An open letter to friends and family who still approve of President Trump

To friends and family who voted for Donald Trump last year and remain silent about his continual behavior, or worse, still approve of his job as Commander in Chief, I ask a simple question: What will it take for you to say, “Enough is enough!”?

We knew what Donald Trump was about before the election. He openly incited violence at his bizarre rallies. He lied and spread misinformation throughout the primary and general election. His views of minorities and women were informed by fringe, extremist websites. He retweeted and encouraged neo-Nazis on Twitter. He challenged a primary opponents’ manhood during a policy disagreement on live television. He went after private citizens on Twitter, attacking their humanity. He praised dictators and commended their totalitarian actions. And, of course, his performance in every debate was absolutely embarrassing.

And you still voted for him.

I know, I know – you were most likely a “never Hillary” voter. Even though the fierce hatred of everything Hillary Rodham is a near-pathological condition of the American right founded on falsehoods and misogyny, I get it: she was “just another politician.” Even though I can’t convince you that your Hillary hatred is literally unfounded, you have every right to think she’s awful or “too liberal.” That’s okay – I still love you.

But you still voted for the racist, proudly ignorant candidate.

His bigotry wasn’t a deal-breaker for you. Rather than take a moral stand and cast your vote for a third-party or write-in candidate, you pulled the lever for a man who has never stopped degrading (or endangering) the American presidency since he arrived in January.

Even though it’s been difficult for me, I’ve chosen to chalk up your vote for the worst president in modern American history as a belief on your part that maybe he’d change or moderate his views once assuming the presidency. Perhaps you thought he was just joking or wasn’t serious. After all, I don’t associate with people who hold such repugnant views. “Don’t worry – he’ll straighten up when he gets there.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or only get your news from questionable sources) you’ll know that that has not been the case. If anything, he’s only gotten worse.

He’s continued to attack citizens and allies. His misogyny is just as strong today as it was when he was a dishonest playboy in 1980s Manhattan. Science and respect for norms are quickly being eradicated and replaced with policies that reek of authoritarianism and censorship. His administration is also full of shady connections to Russian oligarchs and to the Kremlin itself, connections that become clearer and more pronounced as time goes on.

Your response: Deafening silence…even support.

The hardest part of living in the Trump Regime has been your complacency with and/or support of the unprecedented ugliness and misinformation coming out of the West Wing. Your guy won and now he’s calling the shots…but he’s still horrible.

What will it take for him to cross the line? When will you stand and say, “This is absolutely unacceptable!”? Where is the line? Does he have to grope a woman on live TV instead of bragging about it? If someone you know and love had their family torn apart through deportation, would that make a difference? Maybe you’d change your tune if he said the N word or called someone a faggot. At least I’d like to think you’d change.

History will judge this president harshly. Children will learn about how insane and unmoored from any sense of decency Donald Trump was. They’ll think to themselves, “How could anyone have voted for this man?” His policies will be condemned for how they hurt millions of people, largely the poorest and most vulnerable. Will you be one of the tens of millions of Trump voters who stood by him without question or conviction? What does it say about you if your answer is anything but “no”?

This isn’t meant to bash anyone over the head. Rather, it’s something I must get off my chest. I know and love some incredible people; I’d hate to discover that any of them hold Trumpian values or find nothing wrong with his abhorrent behavior. If they do, we’ve got a problem.

Donald Trump
Photo credit: Tom Pennington/Getty
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