Blue Sunday: An Open Letter To Reasonable Trump Voters

Blue Sunday: An Open Letter To Reasonable Trump Voters

We now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Russian government acted covertly and unequivocally to get Donald Trump elected.

Dear Reasonable Trump Voter,

I’m writing to you now via normal means of communication with the hopes that it never comes to the point where I have to stuff an SOS into an R2 Unit as a last-ditch means to save the galaxy. I know why you made the decision to suck it up, roll the dice and push the button next to the name “Donald John Trump” on the day that will live in infamy some nineteen months ago. You thought your voice was being ignored. You thought our political system was rigged against your interests. You, quite correctly, felt that the government could use a little rattling. I don’t disagree with those feelings. They’re actually the same reasons I proudly cast my primary vote for Senator Bernie Sanders.

You gambled.

And that’s fine. I’ve been known to make a wager or two. And if there’s one painful lesson I’ve learned in the world of wagering, the house is always going to win — so you better learn to quit while you’re ahead. If you’ve won 8 out of 10 hands of blackjack, the dealer’s probably going to win 20 of the next 25. If Alabama football has covered the spread in their last six games, the oddsmakers are going to catch up next Saturday. If “33” comes up three times in ten spins of the roulette wheel, you’ll go broke chasing that number for the rest of the night. Listen to the immortal words of Kenny Rogers: Know when to walk away, know when to run. 

You’re ahead right now. And now is the time to run.

Before we go any further, please note that this letter is not intended for anyone who’s ever donned a “Make America Great Again” hat, thinks the sins of the father should be visited upon the sons at our border crossings, believes Barack Obama was a secret Muslim born in Kenya or thinks there are “fine people on both sides”. This is for the good guys. The people with whom we can respectfully disagree.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I’d like you to first consider what you’ve accomplished. No aspiring politician will ever take your vote for granted again. Not if she or he wants to have a reasonable chance of winning an election. Russian interference and the Comey memo notwithstanding, Hillary Clinton blew the 2016 election because she brazenly assumed the Midwest would back her simply because she had the “(D)” next to her name. She ignored the fact that Sanders outperformed her significantly in the region and in the white, male working-class demographic. There were plenty of warning signs. She shrugged them off.

Furthermore, you may be doing better economically. The stock market is up. Consumer confidence is up. Unemployment is down. Now, most would argue that these trends were already in place, as we find ourselves in a historic stretch of job creation coming out of the Great Recession. But the odds are you are not financially worse off than you were two years ago.

If you can, however, think about what’s been lost. And think about how much more we stand to cede.

I’m not going to go through the litany of reasons why I think Donald Trump is a horrible human being and you don’t need to have them reiterated for the five thousandth time. Instead, we can examine the real and tangible costs of the first year-and-a-half of his presidency.

If you have an ounce of humanity, you can’t possibly be okay with the humanitarian crisis at our Southern border created by the ill-conceived and racially motivated “Zero Tolerance” policy. Infants ripped from the breast of their feeding mothers. Diapered toddlers appearing before judges. Matter-of-fact admissions that some of the 3,000 or so detained kids will never be reunited with their families. If you have any sense of empathy, you’re easily capable of imagining this happening to your family. Your children. Your grandchildren. Locked in a cage with an inability to communicate with their captors.

Regardless of your feelings on immigration, a decent person would agree that separating children from their parents because they may have committed a misdemeanor is cruel and unusual, and contrary to the shared values of America that we were raised with.

Speaking of which, there’s another doctrine that was instilled in every American who entered high school before they had the internet in their homes: Russia (and it’s predecessor, the Soviet Union) was not our friend. The farthest thing from it, actually. The losses we suffered in the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, and in a roundabout way, the war on terror was a result of a half-century of tension with the postwar Russian government.

We now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Russian government acted covertly and unequivocally to get Donald Trump elected. Set aside any talk of collusion for a moment. I’ll even suspend my belief that the campaign was absolutely in cahoots with KGB veterans. No reasonable human being would argue that Vladimir Putin has the best interests of the American people in his heart. George W. Bush may have “looked into his soul”, but the rest of us are capable of looking into his resume. He has had journalists murdered. He has had members of the LGBTQ community imprisoned. He’s jailed dissidents. He’s ruthlessly backed the murderous Assad regime in Syria.

Forget about what you may have argued to your daughter on Thanksgiving, or to a stranger on a Fox News Facebook post, are you REALLY ok with the fact that Putin so desperately wanted to elect one specific candidate? Once upon a time — as in every election from Truman/Dewey through Obama/Romney, distrust of Russia was as bipartisan a promise as guaranteeing seniors wouldn’t lose their social security checks. In most races, candidates would argue about who would be tougher against the Soviets. If you are an American over thirty, you can’t possibly be comfortable knowing that the Commander In Chief has shown more reverence and loyalty to Putin than he has to the allies who have stood by us in all of these conflicts – both hot and cold – over the past 70 years.

And in case you haven’t noticed, we’ve never been so horrendously disrespected abroad in the entire 242 years of our existence. We were probably more popular in London in July of 1776 than we are in July of 2018.

