a divided issue. There are many who don’t see/buy into its impact. Our participation in the Paris Agreement is costly for the US for an issue that is not scientifically proven, but more politically driven. Costly in terms of regulations and what would cut down on American made products. Trump is all about strengthening American industry. I don’t see the Russia connection. I think it’s a political witch hunt as the President has indicated. This is becoming clearer as information about Hilary’s camp with the dossier and the DNC is now coming to light. I think it’s easier to see someone as heartless if you already don’t like them. It’s easier to pick everything apart. I haven’t found his statements on recent shootings to be off-putting. I agree it would help the country, but I’m not offended that he doesn’t make a statement on every natural disaster. I do see how Obama was good at making compassionate statements. To have that type of leadership for eight years and now have someone that doesn’t have that personality is a little more shocking. I really liked Obama in that regard, but I’m not mad at Trump for not being the same way. Thanks for sharing your views, and I hope my sharing my perspective brings some understanding.
I really appreciate your reply, Kristy. I don’t agree with you on very much of it, but I’m not sure it’s worth either of our time to argue these individual points. Can I (respectfully and with no motive) ask where you read news? I’m interesting in finding news sources that both “sides” can agree are worthwhile.
Hi Emily, thanks so much. Aside from Fox News and CBN (a christian outlet) I think much of the media has a liberal bias. I still read most of it though: CNN, NYT, and WA Post. I try to focus more on what Trump is saying in news conferences and video clips and not how he’s portrayed by the news outlet through various commentary. I think his lack of support by the media and how he’s framed in the news continues to stir anger and cause more of an uproar. I also try to watch Sarah Sanders press conferences as she’s more of a direct source of information. I hope that answers your question? I don’t know of many other sources that both sides agree on.
Hi Gabby, I wanted to follow up on this comment I made few days ago. After reading through all the comments over the weekend, I saw your reply about other news sources you go to such as the WSJ, The National Review and The Atlantic. I think your list of media was better suited to showing both sides as Emily asked me above.
I also wanted to say that when I first read your post, I had more of an impression that you were confused about why friends in your life voted for Trump but didn’t really ask them why. Though you may ask some directly, I can see that you have immersed yourself in both perspectives and still try to gain understanding. Thanks for the discussion here and I’m also trying to learn about other viewpoints even if I don’t wholly agree or understand.
Differences aside I’ve really enjoyed your blog for a long time; I think you’re super creative and talented.
Kristy, I want to thank you for taking the time to reply to all the many questions directed to you and for your wonderful model of respectful discourse. Your kind compliments to Gabrielle and your patient explanation of your beliefs about many of the issues at stake stand in stark contrast with the attitude of us (myself included all too often) who don’t really take time to understand different viewpoints. I disagree with many of the statements you’ve made, but I admire you tremendously.
Midori, thanks so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it!
Kristy, I’m sorry I was too busy to engage with you more. Thank you for responding to my comment. I just wrote a long post and deleted it because I know I’ll be too busy to read any response you make until next month. I wish I had more time.
I wonder if you’ve read this opinion piece by David Frum. He’s a neo-con. He was a speechwriter for Bush. I see him as someone I might agree or disagree with, but a man who probably knows what he’s talking about.
I blame the Internet for Trump, as well as a lot of our societal woes. It’s given the worst among us a place to connect and egg each other on. It’s allowed both sides to remain insular and divided. It’s allowed rumors and false information to spread like wildfire. And it’s given Trump the ability to constantly provoke the American people through his inflammatory tweets.
(However, it’s also given a voice to the disenfranchised and other important issues. But when combined with the negative affects on children’s self esteem and attention spans, I’m about ready to toss all our screens in the ocean.)
* I sometimes wonder if Trump’s core supporters are narcissists or anarchists. They like that he says whatever he wants, no matter how inappropriate. Why? Because they want to have no limits and total power. They think are smarter and better than others, and favor lying and exaggeration over hard work and analytical thought.
