So, here we go again, wading into political waters. I’m bound and determined to alienate all of my readers one blog post at a time. If you didn’t read my prior post, Why Trump Won, you may want to do that before venturing further.
I feel that my last post helped (maybe a tiny bit) explain to liberals why ALL conservatives who voted for Trump aren’t racist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, misogynists, so now I want to explain to my conservative friends out there why Liberals are so pissed at the election results.
I know the common refrain from many conservatives is that liberals are entitled, whiny, elitist, Social Justice Warriors who do nothing but bitch about every perceived slight, want to silence free speech, and publicly shame anyone who doesn’t believe EXACTLY AS THEY DO.
And yes, there ARE those kinds of liberals out there.
To pretend otherwise is a disservice to both sensible liberals and the truth.
Some of the biggest issues that conservatives, particularly the alt-right, seem to have with liberals is how far they try to go to change other people’s behavior through either laws, rules, or harassment campaigns.
The Right argues:
- You can’t protect people from being offended.
- You can’t make speech you disagree with illegal.
- You can’t make people call you by your preferred pronoun.
- You also can’t make people NOT be assholes.
- You can’t legislate morality.
- But not all liberals are trying to legislate morality.
MOST of us simply want equal rights.
Most of us want to be treated as equals, to not be discriminated based on our gender, sex, sexuality, race, or creed.
- We want equal pay for equal work.
- We want not to get shot for the color of our skin.
- We want to be able to walk down the street without being attacked or harassed.
- We want gays to be able to adopt and to have a legally recognized marriage (and family) just like any straight person can.
- Those seem like pretty reasonable demands to me.
And we’ve come quite a ways in this country. But, as this week shows us, we’ve still got a long way to go.
And THIS is why liberals are pissed. Because not only are we further back than we thought, but a Trump presidency could make things even worse?
Trump ran a campaign which essentially attacked the marginalized. He appealed to people’s fears. He’s on record as saying many misogynistic things, and has been accused of sexual assault including an accusation from a woman who was 13 when she claims that Trump, along with Jeffrey Epstein, raped her. Read about Epstein’s light sentence and see why liberals are pissed (and scared) — there is a different Justice for wealthy white men.
When black men are imprisoned at alarmingly high rates for drug possession and a rich man gets less than two years for soliciting an underage prostitute (in addition to the other allegations against him), there is something fucking wrong with our system.
Now whether or not you agree with Trump’s guilt (or guilt by association,) there IS a perception of Trump that you can’t deny. Just as liberals can’t deny the perceptions of Clinton as being shady, particularly in light of the wikileak emails.
Perception (along with self-interest) is what drives voters, regardless of the facts.
And right now liberals have the perception of Trump as being someone who will set equal rights back in a major way. Additionally, gay people ought to be nervous with VP Elect Pence’s views on gays and the barbaric practice of gay conversion therapy.
But it’s not only social issues that have liberals pissed.
Additionally, as one of my readers, Mary, pointed out in the comments of my last post, many retired citizens are afraid of what Trump will do to social security and health care. Mary had lost her retirement savings in the stock market during the Bush administration. Will Trump gut social security, Medicare? He’s already said he’ll get rid of “Obamacare” on Day One (though he has since walked that back with vague talk of keeping some form of it and perhaps enhancing it, who knows?)
What does that mean for the retired and others dependent on welfare and the social security system in place since FDR? Social Security was already at risk as we have an aging population and not nearly enough young workers to pay into the system to keep up with the growing aged population.
We NEED to go forward as a society, not backwards.
And this administration could be going backwards.
We do not WANT to go backwards.
And that is why liberals are pissed — they’ve worked hard to get us to where we are. They don’t want to see hard-fought rights slip away.
Having said all that, I think that (sexual assault charges aside) past evidence of Trump shows a different man than he portrayed on the election trail.
He has in the past spoken out for gays and Mexicans.
Read this article from The Advocate.
Maybe I’m being naive, but I think Trump said what he said to appeal to both the disenfranchised who felt their rights were being stripped away, while also appealing to the racists, homophobes, and xenophobes, so he could win the Republican nomination.
He is a businessman. He is a persuader. He is a hypocrite. He knows how to fool people to get where he needs to be.
So the question now is: What kind of man is he really?
Obviously, there are issues with his misogyny and sexual assaults which liberals are concerned about. How could he possibly help women given his past issues with them?
This is a legit question, and it’s one that the Right applied to Bill Clinton based on his actions. So to anyone saying if you voted for Trump, you voted against women, the Right made that same argument against the Clintons.
Again, it’s not the facts that drive people to vote, it’s perception.
And to pretend that Bill was a saint when it came to women is to be a hypocrite or to be ignorant of the facts.
And if memory serves me right, the Left was pretty much okay with Clinton’s transgressions when he was in office. As conservatives back then tried to do everything humanly possible to bring Bill Clinton down, the Left defended him.
So if you defended Bill Clinton, you should be able to see why some on the Right defend Trump.
And in spite of Clinton’s transgressions, he somehow managed to do a good job in office (though conservatives would vehemently disagree with me here), as did other past presidents who held any number of deplorable beliefs. Hell, it seems almost every man in Washington is part of some sex scandal.
