I’ve been on a quest to understand the mind of a Trump voter for many months now. Some I’ve spoken to admit they felt forced to vote against Hillary Clinton. Others quickly became defensive while blaming the Obama administration for all their problems. Some admitted they wouldn’t/couldn’t vote at all. But few could explain in logical detail why they voted the way they did and I am deeply curious still.
Immediately following the election I noticed a phenomenon that remains odd in my mind. The angry discourse. While many Hillary supporters continue to experience deep sadness, even grief and fear for what lies ahead, it was the Trump supporters who screamed and yelled and unfriended with reckless abandon. The only logical explanation is that listening to the angry rhetoric throughout the campaign gave people permission to freely lash out. So. Much. Anger. Coming from the ‘winners?’
We are now a few weeks past the election and friends and families have been torn apart by the divide while the divide continues to grow as time passes and tweets are posted. Rather than peacefully bringing people together, our president-elect continues in ‘campaign mode’ with shocking retorts about corrupt media and illegal votes (apparently his thin-skinned gigantic ego can’t handle the popular vote loss).
It makes me wonder, what do his supporters think of him now? I wonder, are there Trump voters who have regrets? Or are they holding strong to whatever ideals caused them to vote the way they did, or to choose not to vote at all. I’m particularly confused by the evangelical Christian population. Trump is already waffling on many of his conservative campaign promises. Who can trust the man? He’s neither conservative nor Republican, and certainly not godly (except in his own mind).
I admit the choice was perplexing for me too, until I did my own time-consuming research on both candidates and diligently watched the debates and all the legitimate news coverage I could get my hands on. I fact-checked many sources on many issues and stories. I assumed America was doing so as well. It was eye opening to discover that critical thinking is rare and difficult, today more than ever, with lies, fake news, and extreme bias around every turn.
Now that the president-elect has begun to gather and appoint his controversial cabinet, the conversations and questions continue, but these days Trump supporters and non-voters either remain quiet or they say ‘just get over it, he’s won the election.’
This is no small thing. There is nothing to ‘get over.’
His relationship with the press is concerning. After all, communist countries do not have constitutions that declare by law, things like Freedom of the Press, but we do. It appears Trump prefers to tweet and youtube his communications to his followers. One could draw a parallel to North Korea whose ‘supreme leader,’ Kim Jong-un, communicates his propaganda to his people via loud speaker announcements. We should all be concerned that Mr. Trump has referred to Kim Jong-un as a ‘strong leader.’
So no, I won’t just get over it, I will fight for my freedom and use my voice to do so and I implore you to do the same. We can choose to live in denial and pretend that all is well but folks, reality bites. Closing our eyes to reality is choosing to live in a fairy tale and while I do feel like I’m living in the Twilight Zone since the election, reality is this: A demagogue has been chosen to run the country. It’s our job as responsible citizens to protect our freedom, starting with freedom of speech.
I, like a whole lot of Americans, am still wondering, how did this happen?