Home #FocusFocus Democracy 2020 #FOCUSDEMOCRACY: Dear Trump Supporters: An Open Letter

#FOCUSDEMOCRACY: Dear Trump Supporters: An Open Letter

by Maddye Belov-Boxer

Hey, thanks for reading this. I’m not here to condescend to you, whoever you are. You had your reasons for voting to reelect Donald Trump as president and you cast your vote accordingly, as is your right.

However, I want to talk to you for a moment about this man that you are so willing to defend and praise. Is it because he’s the president, because he’s Donald Trump or both?

It’s obvious that you love him, or at least the idea of him. You believe what he says and you internalize his rhetoric, even if it clashes with your own personal values. When you’re enamored with someone’s persona, it’s easy to ignore the qualities or statements that make you uncomfortable. I learned this for myself from being in an abusive relationship.

You’re probably thinking, “uh, this isn’t an abusive relationship; he’s the president and I support him.” Before you dismiss my comparison, I want you to take a moment to consider how you have felt since you started supporting Trump.

If it’s come up in conversation that you support him, how do others react? Does it make you feel bad when they no longer want to acknowledge what you say after telling them you support him? Whatever, you don’t need them. You have Trump, who will accept you no matter what.

Trump makes you feel good, doesn’t he? His loud, unapologetic, off-the-wall speeches give you surges of strength and power and you know he’s speaking directly to you. He is commending you for supporting him and in turn, supporting America. In other words, you turn to him to help you feel your own worth.

So far, we have a guy who has isolated you from others and is fully aware that you depend on him emotionally. “But he’s done so many good things for the country,” you object. If you are referring to the economy, I will have to assume you’re looking into the past, because it’s not great right now.

Regardless of what you consider to be “good,” Trump hasn’t kept a lot of the promises he made to you.

The wall isn’t built, Obamacare is intact and the United States is still being ravaged by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but this is the complete opposite of all the fundamental promises that Trump has made.

I’ve met people from all walks of life who are Trump supporters, so I know that you’re a diverse bunch: immigrants, whom he’s tried so hard to have deported; people of the LGBTQ+ community, whom he’s tried to strip of healthcare and the right to serve; women, to whom he promised jobs for their husbands; Black people, whom he tokenizes in the form of meet-cutes with Black celebrities, even as he avoids denouncing white supremacist hate groups.

Have you ever seen pictures of him posing with any of the millions of people who adore him, besides at his rallies? Or is he usually seen hanging out with fellow billionaires?

You’re not going to like this, but sometimes the things you least want to hear are the things you need to hear the most.

Donald Trump needs you more than you need him.

When he thinks someone doesn’t like him anymore, he gets rid of them, like the countless staffers and aides who have passed through his White House. If that’s how he treats his most loyal followers, what does that say about what he thinks of you?

Being angry all the time is exhausting and you shouldn’t feel obligated to be enraged on Donald Trump’s behalf. When I made that connection earlier, between supporting Trump and being in an abusive relationship, I didn’t mention the most important part of that comparison:

It’s OK to walk away, especially when you find yourself having to justify staying.

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