Since last, godawful Tuesday, there’s been a lot of talk about how little Liberals listened to poor and working-class voters, how Trump tapped into and reflected the larger feelings of disenfranchisement among them, and about how now that he’s won, we as a country need to give Trump a chance to prove himself.
I don’t buy it. I’m all for trying to bridge the disconnect between what people see as “out of touch, wealthy, Coastal voters” and “blue-collar, heartland ‘Mericans,” but I’m not willing to overlook the appalling amount of racism and misogyny that’s come out of the Trump campaign to pretend to the above mentioned narrative. Or, as a great writer has said recently, I’m not willing to “yes, but” Trump’s racism to get to the work at hand.
Which leaves a lot of us in a weird position. Trump has won (Jesus, that still hurts), we’ve got to attempt to work with him for at least four years, and we really have almost no idea what his agenda actually is. Which therefore means, we need to stay vigilant, but we also have to wait until Trump makes moves as the president before judging how he’ll do. Maybe he’ll move towards the center to get his plans through, maybe he’ll concede some points to heal American, maybe — OK, and he hired a racist as his Chief Strategist.
So we can stop the pretense now, right? I’m not pretending that there aren’t very real financial concerns facing large portions of the country. Nor am I pretending that the shrinking middle-class and loss of blue-collar manufacturing jobs hasn’t done serious damage to towns and cities all across the Midwest. But then it’s also time for everyone to stop pretending that a very real, very serious motivating factor in Trump’s election was his implicit promise to maintain the racial status quo. The one that says white people get to have it best, and then people of color after that. The one that tells angry racists that they are right to feel slighted because they seem to be losing their place in society. The one that tells white people they should be asserting their “rightful” dominance over people of color. Like the guy in this video shouting about tortillas.
Yep. Paul Ryan, and I’m guessing a lot of other Republican leaders don’t know Steve Bannon, they’re unaware of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. that still exists on a daily basis, and they’re not willing to research any of this to make better decisions. So send them your stories. Both to Paul Ryan, and the other Republican leaders. And if you’re really feeling generous, go ahead and throw in a tortilla for all their supporters who were “economically concerned.”