Zero Tolerance

 

If you are still a Trump supporter, go away.  Don’t write.  Don’t call.  And certainly don’t tweet.

I can understand, sort of, how you might have voted for him in 2016, but I can’t even vaguely comprehend after all that he has done since he became president how you can still back him.  I’m not even talking about policy decisions that I personally find abhorrent.  Americans disagree on the proper role for government and how best to deal with specific issues.  Those are legitimate differences of opinion.

What we are facing with President Trump is the gravest threat to our political system since the Civil War.  He has no respect for the U.S. Constitution, the institutions of government that have served us well since the earliest days of the Republic, or the norms that have kept politics within mostly reasonable boundaries.

How can you turn a blind eye to his attacks on democracy?  How can you be so indifferent to his constant lies?   How can you look the other way as he trashes the most basic notions of civility?

A recent poll cited by the New York Times suggests that Trump backers are sticking with him in part because they believe the criticisms of him are so extreme and over-the-top.  That might be a more credible claim if it weren’t for the fact that a majority of his supporters also believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese and other demonstrably false assertions made by the Liar King.

I watched on social media as his inhumane policy of separating children from their families at the U.S. border was defended by people who mouthed the oft-repeated but easily discredited claims of Administration representatives.  When Trump backpedaled under the backlash of indignation by a broad cross-section of Americans, those same voices were notably silent.

Some Republicans joined Democrats in pushing back against the outrageous actions perpetrated by this Administration.  A broad array of religious leaders joined the outcry as did the heads of many foreign governments.  However, a number of people and organizations continued to pretend nothing had happened.

That inaction gets me to the core point that I want to make.  There is no such thing as neutrality with this president.  The most striking evidence of this is the total capitulation of the Republican Party to a “leader” pursuing policies that are totally antithetical to everything the party believed in before Trump.  There isn’t a spine to be seen in what was once a serious political party.

We as a nation are better off when there are two responsible parties disagreeing and competing over fundamental ideas.  While it hasn’t always been that way in our history, some of the most productive periods have come through the give-and-take of the two parties.  Now, we have descended into tribal warfare.  Say what you want about the challenges facing the Democratic Party, that struggle is still within the normal boundaries of politics.

You’ve heard the litany already.  Trump prefers brutal dictators to long-standing democratic allies.  He has no real policy beliefs other than a desire to destroy whatever came before him, especially if it had Obama’s name attached to it.  He is playing his working class supporters for suckers by further enriching the wealthiest 1%.  His administration is well on its way to being the most corrupt in our history.

We used to look up to the president, to hope that he (so far) would be a role model for our children.  That may have been a more innocent time, but the diminution of the image of the office under Trump has accelerated to a degree unimaginable two years ago.

And yet, and yet, nothing seem to shake the loyalty of Trump’s base.  What is wrong with you?  Don’t show for the Fourth of July Parade because you obviously don’t care about the fundamental values that have made this nation great.  You are willing to sell your souls, sometimes even cheaply.

A few of you have profited greatly by the decisions of this administration.  You are now free to pollute without being subjected to enforcement measures.  You may have benefited from the tax cuts that were passed with a bunch of promises that are predictably failing to come to fruition.

Some of you have settled for cheap symbolic wins.  You get to go to Trump political rallies and yell “Build the wall” or “Lock her up.”  You cheered as Trump dismantled much of the Affordable Care Act and still haven’t figured out that you may be the one losing your insurance or at least paying more.

You keep falling for the lie that every problem you face is because of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Muslims or Mexicans.  You keep playing the victim but won’t get any sympathy from the rest of us because you have shown no compassion for anyone else.

I’m done with Trump supporters.  I don’t want to talk to them.  I don’t even want to be in the same room with them.  I’m with the woman who kicked Sarah Sanders out of her restaurant. I don’t want to hear your biblical references to rationalize his horrible acts.  I don’t excuse your ignorance of the facts just because you have decided to limit yourself to Fox, Breitbart and Alex Jones

In not standing up to Trump, you have abandoned the ideals of this country.  It’s not good enough to remain silent.  If you’re not on the right side of history on this one, you’re on the wrong side.  Go stand somewhere else.