* I proudly voted for Hilary, and recoiled when Trump brought Bill Clinton’s accusers on the campaign trail. But with the Weinstein scandal, I have wondered about those allegations. Have they been proven false? Why don’t we give them the benefit of the doubt? Of course, when given a choice between a proud perpetrator (Trump) and someone married to one, I’d choose the latter. But it definitely complicated the decision for many.
I know many people respect his political skills and speak of his charisma, but I’m not fan of Bill Clinton and didn’t vote for him when he ran. If someone decides to press charges against him for sexual harassment or assault, I would support that.
Did you see the Samantha Bee segment where she talked about Hillary winning and then immediately divorcing him? I would have cheered that on had it happened. I think he has been a real liability to her.
UPDATE: Here’s the link to the segment I mentioned. It’s so good. It will make you pissed off at the press, pissed off at Bill Clinton, pissed off at American sexism, and give you a new respect for Hillary Rodham.
I wrote a comment to one of your posts after the election, disagreeing with you, and you shut me down too. It appears to me and others that you don’t want to have a conversation with those people who disagree with you. Please put aside your anger, it’s time, and listen. I didn’t vote the way I did to protect my white privilege. I am offended by such comments. This past year has shown me that winners are less angry than losers, but electing people to lead our country, states, cities should not have as its primary focus winning as with a child’s game. Please accept that I had legitimate reasons for voting the way I did as I respect your decision.
Mary, there are over 400 comments on that post. Many (if not most) disagree with me. In what way is that demonstrating that I don’t want to discuss things?
Also, do you support and respect Trump still? If yes, then yes please, I would appreciate hearing your legitimate reasons for doing so.
I see your response as argumentative, not truly open to discussion, dismissive. I respect your right to your beliefs and it would be decent if you could do the same. I am not as comfortable sharing as you are. I don’t choose to have such a public outlet but I truly admire that you do. I respect the office currently filled by PresidentTrump just as I did, reminding others in my circle, when it was filled by former Presidents Clinton and Obama. I had my reasons for voting the way I did. I am not asking you for you justify your vote. I did express myself at the time. But I don’t see the need today. I also find the discussion very personal and intrusive under any circumstances. I was raised to believe that you don’ t ask people such questions, because they might feel that you are insulting them.
Mary, it sounds like you’re the one avoiding a conversation. Why comment just to refuse discussing why you voted the way you did? You say it wasn’t about white privilege, but then refuse to say what it was about. Not much of a conversation.
Last year I felt relieved, big time. I still feel relieved. I have no regrets and I’m pleasantly surprised that President Trump has followed through with the policies he ran on and what got him elected. I find that very refreshing. The people, especially the media and hyper left relentlessly bash on Trump, (honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it) the more I want to give the man a chance. Anytime I can say I’m of the opposite view of Hollywood, the Hillary crowd and the unhinged left, the more secure I am in where I stand an who I support.
Your quote – “When I think about why I am still angry, it probably boils down to the realization that a Trump presidency has turned out so much worse than I had imagined. With Trump at the helm, America has become more entrenched in our racism, more fearful of refugees, immigrants and anyone we can “other,” and more violent in very real ways.
That is your opinion, it isn’t factual. Your loathing for Trump has twisted your reality. The racial divide after many years of repair, coming together and great strides in a more positive direction over the years was destroyed during the Obama administration- I can list example after example in supporting my statement if you’d care to hear.
“….the people in my life who support and continue to respect Trump aren’t desperate. They’re well off. They’re successful. They have beautiful lives. So what’s their motivation for supporting such an awful human being?”
Hmmm, well we can start with the alternative choice at the time- Hillary Clinton. I can list more reasons if you are really interested in understanding.
Take a deep breath, it’s going to be alright.
Signed Pedalingfast aka a deplorable.
“I’m pleasantly surprised that President Trump has followed through with the policies he ran on and what got him elected.”
I don’t know what you’re referring to here. The wall? Lock her up? Repeal and replace? Weren’t those his main campaign pillars?
Your stance recalls this article where Trump supporters were interviewed and concluded that though Trump has done nothing for them, they support him anyway. Would you say that’s where you’ve landed too?
