Why it's Hard to Have Sympathy for Republicans Who Don't Like Trump
NOTE: Please pardon this deviation from tech for one day. I don't like to get too political on this site, but I had to write something about the election. If you were curious, this clip of Chris Cristie spewing trash on a morning show today pushed me over the edge.
There are plenty of Republicans out there today who are begrudgingly voting for Donald J. Trump for president this November. They are not thrilled about him being their nominee, but they simply can't bring themselves to vote for another party. "Well sure, he's overtly racist and is woefully unprepared, but at least there's an (R) next to his name on the ballot."
What a sad position to put yourself in. You are so loyal to your party that you will vote for a sociopathic liar who says something on camera and then calls you a liar for quoting him literally minutes later. Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, but no objective observer could say she is less qualified or less prepared to take office and command the position better than Donald Trump. You may disagree with me here, but I'm sorry, you're 100% wrong. A big part of this blog is focused around seeing other points of view (usually revolving around tech, not politics), so it takes a unique situation for me to make a claim that something is 100% black and white.
But the title of this piece is that I don't feel sorry for these distraught conservatives. I don't feel sorry for them because this is the party they have been fostering and encouraging over the past decade. They celebrate people who "say it like it is" even if that's saying things that are horribly racist, homophobic, or misogynist. They celebrate people who are anti-intellectual and take pride in making decisions based on their gut, more than information. They cheer on the 1% of scientists1 who say global warming is a hoax, and dismiss the other 99% as conspirators. More people than you would think still think Obama was born in Kenya and is somehow unqualified to be president.
Those above positions should be at most something held by a fringe third party in the United States, not one of the major parties.
I say all this as someone who used to be a Republican! In the late 90s and early 2000s I identified more with the Republican party than the Democratic party. I was happy that George W. Bush was elected in 2000, and I was actually kind of okay with it in 2004, but since then I have swung far to the left. Part of that was growing up and deviating from the politics of my parents, but a big chunk of it was a general disgust with the Republican party I saw around me. It was a party where faith thumped facts, shouting trumped reasoned debate, fear of the other trumped inclusiveness, and homophobia thumped loving thy neighbor. I was disgusted with the party in the mid-2000s, and it's only gotten worse since then.
So don't tell me that you are a proud Republican but Trump does not speak to your Republican values. He absolutely does. He's the disgusting mouthpiece of your party now, and you only have your own party to blame. You had 17 choices in the primaries, and you chose Donald Trump. You ran governors, well known politicians, and even a Bush, and you decided the best option was this loudmouth racist from New York. Yes, Donald Trump is a terrible candidate for president, but he is the best the Republican party could do in 2016.
What happened to the party of Lincoln? The party of limited federal government? Those are distant memories of a party that doesn't even deserve to be called the "GOP" anymore. Please tell me what's "grand" about the Republican party today. The party has devoted the past 8 years to saying whatever the opposite of Barack Obama says 100% of the time, and embracing fringe groups into their ranks, normalizing terrible groups.
Meanwhile, the last 8 years have seen Barack Obama still be one of the most productive presidents in history, and Republicans just want to blow it all up by electing Donald Trump because he's a "wild card." So don't tell me Donald Trump accidentally got the nomination. It wasn't someone else who cast 14 million votes for him, it's you. You personally may not have, but the party you have hitched your saddle to did, and they did so decisively.
- Usually scientists who don't personally study climate, by the way. ↩