Super Bowl Sunday was difficult for non-Trump supporting life-long Patriot fans. So much so, that the Boston NPR station WGBH did at least 2 segments about how people were dealing with the support of their beloved team when the owner, coach and quarterback of the team all voted for Trump. I took the dilemma a step further and decided to watch the game with my paternal grandmother who also voted for Trump. It got me thinking how we have gotten to this point of associating all Trump voters with all of Trump’s horrible policies.
While my paternal grandmother voted for Trump, she did so in hopes that he would take the country’s needs, especially the economy, more seriously once taking office, and that his childish, un-American racist, mysogynist, and xenophobic rants would end and would be forgotten. I get it, I voted for Hillary in hopes that some of the financial corruptions she took part in might have been a thing of the past as the hope that Bernie’s ideas she started to embrace at the end of the campaign were more than just a ploy to win over votes and that she might actually have believed them. We will never know for sure because she obviously didn’t win. In my grandmother’s case, she still holds some hope that Trump will do some good for the economy, but she was the first to comment on the Airbnb commercial about diversity in America, saying “See Trump??? All these people make up America!!!”. Those words hit me hard and caused me to open my heart a little more. I realized I was associating my grandma with all of Trump’s horrible views because she still supported him, not realizing that most supporters probably feel similarly- they despise his anti-diversity rants, they are just too republican to have voted for Hillary.
I was proud to learn in January that my life-long Republican-voting paternal grandfather (A Pearl Harbor Survivor), crossed party lines and voted for Hillary to vote against Trump because of how abhorrent he found Trump’s policies to be (reminding him too much of Hitler), but how can I not be just as proud of a Trump voter and supporter who is willing to stand up against Trump’s worst policies now that he is in office? My grandmother is pro-environment, pro-diversity, and, for a conservative Christian woman, very open-minded. Several years ago she found an article about a trans-boy who was 8 years old and whose parents allowed him to live as a boy because it was obvious from as young as 2 that he was not a girl and never felt like one. She showed me the article, had me read it, and knowing my grandma is such a conservative christian, I expected her reaction to the article to be something along the lines of “God doesn’t make mistakes like that”, but instead, she said “It’s so great that these parents are not forcing him to be a girl, God obviously meant for him to be a boy.”
I then got to thinking about my friends who are Trump supporters. I mainly avoid political discussions with them, as I always have, to maintain our friendships, but I would be interested to know how many of them are also appalled by Trump’s anti-diversity directives. How many dislike how he treats women? How many feel he needs to spend less time tweeting and more time doing important work for our country? How many feel he needs to do more to help the environment? How many are against the republicans who voted to hide torture of dogs and other non-human animals from the public for cosmetic and accessories research? I bet, since the qualities I choose in my friends tend to be animal-loving, open-minded people, I’d find that all of my republican friends find issue with many of his directives and the actions of the republicans in office.
If we are truly against the horrific actions of the current administration, we need to stop fighting against Trump voters and demonizing them. Take the fight against the administration and the republicans in office. Allow our friends and family who supported Trump in hopes he would stick to his campaign promise to stand up to Wall Street to get angry with us while realizing they could still be against Hillary. We are not Hillary, they are not Trump. We are the American people who stand for a country that thrives on diversity of race, religion, gender/gender-identity, and country of origin, whose wonder is in our natural resources that need protection, whose love of animals is more than our love of production, especially of cosmetics and accessories, who allow for political differences of opinion in how to improve economy and healthcare but who truly want the government working for us to actually improve those items. We all want an end to corruption in politics and the only way our government will hear us is if we stop dividing ourselves and we come together.
Sure, there are supporters of the current administration who truly support the racism and think mysogyny is ok and who are so uneducated about the ACA and the real effects of climate change that they have no issues with the current administration and can’t find common ground on those issues. But that’s not all of them, and I can’t even imagine that it is a majority of them. If people like my paternal grandparents, who supported everything GWB did without question could stand up against the current administration’s worst actions, then there must be more like them.
Make sure your actions and words speak against the current administration’s actions and words and not against their voters. While we’re at it, keep your words against policies not looks, and keep your actions peaceful. Peace and thoughtful humor is hard to demonize, while acts of violence easily erase our message and allow the administration to say “see, they can’t even act civilized, so don’t listen to them”.
PS- Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I have a great idea for anyone needing to find a gift that isn’t cliche flowers or candy for a loved one: donate to a cause they support in their name! My brother and my sister-in-law just donated to the NRDC in my name and I loved it! Here’s a list of organizations that can do a lot of good against the current administration:
and I’m sure you can find many others that will support your loved one’s passions. If you can’t get past the idea of not giving them a gift they can hold, put the donation certificate in a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers or consider buying a gift that gives back from the Hunger Site Greater Good Store
*Please use Humane Society over PETA- Humane Society does much more for animal welfare, PETA often misrepresents issues making money off of things that are not actually issues among other problems I have with PETA.