I Was Tolerant Of Trump Voters B/C I Thought He'd Lose. NOT ANYMORE.

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election
Heartbreak

You are either too lazy or too brain-dead for me to "unify" with.

"Like this post if you're voting for Trump, so I know which of my friends I need to cut out of my network ASAP."

I've spent an entire year scolding my Democratic friends for expressing such intolerance on social media. I encouraged people to understand, to engage. "Trump supporters have their reasons," I would tell them. "Learn those reasons before you criticize."

When violence began erupting at Trump rallies, I offered what I thought was an open-minded explanation:

"These are people from what sociologists call an 'honor culture.' Think Old West. They respond to major and minor slights with aggression. They disparage pleas for help. They want the same thing Bernie Sanders supporters want: the ability to feed their family. But Sanders supporters want that via help from the government and Trump supporters want it via manufacturing and mining jobs. Taking a handout wouldn't be 'honorable.'"

When acquaintances praised Trump, I would listen respectfully and then present questions and information designed not to persuade, but to make them think. To help them understand why a Trump presidency would be devastating.

Of course, my carefully-worded questions didn't spur conversation or critical thinking, as much as a recurring refrain: "Well, [fact/evidence] doesn't matter. Trump is the only one who can save this country."

I encouraged friends and family on both sides of the political spectrum to read moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt's book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Religion and Politics. I hoped it would help us all understand the psychological, biological and cultural reasons for our differences, and how to bridge those differences.

"Trump supporters have a lower fear tolerance than Clinton supporters — that's why they live in countries instead of cities." (It's also why Trump keeps talking about the United States like it's all dangerous and full of murderers, even though violent crime has been dropping steadily for over twenty years.)

"Clinton supporters value individualism over interconnectedness, which may hurt traditional views of family and gender roles, but it allows people to become who they want to be."

But as the numbness that set in last night has slowly turned to fear, sadness, and rage, I realize that the only reason I was able to preach tolerance of intolerance was because I didn't think Trump had any shot at the presidency.

I can't change their minds, I thought, and it doesn't matter, anyway. Their candidate can't win. The people of this country would never reelect Hitler. Yes, it was easy to tolerate the intolerant when I thought they couldn't win.

But now, I'm done tolerating. If you are truly willing to throw immigrants, women, people of color, Muslims, Jews, and disabled folks under the bus because you couldn't take five minutes to educate yourself, you are not someone I want to be associated with.

If you still somehow believe that women who have "abortions" at eight months pregnant do so by choice, rather than medical necessity, you clearly have never examined any opinions  OR FACTS!  other than your own. If you truly think that Clinton was anywhere near as corrupt as Trump, you are either too lazy or too brain-dead for me to "unify" with.

If you're truly OK with putting a serial sexual assaulter, a misogynist, and a sexual predator in the White House, then I'm done with you.

I thought tolerance of intolerance was the way. I didn't condemn you, because I felt sorry for you. But right now, the only people I feel sorry for are the ones who are literally scared for their lives and livelihood.

The polls were wrong. Everything I ever learned in my political science classes at Stanford was wrong. I wish I had realized sooner what a very real possibility this was. I would have behaved very differently the last few months.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go clear some living space in my attic, just in case they start "rounding" people up.

 

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