Trump’s Supporters Really Are Not Good People With Good Intentions
I’m sitting here wondering on this cold bright Halloween night if our grand experiment in Democracy will withstand Tuesday and the days that follow.
It has been noted by writers more astute than I that this is more than just an election because this particular election will reveal our national character and what kind of people we really are.
It’s our choice to approve either decency or debauchery. We all know which is which. Will our worst instincts as a nation prevail?
Trump’s supporters will be voting for racism. Whether they admit it or not, if they vote for Trump, they are voting for a man who condones and encourages white supremacy.
Trump’s supporters do not want democracy. Make no mistake. They want mob rule. They want the crude, rude, and corrupt Trump to be the leader of this country. They want guns and the rules of the old west. They want the Ku Klux Klan and groups like them to keep black people from getting too “uppity.”
They want the part of the First Amendment that protects protest not to apply to black people.
They do not want to be told anything unless their John Wayne (Trump) said it.
They don’t want highly educated people using their expertise for public welfare to tell them anything. Even if it is for their own health and wellbeing. Ignorance is truly bliss in their estimation. And they’d rather be ignorant than confronted by and constrained by inconvenient truths. They want to live their lives just as they please — without regard for the effects of their choices on others. They value tough talk over good sense. They want a leader like the characters John Wayne played, never realizing those character types were fictional and could not have led a nation in modern times.
Those who cast their votes for Donald Trump want to feel and be treated as if they are superior to Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC). They realize they are racist and backward. But, stubbornly, they want what they want. They want to consider themselves better than somebody.
They don’t know what Dunning-Kruger is and don’t care, although many suffer from it. They don’t care about history, either, except many would like to go back to what they consider the good old days — which were far from good for BIPOC. They don’t know they are on the opposite side of every idea that has truly made America great. And even if they did, they would not care.
Our populist president has fed their fires until they are openly hostile to fellow citizens who disagree with them. They have lost control of themselves by abandoning all concerns or appearance of concern for the common good.
They want their own brand of religious freedom. . .only for Christians.
They want their own brand of religious freedom. By religious freedom, they mean that all Christians should be able to worship any way they please. As far as they are concerned, there are no other valid religions. They have forgotten what our revolutionary ancestors fought against and now they want to reinstate that very thing by uniting church and state.
They will tell you that this country was founded on Christian principles — although it wasn’t — and they don’t want people of other faiths here and don’t want the government protecting any other faith that is not belief in their white god.
They do not care about equality.
We need to know the other side. Knowing these people who want Trump to remain president is ugly knowledge, but we must face it. They do not care about equality or about the idea that all men are created equal. They do not really believe that. They will give it lip service, but they cannot believe all humans are created equal and deserve equal treatment and still vote for Donald Trump. If they believed that, they would not. They believe all white men are created equal.
They have been robbed and they do not realize it. When the Trump Administration gave huge tax cuts to the richest people and corporations, the country’s coffers were robbed, her revenue drastically cut, and her reserves endangered. They do not know this, and they do not know how it will affect them and their descendants. Nor do they care. They believe rich people deserve the best because they’ve amassed the greatest amount of riches. They worship money; therefore, they respect and deify the filthy rich.
They hate the free media and have no clue as to its purpose in a Democracy.
They love the way Trump talks. He talks just like they do around their dinner tables. He is a standup guy in their eyes. They love that he is hateful to the media and politically incorrect. They’ve long hated the media for knocking down their heroes.
They do not understand the free press protects their freedom just as our soldiers do but in different ways. They do not think we need watchdogs over government leaders. So the media is not important to them. They have never heard of the Fourth Estate and its purposes, nor do they know or care about it. They see the media as a bunch of smart ass, over-educated fools, who need to be put in their place. Trump talks hateful to the press, and they love him for it.
Trying to tell a Trump supporter all the ways Trump is bad for them is like trying to tell a teenage girl her abusive hoodlum boyfriend is no good for her. He makes her feel good right now. He makes her feel loved and understood for the moment. And that’s all she cares about.
Trump makes his supporters feel good that way. He courts them. He ignores and ridicules the educated and the righteous. He talks tough and makes his supporters feel empowered. They worship him. He tells them he will make America great again, and he’s being truthful. He will make it great for the richest white people in the country. If he can, he will take the country back 100 years to do it, but he will make America great again if great is just like in the past. And that’s what many of them want — to go back to the past. And that past included segregation, and they know it.
They idolize the rich and want to be in the same club.
His supporters do not care about anyone else. They side with rich white men, though they may be living on a measly $20,000 a year themselves. They feel themselves a part of that club. White people who do well. Rich white people are what they aspire to be. They identify with the rich even though the rich stomp them down and then scrape them off their boots like dog shit.
As for the abortion issue, most of them aren’t really pro-life in the sense of valuing life. They do not value the lives of BIPOC once they are born. They do not care about poor white children much, either. They justify starving them by saying their parents need to get a job. Mostly, they want to control women. Can’t have women deciding not to have babies. Women aren’t allowed to make those kinds of decisions in their book.
We must face who these people are. They are sometimes our brother, our sister, our parents, and our friends. But we must face it. They are not the people we thought they were, and in this time of COVID, in an election year, we cannot avoid the truth. They’re not the Republicans of yesteryear. They’re something entirely different than the Grand Old Party our grandparents knew.
They will become bolder.
If Trump wins, and he could, they will become bolder. They will outlaw gay marriage. They will end legal abortions and defund Planned Parenthood, even though the agency does a lot more than provide abortions. They will continue to let the rich shirk their taxes while the poor and middle class pay through the nose. They will take away the healthcare of millions who cannot afford the big insurance companies’ policies or cannot meet their requirements.
