By Bruce Gerencser
Editor’s Note: Clearly, I have Trump on the brain. And so do plenty of others! We don’t like him. but we can’t stop thinking about him. Here’s a blog post, reprinted with permission, from a Clergy Project member who has interacted frequently with Trump supporters – until recently. Enough is enough. /Linda LaScola, Editor
I have recently had several Trump-supporting relatives tell me that our respective candidates are just differences of opinion. In their minds, facts are opinions, and the only difference between us is that we hold differing opinions. No matter how I try to explain the irrationality of their beliefs, their retort is just the same: that’s your opinion. Which is then followed by: we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
In Trump’s world, facts and evidence don’t matter. No matter how many lies Trump tells, his supporters either believe his falsehoods or find some fantastical way to “explain” them away.
I have reached a place in life where I simply cannot stomach being around such people, either in person or on social media.
As a result, I have unfriended a small number of people on Facebook, including several close family members. Surely, blood is thicker than water, someone is going to say, but I have come to the place that I can no longer be associated with people who support politicians and policies that cause me material and physical harm. These beliefs have real life consequences. I wonder: do Trump supporters bother to consider how his words, actions, and policies affect others; how they affect their parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren?
What I find even more troubling are people who think that Trump/Biden, Republicans/Democrats are equally bad. I’ve seen countless false equivalence arguments made on social media about the recent Presidential Debate. I thought, did you watch the f*cking debate? Did you watch Trump spend 90 minutes bullying and talking over Joe Biden and Chris Wallace? Did you hear all of Trump’s bald-faced lies? Yet, because Biden called Trump a clown and told him to shut up, Biden is just as bad Trump. You know that’s not true, and from my perspective, this is lazy thinking.
Put yourself in Biden’s shoes. How would you have responded to being constantly bullied and harassed by Trump? I am of the opinion that Biden was too polite, as was Hilary Clinton in 2016. Imagine what might had happened if, when Trump was leering at Clinton, she turned around and said,
“Mr. Trump, please stop acting like a sexual predator!”
Trump gets by with this behavior because no one calls him on it.
Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States. He is, by far, the worst President our country has ever had — yes, worse than Hoover and Nixon.
Yet, millions of Americans will gleefully vote for Trump. And if he loses? These same people will claim the election was stolen from the “best” President in American history. Trump knows he could lose in November, and that’s why he is laying the groundwork for contesting the election, alleging widespread voter fraud. Never mind the fact that none of this will be true. In the minds of Trump’s supporters, everything is just personal opinion.
When you say you support Donald Trump and will vote for him in November, I hear you say:
- Lying doesn’t matter.
- Cheating on your SAT doesn’t matter.
- Rape doesn’t matter.
- Sexual assault doesn’t matter.
- Misogyny doesn’t matter.
- Grabbing women by their genitals against their will doesn’t matter.
- Tax fraud doesn’t matter.
- Paying off porn stars doesn’t matter.
- People of color don’t matter.
- Poor people don’t matter.
- Old people don’t matter.
- Big cities don’t matter.
- Properly funding social security doesn’t matter.
- The post office doesn’t matter.
- Affordable universal healthcare doesn’t matter.
- It’s okay to put children in cages.
- The international community is our enemy.
- Countries in Africa are shit holes.
- COVID-19 is a hoax.
- Facemasks are unnecessary.
- Social distancing is unnecessary.
- Science doesn’t matter.
- The CDC and the WHO are agents of China.
- Peaceful protesters are thugs and terrorists.
- White supremacists are your kind of people.
- The United States is a Christian nation.
- Separation of church and state is a myth.
- The media is fake news.
- It’s okay to use racist, bigoted language.
- Soldiers killed in action or captured by the enemy are suckers and losers.
- Global warming is a hoax.
- The law doesn’t apply to you.
Every time you voice your support of Donald Trump, you are telling me that turning a government by the people and for the people into the president’s personal fiefdom doesn’t matter; that turning the executive branch into a family-owned and -operated business doesn’t matter; that the justice department exists to harass and prosecute the president’s enemies and protect his friends; that everything is all about him.
Every time you post memes about communism and socialism, it tells me you don’t understand what communism and socialism are; that truth doesn’t matter to you; that you have no interest in truly understanding why an increasing number of Americans support democratic socialist policies; that the United States has ALWAYS had socialist programs and policies.
So, you see, I can’t agree to disagree. An arsonist by the name of Donald Trump is trying to burn down my family, my home, my community, my state, my country, and the world I live in. I love my neighbor as myself, and hope for a better tomorrow for my wife, children, and grandchildren. As long as Donald Trump and his enablers control our government, we have no promise of a better tomorrow, no hope of peace and prosperity.
These things are not matters of opinion. Anyone who can read knows the threat Donald Trump poses to the human race. That YOU, dear Trump supporter, refuse to see this, is the problem. Why do you continue to embrace, support, and enable ignorance? Surely, truth matters, right? By all means, convince me that despite all these things Donald Trump is the better candidate for president. By all means, convince me that our great republic can withstand four more years of Trump. And let me ask you one last question; are we really better off today than we were when Barack Obama was president? Be honest.
**Editor’s Question** How do you deal with the Trump supporters in your life?
Bruce Gerencser lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have 6 grown children and 12 grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for 25 years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. He left the ministry in 2005 and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. He is also one of the original members of The Clergy Project, which began in 2011. He blogs at The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser, where the above post originally appears. It is reposted with permission.