For those Americans who put us through this hell, nothing will be forgiven, or forgotten

2278

In the past four years I have never referred to Donald Trump as anything other than “Donald Trump,” or “Trump,” as well as various appellations of contempt that would take far too long to compile. The words “P——— Trump” have never escaped my lips (or fingers), because even the act of trying to say (or write) them continues to this day to induce a feeling of acute nausea.

I don’t think I’m alone in this regard.

And like others, I’ve also ditched my fair share of former “friends” whose support of Trump revealed their value systems were fundamentally alien to my own. I don’t disparage others who have chosen to continue their association with such people, through unavoidable family ties or for a hundred other reasons. I’ve just decided I’m not doing this.

This was a close election, far closer than it should have been, and there is simply no excuse for that. Yes, suburban women turned against Trump and so did a smaller group of college-educated white men, but by and large, in the face of record-shattering turnout, most of the same people who voted for him in 2016 voted for him again. And that is just sick—there is no other word for it.

I can understand people voting for a scumbag like Trump because their 401ks did well over the past four years. I get the fact that most Americans don’t give a damn about anything but themselves; that’s been true forever, it isn’t news.

But this is a guy who intentionally turned his back on Americans in the face of a national emergency. A quarter million Americans are dead, and hundreds of thousands more are likely to die, because he prioritized his own re-election prospects over saving American lives. He lied about the danger, over and over, causing other people to lie as well. That’s not forgivable—it’s actually beyond any reasonable capacity to forgive, or forget.

And yet 70 million or so Americans supported that, tried to rationalize it, and they went right back and voted for Trump. That’s what I can’t get past—is there anything, in fact, that this person could have done that would have been a bridge too far for them?

And what he’s doing right now is unforgivable as well. There’s nothing unusual about this election, other than the fact that it’s occurring during a pandemic. There has been no “fraud” or any cause for bringing 10 lawsuits to try to stop votes from being counted. It’s simply anti-American behavior. If it weren’t so dangerous, it would actually be embarrassing.

And yet, people are supporting him in this.

I guess I’m wondering—and I’ve wondered this a lot over the last four years—what the hell happened to these folks?  Did they learn nothing in high school? Or college, if they went?  Didn’t their parents give them some sense of what it means to be an American citizen?

Roxane Gay, writing for The New York Times, is shaking her head at this naive white boy.

This is America. This is not an aberration. This is indeed our country and who the proverbial “we” are. The way this election has played out shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve been paying attention or if you understand racism and how systemic it really is. Polling can account for a great many factors, but unless they ask about the extent to which racism motivates voters — and find a way to get honest answers on this topic — they will never be able to account for this.

Some Trump voters are proud about their political affiliation. They attend his rallies. They drive around with their cars draped in Trump posters and flags and other paraphernalia. They proudly crow about America and pride and nationalism. They are the subjects of fawning profiles that aim to explain their voting tendencies as the result of “economic anxiety,” as if they are tragically misunderstood. They aren’t. We know exactly who they are.

One thing I noticed about the campaign was the preponderance of the “in-your-face” element of Trumpism. From the flags draped on pickup trucks to the obnoxious, oversized signs in their yards, to the fact that half of the voters in my precinct showed up in some type of Trump garb, whether it was a stupid hat or a T-shirt, it made me realize that these people were making known their aggression towards me. Whereas Joe Biden voters certainly supported their candidate, it was evident that Trump supporters wielded their allegiance like a bludgeon. It was intended to offend, to threaten; not only to hurt others, but to negate their existence.

In other words, it was just what you’d expect by taking a magic marker out and scrawling the word “FASCIST” across huge swaths of the country. And like spoiled, full-grown infants, they were proud of themselves, as they basked in their imagined power.

But there was another type, too, like the GOP poll observers I worked next to on Tuesday. Buttoned up in Oxford shirts and sweaters, they kept their nature well-disguised. Gay also talks about these types, the doctors, the lawyers, the so-called educated among Trump’s base of support.

The ones who want to seem urbane. The ones who want to be invited to all the good parties. They lie to pollsters. They lie to family and friends. And when they fill out their ballots, they finally tell the truth.

The truth, as Gay observes, is that what we’re seeing is all about identity politics—just not the kind conservatives would prefer to talk about. As she puts it, “There is no greater identity politics than that of white people trying to build a firewall around what remains of their empire as this country’s demographics continue to shift.”

So we continue to have two Americas: one which respects democratic institutions and is willing to work for the betterment of the society as a whole; and one willing to dispense with those same institutions for their own gain, by surrendering whatever shred of decency and integrity they have to someone like Donald Trump.

And as Gay notes, the last few days have proved they’re still out there. They’re not going anywhere, no matter what words of solace or unity are offered.

They are not concerned with the collective, because they believe any success they achieve by virtue of their white privilege is achieved by virtue of merit. They see equity as oppression. They are so terrified, in fact, that as the final votes were counted in Detroit, a group of them swarmed the venue shouting, “Stop the count.” In Arizona, others swarmed a venue shouting, “Count the votes.” The citizens of this version of America only believe in democracy that serves their interests.

It will be a relief to have a president who I can comfortably refer to as a “President.” Who actually works for the good of the American people, one who doesn’t spend all his time trying to divide us all with hatred. It will be a relief not to wake up each day to some new horror or angry, monstrous  tweet from an unbalanced sociopath.

But I won’t have any more illusions about my fellow citizens. I won’t forget or forgive them for putting the rest of us through this nightmare. As Gay says, by now, I know exactly who they are.

