"We have sinned against you by mocking"
koppie Mon, 10/17/2016 - 09:14
We need to stop making fun of Trump. No, I’m being serious. I’ve been sitting on this for a while, but the bombing in North Carolina over the weekend showed me it’s time to say something.
Last week, I took a day off to atone. It was Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. During the Vidui, the Confession, I recited the following:
We have sinned against you by speaking perversely;
We have sinned against you with foul speech;
And we have sinned against you with foolish talk;
And we have sinned against you by mocking.
As a Democrat, of course I don’t like him. Of course I think his sins are worse than Hillary’s. Of course I don’t believe he’s qualified to be president, and of course I think the qualifications of our next Commander in Chief are a legitimate topic of conversation right before an election.
But let’s be honest: It’s already over. Look at Nate Silver. Look at electoral-vote.com. Look at the “Blue Wall.” Look at Hillary pulling ads from Colorado because she knows she’s going to win it. Look at every single national poll from the last 2 weeks. Even Trump knows it. That’s why he’s lashing out at everybody - even his own party now - and already setting up excuses for his imminent failure.
Through a combination of Hillary’s superior campaigning, and Trump’s poor campaigning, and the simple march of demographic change, we have backed Trump into a corner. Like a wounded bull, he is bleeding and has nowhere to run.
This doesn’t mean I think he’s a good person, and he’s sure as hell not getting my vote for president. But he’s still a human being, and millions of our fellow Americans put their faith in him.
Democrats keep saying they don’t understand how on earth someone could vote for him. But if you actually listen to the people who are voting for him, it’s not a mystery:
- He has promised to defend those who have been disenfranchised by the Democrats - workers in industries that are no longer popular in America (particularly manufacturing and coal). What is an out-of-work assembly line worker in Flint, Michigan supposed to do? Don’t tell me “go to college.” That’s a terrible answer and you know it - and so does he. Trump has paid attention to these people and has offered them real answers. I don’t support protectionism, but that line worker needs a way to feed his kids and the Democrats aren’t giving him one.
- Republicans are angry at the Republican party. They’ve been pretty explicit about this. For two decades, they’ve voted for politicians who promised to outlaw abortion and advance a religious agenda. The truth is most of these politicians were lying and never intended to do those things, and in any case they haven’t done them. The Republican voters have figured this out. They’re intentionally throwing this election to send a message to the Republican politicians in Washington. It’s not clear the politicians are listening.
- Hillary Clinton is a skilled politician who will advance a very liberal agenda. Abortion will be protected, gun rights will probably be curtailed, and more coal miners will lose their jobs as we invest more heavily in alternative energy. She will appoint very young, very liberal justices to the Supreme Court and we’ll end up with a liberal Court for the next 50 years. The reasons I like her are exactly the reasons the Republicans fear or hate her: because she’s going to be very good at what she does.
You could say “yes but those are good policies that we should be supporting.” I agree, but a lot of people in this country don’t. That’s not the point. The point is: There are good reasons why good people support Trump. They’re facing at least 4 years of a president who won’t represent their interests. “Yes, but Trump is crazy and could very well start World War 3.” Yes, that’s true, but it still doesn’t negate the fact that nearly 50% of this country is going to feel disenfranchised starting on November 9th.
People have hung their hopes on Trump and he’s going to let them down. He’s letting himself down too. We know how much he cares about not being a “loser.” And now he’s being mercilessly mocked from all corners. “Yes, but he deserves it. He asked for it. He brought up all these things. He’s the one who chose to go nasty.” Yes, but that’s not an excuse.
Instead, someone has firebombed a local GOP office in North Carolina. What the hell, people? Hillary is going to win North Carolina anyway. But we’ve created this national attitude where the other side isn’t just wrong, they’re evil. That’s bullshit. But even if it were true, it still doesn’t excuse violence.
Remember what Bill Clinton did in 1996 after he defeated Bob Dole? He gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was a generous, gracious act by a person who had already won everything. The bible demands nothing less.
Trump’s bad behavior does not excuse your bad behavior.
I’m not going to repost any more statues of naked Trump in Manhattan. I’m not going to repost any more clever quips of what kind of animal his hair looks like, or a photo of his mouth replaced by a butt hole. These things are disrespectful and demean our national discourse just as much as the things coming out of his mouth. Please join me.
We, the Democrats, already know we’ve won. We can choose to be gracious in victory, or we can choose to be jerks. As this awful election grinds to its inevitable conclusion, let’s be our best selves.