The following is a post pulled from Facebook:
I understand why someone would vote for Trump. I don’t mean that I can see his appeal, because I can’t. But I do understand why someone who normally votes Republican would cast a vote in his favor. However, I’m not sure this understanding goes both ways. I’m not sure that you, Trump voter, really understand why we non-Trump voters are so distraught.
A lot of you think you do — understand, that is. You think it’s politics. No one likes to be on the losing side of an election. And that’s why so many of you — and to be fair, I’ve seen Clinton voters share this same sentiment, in an attempt to restore rationality — have scolded people on my side for the unpatriotic heresy of disconnecting from Trump voters on social media. You see it as childish, sore loser stuff. You say, “Can you really not have someone who disagrees with you as a friend?”
You’re missing something vital though. You’re just happy the election is over, and that now you’ll have a government that pursues the conservative policies you prefer. All of which is fair. That’s a normal consequence of an election, and while the rest of us are understandably upset about that part, it’s part of the program. You win some, you lose some. We’ve been there before.
But this election includes extracurricular material. And that’s why, Trump voter, your more progressive friends are questioning whether or not they can keep you in their lives.
Donald Trump has given credence to the belief that Muslims must be assumed to be terrorists until proven otherwise. Now my friends who are Muslim (or even just of Middle Eastern descent) are at greater risk of violence and harassment.
He created a myth that Mexican immigrants come to this country to commit crimes. Which again puts my Latino friends at greater risk of violence and harassment.
He chose one of the most virulently anti-gay politicians in the country as his vice president and threatens to undo the progress the LGBTQ community has seen in the last eight years.
He caters to hate groups and has spread anti-Semitic messages throughout his campaign. My wife and daughter are Jewish. I take that kind of thing personally.
He has been plausibly accused of multiple sexual assaults, which is something he has admitted on tape to doing. He’s bragged about it. That our society would look past that and elect him puts women and girls at greater risk.
Shall I go on? You see, this isn’t just disagreement about boring policy stuff like taxes. I see a lot of “We have to come together now as a nation” messages floating around, but the subtext of this election is that a lot of Americans aren’t actually invited to the unity party. And look, I can handle complexity. I don’t think voting for Trump means that you’re a racist, misogynist, homophobic, anti-Semitic bully. I’m not accusing you of that. But it does mean that you are — at best — insufficiently troubled by the people that are those things, not least of whom is our President-elect.
You are probably a good person. You wouldn’t be reading this otherwise. That you’ve read this far — that you’re willing to hear me out — is a testament to that. And what I imagine you’re thinking right now is that all of the bad things I just described are exaggerated.
I’ve witnessed the dialog whenever an unarmed African-American man is killed by police. I know the script. But I’m not interested in debating this stuff with you, at least not now. Instead, I want to offer you a deal. You’ve got your guy. You want those of us on the left to participate in your calls for unity? You’ve got to do something for us.
The threats against gays, Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, females, the stuff that you think isn’t really happening? You’ve got to promise to prevent it. You have to state for the record that you’re not going to tolerate people being attacked for their race or religion or sexual orientation in this country. You have to guarantee that you will stand in the way of not just rapists, but “casual” sexual assault as well. If you really want unity, then you have to say that you’ll help make this country a safe place for everyone.
Here’s the thing: You can think I and other liberals are overstating the problem if you want to. Right now, I’m only asking for your words. If you prefer to think of the Left as a child who thinks there’s a monster under the bed, fine. Just say you’ll protect us from the monster. Don’t mock us for being upset. We’re not being petulant. We’re fucking terrified. If you value the friendship of those you “disagree” with, then it’s high time you remembered what friendship really means.
Don’t argue with me about any of this. Just say the words. And then say them to the other people in your life who need to hear them. Say them to other Trump voters too. If you can’t do that, then our differences go way beyond our willingness to disagree.