I am interested in hearing the examples you mention in the following statement:
“The racial divide after many years of repair, coming together and great strides in a more positive direction over the years was destroyed during the Obama administration- I can list example after example in supporting my statement if you’d care to hear.”
One more thing, Sheila, the fact that you use the word deplorable to describe yourself is an indicator to me that you are someone who wants to misunderstand. If you have read the Hilary quote, then you already know when she used the word deplorable she was referring to Nazis, KKK members, internet trolls who call women cunts and threaten them with rape, and other deeply racist and sexist people. And I agree with her — Nazis, KKK members and internet trolls are deplorable in my eyes as well.
Are you one of those people? If no, then she wasn’t referring to you. And you are intentionally trying to twist her words to do harm and cause division. My question is why? Why do you want to cause division? Is it a power rush? And why would you want to associate yourself with Nazis and KKK members and internet trolls?
It does not seem you really want to hear from Sheila again. Her comment did not seem all that combative, and yet she is now under attack. Her opinions do seem rather conclusory, but instead of asking her to elucidate those opinions, you accuse her of supporting someone who’s never done anything for her. That’s quite a conclusory assumption itself!
I did not vote for Trump. But I was not angered by his victory. I find him reprehensible as a person, and yet… I was not happy with the policies of the other candidate.
Come on now, read her comment again. It was quite combative. I mean which line of her comment wasn’t combative?
But I answered her respectfully. I asked sincere questions about her stance. I truly don’t understand what she’s referring to when she says Trump has followed through on his policies. And I’m genuinely curious about her use of the word deplorable. When I hear Trump supporters use that word, I don’t understand the motivation.
How is she under attack?
Sheila, despite the misguided conclusions of anonymous, I do want to hear from you again.
Hillary Clinton grossly misjudged the American People- She was and continues to be so out of touch with the common man and woman and calling them names did her no favors. Maybe take a listen. :
For some reason I can’t seem to get the link to copy here on your site. I’ll try one more time, but cannot tell if it takes until I submit my comment.
It’s audio of H Clinton calling Trump supporters a basket of deplorables.
If the link doesn’t attach, well then google it for yourself. Easy to find the video. Hard to dispute.
Here’s the NYT article.
Sheila, I know the quote well. Here it is:
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables — the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.
“But the other [half of the] basket — and I know this because I see friends from all over America here — I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas — as well as, you know, New York and California — but that other [half of the] basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”
That’s the quote. Are you racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamaphobic? No? Are you part of the Nazi uprising in our country? No? Do you attack women online for simply existing? No? Do you hate Muslims? And people who are gay? No? Then she didn’t call you deplorable.
Based on her quote, calling yourself a deplorable means you’re trying to associate yourself with Nazis and KKK members and white supremacists and misogynist internet trolls. I’m guessing you don’t want to do that.
In the second paragraph, when she talks about the “other half of the basket,” she does an amazing job understanding the people in our country who feel disenfranchised. Clearly she wasn’t (and isn’t) out of touch. She understood what was happening, and talked about it, long before Hillbilly Elegy was on everyone’s reading list.
As for name calling, I can hardly imagine you would want to bring that up if you’re trying to defend Trump. Has he gone a day without name calling?
But most of all, why are you bringing up Hillary Clinton in your original comment in the first place? What is it about Trump supporters that they can’t talk about Trump without trashing Hillary? As you know, Hillary is not the president. And it’s silly to keep blaming her anytime something bugs you.
Your reply to me, Anonymous, and Trump voters are condescending.
I’ll quickly address your question regarding Trump following through on campaign promises and policies, noting policies that he’s either implemented or is working on currently.
1. Let’s start with taxes. Trump is trying to do something about the current tax situation- simple solutions to benefit the American people. Will it get done? I don’t know, the lawmakers in congress are a mess- (both parties.) But at least he’s trying-. Under what could’ve been a Democrat Pres Clinton the story here would be quite the opposite. At least Trump is trying to lower taxes to benefit the american people while a pres clinton would’ve been grabbing money right and left via taxes any way she could to benefit the government. It’s a different philosophy between the 2 parties. Those who voted for Trump voted for lower taxes and less government.
