(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.