Somehow, despite this, progress happens — whether because of the public outcry for it, or because of an enlightened viewpoint that comes in time, or from the people around Trump, we must march forward, to continue to demand equality for all.
But we can’t do it if we’re attacking our conservative friends.
We can’t do it if we’re violently protesting this election or being violent with one another. That only entrenches conservatives to their opinions of us as entitled troublemakers who throw a fit when we don’t get our way.
Again, perception is everything. And we must change perception of us to affect change.
On the subject of violence, this is definitely a two-way street, and here we get to another concern of liberals.
Following Trump’s election, many people have suffered from bullying and attacks by emboldened racists who see Trump’s election as carte fucking blanche to act like asshole bullies.
And why not, their bully of a president got elected. “Party time in the US of Fucking A!”
There have been a number of horrible stories following the election, and this is a time that conservatives need to stand up for the victims of this violence.
They, as well as Trump, need to take a stand and say that:
THIS IS NOT OKAY.
This is not right.
You people sicken me.
There’s a part of me that’s hoping that Trump played conservatives this whole time, and once he’s in office he’ll rip off the mask and say, “Enough of the bullshit. Let’s get some progress here. First off, stop being racist, homophobic fucks to one another.”
But selecting the ultra-conservative Pence, rather than a more moderate conservative, makes me think that’s just wishful thinking.
In my last post, I made the argument that not all conservatives are the racist boogeyman that so many liberals think them to be.
Now is the time to prove it.
Now is the time to take a stand and defend your brothers and sisters from verbal and physical abuse — to show that we as a society are better than this.
That nobody should have to live in fear of being attacked for the mere crime of walking down the street or being themselves.
Just yesterday, a friend of mine posted something to which someone made a comment about Obama being a “stupid black man.”
I asked what race had to do with anything.
The man responded by doubling down, using the N-word.
This is the sort of thing that only reinforces the stereotype of conservatives as racists.
As are the actions of so many following the election.
This is also the sort of thing that made almost me wish I didn’t write my post explaining the non-shitty reasons that conservatives voted for Trump.
But I can’t fall into that trap to hate all conservatives because of the actions of a few, or even many, shitty people.
But you all need to take a stand against this bullshit.
That being said, liberals ALSO have some shit they need to do.
For one, liberals need to stop trying to dictate what people say and do.
This is something that liberals ought to know as we fought the Moral Majority’s (and its successors’) righteous indignation and anti-gay, ultra-conservative philosophy for decades. We don’t like people with different senses of what’s moral and what’s not telling us what to do. Well, neither do conservatives!
Just as we argue that you can’t legislate love or what goes on in the bedroom of consenting adults, we also can’t legislate things we disagree with. The Bill of Rights is pretty clear on these matters.
Trying to force people to behave in accordance to your particular morality or feelings about a subject NEVER works. Not completely, anyway.
The only way to TRULY change people is through exposure, and through dialogue. Hell, I’d say that TV shows in the nineties did more to normalize gay people than all the marches, campaigns, and other actions combined.
You can’t win the hearts and minds of those you oppose if you’re constantly attacking, belittling, or telling them how awful they are. When you do that you only reinforce their awfulness.
I’ve also seen some stories of liberals faking being the victims of harassment or attacks following the election.
To which I say, WHAT THE FUCK?
Why would you do this?
I understand that you want the world to know how bad you think Trump and his followers are, and how awful they’re going to make the world for you. But do you need to “prove it” so much that you’ll fake an attack?
Lies don’t prove shit. They only make the Right question any reports of attacks. They’re already weary of the extremists on our side who make every molehill into a mountain. What do you think fabricating attacks does?
This totally delegitimizes arguments of the people actually being attacked.
Additionally, faking attacks has a boomerang effect of hurting the very people you think you’re helping.
Because a lot of people will never even hear that the lie was retracted. And even those that do, most will only remember the negative.
It wings up adding to the fear and anxiety that blacks, gays, the transgender community, Muslims, and women are already feeling.
It contributes to the very culture of fear that we’re pissed at Trump for cultivating!
You can see how this sets up a very dangerous situation, right? If people are even more frightened because of false reports, what’s that going to do? How long before someone fearing for their life accidentally shoots someone mistakenly thinking them more of a threat than they were?
Every piece is like a domino, and right now we’re stacking them all up against us.
Fabricating attacks doesn’t help our cause.
Nor does rioting.
President Obama has already called for peace, and protesters need to listen to reason.
I am hoping that President Elect Trump comes out and tries to calm his followers down as well, if he hasn’t already. It would be a nice step towards some sort of civility.
Calmer heads need to prevail if we’re ever going to truly unite the people that make up our United States.
There is a famous political cartoon drawn by Benjamin Franklin which depicts a severed snake representing the American colonies and the need for them to join to fight with Great Britain against the French and Indians. It says simply:
JOIN, or DIE.
While we’re no longer divided colonies, there hasn’t been a time in recent memory that we’ve been this divided.
And if we don’t find a way to unite, to join with our brothers and sisters and work through this, America as we know it, the America we love, will surely die.
It starts with talking.
It starts with listening.
It starts with us.