And one last thing. I know you’re sick and tired of people assuming you’re a bigot for voting for Donald Trump. You’re probably not. You may not have a racist bone in your body. But since I’m doing my best to understand you, I beg you to understand how so many of us feel. The moment most of us decided we weren’t voting for Trump was the minute he descended down that gilded elevator in Manhattan to announce his candidacy. We remembered that he began his foray into politics by questioning, for the first time in history, the birthright citizenship of a President of the United States. And that happened to be the first African-American president in history. You’re smart enough to know that’s not a coincidence. And he kicked off his campaign by labeling Mexicans “criminals” and “rapists”.

And as Charlottesville, Latino family separation, comments about “infestation” and the demagoguery of women of color have taught us — it’s only getting worse.

So many racists and piggish bigots consider Donald Trump to be a messiah-like figure. It’s often hard to separate them from the hard-working, God-fearing American who simply felt neglected by decades of Washington politics that seemed to enhance the rich on the back of the working class. But we, the people who will never accept this presidency, need to do a better job of making that separation.

You have the power to stop this train before it gets completely derailed. You have the ability to ensure a return to normalcy, a country where we can politely disagree on policy. You wield enough weight to tip the scales back in favor of righteousness and dignity. The Republican Party is being held captive by the overwhelming support he has within their voter rolls. You can change that. You can call your representatives and demand action and accountability for Russia’s attack on our democracy. You can let them know that nothing should be done in the halls of Congress until every last kidnapped child is reunited with their family. Most importantly, you can advise them of the fact that you voted for President Trump but he has offended your sense of what it means to be an American.

This does not mean you have to become a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party. I’m one and believe me, they have plenty of problems in their ranks as well. But it does mean that you will support candidates who will stand up for your core values, of which, when you really consider it, Donald Trump has failed to do.

You don’t stand with Vladimir Putin. You don’t consider Nazis to be fine people. You respect the friendships and alliances that we have fostered throughout our history. You most definitely can’t stomach the idea of toddlers being incarcerated in your name, and the name of your forefathers who worked so hard, and even died, to turn America into what it was up until recently.

And your sense of civic pride and patriotism cannot be bought with a small tax cut.

Sincerely,

America


Now That You Mention It…

It’s bad enough that Russia attacked the fundamentals of our democracy once. But they haven’t stopped. And we’re not doing nearly enough. You almost have to ask if it’s intentional (and that makes you feel as crazy as the lunatics who whisper – or scream – “deep state”). Just consider the words of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (a lifelong conservative) this week:

“The warning lights are blinking red again. Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.”

But it’s safe to assume the president will take Putin at his word when he denies it on Monday. Really though, there’s no collusion.

Well done, London! And you too, Edinburgh. Had a chance to visit both cities last year. The citizens of the UK love America. They love Americans. They sort of think of us as their children. But Europe has a great bullshit detector, given the madmen who have reigned over the continent over time. And they smell what Trump’s cooking a hell of a lot better than most Americans do.

And man, that baby balloon…

Enough about what other members pay to NATO. America spends this much because we WANT to spend this much. We’ve never shied away from defense spending. We’re defense junkies. Even when Obama allegedly “cut military spending” we STILL spent more on defense than any other country.

I buy a lot of beer. It doesn’t mean I’m going to insist my teetotalling friends spend the same percentage of their income on beer if they want to hang out with me.

I’m kind of kidding, actually. I don’t have any teetotaling friends.

Reading social media reaction to the resignation of “Papa” John Schnatter was surreal.  While I was happy to see just about everyone condemning him – with none of that faux freedom of speech garbage they used to defend Roseanne – I was shocked at how many people said: “I’ll never eat Papa John’s again”.

You did in the first place?

I’ve had it maybe 3 times in my life, all before my 30th birthday, and each and every time it launched a sneak attack on my intestines that would have put Tojo to shame.

Yes, you OBVIOUSLY never buy pizza from a Trumpkin. But I don’t care if the Kennedy’s are running the franchise, their pizza is pure shit.

Quick programming note: I’ll be taking a two-week break as my wife and I head overseas for our summer vacation. We’ll be visiting Dublin, Edinburgh, and Paris. Hopefully, our Canadian accents are up to par and our ignorance of the metric system doesn’t give us away. I really couldn’t have imagined the feedback, sharing, and comments I’ve received from readers since I started this up two months ago. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

So when you don’t see it next week, or the week after that, I haven’t abandoned the cause or been whipped away to a black site for rendition. I’ll be back in business on August 4th.


What Won Twitter This Week?

This is what we mean by “Reasonable Trump Voters” 

The GOP never gets to claim to be the party of patriotism again 

Oh baby, he’s got “It” 

I’m just as confused…

Don’t think we don’t notice…

 

Songs Of Freedom

Building the ultimate #Resistance playlist, one week at a time. I’m always up for discovering new protest songs, if you have a recommendation, I’d love to hear it! 

How the hell did I go 9 weeks without including the Beatles? We’re adding this in honor of Donald Trump’s upcoming annual performance review in Helsinki.

And the Fab Four gives our playlist a little more gravitas…

See you in two weeks, my friends!


Want to make sure you never miss a Blue Sunday column?  Follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Questions, Concerns, Recommendations or Recipes? Shoot me an email at [email protected].

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)

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Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App