President Elect Trump and his tens of millions of supporters have always deserved our respect.

(This post is in response to the article BERNIE FAM: We need to reach out with love to Trumpers, by Spats McGee.)

President Elect Donald Trump and all of his supporters deserve respect, and they have deserved it from the very beginning. Why? Because they are human beings with concerns as real as yours and mine. Like many of us, they are angry at a broken government that has completely lost touch with those that need it most.

While it may be true that some of his supporters incorrectly blame the weakest among us (rather than the greed and corruption of the most powerful), painting this brush on all of his tens of millions of supporters is a dangerous stretch. The anger of some of them may be expressed in ways that we cannot understand, and perhaps in ways that directly offend or hurt those we love. But as in all protest movements, those who protest the way they protest, are choosing to ignore the history of their suffering and motivations.

They deserve us to take the time to learn what really bothers them. To discover what we agree on, who and what to fight, and how to go about it. As stated in the article, there is so much commonality in our anger and our hurt, we have an unprecedented chance (and four years in which) to embrace it.

The alternative is to protest Trump as a person, as a concept, and directly pit ourselves against those who support him as a person and as a concept. This will only enable further division, and increase the chance of four years of escalating violence.

Yes, we should protest. But since the country has already chosen Trump, protesting him as a concept, in my opinion, no longer makes sense. He is. No, this reality is not “fair.” It was imposed upon us by the Democratic Party, who choose their donors above all else, took a gamble with the entire planet, and lost.

Instead of protesting Trump as a concept, what we need to protest and fight are the decisions he actually makes, that will indeed directly harm the planet and those we love. As for me, I will be documenting the suffering caused by the swift repeal of Obamacare and many of our environmental, and economic regulations. All of these things are what Trump has promised to do in his first hundred days–two-and-a-half months from now. This documentation, these stories, are the evidence that will be used in two and four years, to show how urgent the continuation of the political revolution is.

I am concerned that any major demonstrations or actions are taken before our forces are strongly joined are setting us up for failure–they will be perceived by Trump supporters as anti-Trump demonstrations, and there will inevitably be conflict. The political elites would like nothing more than dividing the people up like this, so they can get away with anything they like while we are fighting each other for the next four years. Instead of taking our anger out on Trump supporters–and them taking their anger out on us–we must all stand together, and focus that anger back at the system that so desperately needs to change.

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6 thoughts on “President Elect Trump and his tens of millions of supporters have always deserved our respect.”

  1. Hey! I’m totally on board with everything you’ve said & I appreciate you for saying it — with one exception! Why are you saying Occupy Inauguration is a protest against Trump as a person & concept? Please, read the description of the event which you linked to. I’m a part of a core-planning group in Occupy Inauguration & my understanding of OI is very different than what you’ve implied about it — if what you’ve said about it is true, then I will immediately resign that position. Anyway, I’m not trying to be confrontational, I just want to know how you got the idea that OI is specifically anti-Trump.
    Thanks!

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    1. I admit I didn’t look as carefully as I should have. So it seems to be unifying progressives to continue the revolution, despite Trump being in office. It’s not specifically an anti-Trump action. That’s good. Apologies. If you’d like me to remove the reference in the article, I will.

      I am still concerned that doing this, despite the admittedly more positive intentions, is still a movement of only progressives, when it really needs to be a movement of both progressives and Trump supporters. Trump supporters need to be courted and understood, we all need to come to an agreement of how to move forward, and what all of our common goals are. If we don’t do this BEFORE starting our mass protests, I am concerned that it will become a four-year conflict of pro- and anti-Trump forces, which is exactly what the political elite want: to divide us up/Pit us against each other so they can do whatever they like.

      I think, in order to survive the next four years, the most important thing is to first come together with Trump supporters. Come to a real understanding of what we agree upon and how to proceed, before we take any large actions like this.

      If I have more to learn, please tell me. This is really important.

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      1. Thank you for your willingness to re-examine this — and I promise you that, at least in the core planning group, the concern you’re rightfully raising is absolutely a concern of ours as well. One of the issues is that OI was begun months before the election with the intention of delivering a people’s agenda backed by a broad coalition — but, like everyone else, the OI steering committee was betting on a Clinton victory and so they were caught off guard on Tuesday night. Since most hadn’t anticipated or considered this current situation in detail and in the shadow of the protests which have erupted, we now find ourselves balancing on a tight-rope, as it were — falling on one side is to alienate the masses that are erupting in the streets right now & falling on the other side is to alienate the anti-establishment supporters of presidential elect Trump. Anyway, I wish that I didn’t have more dilemmas than solutions but there it is.

        Also, if it’s not too much trouble for you, I would consider it a personal favor & I think it’d be most noble of you to either remove the OI reference out (since I think, at best, it’s not true *yet*) or to substitute it for a group that actually *is* anti-Trump (which one would imagine isn’t too difficult to find, at the moment…)

        Again, thanks for your understanding & for your willingness toward dialogue on this most important matter

        In solidarity,
        John Laurits

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      2. Done. I’ve made a few other edits as well.

        I would seriously seriously consider reaching out to major Trump groups, such as reddit/The_Donald, to ask how you can do this in a way that accomplishes what you want but in a way that respects them. Maybe bring one of them on board (if you can do it in a way that makes you comfortable). Maybe reframe it to be against “the broken system” instead of Trump. They’ll likely tell you things that will be very helpful and surprising.

        This would be an enormous step in right direction. And I frankly think it’s urgent.

        We are all angry at “the system”. We can do this together.

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    2. No matter what, the next four years are going to be rough, to say the least.

      If we can join forces and be respected by, and respect Trump supporters, it will be as good as is reasonably possible.

      If we start protesting on our own before this alliance is established, I’m worried we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

      Liked by 1 person

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