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

20 Comments on "For those Americans who put us through this hell, nothing will be forgiven, or forgotten"

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Jamie Jobb
Guest
Jamie Jobb

Over half the problem with the Thump “administration” was the media’s willingness to repeat every idiotic “thought” expressed by His Own Personal High Holiness:

“POTUS To Cancel Election If We Don’t Watch Out” “Thump Won’t Leave White House Under Any Circumstances” “Thump Will Blow Up Your Bedroom With the Nuclear Football” “Thump Is Such An All-Powerful Dictator He Will Order For You In Restaurants And You Won’t Have Any Choice” “Thump and Only Thump Can Set Your Bedtime”…
etc,

Perhaps now those reports will be more reasoned.

Chris Whitley
Member

Yeah they should have quit covering him about three years ago. Just keep a couple reporters on alternating schedule make sure the clown ain’t gonna mike a hurricane or some poor third world countries.

John Johnson
Guest
John Johnson

Could not have said it any better myself…and MY Exact feelings…What the Hell has happened to America. How could SOOOOO many people still vote for him???
Is he the Anti-Christ… Everyone believes everything he says??? SOOOOO glad he will be gone, my only question is for how long???

Sassey
Guest
Sassey

For a long time in jail when NYC gets done with him and his family!!

William H. Murphy
Guest
William H. Murphy

He is a type of Antichrist. It only means one who is against Christ and his ideals. I think Trump fits the bill pretty well. There have been many before. He’s one of the latest in my estimation. Ironically the right wing Christians lineup to give him obeisance. They can’t see beyond their own narrow self righteousness. Sigh….

Chris Whitley
Member

I’m pretty sure if the real Antichrist shows up we will know it. And he ain’t going to be walking around showing off a Bible. And he won’t be a clown like trump. He’s going to be someone shows up out of nowhere and just starts screwing crap up.

Linda
Guest
Linda

My sentiments exactly! I was not raised that way!

A J
Guest
“ And like others, I’ve also ditched my fair share of former “friends” whose support of Trump revealed their value systems were fundamentally alien to my own. I don’t disparage others who have chosen to continue their association with such people, through unavoidable family ties or for a hundred other reasons. I’ve just decided I’m not doing this.” I have a good friend living in TX who messaged me privately yesterday to say some of his other so-called friends were unfriending him because he had relatives, and a good friend from childhood, who had voted for tRump, and while he… Read more »
JAn Reynolds
Guest
JAn Reynolds

Thise who continue to support tRump and his unAmerican garbage are not and never will be redeemable because this is not about Red versus Blue. It is a matter of right versus wrong, morality versus amorality. I will never forget or forgive and I simply do not those types of morally bankrupt people in my life no matter who they are. Beau of the 5th Column on YouTube could not have said it better. They are in the wrong side of everything some of us hold sacred.

tteribul
Guest
tteribul
Try to remember that hacking the voting booths is child’s play. Too many people that voted for Trump the last time were not voting for Trump this time. Farmers, steel workers, and all the closed factories and the people he lied to. He didn’t gain enough voters to keep the numbers he had in 2016. He paid $250 plus travel and expenses to minorities to show up at his rallies. He killed over 250k people by wishing Covid away. Mitch McConnell isn’t liked enough to beat Amy McGrath! She’s an American, Marine fighter pilot! She’s respected! What has Mitch done… Read more »
Chris Whitley
Member

I hear you. Them people down in Kentucky need to get a look at those ballots. Same thing with Leningrad Lindsey. Both those races smell to me. Jamie should have been up Graham’s ass and he was like almost a third away from him like nobody voted for him. Need I remind people that one of the places that they did have voter fraud was in a southern state. And republicans did it.

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

Do you think Trump would give his supporters invitations to Mar a lago? Maybe we should.

Rick
Guest
Rick

That’s an awesome idea – Mar a Lago full of folks like those in the first photo above, tRump would be in heaven surrounded by them, make it a week long event.
Melania and ivanka could serve beer, donnie jr. and eric could serve BBQ, jarrod could bus tables… sounds like a fun time in tRump town.
Heck donnie could even make the “lady” front and center of that photo happy by doing exactly what her t-shirt asks him to do.
The big event might even make it to Fox News.

J. M.
Guest
J. M.

Ever.

William H. Murphy
Guest
William H. Murphy

We won’t forget, but we need to try to forgive, or we become like them. We must reconcile or perish as a nation. That takes effort from both sides in this extreme landscape. We can only hope Biden can build some bridges across the great divide.

John Sheehan
Guest
John Sheehan

Boy, that brother and sister team had a passel of children… I wonder how close to 100 this team IQ is?

Chris Whitley
Member

Yes, my wife and I went to CVS to get flu shots and her prescriptions. Struck up a conversation with a couple trumpets. They were nice guys but they had it bad on his defeat. Obviously didn’t mention I prefer Biden. Just didn’t seem appropriate.

Steven Ball
Guest
Steven Ball

Incredibly, a sizeable number of these voters were Evangelical Christians! How could they reconcile their beliefs with Trump, whose behaviour and personality is the absolute opposite of anything Christlike or Christian? Either they are all incredibly naïve or they have never really met Christ and are dangerously deluding themselves. These people have some serious soul searching ahead.

William H. Murphy
Guest
William H. Murphy

Trump pretends to stand up for some of their concerns. Right-wing Christians feel that they are ridiculed for their version of belief in the Christian God, as the nation becomes more secular and diverse in faith. They believe that most people believe in science and humanism rather than in God. They can be really fine people but just stuck in a narrow faith, who think Trump is defending them. And yes, they are also stuck in age old prejudices. All Trump has to do is hold up a Bible or feign Christianity, and they’re onboard.

Steven Ball
Guest
Steven Ball

Thanks for that. I can tell you that most, if not all Christians back home in Europe , would not have gone near Trump with a barge pole, let alone supported him. The gap between the two is almost as wide as the ocean that separates the two continents.