At least one of my siblings, and some of my friends from high school, will be among the 50 million or so Americans waking up on Nov. 9 after giving their vote to a man who thinks very little of them, and even less of the country he wants to lead.
Allow me one last attempt to help you avoid a hangover that will stay with you the rest of your life.
If you ignored every blast of hatred from Donald Trump, every attempt to defraud people or stiff those who worked for him, every bellow from the bully, consider his low view of humanity in general. “For the most part you can’t respect people,” he has said, “because most people aren’t worthy of respect.”
This is the credo of a loveless man in a friendless world. He also says he has no heroes – not a Lincoln or Mandela, a Jackie Robinson or a Capt. Chesley Sullenberger.
If you’re an evangelical Christian, you’re about to cast your lot with someone who goes against nearly everything you believe. I have a sister in this category. Her preacher told her that electing Trump is “part of God’s plan.” I’m not sure if the plan is apocalyptic, but that sounds like a deity who’s given up on all of us.
I would tell my sister and all like-minded souls to look at whether Trump has tried to live by the Ten Commandments. He’s consistently violated at least eight of them, from worshiping the God of Mammon to running up the biggest “pants on fire” liar score of any presidential candidate in history. As for adultery and coveting others, he’s bragged about cheating on the mother of his children in one interview, and outlined his methods for hitting on married women in another.
True, he hasn’t committed murder, but he did say he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, “and I wouldn’t lose any supporters.” If that’s who you want your children looking up to, those kids will be, like Trump, bereft of heroes.
If you’re a member of the white working class, “the poorly educated” that Trump once professed to love, your sense of dislocation is real. The economic gap between the wealthiest cities and the rest of the country has widened. So has the divide between college-educated workers and those who never went beyond high school. More than 20 percent of American men younger than 65 had no paid work last year.
But a trade war, which Trump proposes, and his tax and immigration policies would bring widespread pain and do nothing to help the most economically troubled of his supporters. Trump likes to remind people that he took business classes at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Well then, let’s listen to a report from his alma mater: It predicts that Trump’s policies could cost the United States 4 million lost jobs.
His tax plan, a giveaway to the rich and a budget buster, would likely lead to another recession. His overall economic proposals could cost the United States economy $1 trillion over the next five years, according to a report from Oxford Economics, a forecasting firm.
Building a wall, of concrete on the southern border, or though tariffs coming from Washington is not going to bring steel mills back to Pennsylvania, or thousands of coal jobs to West Virginia. Even from a blunt, xenophobic perspective, the wall makes no sense. For over the last 10 years, more people have immigrated from the United States to Mexico than vice versa. Trump never mentions that.
I should add that 15 million new jobs have been added under President Barack Obama’s watch, and that incomes grew across the board last year, especially at the bottom. Trump never mentions that, either.
Vice President Joe Biden has made it one of his final missions to ensure that Democrats don’t forget those living in places like his hometown, Scranton, Pennsylvania. One solution is to put people to work on roads, bridges, airports and other “big stuff.” Hillary Clinton has at least put forth a $275 billion infrastructure jobs plan. Trump promises nothing more than a slogan on a silly hat and a pipe dream of a plan with no way to pay for it.
Finally, if you’re a true deplorable, I have nothing to say to you by way of persuasion. You should follow the endorsements of neo-Nazis, and current and former members of the Ku Klux Klan who say Trump is the embodiment of their beliefs. A vote for anyone but Trump, as the former Klansman David Duke says, is “treason” to your heritage. He’s talking about a lineage that goes directly back to slavery.
For the rest of the Trump supporters, remember that resentment is not a political philosophy and hatred is not a sustainable force for governing. Remember, also, the words of a global citizen – Bono. “America is like the best idea the world ever came up with,” he said, “but Donald Trump is potentially the worst idea that ever happened to America.”
New York Times News Service