Dear 100 Hour Board,
Do any of you support President Trump? Do any of you respect or admire him or his actions as President? If so, can you please help me understand why?
-Dazed and Confused
Dear Jake Holmes,
No, not even a little bit. But I have friends and family who do. I genuinely respect and love most of these people, even though I disagree with them. I think that people are complex enough that it is totally possible be a good person in most respects yet still harbor views and attitudes, conscious or unconscious, that harm others or preserve their own interests at the expense of other people. Which is a big part of why being a good person is not enough, and is never a good excuse to stop learning or trying to see life and issues from the perspectives of others. But I digress. From conversations I've had and Facebook posts I've seen, most people seem to fall into one of two camps:
- There are a few people who genuinely support him and think he is great. They have such a distrust of the mainstream media that they either don't believe or explain away all the negative press coverage. They appreciate that he doesn't care about being politically correct, and feel like he is actually there to "drain the swamp." Interestingly, of the people I know, everyone in this category is a senior citizen.
- A much larger group of people seem to realize that there's not a good way to explain away much of his behavior, but they feel like the ends justify the means. The most common "ends" I've heard are appointing conservative judges (especially to uphold pro-life court rulings), preserving second amendment rights, protecting religious freedom, and preventing democrats from pushing a socialist agenda.
I think that identity politics play a big part for both groups. In most of the discussions I've had or seen, instead of being open to new ideas, people get defensive and double down when they feel like their ideals are being challenged.
Anyways, there are my two cents.
Dear Dazed & Confused.
I think the best I've seen this explained the best in this video breaking down the 2016 Election by my favorite YouTube Mathemusician ViHart. It has lots of very good ideas in it explaining why some logical people would choose Trump, and why some people would choose Hilary. It talks about identity politics, differences between the young & old, between cities and rural america, etc. However to me the larger point that I took away from this is that there isn't just one America. There are several different Americas. Everyone has a different experience based on our gender, race, age, place of birth etc. It makes sense that some people would support one set of policies, while some would support others.
Most of the people I know that support trump feel like he is protecting America's interests. That might mean they feel like he is protecting us from unfair trade deals. Some feel like he is protecting them from socialist government that is going to take away their money and their rights and their guns. To other people that means "protecting" america from immigrants who are stealing our public services and jobs. There are places in our country where the economic impact of the pandemic is damaging people more than the virus is. Trump appeals to those demographics because he is protecting their interests and what America is to them.
Long story short. I think President Trump is admired by people who live in a particular America, and want to protect that version of America.
I know that many people can separate what the president says from the policies he signs into law. A lot of people care more about party lines than about individual candidates themselves.
I disagree with those sentiments because to me there are many parts of America that he isn't protecting. I feel like he is really hurting Hispanic and Black America. I feel like his blatant sexism is dangerous. I feel like he is hurting our position in the world community. I feel like he is dividing the country instead of uniting us in a time of need. I feel like he is the anti-thesis of co-operation. I feel like he is racist and his rhetoric encourages radical racism and violence.
Hopefully this helped you understand why some people choose to support Donald Trump. I personally just avoid talking politics with my friends and family who support Donald Trump because even though I can understand some of the reasons they support them, it still hurts me that they support someone who is so sexist and racist. Thankfully my family members are pretty good at not talking politics when I'm around.
I very much do not, but I have a close childhood friend that LOVES TRUMP. Her reasons (and I quote her, mind, not necessarily facts) are that he is:
- Pro small businesses (she and her husband are entrepreneurs) and
- He is not Obama, whose policies caused them to file bankruptcy (?)
No, I do not support him, and there is not a single thing that I respect or admire about him.
In my experience, some people who voted for Trump did so because they are staunchly pro-life and believe abortion is literally murdering babies. Consequently, they believe that concern trumps (no pun intended) all other concerns. Though I disagree with that the premise that abortion literally equals murder, I can wrap my mind around this worldview and the desire these people have for conservative judges to push a pro-life agenda in the courts. (I will say that I wish more anti-abortion platforms included massive support for the women and hypothetical children that would result from unwanted pregnancies. To not include that support would be cruel, misogynistic, and likely put the child at a disadvantage. Women are much more vulnerable than men when it comes to reproduction and our society has so much work to do before anyone could reasonably say that the burden is equally shared between men and women.) So there is that.
I cannot think of a reasonable reason to like Trump. He is stupid, irresponsible, dangerous, and vile. Here's something I'm angry about: I recently had a Trump-supporting neighbor tell me that he doesn't "think Trump is a good person" but also doesn't like it "when people say he is the worst president ever" and "he's done some good things." That was the extent of his defense. Well, I don't know for sure if he is the worst president ever because I am not well versed in the presidencies of every single US president that has ever presidented. But that defense is literally the worst defense of anyone, president or not, that I have EVER seen.
Trump is interested in enriching himself, his family, and his friends (but probably mostly himself). He is also interested in constantly having the spotlight and having sycophants tell him that he is wonderful. And he is interested in the idea of being powerful. And he is interested in perpetuating existing systems of power that marginalize anyone who is not exactly like him (male, white, rich, straight, etc.). In conclusion, he is a terrible person.
As probably the most conservative writer here, I say no. My vote for John Kasich is looking better and better.
-Sunday Night Banter