2. Let’s talk the military. Right off the bat, if you remember, Trump took his attention to the VA. If you remember, it was a mess. The forum here isn’t such that I will go into detail, so i’m guessing you’re informed on what was going on there in regards to those who served our country and then were treated to horrible treatment or no treatment at all from the VA. After Trump was elected, 500 employees were fired, 200 suspended and Trump put in place strict transparency and accountability standards. He also put in place policies protecting whistleblowers.
Also, regarding our military men and women, Pres Trump lifted restrictions that previously prevented military commanders in the field from fully using their judgement and expertise without having to go through red tape and heavy bureaucracy before engaging.
3. Trump struck an airbase in Syria after the Syrian regime wiped out women and children in a chemical weapons attack. Sending a direct message to the world that certain actions would not be tolerated.
4. Here’s a biggie for me and many who voted for him over Clinton- This alone was worth the vote and might answer your question. He gave the states the option to deny planned parenthood access to federal funded grant money. You know planned parenthood who uses the peoples money to facilitate its conducting of more than 328,000 abortions each year. Big win for the voters.
5. Trump has offered support to our Police and support to crack down on violent crime in our city streets.
6. Pres Trump supports the 2nd amendment, just like he said he would as a candidate.
7. And lastly, I’ll address your difficulty understanding ” the people in your life who support and continue to respect Trump who aren’t desperate. They’re well off. They’re successful. They have beautiful lives.” Yes, those people. What could possibly be their motivation? Let me answer that for you so you will be confused no more: The number one reason all those beautiful, well educated, good people you know and “respect” voted for a President Trump was his promise to put in fair minded federal judges who referred to the constitution and the rule of law while on the bench. Something he made good on almost immediately and continues to do.
So I answered the question. I doubt you really care, but maybe you do, who knows? Anyway, I mainly just voiced my 2 cents originally because I feel it important to the few who voiced opposing views from yours & to the many who voted for Trump that they are not alone…(well obviously, they are not alone, he did win after all) That they are not deplorable, or racist, or sexist or any of those things you stated when you wrote that a vote for Trump is, and I quote ” support for racism, division and hate, no matter how unintentional it might be.” You are wrong, completely wrong on that statement. Your post and comments are a good example of the many loud voices trying to drown out those who see things through a different perspective. I’m sure you will deny that, and go right ahead. :) In the meantime, I’m out. I gave my opinion and replied to your question. Have a good evening. It’s going to be alright, and if it’s not, I think I’d look to the values and morality of what is going on in America before blaming Trump.
Thanks for this list Sheila. I agree with you that #3 took place. And I agree that #6 is true. So I guess that’s something. (As you might expect, the rest of your comment makes me feel like we live on different planets.)
See also, this:
Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway.
As far as “reaching across the aisle” to have civilized conversations — I honestly think that only works if both folks are the same race, when we’re talking abut Trump supporters. But for me to have a civilized conversation with a Trump supporter, they’re going to have to be a person of colour, and even then it’ll probably be tough. Living in Texas, I have many white friends who consider themselves conservatives with whom I can have deep, insightful conversations, and often learn a lot in the process. Most of those friends didn’t vote for either candidate.
But if they are conservatives who voted for and still support Trump? Man, I’m sorry, but my black, female, immigrant self can’t possibly get there. Honestly, it feels unsafe for me to even have the conversation.
That article is disturbing. How do we meet in the middle when we see such completely different realties?
Why do I bring up Hillary? Because she was the alternative. Those were our choices- Oh I could go on and on about Hillary and her corruption, but I stuck to answering your question and part of that answer involved who was on the ticket and what were my choices last year on voting day.
Come on let’s just all band together moving forward and Make America Great Again! :)
True. In the post, I did ask about whether or not you would vote the same way again. I guess I can see how that might prompt you to bring up Hillary?
