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Dear Trump Supporters: My Opposition to You is Not Just a Difference of Opinion

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich

I have recently had several Trump-supporting relatives tell me that our respective candidates are just differences of opinion. In their minds, facts are opinions, and the only difference between us is that we hold differing opinions. No matter how I try to explain the irrationality of their beliefs, their retort is just the same: that’s your opinion. Which is then followed by: we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

In Trump’s world, facts and evidence don’t matter. No matter how many lies Trump tells, his supporters either believe his falsehoods or find some fantastical way to “explain” them away.

I have reached a place in life where I simply cannot stomach being around such people, either in person or on social media. As a result, I have unfriended a small number of people on Facebook, including several close family members. Surely, blood is thicker than water, someone is going to say, but I have come to the place that I can no longer be associated with people who support politicians and policies that cause me material and physical harm. These beliefs have real life consequences. I wonder, do Trump supporters bother to consider how his words, actions, and policies affect others; how they affect their parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren?

What I find even more troubling are people who think that Trump/Biden, Republicans/Democrats are equally bad. I’ve seen countless false equivalence arguments made on social media about the recent Presidential Debate. I thought, did you watch the fucking debate? Did you watch Trump spend 90 minutes bullying and talking over Joe Biden and Chris Wallace? Did you hear all of Trump’s bald-faced lies? Yet, because Biden called Trump a clown and told him to shut up, Biden is just as bad Trump. You know that’s not true, and from my perspective, this is lazy thinking.

Put yourself in Biden’s shoes. How would you have responded to being constantly bullied and harassed by Trump? I am of the opinion that Biden was too polite, as was Hilary Clinton in 2016. Imagine what might had happened if, when Trump was leering at Clinton, she turned around and said, “Mr. Trump, please stop acting like a sexual predator!” Trump gets by with this behavior because no one calls him on it.

Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States. He is, by far, the worst President our country has ever had — yes, worse than Hoover and Nixon. Yet, millions of Americans will gleefully vote for Trump. And if he loses? These same people will claim the election was stolen from the “best” President in American history. Trump knows he could lose in November, and that’s why he is laying the groundwork for contesting the election, alleging widespread voter fraud. Never mind the fact that none of this will be true. In the minds of Trump’s supporters, everything is just personal opinion.

When you say you support Donald Trump and will vote for him in November:

  • I hear you say lying doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say cheating on your SAT doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say rape doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say sexual assault doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say misogyny doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say grabbing women by their genitals against their will doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say tax fraud doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say paying off porn stars doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say people of color don’t matter.
  • I hear you say poor people don’t matter.
  • I hear you say old people don’t matter.
  • I hear you say big cities don’t matter.
  • I hear you say properly funding social security doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you saying the post office doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say affordable universal healthcare doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say it’s okay to put children in cages.
  • I hear you say the international community is our enemy.
  • I hear you say that countries in Africa are shit holes.
  • I hear you say COVID-19 is a hoax.
  • I hear you say face masks are unnecessary.
  • I hear you say social distancing is unnecessary.
  • I hear you say science doesn’t matter.
  • I hear you say the CDC and the WHO are agents of China.
  • I hear you say peaceful protesters are thugs and terrorists.
  • I hear you say that white supremacists are your kind of people.
  • I hear you say that the United States is a Christian nation.
  • I hear you say that separation of church and state is a myth.
  • I hear you say the media is fake news.
  • I hear you say it’s okay to use racist, bigoted language.
  • I hear you say that soldiers killed in action or captured by the enemy are suckers and losers.
  • I hear you say global warming is a hoax.
  • I hear you say the law doesn’t apply to you.

Every time you voice your support of Donald Trump, you are telling me that turning a government by the people and for the people into the president’s personal fiefdom doesn’t matter; that turning the executive branch into a family-owned and -operated business doesn’t matter; that the justice department exists to harass and prosecute the president’s enemies and protect his friends; that everything is all about him.

Every time you post memes about communism and socialism, it tells me you don’t understand what communism and socialism are; that truth doesn’t matter to you; that you have no interest in truly understanding why an increasing number of Americans support democratic socialist policies; that the United States has ALWAYS had socialist programs and policies.

So, you see, I can’t agree to disagree. An arsonist by the name of Donald Trump is trying to burn down my family, my home, my community, my state, my country, and the world I live in. I love my neighbor as myself, and hope for a better tomorrow for my wife, children, and grandchildren. As long as Donald Trump and his enablers control our government, we have no promise of a better tomorrow, no hope of peace and prosperity.

These things are not matters of opinion. Anyone who can read knows the threat Donald Trump poses to the human race. That YOU, dear Trump supporter, refuse to see this, is the problem. Why do you continue to embrace, support, and enable ignorance? Surely, truth matters, right? By all means, convince me that despite all these things Donald Trump is the better candidate for president. By all means, convince me that our great republic can withstand four more years of Trump. And let me ask you one last question, are we really better off today than we were when Barack Obama was president? Be honest . . .

