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Back during the 2016 presidential race, I’d have refused to believe adults would still be using, at the beginning of 2018, the word “Trumpism.” Several things were supposed to happen long before that, one of which involved a certain presidential candidate exiting the race because the public had, at last, come to its senses.
Instead, the people who still back him are continuing to try to change the conversation. They’re trying to normalize Trumpism. They’re trying to relocate the “political center” just like they always have.
Don’t believe me? Check out this piece over at CNN that practically begs its readers to double-down on “red hat” and “blue hat” politics by adding — specifically — the name “Trump” to their list of dating “wills”. Apparently, many residents of New York City’s Tinder scene have become aggravated that their support for the president is harming their ability to find a romantic match.
Whether we like it or not, there’s only one political party in America right now. We know this because we’ve taken our already binary choices — red and blue — and sliced them down even further to something far scarier. It’s basically a choice between “I love our Leader” and “I yearn for equal rights in the modern world.”
The Trap of “I Hate Politics”
If you read that piece over at CNN and it disturbed you, there’s another sentence that probably pisses you off, but which we seem to hear ever more frequently these days: “I hate politics.”
Whether we want it to or not, support for Trump has become another box we unconsciously tick when we perform a cursory glance of somebody else’s character — or, in our continuing example today, somebody else’s dating profile.
But let’s consider the inevitable alternative to that: A world where Trumpsters would like their potential matches to sit down across from them and grit their teeth through pleasantries like, “Let’s agree to disagree!” and “I hate politics!”
But pivoting away from reality is what got this sewer clown elected in the first place.
I fully support the idea of not speaking with authority about a subject you don’t know that much about, but there can no longer be two different opinions about topics such as whether supply-side economics — read: tax cuts for corporations and the rich — works anymore. Of course, it doesn’t, according to rigorous scientific study, and it never will.
We also can’t continue to argue about whether it’s okay to reserve some civil rights for males or straight folks while withholding those same rights from others. And don’t even get me started on climate change — there’s no “debate” there, either. There are actually few legitimate debates to be had anymore now that our access to, and exchange of, scientifically-backed political information has become so easy.
Why Politics Isn’t Politics Anymore
Politics is about people expressing their values. Orlaith Farrell over at CNN did get that right, and that’s what a lot of these pro-Trump daters don’t seem to understand. They’re patting themselves on the back with sentiments like “my politics don’t define me” or “I hate politics.”
To that, all I can say is, good for you. I’m glad you live in such a state of either privilege or blissful ignorance that all the downright messed up stuff this man is doing doesn’t affect you or your taste in romantic partners.
But for the rest of us, politics is not about political parties any more.
Partisanship has always had a hand in how we forge personal relationships because it’s always been a surface-level way to express how we feel about human, personal and civil rights, how we think about money and the degree to which we care about other human beings.
Forty years ago, though, it would have certainly been unfair to say this sentence aloud: “Republicans neither respect the importance of government, nor fully understand how it functions, nor particularly value the equal distribution of human rights.”
Today? I’m not so sure. If I used Tinder I know I’d swipe left on that proud Trump supporter. And what is so inherently wrong about not wasting my time on someone who clearly does not hold the same values that I do? The CNN article talks a lot about the negatives of partisanship having a hand in a dating, and while that may have been something worth critiquing in the past, Trump is more divisive than Republican vs. Democrat.
In my opinion, a vote for Trump says a lot about who you are as a person, not your politics. People who voted for Trump may not practice sexism or racism in their everyday lives themselves, but they looked at a sexist racist and said, “That’s okay.”
And a lot of us don’t want to date someone like that. Why is that bad?
America Has Outgrown Politics
Whether he’s an accomplished actor or just a genuinely beastly person, Trump has assumed a persona that is not only the worst possible version of a Republican, but the worst possible version of a human being. We all keep waiting for him to pivot to the camera and say “Just kidding!” and then kick what remains of his tired administration to the curb.
Until then, we have an army of folks who watched this man double-down on every sexist, racist and ignorant thing he’s ever said into a microphone during his many decades in the public spotlight. With every day that goes by, many of those same people wake up in the morning and remain okay with that kind of person leading this country and — at least for a little bit longer — the “free world”.
A lot of God-fearing Americans felt they had to vote for Trump because our political system allowed them no alternatives. Yet, his administration has been frequented by literal members of hate groups whose behaviours are as close to the Biblical definition of evil as I’m willing to believe in.
And, yes, a lot of folks don’t want to be around or date a person who’s willing to tolerate that way of existing. Here’s the thing: Some folks voted for Trump because he was “anti-establishment.” This was a lie they should have seen through, but maybe they’d at least admit to wanting to take their vote back now.
But a different type of person still looks at Trump and gives me the excuse that “Hillary would have been worse.”
I’m not going to punch them in the face over it, but I can’t make out with that. Sorry, but I’m not sorry.