One year ago, I did something I never thought I would ever do: I voted to elect Donald Trump the next president of the United States. I remember staring in disbelief at the ballot on the screen, stifling a rueful laugh that these were actually my only choices.
I did not vote for Trump in the primary; I didn’t think he would win the nomination. There were moments, especially in September and October, when I questioned whether I could vote for him. I carefully studied my options, including Hillary Clinton. As Election Day approached, Clinton’s behavior, her lack of message, and her inauthenticity—in addition to all my other misgivings about her—made it easier to vote for Trump.
I also just had a feeling he would win (I won three bets on Election Night, including one with my husband.) Nearly everyone I knew planned to vote for Trump, including wealthy business owners, stay-at-home moms, doctors, lawyers, and a few people who had never voted for a Republican for president. I stayed up until the election was called and watched Trump’s acceptance speech, again, somewhat in disbelief.
What I did not anticipate was the rage that would soon be directed at me. It started that night on social media, and it sickened me; people I knew and respected were calling Trump voters by the most hateful names possible. Their fury was beyond irrational, it bordered on dangerous and violent. It continued for weeks. Trump voters were branded as racists, sexists, bigots, Islamophobes, homophobes, white nationalists, and Nazis. We were portrayed as brainless, uneducated backwater rubes who can’t comprehend the Constitution let alone form a cogent sentence.
That kind of ridicule has ebbed and flowed over the past year, reignited whenever something controversial happens, from proposed travel restrictions to a neo-Nazi march in a college town to NFL national-anthem protests. But one thing I know about the left (and I know plenty of liberals), is it’s easy to expose their duplicity, the chasm between what they say and how they live their lives.
Take, for example, the Hectoring Hypocrites of Hollywood, fully stripped of any remaining veneer of moral certitude. This scandal is now taking on a new twist that could engulf all the corrupt interests Trump voters want to see immolated: the entertainment industry, major media outlets, and Clinton Inc. It is they, not us, who are the bad guys.
So, after enduring insults and epithets from Trump haters over the past year, here is my retort on behalf of Trump voters everywhere:
Don’t call me stupid if you ignored all the evidence about Hillary Clinton’s corruption, ineptitude, and deceit and yet you voted for her anyway.
Don’t call me stupid if you voted for Evan McMullin. Or Gary Johnson. Or Jill Stein.
Don’t call me a racist if neither you nor your children have friends of different races.
Don’t call me a white supremacist if you live in an all-white neighborhood and send your children to all-white private schools.
Don’t call me a Nazi if you want to confiscate everyone’s guns—giving firepower only to the police and the military (and the security detail of politicians, athletes, and celebrities)—destroy historical statues and monuments, and stop the flow of free speech and ideas in academia.
Don’t say I support the war on women if you have personally attacked Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Sanders, Betsy DeVos or any other Republican female office holder.
Don’t call me an Islamophobe if you live in a town without a mosque, know no one who wears a hijab, and your children do not have friends who celebrate Eid and Ramadan.
Don’t call me a misogynist if you defended Bill Clinton and voted for his wife, who stood by his side while he sexually harassed women for decades and was impeached for lying about it.
Don’t call me un-American if the sight of a Confederate battle flag is more offensive to you than the sight of someone disrespecting the American flag.
Don’t call me anti-science if you don’t vaccinate your children, won’t eat GMOs, or think manmade climate change causes hurricanes. Also, don’t call me anti-science if you refuse to believe the evidence that unborn children feel pain or that there are only two biological sexes.
Don’t call me anti-immigrant if you’ve never spoken with one, employed one, or helped one in any way.
Don’t tell me I don’t care about children if you have never raised one.)
And don’t say, “Oh, we don’t mean you.” Yes, you do. Of course you do. Trump foes—from liberals to neoconservatives—have lumped all of us into the same space in their intellectually dishonest and politically ignorant attempt to vilify half the electorate. But they are intolerant. They are judgmental. They are the people who want to drag America down, not us. Their behavior and their actions have only reassured me that I chose the right side one year ago.
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