Trump supporters (Photo)
They supported a candidate who mocked a disabled reporter, demonized an entire religion, made veiled anti-Semitic comments, scapegoated undocumented immigrants, and bragged about sexually assaulting women. Even if one puts all that aside (though I’m not sure how that’s done), they voted for a candidate who lied on a daily basis and who regularly showed he was demonstratively unqualified to be president.
Many continue to support him, even though Trump’s presidency so far has been defined by more lies, rank incompetence, and nasty policies that target the most vulnerable people in our society.
It tells us that fear of others — Muslims, brown-skinned immigrants, and shady foreigners who Trump claimed were allegedly ripping us off — remains a powerful force in our nation’s politics, particularly among Republicans.
It also tells us that for partisan, parochial reasons, plenty of Americans are willing to put racism, xenophobia, and misogyny to one side – or simply excuse it away. Since the election, there have been calls for national reporters to leave their coastal elite bubbles and talk to “real Americans” (i.e. white working class Americans). Stories like the ones from West Frankfort remind us that not all bubbles exist on the nation’s coasts.
But we should honest about what they’ve done.
They can and should be held to account for not being bothered enough by Trump’s intolerance and cruelty.