“The fact that we lost doesn’t make us wrong;
the fact that they don’t believe in us doesn’t make us disappear.”
Caring and compassionate people have been left reeling by the very idea that Trump’s hate-filled version of America sold so well in the last election. “How did this happen?” they’ve been asking. “Who are the people who voted for his hateful platform?” Those are my questions, too.
So let’s break it down and I’m not sugar coating it. At all. Because I know my history, I’ve seen Dachau and Nuremberg and and I know more than I wish I did about Hitler, the Holocaust and the silence / fear of the German people. Silence IS Death.
Who are these Trump voters? And what happened?
The jobless with no prospects
There’s a group of 50+ white men without educations whose jobs have gone away. Maybe they’re factory workers or have other low level jobs that funded a middle-class life. But their jobs are gone either to automation or overseas, and without an education and because other jobs like that are also gone, they can’t find work. Even Trump’s campaign manager admitted that his base was uneducated white men. These men believe that Trump will bring jobs back.
Here’s how they’ll get ripped off: Those jobs –any jobs like that–will never return. Technology has made them obsolete. It’s simply not cost effective for manufacturing to be done here and Trump knows that: most of his products are made overseas. The problem is that these people are too uneducated and inexperienced to understand that his promises were empty. That’s the sad part. The scary part is their anger has nowhere to go but to blaming others.
Now, some of these men COULD get other work. It’s just not work they want to do. I see constant signs at Post Offices, Target, fast food restaurants. If they really wanted to work, they could apply. When I moved to California I had a hard time finding work in my field. I was significantly underemployed for several years, just so I could pay the bills. Even so, I struggled. I agree that it’s harder to find work now, but for many, where there is a will there is a way. If you want to work, that is, and if you aren’t afraid of hard work.
And who wants to work? Undocumented immigrants. Stand outside any big hardware store (I won’t mention their names as they are mostly hateful supporters of T-rump) and you’ll see a group of undocumented men seeking day labor to support their families. Immigrants are our housekeepers and our gardeners. This is work. But it’s work that disenfranchised, unemployed white men don’t want.
Since those jobs are gone, they need someone to blame. Trump has led them to believe that foreigners, immigrants, minorities and undocumented workers have taken those jobs. But of course, that’s not true. Those jobs are gone forever due to technology. No one has them. But it’s so much easier to blame someone, as was proved in Germany when Hitler got the populace to blame Jews for their economic woes and then to hate them for it, and finally, to accept killing them for it.
Oh yes, the blamers have also bought a bill of goods. Because usually blamers aren’t educated and can’t think critically. They are uniformed, naive or, in some cases, just plain not smart enough to understand. This is a dangerous combination.
Just plain dumb or naive
“I”m really kind of shocked at their attitudes,” someone I know said about a young couple we know. “But now that I think about it, my expectations were too high– they just aren’t very smart.”
Some of us have been blindsided by people we thought had a brain and, it turned out, didn’t. I know this sounds snarky but we all know it’s true. Our people represent a variety of abilities and brain power, whether you believe in the bell curve or not. Many people are just not smart. And many do not read current events, politics, or history. They have no interest in it. So they are uninformed.
Lacking critical thinking skills and/or brain power, they bought the idea that loser Trump is an excellent business man and further, that government can and should be run like a business. Um. Uh huh. People in the know realize what a failure Trump has been but those who aren’t astute enough to understand bought his story hook line and sinker.
And of course, government is very different from business. As Florida under Jeb Bush discovered. But these people don’t know that because they don’t read history. Some don’t read at all. T-rump says he doesn’t read, either.
Misled, fundamentalist, evangelical “Christians”
It’s sadly ironic that Trump, who doesn’t have a religious bone in his body, had a huge base of support from this group’s leaders and then their flocks. I know a lot about this group and I find them to be the most hypocritical people I have ever met. Just like my favorite pastor often says, they do not even begin to emulate or live the teachings of Jesus Christ. They do know their Bible, though, and can quote it backwards and forward. They just can’t live it.
The fundamentalists I know have the most effed up family–and personal– lives ever. Especially those leading flocks. Completely dysfunctional. But they get dressed up every Sunday and go to church like a good little Christian family. I have no respect at all for these ministers and their flocks –who follow like sheep–are dangerous.
Their support for Trump doesn’t surprise me–it’s laughable. He can say the most horrible things and yet, these “Christians” are “proud to support him.” Yeah, I read that from one minister last week. Of course, most of those minister live high on the donations the sheeple make in good faith, thinking they’ll be blessed for donating, poor souls.
