We disagree. We have conflicting values. Trumpism is the ugly stepchild of our ongoing denial about the sin of slavery and our entitlement issues as Americans. It’s never been “liberty and justice for all.” We know that. So, we stumble again on our climb toward a more perfect union and fail to become an America of shared values and mutual respect. Trumpism, the current Republican party, is in direct opposition to our American values and basic Christian values, and the principles of every other meaningful ethical and spiritual tradition.
As we’ve so painfully learned, it is a formidable segment of society that feels betrayed by our aspirations. Our efforts at fairness and equality, advancements in science, a free press, an educated public, a principled government, a healthy population are rebranded “The Swamp.” Critics on an extreme Right point to flaws in “the system” as vast conspiracies and cover-ups to justify trusting none of the framework and even fewer individuals. Their trust is measured solely by party affiliation, or on a narrower set of beliefs within that party, or even exclusively on a single party leader.
Their answer is to dismantle and replace the whole thing with a patchwork of empty rhetoric and overblown patriotism serving their interests alone. Oblivious, deliberately, to everything and everyone around them. “Drain the Swamp!” Though POTUS publicly funds and maintains his own swamp out in the back of The White House. Where he “disappears” his rubbish, given an eager wink and nod by loyalists. Republicans demonstrate they’re prepared to throw common decency and democracy out the backdoor along with the bathwater.
For example, they rage on at a baseline amplitude dialed up to “ten” about their anxiety over being “stripped of their second amendment rights,” without any real threat of that happening. At the same time, pretending it’s “not a thing” black parents in this country are forced to teach their children the best response to survive a routine police encounter. Compared with white parents who don’t think about it because white children don’t need to worry about surviving a routine police encounter.
Who has so victimized and angered this powerful swath of our society? Certainly, Breitbart, Steve Bannon, Don Jr., and other influencers would not call for civil war and a return to “the old times of Tudor England,” and putting “their heads on pikes, right,”….”at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats, you either get with the programme or you’re gone,” if the sins were not gruesome indeed!”
We are the accused. All of us in the country who disagree. Democrats, and the likes of Dr. Fauci. Because Trumpism is the schoolyard bully’s code of ethics, it presumes there’s only one way to see and do things. Their way. It’s a zero-tolerance viewpoint that delights in taunting the rest of us and the world. Not just with “alternative facts,” but with an entire alternate perspective of what’s right and what’s wrong, what are lies, what’s the truth. It insists upon false equivalencies. Black lives don’t matter because police lives matter! We can’t honor or learn anything from protesters because ANTIFA exists. It’s not humanly possible to differentiate between protesters and rioters. Black Lives Matter is WRONG because ALL lives matter! How DARE you be outraged about police killings of black men! When you aren’t outraged right this minute about black babies killed by blacks in Chicago! White supremacists don’t count, no matter how many, no matter how dangerous, because ANTIFA! We can’t do anything to mitigate the pandemic that works — because we care about the economy! There’s no such thing as walking and chewing gum. “I don’t think science knows.” “Scientists are idiots!” “The only way (Trump) is going to lose this election is if the election is rigged…” None of this is rational discourse. Yet these messages are repeated thousands of times. Donald Trump isn’t a racist, or a sexual predator, or liar, or a tax cheat, or a traitor, or…No matter what you say, no matter what’s true, no matter what the evidence! Trump says, “NO!’ We say “NO”! Trump doesn’t lie — Obama does! We decree your media, and everything you say is “fake news.” Our opinion shows are facts!
It has been implied and stated outright by regular contributors to the letters to the editor that Democrats don’t believe in or understand facts, American values, or The Constitution. That they’re “un-American.” They’re Socialists and Communists, etc. — every reflexive party-line insult, despite stacks of eloquent letters proving otherwise.
The pleas for “everybody” to be civil and respectful, I thought, while good overall — also a false equivalency. It isn’t “everybody” who has cultivated and continuously fueled a toxic political climate or is routinely, predictably, uncivil, hostile, and disrespectful. At the same time, thin-skinned and intolerant of the slightest criticism. Not “everybody” reserving the right to falsely label an entire American political party and every person in that party “a socialist” simply because it’s fashionable among their own party to do so. Or “everybody” justifying every unethical attitude and action of their own, refusing to give an ounce of credit or respect to anyone else. Acting entitled to a gazillion grievances without a thought for anyone else’s circumstances or suffering. We all know I could go on.
I’m so grateful we won’t be dragged along through the muck another four years of this insane presidency. I’m sad and disappointed so many of us were unable to lift ourselves out of the hyper-partisan sinkhole of Trumpism. In recent letters to the editor, there was an exchange about how wonderful somebody was for his ability to accept the election outcome. Great! I hope that’s true. I hope that person can ditch some of the fact-free nonsense he’d previously written. It rubbed me wrong. It’s not terribly important how I felt, but it was a bit of a lecture. I gather it was fine for the gentleman to rant about bloodshed and socialists, but conversely, whomever it was, shouldn’t admit her desire to run away if we were to re-elect a dangerously unqualified dictator wannabe for another four years? Forgive me. I’m not sure who said it. We’re going to nit-pick the lower-case “t”? Why not Republican’s inability to say the word “Democratic.” I disagree her letter was petty. It was cogent. Lots of people have wanted to get away from Donald Trump.
