There is a point I keep trying to make, that I’m not sure I’ve made very clear yet. It has to do with President Trump, and it popped in my head again last week during his morally (and intellectually) vapid response to the Nazis in Charlottesville. Here it is:
If you voted for Donald Trump last year, then everything crazy that’s happening in our country right now is on your shoulders.
All of it – Neo-Nazis and white supremacists marching in the streets, the brink of nuclear war with North Korea, Russia buying an American election, and most of all, the emotionally stunted man child in the White House who has the approximate attention span, moral compass, and anger management skills of a 2-year old- that’s all on you, folks.
Now, I know what you are saying: “But this isn’t what I voted for!” Baloney. This is exactly what you voted for; stop acting all surprised that Donald Trump continues to act like Donald Trump in office. This isn’t a big shock; we (those of us who opposed him) predicted every last thing about him. The temper tantrums. The appalling lack of moral direction. The non-existent attention span. The failure to grasp even the most rudimentary policy ideas. The disregard for any and all American institutions and governing norms. The intense self-absorption. The tweeting. (Oh god, the tweeting.) The war mongering. The coddling of racists, extremists, Nazis, and criminals. The skin so thin you can see the overbearing insecurity cower beneath. The overall failure of this presidency. We saw it all coming, and honestly, we spent the better part of two years yelling about it. And now you want to act all surprised? Nope.
And how, might you ask, did we know? Because we had eyes and ears to see and hear! The way the president acts today? It’s the exact same person he was throughout his campaign! All this bullshit about how if elected, he would become more presidential? We saw it for the bullshit it was, and we warned you.
But you didn’t care. Because you were convinced that his opponent was somehow worse. I’m not sure in what way. I guess abortion?
And maybe you still believe the long-discredited and absolutely nuts Clinton conspiracy theories, about murder in Arkansas? It’s insane. During the course of the 2016 election cycle, you allowed yourself be hoodwinked, by a life-long scam artist, into thinking that a well-known woman politician – probably the best known and most transparent (thanks to the intense media scrutiny over the last 30 years) politician in America- was somehow unfit to hold the office of the President of the United States because of what server she saved her emails on. And, not only that, but you believed this to disqualify her despite the fact that he opponent was the kind of guy who openly bragged about sexually assaulting numerous women!
I mean, can you wrap your mind around that for a second? You made the calculus last year that a private email server was worse than sexual assault and blatant ignorance and racism.
Again, all because of, mostly, abortion.
Because you wagered that pinching your nose and voting for Trump would bring an end to legalized abortion in America. The same long right-wing con you’ve been falling for since Reagan. “Supreme Court justices!” you screamed.
And you’re right, Trump did appoint a right wing justice in Neil Gorsuch. But guess what? You still don’t have the Supreme Court votes. There are still four liberals and Anthony Kennedy standing in the way, and if you think Kennedy or Ginsburg are gonna let themselves be outlasted in office by President Cheeto – if you really think they are gonna let their legacy be overwritten by an in-over-his-head reality show hack- well, you’re gonna be surprised. I know the Notorious RBG is 84 years old, but I guarantee she has the force of will to keep on going until at least 2020.
To act like there was some kind of moral equivalency between Trump and Clinton – to continue to insist that, yeah, Trump is bad, but Clinton would have been bad, too – is to engage in willful ignorance. It’s like equating Neo-Nazis with those protesting Neo-Nazis. I mean, what kind of monster would do such a thing?
Anyways, back to my original point. Trump voters – strong Trump voters, reluctant Trump voters, bargaining Trump voters, GOP-loyal Trump voters – this is all on you. You don’t get to wash your hands of this presidency. You don’t get to act surprised and shocked by what is happening. Because we warned you. And, apparently, you just didn’t care enough about your fellow citizens to care.
Why am I insisting on this? Because it’s important that you realize that your vote has consequences for the lives of other people. It’s not a game. It’s not all about you. When you go and vote for someone like Trump, you have to own up to the consequences of that vote, you have to realize it matters, and you have to learn from it, so that we can avoid this kind of thing happening again in the future. Want to make America great again, like for real? Then realize you have blame in this, and that you have a responsibility to your fellow citizens to help make it right by making sure it doesn’t happen again.
So understand: everything that is happening right now, all the craziness and anger and insanity: this is the fruit of Trump support. Even if this isn’t “What you voted for,” it’s what you voted for. Own it. And next time, when you enter that ballot box, do better. You owe the rest of us that now.