Forgive and progress.
Democracy happened last night. The result was not what I wanted, and it kept me up at night, but I have no adjectives that you haven’t heard before. I could tell you that this was the most dangerous vote in our country’s history, I could say I feel ashamed by my country, I could express my fear, but others are already writing about this much better than I ever could. I don’t see a value in serving up the same emotions, in a diluted, weaker voice. I can’t serve up anything but an imitation of the real thing.
See, Women, Muslims, LGBTQ, POC; so many others have already given this election result the descriptions it deserves, and here I am, a part of the demographic that voted 63% in favor of Donald Trump. As a part of the 31% of white men who did vote for Hillary Clinton, I’m left with a lot of questions, and I’m holding out hope of finding answers.
There has to be a lesson here.
I trust the people I ally with when they say Hillary Clinton lost this election in part, or entirely because of, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and islamophobia. For the 59 million votes cast for Donald Trump, at least 1 of those 5 traits is present in each voter. For the 6 million votes cast for third-party candidates, I don’t know. I hear arguments that voting for ideology over the safety of say, the black community, is a form of racism, and I see where that’s coming from.
A part of me worries about the fact that white, rural America sent a message last night, and that progressives aren’t going to listen, and if we don’t listen, we don’t retake the White House in 2020. With a Republican Congress, Donald is going to get things done, and if he pleases his electorate, and has good approval ratings, he’ll run again. When he does, if progressives again call Trump supporters unquestionably racist, sexist, etc. we will lose.
We’re going to need some of Donald Trump’s 59 million voters on our side in four years.
In the GOP postmortem of the 2012 campaign, it was concluded, more or less, that you can’t win the Latinex vote if the first word out of your mouth is “deportation” or they won’t listen to the next sentence. Progressives have no ground to gain by calling 59 million Trump voters racist, as they will too, ignore our very next sentence. We cannot and will not give up our morals and principles though, it’s the right thing to do and it makes us who we are. Young people, by and large, are on our platform, and they’re passionate about it, but old, generations-long racism and sexism, status-quo gender and sexuality norms, and deep-rooted Christianity is not going to die out in four years.
We’re going to have to teach and educate some people, and out of those 59 million people, some are redeemable. If you don’t believe that, then where is the hope? The time to forgive is coming soon; forgive those sins, heal, teach, and progress.