It’s hasn’t been Democrats in Plumas County talking about their guns and the election or threatening trouble and “bloodshed.” It is also not Democrats who “couldn’t get over” who we elected (or didn’t elect) in 2016. Though, that is a cherished talking point on the Right. During Trump’s presidency, I didn’t drive around with an Obama bumper sticker that said, “Miss me yet?” I had an anti-Trump bumper sticker for a while during 2016. I removed it the day after the election with respect for Mr. Trump and his voters.
Like many Democrats, after Trump won, I spent a lot of time asking myself, “What didn’t I get!? Then, I spent the next three and a half years listening to the Republicans in my life. Can’t say I agreed with much. Mostly because of how rude, dismissive, and blamey they are. It was clear they didn’t have the slightest interest in listening to me. It wasn’t until about six months ago that I started asserting my opinions. Not once have they acknowledged a thing I say is legitimate without claiming to know better.
Liberals are haters?! What are you talking about? The Right mimics their pundits and leaders for over a decade, shouting insults and lies, and when we push back, we’re the haters? Don’t make me laugh. What a bunch of babies. If all you do is fling manure every day while people try to reason with you, it must feel strange once they finally fight back.
Since you’re all about peace and love now, I’ll tell you. I am sick to death of the Hillary-hating. OKAY — you disagree with her! Go ahead, think different things! Criticize her politics. Vote for somebody else! Don’t follow her on Twitter! But HATE her — for decades??? That’s about you, man. It’s misogyny. She didn’t “lie” any more than anybody else does. Certainly not more than Donald Trump! And she didn’t attack you. You attacked her! “Lock her up!?” Lock Biden up? Lock Gretchen Whitmer up now? Wow. The whole “deplorable” thing — how ’bout you do your homework? Get some facts. Read! Recognize context. She wasn’t even talking about you. Unless, of course, you’re a hater and a racist. In which case you ARE deplorable!
Four years ago, we were Hillary supporters. It was a horrible shock for us to learn a couple of weeks before the election that my mother was dying of colon cancer. I remember coming home from the rehab center the evening of the election to my stunned family. We couldn’t believe what was happening on TV. We stayed up half the night on the phone, commiserating with my son in Seattle. We laughed, we cried, cheered each other up. At one point, my son, who leans a little more Right, asked, if Trump turned out to be great would I support him? It took me a minute. I felt Donald Trump was a vile human being. We’d just been through Pussygate and the racist, hostile rallies, and the awful treatment of his Republican opponents. He’d said he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody…” There was “birtherism”… But I pride myself on having some integrity, especially with my son, so I answered, “yes.” Though based on Trump’s many obnoxious promises, I didn’t think I’d end up there.
I’ve thought about my promise many times since then.
Donald Trump tells us he’s the greatest ever of all time, but he has not been great or even good. He was a mistake. I get it, kind of, why he was elected. I don’t get Trumpism and the refusal to admit what a disaster his presidency has been. I blame you, his supporters. Not because you elected Trump — but for refusing to admit the experiment didn’t work. Condoning and excusing his racism, the shady dealings, the endless lies, the grotesque character flaws. His reckless mishandling of the pandemic and his unwillingness to reverse course when we need a leader who cares. Excusing anything and everything, and for failing to acknowledge that you are not the only Americans who deserve safety, a decent life, respect, and who matter.
We didn’t get our “landslide.” Nothing I can do about that. Donald says,”(HE) WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” No, Joe Biden won, by a lot. I support Joe and his pledge to be the president of all of us. I voted for Biden in large part because I’m so tired of the ugliness. I’m not holding my breath tho’. Until they can join us with civility, I’m putting my Republican friends on notice. I don’t accept your double standard, or the projection of your failures and bad behavior onto Democrats, or the false equivalencies and double-talk. You do not have the right to bully or harangue me. It is not my job to be nicer or more respectful to you than you are to me. I won’t entertain any more one-way conversations, or conspiracy theories about how Democrats and the media and The Deep State stole the election. Or Joe Biden has dementia, or “they” are going to slip Biden a mickey then Kamala and “the squad” will stage a socialist coup, or any other damn thing. Think whatever crazy thing you want. I don’t have to respect you when you don’t respect me. Your soap-opera-villain ex-president gets no more respect from me. He’s in my rear-view. I know he’ll keep popping up like a bad penny. That’s your contribution. I don’t care how you feel about wearing or not wearing a mask. Tell it to the Greatest Generation. If you want to believe everything Sean, Tucker, Rush, and Mark say, good for you — that’s not research. Everybody already knows about media bias. We’re all capable of discernment — you should stop believing in made-up stories. We have bigger things to worry about
“Look, folks,” because of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, their leadership, I want to invite Republicans to join us. Nobody thinks Biden and Harris are perfect. The talk in the DemocratIC Party is not “let’s over-throw Biden and push a socialist agenda.” Once again, it’s “message received.” We get it; people are afraid due to the phony messaging about socialism. All of us need to recognize and honor that we are a center-left country right now. I know, I know — you want it to be an extreme Right country. It’s not. The younger generation has the right to move the ball forward. Just because when you look at the red and blue map, it looks redder than blue, that doesn’t make it so in terms of real people. Nobody expects total agreement. That’s what’s remarkable about our county! Let’s stop the nastiness and get back to our original intention and work together. We must hold on to our democracy! We can honor our past and each other and grow into the future with love for this great country.