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar
    dale M

    Stand back Bruce. Take a deep breath. I am a Canadian looking in from the outside. I see a bigger picture here. I am anti-Republican because of their strong stance against scientific truth. I am anti-Democrat because of their inherent weakness to face the core of the U.S.’s problems which allow the continual rise of Republican fanaticism. Did it ever occur to anyone down there that America is an artificial empire ? You have 11 distinct cultures that could literally become individual, strong, powerful nations in their own right. The U.S.A. is no different than Europe. It is big. It is unwieldy. The Feds may be attempting to micro-manage each and every State. They should draw taxes for mutual military protection only and leave each group of States to their own vices. They are incredibly different. They can’t hold together by force forever. Something is going to give.

    • Avatar

      11? where do you get that? and ” I am anti-Democrat because of their inherent weakness to face the core of the U.S.’s problems which allow the continual rise of Republican fanaticism.” that’s because Democrats are actually concerned with democracy, and aren’t wannabee nazis.

    • Avatar
      amy b

      Hi Dale, I agree with you, the Democrats contribute to the problem. It’s like Caitlin Johnstone says, “This is the sort of one-two punch combination that the US power establishment has been pummelling the American people with for generations. In boxing, a jab with the lead hand followed by a cross with the rear power hand is the most common and fundamental punch combination thrown, in which a stunning, blinding, distance-measuring strike is used to set up a subsequent knockout blow. In US politics, the Democrats set you up, and the Republicans knock you down.”

  2. Avatar
    dale M

    As for Trump, he is the result of this friction. His only true achievement is teasing out the raw hatred felt by 10s of millions of Americans who no longer want to be part of the Empire. He is the pin that has popped the boils in the underbelly of the Empire. Think nothing more of him. He isn’t worth it. If these 11 “nations” were actually allowed to go their own way, you would have a chance at creating a commonwealth of nation states. Each with it’s own central gov’t. No different than the E.U. There would be rules and they would be strongly enforced BUT, this time, these nation states would voluntarily join that commonwealth. My country could also go the same way. 6 nations. Perhaps a commonwealth of 17 nations in a pax-americana ? We would double our resources. We would be more powerful together than being forced to continue an unholy alliance of states and provinces.

  3. Avatar

    You’re not a preacher anymore, and I’m not religious anymore, but AMEN. I have lost all respect for a number of people whom I used to respect. Anyone who supports Trump after all this supports white supremacy, misogyny, Christian nationalism, ANTI-LGBTQ sentiment, conspiracy theories, anti-science and anti-intellectualism, greed, xenophobia, and probably other things I am missing because the list is so long. That’s not a difference of opinion, that’s a difference in basic human values.

  4. Avatar

    “Surely, blood is thicker than water, someone is going to say, but I have come to the place that I can no longer be associated with people who support politicians and policies that cause me material and physical harm. ”

    the mere fact I might share DNA with someone doesn’t make them family or worth the air they breathe. Those who support trump are effectively dead to me.

    Donnie and Melania have the virus. May they suffer as they have made other people suffer.

  5. Avatar

    I was having dinner outside (because of the pandemic) with my brother and mother and the conversation turned to Trump. Their neighbor has a Trump flag flying. They get along with their neighbor so my mother was a bit alarmed about upsetting the neighbor with our frank Trump talk. I said, well he might learn something. My brother who has always been a great pragmatist commented that no he won’t, he’ll just become unfriendly.

    The Trump voters come in 4 sorts really. 1)The well rewarded religious right: Roe vs. Wade will very likely be overturned leaving it up to individual states. 2) Blue collar working class who want to keep uppity negros out of the middle class. Yes there is a strong racist element to Trumpism. 3) Congenital Republicans–this would include my in-laws who actually have nothing to gain and everything to lose by a second Trump term, yet because Grandpa was a Republican they are too. 4) The ignorant, who may be combinations of the first three. Humans have a strong disposition to blindly follow leaders.

    While it seems like Trump voters have to be as bad as he is and some are, certainly not all of them are. The question for my brother (who made the observation about just how racist this country is that pushes the #2 item listed above) The neighbor doesn’t strike me as a blue collar racist so why is he for Trump? The answer is some combination of the other things. My conclusion is to be civil to Trump supporters, in many cases they are our neighbors and not necessarily bad people. This can be hard when they are blind to the laundry list of Trump’s blaring faults, and most have faults of their own.

  6. Avatar

    Bruce, perhaps you should watch the 2012 VP Debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. Biden interrupted him repeatedly (reportedly more than 80 times), and he mocked and insulted Ryan throughout the debate. Do those tactics sounds familiar?

