Voting for Donald Trump was not a vote for racism, and a few other thoughts
I still can’t get over what happened last week. I mean, is it possible Ford is a host? It would explain a lot on “Westworld.”
Also, Donald Trump won the presidency of the United States of America. Having trouble wrapping my head around that as well. I’m nervous. I have, predictably, about 4,327 things to say about it, but I’ll try to be concise and just hit a few points. Do me a favor. Read it all before you message me.
***** I’m personally having a difficult time separating the far-right, neo-Nazi, KKK love for Trump and the fact I have plenty of friends and family who voted for Trump. For me, it was a dealbreaker from the word go. It was a simple if/then statement as far as I was concerned. If racists stood for Trump, then I could not stand for Trump, no matter what I thought about his policies. I did not want to be on the side where legitimate hate stood.
Now: I’ve been all over social media the last few days, and one of the chief complaints I see from people who voted for Trump is that they’re being lumped in with racists. Plenty of pro-Trump people have posted things along the lines of, “I’m not a racist because I voted for Trump. It’s unfair to judge me based on what other people do. I voted for him because of jobs/trade/abortion/whatever.” And you know what? They’re right. It is unfair. While I couldn’t vote for Trump because racists like David Duke supported him, it (obviously) does not make you a racist if you did vote for Trump.
We can argue this until we’re blue (or orange) in the face, but it’s true: Voting for Trump does not automatically equal a vote for bigotry, this, despite the fact plenty of bigots backed Trump.
What is interesting, however, is if continue along this line of thinking, it probably gives the average Trump voter a little taste of what it’s like to be Muslim, black, gay, or any other minority in America: Just because you’re one thing doesn’t mean you should be lumped together with everyone else who is also that one thing. Just like not all Trump voters are racists, not all Muslims are terrorists, not all black people are in gangs, not all gay people like Barbra Streisand. The list goes on.
This if/then situation when it comes to hate and racism should — if we’re all being big boys and girls about it — lead to a deeper understanding of how, despite our political differences, we’re all Americans and need to treat each other with respect. (ducks)
***** If you’re anti-Trump and want to make sure the liberal agenda gets pushed in 2020, here’s an idea: Move to Pennsylvania.
Consider: Clinton lost Pennsylvania by 68,236 votes. She won New Jersey by over 500,000 votes. In fact, if a little more than half of all the Clinton voters in just Mercer and Middlesex counties alone decided to head over the Trenton Makes bridge, Clinton would’ve carried Pennsylvania.
Take this idea out west, where Clinton won California by over 2.5 million votes. If 2 percent of them moved to Arizona … and on it goes.
So really: If you’re that torn up about the Trump victory, don’t threaten to leave the country. Just move to Yardley.
***** I wondered if Bernie Sanders — who was selling a lot of the same stuff Trump was (the economy, elites, jobs, trade) — would’ve taken away votes from Trump. So I asked on Facebook.
Came back with 97 Trump voters responding, with 18 of them saying yep, they would’ve voted Sanders over Trump. If that would’ve held across the nation, Sanders would be our president right now. In a landslide. And I’d be equally nervous. We live in interesting times.
***** I want to be clear about something: I will support President Donald Trump. I’m sure I’ll disagree with him at times, but I will support him. He is, after all, the president. I want to be proven wrong about him. I want history to show he did a good job. I want America to be great, period.
I will, however, retain my right to remain nervous. Jeff Edelstein is a columnist for The Trentonian. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook. com/jeffreyedelstein and @jeffedelstein on Twitter.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Presidentelect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Thursday.