Who Are You? Trying to Understand Trump Supporters

Who are you, Mr., Miss or Mrs. T supporter? How can those of us who detest your leader understand you? And, in terms of the next election, how much effort should we spend in trying to talk with you about the problems that face us all?

Are you someone who has lost not only your job but your trade or profession, or afraid of your job and your respect being lost? Or of losing your home, social security, schools for you or your children? Are you someone who thinks this country is controlled by elites, by billionaires, who want to replace you with people from other countries?

Billionaire CEOs have certainly been sending businesses overseas or replacing people with machines. And a few billionaires have more wealth than all of you non-millionaire (or billionaire) T supporters combined. But this distrust of billionaires is something you share with the liberals you say you distrust or hate. Liberals are, in this regard, your natural allies. And if you truly distrust “elites” and billionaires, why did you support giving them even more power and money in the form of huge tax cuts that you are paying for? Why support a system that pays CEOs 287 times more than their workers?

If you distrust billionaires and the elite, why do you support T, who claims to be a billionaire and who bows to certain elites? Did you buy his line that, since he is so rich, he couldn’t be bought? Or that, because he was a successful businessman, he could run this country like a successful business?

No President has been bought off as much as T has, or so blatantly treated the office of the President as a business venture to earn profits not for you or for this nation, but for himself. Every time he takes a vacation at one of his golf resorts or stays at his own hotel, you the taxpayer directly pays him. Many foreign politicians also pay him. You have to wonder how much our foreign policy is motivated by personal profit for him. And look at how he runs his businesses. He certainly does not do so to benefit his workers or the customers he supposedly serves, as in the example of Trump University. He runs the country as if you were his servants who he could use and discard without proper compensation whenever he wished. Many have characterized T’s style of running the business of the US government as a criminal enterprise.

You might reply, “But Democrats are the same, or worse, and at least T does it openly.” Sure, there are immoral or unethical Democrats. But this is a tired old line. No Democrat comes close to T. The only politicians in recent US history who exceed or come close in terms of criminality, hiring billionaires to their cabinet and committing criminal acts are Republicans, like Reagan, Nixon, and Bush II.

Some say you think of liberals as “loud mouthed Pharisees, intolerant moralists.” This is interesting, because that is how “liberals” or Democrats used to think of you, before T became President.

Are you opposed to democracy, the constitution, and a system that gives all citizens the right to vote and speak equally? The political party you support has been trying to disenfranchise voters for years. These efforts are now targeted at people of color. Keep in mind that if you allow some people to be disenfranchised now, maybe you will be tomorrow.

Or maybe you are you a white nationalist or a racist, sexist, anti-Semite bigot? The President seems to think you are. He tweets like one and, at his rallies, speaks like you are one, too. He tells you Hispanic immigrants and asylum seekers at our border constitute an invasion, of rapists and criminals. This despite the fact that immigrants are far less likely to be criminals than people born in the US. This summer he attacked an American city as a “disgusting, rat infested, mess” and attacked the African-American Democratic Congressman from that city. In the previous week, he attacked four Congresswomen of color, telling them to go back to the “broken, crime-infested places from which they came.” Of course, they came from here, are all US citizens, 3 were born in the US. Then there’s Charlottesville, as well as so many other examples of racist acts and statements. So, if you’re not a racist, etc. you need to speak up and tell him so.

Are you a “true” Christian? Some researchers and commentators have called you a defender of your religion who fear that American liberals were more a threat to you than Russians, North-Koreans or even Iranians. But the man you follow seems to not know or care about many of the teachings of Jesus Christ, certainly not about “love thy neighbor” or “do onto others as you’d have him do unto you.” He certainly covets women who are not his wife, bears false witness daily, and steals from others. He certainly does not know Mathew: “For I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me…” Have you lost the heart of your religion in your defense of its name?

Maybe you were just misinformed and caught up in the info-wars. You started watching FOX or you looked for people who spoke to your anger at billionaires and your dream of a better life and you found people who brought clarity to your mind and comfort to your emotions. They gave you a target for your anger and stroked it into hate. I understand. But just because an explanation provides an easy answer doesn’t mean it is correct.

How do I know my view is correct? That’s a tough one. I begin by recognizing things are often more confusing and complex than I would like. I recognize I am fallible, so I am willing to give others a break. And this is a great strength, not a weakness. It allows me to listen to others more openly than I would otherwise.

And it’s not hard to go to government and university sources for information to fact-check what news commentators say. It’s not so hard to see that a Hispanic immigrant is not a devil but as human as you are, with fears, hopes and loves, like your own. It’s not so hard to find out that the information touted on media like FOX news, etc. about brown and black people is often inaccurate. It’s not so hard to discover who T really serves, although it might be getting more difficult each day. For example, the T administration is closing down information websites, especially scientific ones like those by the EPA,  the US Geological Survey and the Agriculture Department. They are demonizing science, which is demonizing our future. Don’t forget that everything from cell phones, trucks, guns, to medicines, comes to us through science.

Your safety, the safety of all of us, depends on these and other science-based agencies, yet T freely interferes in how these agencies function. For example, during hurricane Dorian, T made an incorrect statement that the hurricane would hit Alabama. When an office of the National Weather Service corrected T’s statement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire top officials of the agency.

T has always found it challenging to recognize the truth or speak it, and now he wants to bury it so deeply that we will be greatly challenged to find it.

So aside from the fact that you are most likely white, I don’t know who you, a supporter of T, is. And you don’t know who I am, either. And we both will be better off if we acknowledge that. And acknowledge that we both are human beings. Both want a good life, a future, and respect. And we need to build on that.

We need to talk with each other and understand each other. But in picking a candidate for President, I am not going to pick someone who thinks he or she speaks to who you are. I will support someone who speaks to what is best for the great majority of Americans. Who supports policies that are not primarily aimed to increase the income of big banks, corporations, billionaires, and T’s family, but for increasing the wages, power, health care, education, and rights of the mass of citizens. I am going to do what I can to free us from the danger that is T and support a candidate for President that will do the same.

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