They will feel even more privileged if Trump wins and continues his racist, misogynistic, egomaniacal ways. The men supporting Trump are not feminists, and the women are not, either. Things will become harder for women. Equal pay for equal work will not happen. Body autonomy will disappear for women. Discrimination and, yes, sexual harassment will continue largely unabated and unprosecuted.
Cops will keep killing black boys and men in situations where white men and boys live.
Medicare and Social Security are Trump targets.
Trump has “helped” individuals and businesses by suspending payroll deductions for Medicare and Social Security. It was supposed to help individuals through the pandemic, when, in reality, it is the first step toward eliminating both social programs. His rich supporters are free from withholding these deductions from employees’ paychecks, and the employees are happy to see more money in their paychecks. To them, it feels almost like getting a raise, except it’s not coming from their employer. It’s coming from funds that are needed for social safety nets.
There will be consequences, namely that Social Security and Medicare will run out of money even faster, leaving those dependent on their benefits with no social safety nets for retirement income or medical care.
And that’s what Trump and the Republicans want. They want to end social security and Medicare. It is not a secret. They have said so. Like children starving in America, it’s one of those things that Trump supporters chose not to notice. They will notice when they have to take granny out of the nursing home because there’s no money to pay for it.
Many members of the working class support Trump. They are terribly deluded. Trump cares nothing about the working class. He’s known for maltreating his employees and contractors. He’s known for not paying them a fair wage or not paying them at all. Trump cheats whoever he can and calls it good business, just like he calls not paying his taxes good business.
A terrifying preview
We saw a terrifying preview of what we can expect to be a regular occurrence if he wins. Trump turned anonymous goons — from wherever they came — loose on the BLM protestors in Washington D.C. They wore no insignia, no badges, nothing to show where their authority originated. They grabbed, roughed up, and arrested protestors for being on the street. There was no outcry from Trump’s supporters. They were wholly in favor of getting “those people” off the streets and cared not a whit who attacked them or what happened to them.
I once thought Trump supporters didn’t understand what he stands for. I truly believed if they fully understood what a continued Trump presidency would mean, they would surely change their minds and cease supporting him. I believed in their basic goodness.
I was wrong.
They understand perfectly well what Trump wants to do, and they stand in support of it all. What we must understand is they aren’t supporting him because they’re stupid or misled. They are supporting him because they support his evil, greedy, prejudiced views. They want to restrict the freedom and rights of certain people and elevate others. Their ideas are not those this country was founded upon. Their intent is entirely different.
They don’t accept that there is anyone who truly cannot work; because being truly destitute — with little or no resources — is beyond their experience of life.
They want the poor to suffer as consequences of what they see as “not working hard like everybody else.” They believe the poor deserve to suffer and that being poor equates with laziness or shiftlessness. They do not care that the children of the poor suffer, although they will sometimes make noises as if they do, though not very loud noises, followed by no action.
They do not accept that some people cannot work or believe how hard it is for some to get a job and then get to work every day. They don’t accept that there is anyone who truly cannot work; because being truly destitute — with little or no resources — is beyond their experience of life.
Trump supporters truly do not mind that Trump has spent over $140 million playing golf. They do not mind that Trump’s entourage — the Secret Service agents and everyone else who travels with him — must rent rooms (some at $546 per night) from his own establishment. Much of the costs of those trips to play golf go right into Trump’s pocket.
Free enterprise, his fans say. He’s a good businessman, they tell us. They believe in the entrepreneurial spirit and think Trump deserves to make money from his golfing trips. It’s our money. Taxpayer funds. But they do not care because they, too, have no qualms about profiting off the government whenever possible.
These are the people who find nothing wrong with corporate welfare or drastically cutting the taxes of hugely profitable businesses. They think if someone or some corporation is rich, it is because they worked for it. They will say that this is a capitalist system and the rich deserve to be rich and keep their own money in their pockets. The rich provide jobs, they say, and it is right that the government helps them.
They are not mistaken. . .
These people are not just mistaken in supporting Trump. They know exactly what he stands for, and they like and approve of it. They know he lies boldly and continuously, and still, they support him. So they support dishonesty whether they admit it or not.
These are people who resent even meager food stamps given to the poor. “You don’t work; you don’t eat” is their motto. Never mind that many who say that have never worked a single day in their lives.
They don’t mind that the 1% of richest people and corporations are paying less tax than ever before and the middle class — saddled with taxes and wages that do not keep up with inflation — has become the working poor.
The younger ones resent the fact that older people are drawing Social Security, which they paid for! They think everyone should be able to amass a big 409 Retirement fund and take care of themselves and not rely on any assistance. They do not accept that everyone — poor, middle class, and yes, the rich in this country, are getting some form of help from the government — through roads and infrastructure, if nothing else. No one got rich alone.
Everyone is not equal in this country and they don’t want equality.
Trump supporters are not offended when he stomps all over the Constitution’s letters and intents. The truth in their twisted minds is that they accept that not everyone is equal in this country, nor do they want them to be. They think, honest to god that they are better than others. They think this country belongs to white men, who allow their women to share it with them.
The Constitution is their document, but not applicable to BIPOC, or LGBTQ+ and not completely, even in this day, to women. It was written, they think, by white (Christian) men, and for them only. And even then, some parts can be ignored because those white men, even according to their old-fashioned wives, are each the big boss man. . . king of their castles.
Know them for who they really are.
So, if Trump wins or doesn’t, know the people who voted for him for who they really are. They are not nice people. Nice people don’t vote to be ruled by a dictator who will victimize other people. A dictator is exactly what Trump wants to be. He runs the administration like a mob boss.
If he wins, it means the majority voted for him and all he stands for. And Democracy, which depends upon the collective wisdom and goodness of the people, will have failed.