As for banding together and moving forward, I don’t think you’re sincere, because your comments have all had a snarky, rude tone. And since there is no record of you commenting before until this post, I don’t even know if you’re an actual Design Mom reader, or if you just happened over here accidentally from Facebook.
But if you are sincere, please feel free to share your ideas. What do you think banding together could look like?
America is already great. And we need somebody at the helm who recognizes that instead of continuing to divide us.
I would really like to hear from the Trump supporters on how he’s accomplishing the policies he ran on. The only policy plan he has is to undo everything Obama accomplished. Is that what’s making him a success? Honestly, I’m just trying to understand beyond what I know today of people who voted for Trump.
They’re brainwashed by Fox News.
If you really want to know and care to read, I answered the question in reply to “design mom” above…. or maybe I’m just brainwashed.
At the end of the day our values are just very different and I think your answers reinforces what Trump voters care about. Thanks for confirming that.
“Some of the think pieces I’ve read this week have complained that people like me just need to accept the fact that he’s president and move on with our lives; that we’re whining too much.”
In my “remember when” things that pop up on Facebook today was an article and post by me last year (full of some anger, sadness, and bewilderment) where I got this reply from some friends and family members. But I still say nope. Nope we can’t just move on! What kind of sad country would we be if we accepted and moved on when we did not agree? We certainly would not be able to call ourselves “Americans”!
Thank you for being brave enough to stick to your morals and post your opinions, regardless of the blacklash you know you’ll receive from some followers. No business could be more important than human decency. One of the many disturbing aspects of the last year has been watching so many politicians (and political hopefuls) sell their souls in hopes that they could ride the coat tails of an ignorant, abusive man to their own successes. Nothing will ever change if we do stand firmly against the cruelty this man spews. Thank you for using your strong, intellectual and far-reaching voice to speak out.
I haven’t been able to read all of the comments, but I just want to say that I completely agree with you Gabby. I am right there with you. I have such enormous respect for your blog and the thoughtful way you share your views and engage with your readers. You have a loyal reader in me!
Thank you, Megan! It means a lot.
Hear, hear. I wholeheartedly agree with Megan and Julia (and so many others). I read your blog regularly and have done for many years. I applaud you and the courage of your convictions. For someone with such a large following, it takes bravery to stand up and be counted, knowing full well that there will be plenty of readers who, disagreeing with you, will throw their toys out of the pram and leave. I for one, think you’re great. (I’m from over the pond, in the UK, where we look on your politics — and ours — with increasing alarm and dismay.)
I didn’t vote for Trump or Hilary and I consider myself a middle ground person. And so I try to look on the positive side during any presidency. Currently there are a few things to be positive about: Trump is trimming down wasteful government spending. It was out of control and any trimming is good thing, in my opinion. Which leads us to (hopefully) enjoying a tax cut starting in 2018. Also, our economy is great at the present (thank you Dow Jones). Wall Street believes something in the presidency is going right or it would tank. And it may, soon enough. But, in the mean time everyone’s 401k’s are looking bright and shiny. So despite many, many personal flaws, there are a few things going well during Trump’s tenure.
I would enjoy it if you would post more thoughts/articles on the good being done by people in the world. And examples of serving others. Focusing on that would seem to be a way to survive the troubles so common. I post JFK’s comment every inauguration for the last times, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” I believe that. I try to live that. Helping others is the “sugar” that makes the “medicine” the world dishes out to us “go down.” Serving and loving others solves a lot of problems. Thanks.
I like that thinking, Karen. I’ll watch for serving examples I can share on my Friday link list.
While the idea of looking at the positive is appealing, the idea of someone ignoring all the bad because they are personally benefitting financially is quite troubling. I mean what percentage of Trump supporters have 401ks? Based on the miles of think pieces written about them, it sounds like not many of them. It feels like the rich are getting richer, and the ones truly in need are still being ignored.
If our economy is doing well, it’s because of the last POTUS. You’re repeating the Fox talking points to say it’s all turned around now. That’s a total fallacy.
