Disclaimer: No. I did not vote for Donald Trump. Thank you.
We begin with a correction. Contrary to what you might’ve heard, you are not racist if you voted for Donald Trump.
No, you did not misread that. Voting for Donald Trump does not make you a racist. What’s more, voting for Donald Trump OR Hillary Clinton does not make you sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, heterophobic, Anglophobic, or sportist* either. It simply means you voted for them. I thought we were so far politically correct as a society that we aren’t supposed to assume things anymore? Or does that only apply to some people?
*Sportist is the term I just made up meaning discriminate based on who a person’s favorite sports teams are. I will never marry a Pittsburgh Steelers fan; that’s a deal breaker!
No matter what comments Donald Trump made, some quite disturbing, and others twisted out of context; a person voting for Donald Trump does not make them the things Trump’s accused of. If that were there case, then there’s a lot of Caucasian women who need to explain why they are sexist against their own sex. The same principle applies to Clinton voters. You are not threats to national security.
I’m sure there are racist, sexist, and xenophobic people who voted for Donald Trump. I’m also sure there are sexist, racist, Anglophobic, heterophobic people who voted for Hillary Clinton as well. But certainly not every voter fits the bill. Voting for either of these two candidates does not mean that your individual policy views are extremist or even parallel a particular candidate’s.
In fact, the odds are that you’re more likely to disagree with them on some policies and agree with them on the policies that you individually hold most dear to your heart.
That’s not how a lot of people think however. When the election hit and the Facebook statuses rolled in, I was stunned at how many people; people whom I’ve met, spoken to, and know are not stupid had this foolish notion that all Trump voters are the same. So many said the country was doomed, America’s true colors were revealed and that “Trump supporters” can now look forward to a world of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and sexism.
And this wasn’t just the friends of mine who I’d met over the years in liberal areas; there were people whom I grew up with in a West Texas conservative town that were forgetting their own heritage and subscribing to this stereotype that’s not even close to being completely true and is quite offensive.
This new grotesque stereotype was birthed from the idea that anyone who heard the offensive comments of Donald Trump and didn’t want to burn his house down, obviously had to agree with said comments. Which means every one of these “Trump supporters” fits an identical model that is balled up in a bubble of hatred. Each one is white, uneducated (that’s being nice), racist, sexist, xenophobic, wants a wall, hates LGBT, says pa all the time while chewing tobacco and drinking beer down on the bayou or some variation of that as it applies from state to state.
It’s quite untrue and is just as dangerous and ugly as its vice versa. That the Democrats are all minorities, overeducated angry nasty women, jobless who want free handouts, college students who want free education, LGBT crowd, gun-haters, atheists who hate religion, and/or people who hate the Constitution that have never worked a day of hard work in their whole lives. And you can pool them all together in a giant group called “the Whiners,” according to the conservative crowd (racist or not racist).
Are you kidding me? I wonder what that makes me since I voted for Gary Johnson (probably a pothead even if I’ve never done it).
I called out a few of my liberal Texan friends on social media, bluntly refuted their ignorance, and some bitterness arose.
I didn’t vote Trump, so I didn’t have a dog in the fight, but I felt I should protest because I know a lot of people who voted for Trump. People who I know aren’t bigoted in any way whatsoever. In Tom Green county, you’ll find a Hillary Clinton supporter maybe one every five to ten votes maybe. Most liberal votes come from heavy Hispanic populations in El Paso, Austin and the southern region towards the border. The rest is as red as Rudolph’s nose. While the liberal left would like to paint the people in West Texas here as stupid, I counter with this fact.
They live in a land that’s almost a desert and they not only survive, but thrive here. Do you really think they are stupid?
The truth is Donald Trump’s comments cannot reflect the viewpoints of the nation’s entire Republican population because the majority of states vote either Democrat or Republican nearly every single time. That’s why 12 states had 94% of the campaign events because those states (AZ, CO, FL, IA, MI, NC, NH NV, OH, PA, VA, and WI) were the ones that were swing states. This election was never about the whole nation other than to make sure voters didn’t forget to vote.
Texas is a red state. It has been a red state for four decades. The last Democrat to carry Texas was Jimmy Carter in 1976.
In fact, Hillary Clinton earned a half a million more votes than Obama did in 2012 and still lost by over 800,000. So what’s the most likely scenario? That Texas and the rest of the historically Republican states were going to just convert because Donald Trump said some terrible things and forget all the things they believe Hillary Clinton has done, which includes murdering people, and suddenly become as blue as the Pacific Ocean? Or that they would continue their tradition of voting conservative, because that’s how they truly believe and don’t like Obama’s policies that Hillary Clinton vocalized the intent of continuing?
The candidates knew it was the latter and that’s why they didn’t bother to campaign in those states. What threw the election to Trump was the fact that OH, PA, WI, FL, and IA were Obama states in 2012. In 2016, Trump flipped them and their 83 combined electoral votes over to secure the election to him. How does racism explain how Obama voters went to Trump over Clinton?
I’ve had to remind conservative friends of mine that a lot of liberals’ first choice certainly wasn’t Hillary Clinton, but rather Bernie Sanders.
I’ve had to remind the vice versa that Ted Cruz did win a few states in the Republican primary and John Kasich took the state of Ohio. Donald Trump was certainly not everyone’s first choice, that’s why the Libertarian and Green parties more than doubled their record vote totals this election. Over five million people were so horrified by both Clinton and Trump that they “wasted” their votes as some would say.
The truth is that at the end of the day, there were MILLIONS of people who liked NEITHER candidates. They were the most popular first choice with some people, but certainly not unanimous. There’s this cultural pressure to vote and then there’s a double pressure to not “waste” your vote. That leads to people trying to use their moral scales to weigh the candidates and everyone thinks differently.
In my case, I avoided such a dilemma by “wasting” my vote because I didn’t want a Sophie’s Choice between an outright sexist and a woman with more scandal than a soap opera series. However, many people did not share the same opinion. I can’t remember how many people I spoke to who said, “I’m voting Hillary to stop Trump,” or “I’m voting Trump to stop Hillary,” and it even led to me joking that at least that’s something you all can agree on: Don’t vote third party.
For those who waited until the last minute, I can’t imagine how torn they felt before casting. Between Trump’s audio recordings and the DNC emails, I’m sure most wanted a reset button. Not to mention they had to weigh issues of environment, immigration, Obamacare, gun-control, tax changes, who they wanted to pick Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court, etc.
Who out of these two people could they possibly trust when neither is Honest Abe?
That choice was probably easy for a lot of you. Whether it was Clinton’s emails or the Donald’s big mouth, that decided it for you and not the pro-this or anti-that. That’s respectable. Perhaps if I saw things through your eyes, I’d feel the same way.
But there needs to be respect for opinions outside of our own. In a world this big, we have to try to accept opinions outside our own especially ones grounded in some form of logical thought. Respect that someone can find a security risk a more frightening scenario than a rude sexist man just as we should respect the idea that a president should be dignified and respectable enough to not go around spouting stereotypical statements and making fun of people with disabilities. Respect that some don’t want a president under investigation by the FBI and some don’t want a president who was sued in civil court on accusations of rape.
These differences of opinion don’t make us bigots. They make us a democracy and that’s why this country is the one where people want to be. Respect them and keep the baseless insults out of it.