An Open Letter to #Trumpgretters: Go Bannon Yourselves
We appear to be entering a new fad in media attention in the wake of Donald Trump's racist response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville: prominent Trump voters who are now publicly expressing their regret in voting for Donald Trump. That is, you. You are our media's new shiny object. Congratulations.
However, "I take it back" simply doesn't cut it when your offense is not merely an error but a sin. Allow me to remind you what you have put our country through for the pleasure of your vicious, bloody experiment.
You decided that for the position of President of the United States, you would pick a man who bombed his way into the political scene by challenging the legitimacy - indeed the very citizenship - of this country's first black president. The fact that he aided and abetted the racist conspiracy theory of birtherism did not phase you. The very reason Donald Trump could become a political figure was his - and your party's - willingness to support and feed the overt racists in America, and that did not give you a pause.
You used your vote to elevate to power a man who blatantly stated that an American judge could not be objective because of his Mexican heritage. You did not recoil in horror when your candidate called immigrants rapists, thugs and drug dealers. You either thought it was a dandy idea, or you believed his hateful agenda could be tolerated in exchange for whatever "constructive" policy agenda you were hoping he'd deliver on.
You accepted as your preferred choice for President a man who pretended not to know who David Duke even was in order to pander to his racist, Nazi base, before meekly rebuking Duke's support. By then, you know as well as anyone, Trump's dog whistle to white supremacists had become a siren.
You offered your vote - your most sacred bond of support - to a man who invoked the imagery rape to describe trade deficits with Asian and Latin American countries. Let's not pretend you couldn't read the clear subtext: the white cultural fear non-white men as violent rapists who rape white women.
You made certain that your vote was counted for a man who repeatedly delegitimized your fellow Americans in highly diverse states and cities with accusations of illegal voting. Once again, the subtext was not lost on anyone but the most intellectually corrupt: if people of color vote, that's illegal.
You watched in amusement as the man you decided to cast your ballot for mocked a reporter with disability in one of the campaign rallies you claim "riveted" you, and you decided this man not just could be president, but should be.
You decided that with your vote, you would endorse a man who openly called for a foreign adversary to hack American citizens and American government. Because he was bucking some sort of "orthodoxy" you pined to get one over on.
You decided to add your vote - your most important voice as a citizen - to the column of a man who in his business career refused to rent to black people and bragged about sexually assaulting women. You, with the most important tool you have in a democracy, enabled a man who further bragged that he could get away with such assault because of his wealth.
You added your vote to be counted for a man who, like a despot in the lines of Stalin and Mao, openly threatened to jail his political opponent. Because, you will tell us, it was simply a crazy thing he was saying, but he didn't really mean it. Never mind his willingness to play dictator even before he'd been elected to power.
You even celebrated Donald Trump's leading-the-pack voice that denied the Supreme Court nominee of a sitting President of the United States even a hearing in the United States Senate. All your pretend-reverence for the Constitution went out the window at the chance of securing a reactionary right-wing judiciary.
Let me remind you, Trumpgretters, that all of this happened before the election in 2016.
In case I have not made myself clear yet, you made a deal with the Devil. And the worst part is that you did not even have to be deceived in order to sell your souls. Everything Donald Trump is today he was during the campaign. Everything Donald Trump does today he did during the campaign. You voted for him anyway, and ever since the American presidency became a white hood with a blonde toupee.
So, go Bannon yourselves. I could care less about your pining for the setback of a "conservative agenda" or your newfound disdain for everything Donald Trump had shown himself to be at the time you were casting your ballots for him.
If you truly have a conscience, first admit that it was asleep when you legitimized the Trump Reich with your vote. Admit that it was your blind allegiance to ideology rather than to country that led you down this path. Yes, admit that your vote for Donald Trump was an act of betrayal against our country.
Then, begin working diligently to end what you began. Work with Trump's most ardent opponents - even if they are your ideological foes - to reverse the damage you caused. Accept the failure of the conservative movement of the past 40 years - a movement that directly and inevitably brought us Donald Trump. Denounce, disavow, and disown not just Donald Trump the man, but his (and what seems to be still your) agenda. And begin, with the rest of us, the long, hard work of building an America that protects the vulnerable, empowers the underprivileged and the under-represented, and works for everyone.
Anything less, and all your sudden condemnation of Trump and the Trump Reich is nothing more than crocodile tears. Anything less, and you can go Bannon yourselves.
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