    For the record, I dislike both POTUS candidates. I didn’t vote in 2016, and I don’t intend to vote in 2020. I think the two-party system is an abysmal failure. And, I believe it would be disastrous for the union if one political party ever assumed and maintained complete control (i.e. both houses of Congress and the White House etc.). Do not desire it. We need more viable political parties (imo).

  7. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    One of the things that hasn’t come up about Trump is he hasn’t kept his campaign promises to drain the swamp, or bring back all the manufacturing that afforded a middle-class lifestyle for most people back in the day. That, plus he supposedly makes fun of his Christian kingmakers when they aren’t around him. Saw that in the news recently.

  8. Avatar
    Bob Felton

    Trump is so squalid, so mean-spirited, so dishonest, so foul and corrupt, that here is no escaping that support for Trump implicates the supporter’s character. I avoid them as scrupulously as I avoid that other plague that’s such a bother just now.

  9. Avatar
    Charles S. Oaxpatu

    Excellent post Bruce. I agree with nearly everything you had to say. Furthermore, I am glad you said it. Everyone needs to get an ear full of this between now and election day.

    Even worse, if you tune into any cable news channel besides FOX News, it is clear that the White House toadies who work for Trump are doing everything in the power to prevent the American people from finding out the true nature of President Trump’s COVID-19 infection and the truth about how his treatment is going. The White House is saying one thing. Other independent sources who know about Trump’s true condition (such as Trump family members, presumably) are saying things are more bleak than what the White House is reporting. Given the Trump administration’s long pattern of lies, I can only conclude that his COVID-19 condition and treatment are not going well behind the scenes. That is how I feel about it.

  10. Avatar

    Amen, Bruce, Amen.

    I like your “I hear” list of tRump’s crimes against decency. Does anyone have a concise, complete list (with citations) of all the despicable things he or his administration has done to inflict pain and generally make the world and this country a shittier place to live in?

  11. Avatar

    I think you said it all when you said that many who support Trump are intellectually lazy (not necessarily stupid) but too lazy to find out the truth about the worst president ever.

    Also: Right now we’re watching the president’s joy ride outside around the hospital in the tightly sealed car with two secret service members within close proximity. I have a flow chart from my school district that explains the many steps I have to take if I have any symptoms of sickness, have traveled to certain states, or have been in close proximity to someone who has been diagnosed. In short, I have to quarantine until I receive a negative Covid test. So, why doesn’t the leader of the land whose team crafted the rules the rest of us have to follow not have to do the same? This alone should convince some of the above-mentioned lazy voters to think twice about this obviously insincere “leader”.

  12. Avatar
    Southern Lady

    Re explaining the irrationality of their beliefs, who in this world wants someone to explain to them the irrationality of their beliefs? To even try to do that seems like you’re not taking human nature into account.

  13. Avatar
    Gertrude Slany

    The Country of the Free as seen by an outsider – and who – once – wanted to become American:
    It’s pretty obvious there are deep fault lines running through the fabric of American society and Trump and his followers are just a symptom of that. To most of us who do not live in the U.S.A. the election system is a mystery, as in the last election, numerically Trump lost to Clinton, but by the mysteries of the electoral colleges Trump got in.

    The declaration of the Clintons as paedophiles all over the media and internet is something which is too ludicrous to take seriously, yet a great many Americans (and some here in Australia, too) take it for gospel truth.

    The ‘Swamp’ (for all I care), seems to be in existence and flourishing after 4 Trump years
    I also do not understand the deep divide between the various fervent religious groupings who also think Trump is ‘IT’ and vote for him, whereas liberal and the very idea of ‘Freedom’ is what made America such a role model to Europe from way back in the 19th century.
    I am also mystified why Obama-Care seems to be such a contentious issue and no-no to the Republicans, when most civilised nations in the rest of the world have a health-care system which caters to all citizens – and yet in America one can lose ones home over a chronic illness. I believe Obama-Care is still not abolished – I hope it never will and it will be improved upon.

    Trump also seems to be determined to paint China as the new arch enemy of the Western world – this is dangerous and needs to be stopped. Most of us have a house-full of China-made items without which modern living would not be possible and many countries rely on exporting their raw materials to China.

    Trump’s appeal is also to the innate racism in all of us – I have intelligent European friends who think Trump is a good thing, because he is making a stand for the national interests of the U.s.A. and on race –

    and I have my doubts about Trump genuinely having had Covid19 – people do not recover so quickly.

    • Avatar

      Gertrude, I also have doubts about Trump and COVID-19, but they’re going in the opposite direction. I think he genuinely does have it, but that he’s only claiming to have recovered. I think the virus is going to take another run at him, and in fact that may have already happened.

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Bruce Gerencser