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My continued attempts to try to come to grips with the aftermath of the election.
“You have to accept that millions of people who voted for Barack Obama, some of them once, some of them twice, changed their minds this time,” said documentary filmmaker Michael Moore on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday.
“They’re not racist.”
This was an important discussion for me to hear on Friday morning, and I watched it again yesterday.
I have been struggling with this concept throughout Donald Trump’s campaign.
How could people (in many cases, people that I know and love) stand up and support a man who incites violence? Makes fun of a disabled reporter? Calls for a ban on Muslims? Dismisses his “grab them by the p*ssy” conversation with Billy Bush as “locker room banter?” Fuels the racial divide in this country by refusing to condemn the KKK when it openly praised and supported him as a presidential candidate?
In my eyes, support for Trump equals support for his views, or at the very least, a willingness to look beyond his views and say, “Trump’s transgressions of showing hatred for minorities is not enough of a reason for me to not vote for him.”
And the same can be said for a person who voted for Hillary Clinton.
Support for Clinton equals support for her views, or at the very least, a willingness to look beyond her views and say, “Clinton’s transgressions of poor email server management/being corrupt/Benghazi/any other fault you may see of her is not enough of a reason for me to not vote for her.”
I was able to overlook Clinton’s flaws and view her as the best person for the job of President.
Because for me, the inability to treat the marginalized members of society with respect and love is inexcusable in a leader. Inciting violence against blacks, against Muslims, against the LGBT community is inexcusable in a leader.
I wouldn’t be able to look my friends and family members of different races, religions, sexual orientations, and those who are disabled in the eyes and say, “I voted for a man who denounced you and who made you feel like you are not welcome in this country.”
Maybe that’s just me.
Or maybe my generalization is incorrect.
Maybe some of the people who voted for Trump saw this vote as their only shot for a better future. Maybe they viewed the anti-politician as someone who would actually get into office and create positive change in their lives.
Maybe it took a lot to overlook Trump’s sins in favor of a better future for them and their families.
I live a comfortable life, so I can’t speak to what that kind of despair feels like.
When you don’t have enough money to feed and clothe your family, is it possible that Trump’s campaign made you feel like your life will get better if only you vote Trump?
And if that is the case, should I grant those people grace?
I don’t know. But I’m trying.