Vot­ing for Don­ald Trump was not a vote for racism, and a few other thoughts

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SUNDAY SELECT -

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 jedel­stein@tren­to­nian.com, face­book. com/jef­freyedel­stein and @jeffedel­stein on Twit­ter.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama shakes hands with Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump in the Oval Of­fice of the White House in Wash­ing­ton Thurs­day.

Jeff Edel­stein

Colum­nist

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