It’s one of those unanswerable chicken-or-the-egg type questions, but one that occupied my mind. Who did I despise more, Donald Trump or the braying, MAGA-hatted jackasses who foisted him upon us?
In trying to come up with an answer the question morphed into another: Will I ever be able to forgive the people who voted for Trump, or even the ones who didn’t think the choice before us back in 2016 was important enough to go to the polls?
During a rare weak moment, I reasoned that it might be possible to forgive first-time Trump supporters who mind-bogglingly missed all of Trump’s race-baiting during the campaign, or who “didn’t want to choose the lesser of two evils,” or who “just wanted to shake things up” in Washington.
While it’s a real stretch for me to believe someone could have missed the blatant bigotry at Trump’s rallies or failed to see his open displays of stupidity during the debates, I am aware that there are people in this world who are, to put it kindly, ill-informed. During my weak moment I was willing to admit that such people might have simply been more ignorant than, er, deplorable. I told myself I could forgive them if they would just admit they were wrong. I would never expect them to grovel or kiss my shoe, their act of contrition could be something as simple as saying, “I’m sorry.”
That’s what I told myself then, but a day later while driving on Interstate 80 in New Jersey I saw something that gave me clarity and pushed all thoughts of forgiveness from my mind:
Of course I already knew Trump was running for re-election, but somehow seeing the evidence in real time instead of once-removed on a TV screen crystalized everything. While I might have been willing to forgive some people from 2016 for being dumb as rocks and living life in a vacuum, I realized that’s no longer the case. There’s simply no way so many of them could have missed all that’s happened since.
Yet they will vote for Trump a second time!
I’ve decided there has to be a statute of limitations for Trump supporters to come back to the light, and we are long past it. No more can we delude ourselves that Trump supporters are quaint rustics who simply don’t know any better. So much dirty water has passed under the bridge since 2016 that even the most kindhearted among us must declare that Trump supporters aren’t just stupid, they are culpable.
These are people who saw Charlottesville; saw children in cages; saw Trump’s refusal to follow the rule of law; saw him enrich himself at the American people’s expense; saw him pay off a porn star; saw him pander to Russian President Vladimir Putin; saw him lie, lie, lie about anything and everything. Make no mistake, Trump supporters saw all that you saw but instead of the righteous indignation you feel, their reaction is to double down. “Children in cages?” they’re saying. “Hell yeah, give me more of that!”
And for the record, not a single Trump supporter I know (and there are many) has ever come to me and admitted they were wrong.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton paid dearly for one remark, but she should get points for being right: Trump supporters were a “basket of deplorables” then and they’re still a basket of deplorables now.
Set aside all thoughts of charity. Trump supporters, like their president, are criminally insane. They are beyond redemption, and we forget that at our peril.