Take Responsibility for Your Vote

“I am a Christian. Female. I’m White. I’m Straight. & I voted for Trump, even in the primaries. That also doesn’t make me racist, homophobic, or judgmental. Please stop labeling people for who they are and what they believe in just because you’re offended by THEIR choices and need someone to blame. It’s nothing but hypocritical. Why are, “people like me” not allowed to make assumptions about, “people like you?” But it can’t be the other way around because…? Because I’m a bad person because I voted for Trump? Not everyone is judgmental because they believe in God. Not everyone is racist because they’re white and/or voted for Trump. Not everyone is homophobic because they choose to be straight. And not everyone is “un-American” because they choose not to partake in the riots and protests and social media hoopla that are claiming to stand for our “freedom” and “rights”. I don’t know how throwing tantrums, burning flags, hatefully disrespecting our president, and shaming other people for what they choose to believe in is even CLOSE to fixing our country. The problem isn’t our president. The problem is the PEOPLE.”

I stumbled upon the above message on Twitter. It had over twenty thousand retweets and I could just not let it go. I am sick and tired of people rationalizing their actions so pitifully. No two people in this world are completely similar. No two people conjure the exact same thoughts, look entirely identical, or behave in precisely the same way. This truth is what the United States was founded on. The ideals of freedom of religion, thought, and opinion all stem from the principle that no single person is the same as another.

Following this logic, it is wrong to equate every person that voted for Donald Trump as a bigot, sexist, homophobe, and racist, because it is unfair to make any person responsible for the actions of another or assume that every person who voted for Donald Trump did so for the exact same reasons. However, these voters cannot escape the fact that the person they voted for is a bigoted, sexist, homophobic, racist (or at least someone who pretends to be all the above).

This is where the line is drawn. You can defend your vote for Trump by saying that you wanted a change from the status quo of politics, that you believed Hillary Clinton was an ill-suited liar, or that you thought a businessman could revitalize the American economy. But what you simply cannot do is ridicule those taking a stand against someone who is so clearly infringing on peoples’ beliefs and rights. Those people are standing up for Americans’ rights and freedoms. When Donald Trump holds up an LGBTQ flag and then tweets that he will be banning transgender people from the military, Americans have the right to protest his hypocrisy.

Sure, voting for Donald Trump doesn’t necessarily make you a racist, but that doesn’t change the fact that you voted for someone who refuses to denounce white supremacists rallying in support of the confederacy and Nazism. Sure, voting for Donald Trump doesn’t automatically make you a sexist, but that doesn’t change the fact that you voted for someone who believes he can grab women “by the p***y” because he’s famous. And sure, you can say voting for Donald Trump doesn’t make you Islamophobic, but that doesn’t change the fact that you voted for someone who refuses to acknowledge domestic terrorist attacks by non-Muslim persons but is the first to recognize attacks by Islamic extremists.

You are not responsible for Donald Trump’s actions, but you are entirely responsible for voting for him. As much as I despise President Trump, I was one of the few Trump critics who, early in his term, said that we should “give Trump a chance” to lead the country before we condemn his presidency, as he deserved the opportunity to earn the trust of the American people. However, he has failed to do this.

Donald Trump has refused to denounce racist groups multiple times, from David Duke to the rallies in Charlottesville, thus alienating the 12.1% of the U.S. population that is black. He has enacted a travel ban alienating those with Muslim relatives. He has mocked a disabled reporter, alienating those with any connection to someone with special needs. He has on many accounts discredited a woman’s opinion specifically because she’s a woman. He degrades the leaders of America’s closest allies while praising those of our greatest enemies.

Now, you may convince yourself that all those rallying against Donald Trump’s hateful and bigoted rhetoric are throwing “temper tantrums,” but I’d like to see how you’d react if someone told you that you couldn’t marry the love of your life because it’s “not normal” and “weird,” or if you were told that you were 2.8 times more likely to be killed in an encounter with police because of the color of your skin.

You can ignore these realities, but if you truly want to stop being classified as a bigoted, sexist, homophobic, racist, then you need to admit wrongdoing in voting for someone who is.

No, you are not Donald Trump, but you are responsible for electing him. Everyone makes mistakes and learns from those mistakes—that’s part of what it means to be human. But if you are unable to admit even partial fault for something that you yourself contributed to, then you do not deserve the respect of your peers. If you still to this day blindly support someone who refuses to denounce leaders of a movement that quite literally slaughtered six million people because it considers them a “lesser” form of a human being for being Jewish, the issue does not lie with the people, it lies with you.

Sincerely,

Your fellow American