Anger, frustration, sadness… yep. But I think the most common feeling is one of pure confusion. I am constantly BAFFLED by Trump, his supporters and how such a blantant liar continues garner support. To me, this has never been about Republicans vs. Democrats. I am an independant and like you I have voted both ways–in fact a nearly 50/50 split–in the past and this disillusment and frustration has nothing to do with “my guy losing.” And yet, why am I still explaining this? Is it that hard to understand? There has been nothing like the Trump presidency in recent (or even distant?) history and the fact that his fellow party members are calling him out on his crazy and crazy-making behavior must be an indication to some of these so-called conservatives that something is really off here. And yet, nothing.
Having grown up in a conservative house and in a conservative religion I often saw people disavow a politician for their moral character alone–Bill Clinton was a big one. And now to see so many of these same people embrace a man who exhibits the most immoral, repugnant, offensive behavior of any elected official I’ve ever seen–not to mention of any President ever–is again so utterly confusing.
I think this is at the heart of what is so scary and disheartening to me, to see millions of people either downplaying or (scarier) believing these lies, embracing a racist and an admitted sexual predator all for the sake of party loyalty? I am grateful for the Republicans who stand up and say this man is not what their party represents, but they are the minority.
This whole saga has only confirmed to me even more that pledging an undying allegiance to any one person/party/cause/organization often leads to dangerously blind obedience. Even as the organization and its values may slowly twist and deform to a barely recognizable state, people will pledge allegiance because their belief in its “rightness” is stronger than their belief in the core values. Core values that are shifting faster than my daughter’s latest batch of cake batter fluffy slime.
I love your comment to pieces.
“this disillusment and frustration has nothing to do with “my guy losing.” And yet, why am I still explaining this?”
YES! YES! YES!
“This whole saga has only confirmed to me even more that pledging an undying allegiance to any one person/party/cause/organization often leads to dangerously blind obedience.”
YES! YES! YES!
Thank you for expressing this so well, as I share so many of these feelings. I’m a liberal Mormon woman who is also a SAHM. Last October I was able to get pregnant with my third child after some amount of effort. I felt so good about the world and raising another child in it. A week after confirming that pregnancy my understanding of the country and the world totally changed. I felt like I was seeing the ugliness I’d always been protected from by my privilege and it was so scary to me. Now I’m nursing that baby boy as I write this and I hope and pray that there will be a world worth living in by the time he is old enough to be aware of it. And to be clear: he’s a white male with two college-educated parents. I’m not afraid for his future success or accomplishments, but that his father and I will be able to teach him to value women and honesty and civility and love when so many around him clearly do not.
Gabrielle, I admire how you put yourself out there knowing you will be disagreed with. Socially and politically I am on the same page with you, but I find it takes so much energy to engage with those who seemingly blindly support Trump.
I strongly believe in (most) conservative politics. But I felt compelled to vote third party because I think BOTH candidates are (were?) pathological liars and only care about self promotion. I feel so sad that our country came to a point where those two unqualified, despicable candidates were the options. I try to imagine if I would be any less sad or disheartened if Hillary would have won, and I’m honestly not sure. I am grateful for the few scraps of conservativism that have managed to happen this last year (and I know it’s not much), but I am still appalled by Trump regularly. It’s all so disheartening. I am also baffled by people not seeing through Hillary’s corruption still–but clearly most liberals still support her and defend her. I understand people standing by their liberal politics, but can’t understand loyalty to her.
When I hear someone try to paint both candidates as mutually bad, I have a hard time taking the arguments seriously.
Hillary is a human being and has certainly made mistakes, but she is no more “corrupt” than any other presidential candidate from either party we’ve had in my lifetime (with the exception of Trump). And I guarantee that Romney, both Bushes, Kerry, Carter, Dole, Obama, McCain and all the rest of them would say the same thing. In most cases they know her personally, and though they may disagree with her on policies and might debate her vigorously, know she is a good, upstanding human being and dedicated American civil servant. She’s not superwoman, and she’s not the devil either. And like the other presidential candidates we’ve had, from both parties, she is worlds above Trump in every way.
