A vote for Trump is a vote to erase me. A vote for Trump is a vote to invalidate my experiences. A vote for Trump is a vote to completely negate my humanity.
Now some say that those statements might be quite outrageous, but honestly, I am able to say those statements confidently and without a quiver in my voice because I come from marginalized spaces. Wake the Vote was having a discussion on the upcoming election, but this time we were specifically discussing voting for Donald Trump despite disapproval of both his person and his platform. It was in the session that the inspiration for this blog post arose: one has to have a certain kind of privilege to be able to vote for Trump.
But that’s already a known fact. Or at least I would hope that it’s widely known. Individuals who pledge their votes for Trump are individuals who can afford to live in an America led by Donald Trump because these individuals will probably go unscathed, or at least be trivially impacted, if he were to win the presidency. They ride on the coattails of his messages of hate. They stand to benefit from the harping and demonization of those who are already marginalized. They are not concerned by the troubles of those who do not think, act, or look like them.
And that’s fine, I suppose. I have come closer to peace with people who are wholeheartedly voting for Trump because they genuinely believe in his stances, even if they are smeared with blatant bigotry. I am coming closer and closer with giving up on those people. But what I do have trouble with and what I do have a harder time forgiving is the groups of people who work so assiduously to disassociate themselves from Trump and his platform, yet still pledge their votes for him this fall.
I suspect that you know who I am speaking of: those individuals on Facebook, your friends in everyday conversation, your family members over dinner, and maybe even you as you read this post. “Trump is a racist”, “Trump is an incompetent man who does not understand the basic principles of government”, “Can you believe what he said about that woman again?”, and the list goes on, but those who have said these very words will also answer exactly the same when I ask who they are voting for this fall: “Trump”.
Is this not a conundrum? Is it not common sense to have one’s actions align with one’s words, and more so, one’s morals? I understand that in the world of politics, nothing is that simple and even if it were common sense to do things a certain way, there are obstacles and obligations one must confront and commit to that obstruct the keeping of common sense and sound morals. So I understand. I understand that it gets tricky. I understand the value of one’s loyalty to one’s political party. I understand how difficult it may be to uproot the legacy of one’s familial traditions. I understand, but only to a certain extent will my sympathies and compassion be exercised for people like these, and the end of that line is when that one, powerful vote is cast for the man that the these people know and have outwardly acknowledged to symbolize hatred.
Please stop trying to convince me that you’re anti-Trump. Please stop trying to tell me that you’re not a racist. Please stop trying to tell me that you’re not taking part in erasing me and my significance in this country if you’re going to vote for Trump. You may call me outrageous, extreme, or irrational, but in case you didn’t notice, this is an outrageous election year with an extreme candidate who is actually irrational. You may not personally identify with Trump and his platform, but you’re condoning him and only egging on those who genuinely believe in his stances and therefore contributing to the negation of my humanity.