A lot of people have pretty much had enough. And I get it.
Actor Jeff Daniels said, this week, that one more term of Donald Trump would end Democracy as we know it. Okay, there cowboy. Settle down. Hitler couldn’t do that. The Civil War couldn’t do that. Nixon couldn’t do that. No, Obama couldn’t do that. FDR couldn’t do that (although he and Lincoln got the closest), even the Soviet Union couldn’t do that. I get it. You hate the guy. But ending Democracy as we know it is simply not happening. It’ll be here long after the Donald is replaced.
But then he said something that simply makes my blood boil. He said other than not wanting to pay taxes, the only reason he could see for people voting for Trump was racism. My eyes rolled so far back in my head I could see that phone number I forgot in 1989. Really, dude? Everybody’s a racist?
Shame on you, Jeff Daniels. Shame on you. Voting is very often a pragmatic act. It doesn’t mean you own everything a candidate does or says. It means you prefer their direction over the other direction. And guess what? Just because a lot of Americans can’t seem to square the circle on why every person on planet earth has to have a passport in order to travel; has to enter every other country (on planet Earth) through the correct portals; has to announce their presence in every other country (on planet Earth), except for a two-thousand-mile stretch on the southern border of the United States, where apparently, if you just show up, you should be allowed to simply walk across without any of the aforementioned tethers, that makes you some sort of Nazi…doesn’t make them racists.
I have a LEGAL immigrant who lives with me. She is my daughter. Mountains of paper work and gallons of ink went into her adoption and naturalization. My fingerprints are on file with the FBI. I had to turn my financial records over to TWO different governments. I’m sure this thing I’m writing is being monitored by someone, somewhere. And I guess I can’t understand why it would’ve been okay to simply have the orphanage meet us all in Mexico and walk the babies across the border for free.
Why do we even have an immigration department if it is essentially a racist act to use it?
Questions like these are why people voted for a foul-mouthed philanderer from Queens. And it has nothing to do with racism. It has to do with somebody in government finally asking the same question we’re all asking: “What the hell is going on and why hasn’t it been fixed???”
And yes, people want to pay less in taxes. Even Mr. Daniels will have to fly to the state with the best tax incentives for his next film. And for the life of me, I have never been able to understand why that is an immoral thing. Why is the government receiving more money than the citizenry somehow noble? Why is Bill Gates keeping ALL the money he earns, a matter of our collective, eternal souls? Bill does a pretty good job with his money. He helps a lot of people with his money. He gives a lot of his money away to worthy causes. I’ll bet he does a better job with it than all those congress people would. Why must he (and people like him) be a constant target of outrage?
The fact is lowering taxes has made the economy boom. Businesses can now expand. And although people desperately want to believe that when businesses expand one evil white guy at the top just keeps all the money, it really doesn’t work that way. When businesses expand, jobs get created to help it happen. And those people working those jobs save up their money and sacrifice those new shoes and don’t eat out for a few weeks so they can afford plane tickets to New York City, to watch Jeff Daniels play Atticus Finch on Broadway.
And yet somehow, he doesn’t know or understand that. And he believes that a lot of those people are horrible inside, and want harm done to people of other races. Meanwhile, those other races have a higher employment rate than they’ve ever had in the history of this country. Well, I suppose technically there was 100% employment of black people when they were slaves and didn’t have a choice. But then the Republican party showed up and gave them a choice.
A lot of family became Republicans in the 1960’s because the Republicans were the only people in some parts of the south who would register black voters. This is how and why Martin Luther King Jr. was a registered Republican. Then, a lot more of them became Republicans in the 80’s when they’d had enough economic chaos from the very likable and very Christian Jimmy Carter.
And what has turned a lot of people on to the current Mr. Trump? A lot of it is being tired of getting berated for asking simple questions: why don’t we have a secure border? Is a wall or a fence really “immoral?” Does that really make us all racists?
And while we’re at it, why does a series of tornadoes in Oklahoma (a place that is LITERALLY called “Tornado Alley”) mean the world is ending and in order to fix it we have to transfer all the wealth in the world to other countries? Does anybody else think the “Green New Deal” is a load of crap? Why do we have to take this nonsense seriously to be treated like a human being?
While we’re at it, why do we have to accept some man’s desire to dress and act like a woman as “science?” It’s not science. He’s a dude. Dress however you want. Call yourself whatever you want. Act however you want to act. Nobody really cares, anymore. But we actually have to pretend his gender pronouncement is science in order to not be horrible people? We have to pretend he’s not winning all those races in the women’s division because he’s actually a MAN?
These questions nag at regular people. These issues have all been hurled into the political realm. And people look for someone out there – some leader – to help them make sense of it all. If you don’t understand Donald Trump standing in that gap and offering to be the lightening rod for these people, then you wasted your money on that human behavior course you took in college.
Donald Trump may be a racist. I don’t know the man. And I don’t make judgements on people I don’t know (or DO know, for that matter). If he is a racist, he sucks at it because he sure has helped a lot of minorities do better, financially. But I DO know a lot of people who voted for him. And they are not racists. They are pragmatists who love their country and have questions that have never been sufficiently answered by their government. And they get the joke. Yes, they all know Donald Trump is saying about half of everything he says with his tongue in his cheek. And to some people that’s a breath of fresh air. And they’re tired of being talked down to by media types, with perfect jaw lines and no sense of humor.
And yes, they are incredibly weary of being scolded by actors and rock stars, who aren’t pulling double shifts to buy the kids Christmas presents, or getting bridge loans to keep the gas station open, or maxing out the credit card to go to the Big Apple and watch that Dumb and Dumber guy in his new play.
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