If you truly feel she’s more “corrupt” than the average high-level politician, perhaps the Russian bots have influenced you? (I joke of course, I’m sure the bots have influenced us all. But the myths around Hilary Clinton are bizarre. Has there ever been an election where the losing opponent was demonized daily for a year after the votes came in? Don’t you find that strange?)
I try really hard to read a range of new sources from both sides of the aisle (NYTimes, Washington Post, National Review, Politico), but I still feel like HRC comes off corrupt, self serving, dishonest, and unethical. I don’t trust her with that much power. I think Obama misused his power repeatedly. And I DO think he was a dedicated American civil servant. What would Hillary do? I was as surprised as anyone that Trump won a year ago. But my total aversion to Hillary as the first woman president helps me understand why people didn’t vote for her. That doesn’t even take into account the politics. I’m tired of conservatism as endlessly being painted as being racist, sexist, and uncaring. I know Trump isn’t helping our cause. The whole thing is endlessly frustrating. I guess what I’m saying is, you liberals aren’t the only people unhappy. Not every conservative loves or supports Trump (at least in my experience), and there were definite flaws, beyond the ones she outlines in her book, to Hillary’s campaign. I look forward to voting for a woman president someday, but I will wait until it is someone I do actually see as a ethical person and dedicated American civil servant. Maybe I am too naive about all politicians (and certainly I have only really begun to care and follow and actively participate in politics in the last eight years, so probably I am), but I refuse to believe the Trumps and the Hillarys are all our country has to offer in the way of valid Presidential candidates.
CJ, I agree completely with everything you have shared.
Oh totally, Hillary was painted as completely corrupt by both liberal and conservative publications. It’s true. As we have all confirmed over the past few months, there are misogynists everywhere and across the political spectrum. Did you know there was more coverage of Hillary’s emails — in both right and left leaning media — than all of Trump’s scandals put together? (That includes Trump University, being accused of sexual assault by FIFTEEN women — some of whom were minors at the time, his multiple bankruptcies, cheating small businesses by not paying his bills, his refusal to share his tax returns, his calls for violence against anyone who disagrees with him, his blatant racism, and on, and on…)
I’m not shocked when people have a sort of unexplained and deep aversion to her. Media and advertising works. And the press has been brutal to her. She’s the favorite scapegoat. I mean, it’s a year after the election (which she lost) and Trump supporters are still abusing her.
But the more I’ve read about her from her own words, the more I’ve listened to what she actually says, and the more I’ve read about her from people who know her and work with her (on both sides of the aisle), the more I’ve come to understand she is a truly good person. I didn’t always like her, then I studied her and now I’m a huge fan.
I have no doubt history will be very kind to Hillary. All the nonsense we hear about her is exactly that: nonsense.
In not voting for Trump, no descendent of mine will have to wonder why I did not think them worthy of clear air, clean water, equal rights, health care, truth, justice, world peace, etcetera, etcetera. In times like these, it’s good to have some form of solace.
Yes!! I am still so fucking angry! And heartbroken, and scared, and grossed out But mostly ANGRY!
Thank you for continuing to ask the question what are we about as Americans, how are we treating one another and for holding our current president accountable for his behavior and actions. I am more discouraged and saddened today than I was on election day. My family has continued to attend rallies, marches, write letters and make calls to our elected officials. I live in a conservative state that voted for Trump(i think because they feared Hillary??!!), yet my religion and community teach opposite standards. That’s perplexing as well. I’m still surprised that people are hesitant to acknowledge or discuss the ongoing issues and behavior of Trump. The idea that we need to just “accept it and move on”… Never! I have been sickened by the behavior and hatred demonstrated by POTUS. We have always taught our children, actions speak louder than words. What I have seen from the “leadership” in our country this past year gives much cause for concern. Fear and hatred has been given a place and it’s unacceptable. I am not willing to tolerate it. We teach our children in schools a zero bullying policy, yet we have seen and continue to hear the worse offender coming from the White House. It’s disgraceful. I have to believe we will turn things around(still trying to be a half full kind of gal). I honestly believe their is more goodness and kindness out there, but recognize our work is cut out for us. Thanks for being a voice this Utah girl can relate to!
