Trump Voters Aren’t The Problem. Anymore.

It’s interesting what you can learn if you listen. A big thing on many of our minds has revolved around the idea that America has lost its mind, our character, our moral standing. Ask any Trump supporter or those who loath him and we all seem to agree the other side is to blame. How is that possible? Many welcome the rejection of progressive values and delight in the setbacks inflicted upon the liberal agenda. Others abhor the current administration and the irreparable assault upon their values. We can’t both be right. United we stand. Divided… we will fall.

In talking with Trump supporters it is clear that they are fine with whatever it takes to return to a sense that their opinions and their values are recognized. Many who believed progress was made in the Obama administration are quick to assign labels of racist, homophobic and anti Islamist upon the them for that. When you talk to those embracing the Trump administration you quickly get a sense that more than anything they hate those labels. They are tired of values that don’t match their world view being thrust upon them with the condemning judgement with which it is often delivered.

Progressives scorn the Republican politicians who wrap legislation cloaked in populist language that convince many of their constituents to support policy against their own interests. We say they are stupid. But are they? The messaging from conservative interests are incessantly wrapped in patriotism, talk of family values, anti-elitism and a disdain for intellectualism. They narrowly define a homogenous demographic that matches the communities from where their voters reside. They convince a populace that suffers the challenges of a changing world that they are looking out for people like them. Imagine your manufacturing job is gone. Imagine the variable rate mortgage you refinanced became unaffordable and you lost your home. Imagine you’ve lost your health care and forget that before Obama it was impossible to get with your preexisting condition. People who don’t look like them but face the same struggles are inaccurately blamed. When those people who lost the same things they did speak out demanding the same things they do they see them as standing in the way of a life that can never be reclaimed. Then some good looking millionaire tells you none of this is your fault. You’re the good guy. You love God, America and your family and if it weren’t for those other people you could be a millionaire too.

Progressives can’t see past the idea that we are all in this together. They think everyone should understand that. When a desperate mother or father subscribes to the conservative message we wield our righteous superior thinking and obvious better education and expect them to recognize how stupid they are, how racist, how small minded. When Trump supporters continually hear the talking heads of mainstream media condemning their values and conservative media keeps telling them they are not the problem, liberals did this to them and if they stay tuned in America will be great again; where would you get your news? The divide is reinforced in a vicious cycle and we are all certain that we are right.

The one thing I’ll cling to in this us vs them divide is that we are, all in this together. We will never have the political clout to effect change if we continually fight amongst ourselves. We need to let go of the repulsion we feel when people fear monger and blame others while refusing to accept accountability for their current condition. Both sides. Politicians drunk with power and commitment to big money are the problem. Both sides. The challenges faced by this country are not new. When facing the struggles we all face it comes back to the old adage, follow the money. Who benefits from the policies and agendas put forth? One thing is certain, it ain’t we the people. Maybe, if we do want to make America great again, that’s where we need to start.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you Denise. I just keep looking for a way to make sense of all this. I’m tired of losing friends for the wrong reasons.

  2. I loved this Chris. Your writing is so solid yet eloquent, speaking to all of us.


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