I feel sorry for their sheeple, those of them incapable of seeing right through the hypocrisy. Oh, how they want to believe. Oh, how sad this is. But I fear them, too, because they can’t think for themselves.
They’ve been among us the whole time, and now they are empowered. The neo-Nazi movement has been gaining supporters, for example. White supremacists are coming out from under their rocks. I am really afraid for the targets of their hate and with good reason. It is up to us to make them feel as safe as possible and to speak up and speak out when we see bigotry in action. We MUST.
Do you doubt this? Let me quote a black woman, last week:
“Just experienced one of the WORST THINGS in my entire life!!! While pumping gas, I had a vehicle pull up beside me…out jumps 4 males…all of whom are Caucasian…they then proceed to talk about the election and how they’re glad they won’t have to deal with niggers much longer…now me being by myself, I just kept quiet…until one walked over to me…and said, “how scared are u, u black bitch??? I should just kill u right now…you’re a waste of air!” Still, I said nun…I kept my head down…he then proceeds to say, “what, are u deaf or something u nigger??” Then another guy steps out and shows me his firearm…he says, “you’re lucky there’s witnesses or else I’d shoot u right here”…by now there’s tears…full blown tears…they leave…I have called the police, but I am shaken…upset…and confused…is this what America is going to be like from here on out?”
Well, this is the one that hits me in the solar plexus. There is an entire group of men who simply can not abide a strong, powerful woman. That kind of woman threatens their shaky masculinity. At first it was that women were getting jobs they though they should have. Now, it’s animosity toward any strong woman. They objectify women and have special terms like “slut” and “whore” for any woman who disagrees with them.
What’s more, there’s a group of white women who are similarly threatened. Maybe they aren’t smart enough to get an education and have a career. Maybe they feel conflicted about staying home to raise a family. Maybe they feel that women should not be in the work force, should not achieve. These women hate other women. And these women played a huge role in this election. They turn my stomach.
So, the rock got turned over and all these horrible people crawled out, legitimized for the first time.
White boys and men who feel entitled
So here’s something that happened to a friend last week. Or rather, her son’s girlfriend. It’s a small anecdote, but it felt ominous.
Her son’s girlfriend, a senior, was told yesterday by a freshman boy that “nobody can tell him anymore what he can or can’t do to a girl.” She reported him to the office. THIS is what’s been unleashed. Do not kid yourself.
This is part and parcel of the T-Rump manifesto. The example he has set for your children. I don’t have kids, but if I did, I’d be working overtime to counter this. I wouldn’t let them draw their own conclusions, especially boys and young men.
And there are other things I’ve seen that horrify me. Young teenage boys talking about “crooked Hillary.” What would a 13 year-old-know about “crooked” or “Hillary” except what he’s bought, lock stock and barrel from media or adults? They know NOTHING. Thirteen-year-olds aren’t knowledgeable. They have no life experience. They soak up what they are exposed to.
If I were a parent I would see this as the insidious start of misogyny it is. As the birth of male privilege. And stop it in its tracks. These are challenging days to be a parent, to keep young girls and women from seeing themselves as less-than and to keep young boys and men from seeing themselves as more-than. Parents, you’d better start that work now because it’s the most important thing you’ll do. If you don’t believe me I have to think you are completely delusional. And dangerous to the America we called home until last Tuesday night.
Now, I’m pretty smart and I know it. I don’t usually wave that flag. But we progressives have held back a long time and it’s cost us. Bigt ime. The people who voted for Trump are ignorant, uninformed and some are just not smart.That is a fact. And now, they’ve put a man in office who has made our country a dangerous place for many. I can never respect that.
And it behooves the rest of us, the ones with a brain, to come out and act. It’s never been so important. America is heading down the path of WWII Germany. Let’s stop it NOW.
And then, there’s this, by Lindy West in the New York Times:
“We have been weathering this hurricane wall of doubt and violence for so long, and now, more crystalline than ever, we have an enemy and a mandate. We have the smirking apotheosis of our oppression sliming, paw-first, toward our genitals. We have the popular vote. We have proof, in exit polls, that white women will pawn their humanity for the safety of white supremacy. We have the right woman to find. We have local elections in a year.
“The fact that we lost doesn’t make us wrong; the fact that they don’t believe in us doesn’t make us disappear.”
Remember: Silence = Death.