I’m definitely still outraged! I agree with everything you’ve said–and thank you for saying it so well! I too have lost friendships over this election and distanced from family members–because of my inability to respect someone who would respect Trump. (No, I can’t look past his treatment of women–not just those he admittedly harassed, but those who he regularly bullies, defames and degrades. No, I can’t look past the way he mocked a disabled reporter. No I can’t look past the blatant support of racism in the both sides comment) I also believe that Trump is an illegitimate president and that we will soon come to find beyond any doubt that he was aided in his victory by the Russians in an attempt to weaken and destroy this country. I think that the biggest contributing factor in all of this mess is a lack of regulation and oversight on social media and Facebook. People don’t read the news…they watch it. They get propagandized and they don’t even realize it. All of the responders who suggested that Obama was corrupt or made the false equivalence of being angry over Obama’s policies of the past eight years might as well have just said that they mainline Fox News every day. They aren’t seeking out reliable, reputable sources of information. They don’t even know where to start. Trump is a disaster, but what its made me realize is that this country is facing a crisis of education as much as anything.
Just out of curiosity, what do you think are reliable and reputable sources of news information? The media is largely left sided so where do conservatives get their information?
I have worked for a newspaper and a TV station, and I don’t agree that “the media is largely left sided.”
I have seen first hand the journalistic standards and practices that these organizations hold themselves to.
But that is just my personal professional experience and my view as a consumer of news.
Laura, for conservative viewpoints, I read news coverage, op eds and editorials from the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard and the National Review. The Atlantic sometimes features very conservative viewpoints as well. I also looked up twitter lists of the “best conservative commentators” and have followed at least 50 there.
It’s not hard to find good conservative-leaning media.
But I concede it is hard to find good Trump-supporting media. You basically have to go extreme right wing to Breitbart and Drudge and Fox if you want to hear only good things about him. True conservatives don’t like him, because he’s not a conservative (and for other reasons too), but I feel like coverage about him is pretty darn honest in main stream media.
Thank you , I will check these out. I do some of them but not all.
I admire you and not just because i agree with you that Trump is in a class all by himself. The only was i can stomach the fact that many of my family voted for him is to see that they were fooled and leave it at that! I can no longer argue or try to see the side of someone who i believe will be remembered is years to come as one of the vilest human beings. Thank you for what you post and the stories you link to. I’ve been a reader for years and this year i truly admire those who have not stayed quiet and stayed awake! Me and my husband say to each other on a daily basis we cant get over it because none of this is NORMAL!! He is not just another politician. He has no equal.
Hi Gabby. I’ve been a reader for years, but have never commented. Thank you for your honesty, and bravery. Thank you for beautifully putting into words how I feel. It’s nice to know I am not alone!
I can’t believe it’s been a year. I’m most thankful that our world hasn’t ended via nuclear war (yet).
While DJT may have the title of President, his actions are not governed by intelligence, compassion, equality or sound financial sense. He’s not a leader and never has been. He is who he is, a businessman who has always called the shots.
Given his past issues (with women, with Trump University, with business deals that hurt others – hey Donald, what about that promise to share your tax returns?), I never expected him to do what a President needs to do – Lead in Service to Others.
Which is why I didn’t vote for him. Wanted Bernie but voted for HRC.
Several relatives voted for Trump. Most of them are embarrassed and admit they made a mistake, and if they could turn back time, they’d vote for Hillary.
When all is said and done, the actions of DJT and his Administration have “woke the monster”. I agree, many of us were too complacent. It’s good that we’re woke. And that we’re taking back our Country.
Thanks for always keeping it real, Gabby!
ps- While there are many things I miss about the Obama Administration, Obama’s eloquence and class are what I miss the most.
Obama was such a glassy president. At this point I just miss having someone in office who can put two sentences together.