I did not vote for Donald Trump and I did not vote for Hillary Clinton, I voted for Gary Johnson. My decision to not vote for Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with Benghazi, private servers, Russian money filtering into her family Foundation, or any of the other controversies, slurs, and negative things said about her during the campaign. My decision to not vote for Donald Trump had nothing to do with his over the top ego, his private vulgarity, his lack of eloquence or any of the accusations, slurs, and innuendos about KKK connections. If you want to know why I voted for Gary Johnson you can read my previous article “Comparing the Candidates”. When I wrote that article I intentionally stayed away from all of the negative comments, attacks, innuendos, etc that were rampant throughout the campaign and I compared the candidates based on what they said about themselves and what they said they wanted to do as President.
So why did I do my best to ignore all the negative stuff? I guess it really comes down down to this. These people are just people. They are applying for a 4-8 year contract doing an incredibly hard job that a person would have to be insane to want and it’s generally accepted, sadly, corrupt to win. I mean, seriously, look at Ben Carson. I can find several situations where those in politics effectively said he’s nice, he’s smart, but he’s too naive to be president. What does that mean? Naive is the political correct way of saying honest (IMHO). So, realistically, I didn’t expect any candidate, including Gary Johnson, to not be a bit of a nut case and have personal flaws that they would generally try to cover up while campaigning. Most folks who go to a job interview do the same thing if they want the job. (Some might say Trump did a better job than Gary of hiding personal flaws because Gary has a very odd sense of humor that came out more than once.)
Why does this matter now? Because I still see Trump as I saw all three candidates before the election. A flawed person with an agenda that they think is good for the country that they live in. I disagreed the most with Clinton’s vision of what the President should do and disagreed least with what Johnson thought the President should do (yes, there are some issues he and I don’t see eye to eye on). But the media has continued to push the message that Trump is a tyrant that hates everyone except white males no matter what he says or does. I think one of the things that I found myself having to come to terms with was that Ben Carson, whom I respected based on his life and what he said, began to work with Trump after he dropped out of the race. I had to come to the conclusion that there was more to Trump than what was being fed to me through the media. (I kind of already knew that because I actually read the details of his plans and some of them made good sense). Since Trump has taken office he has put men and women of various ethnicity into positions of authority based on his opinion of their merit. But it doesn’t matter. His wife is an immigrant who is fluent in five languages and his daughter (who also speaks multiple languages) is a successful business woman in her own right with a bachelors degree in economics but he hates foreigners and doesn’t respect women. Yet it was the media who focused on the nude photos of his wife. And don’t even get me started on the media and left’s great acclaim to this repulsive (but Emmy award nominated) video.
You see, it’s not that I want to defend him because I don’t really care. He’s the President, and I agree with some of what he has laid out to do and I disagree with other parts of his plans. I think he has handled some situations well and others not so well. I felt the same about the previous president and the one before that. But my opinion doesn’t really mean anything until the next election and I will try to see what he accomplishes and who else is running and get my say then. But until then, this hate filled, heavily biased constant character assassination based on a sound bite here and there often taken out of context has pushed our whole country into a state of hysteria where people truly feel like it’s not safe to talk openly, honestly, or critically about events and decisions. Most of the nonsense thrown at Trump is so easily debunked that I call it out for what it is in hopes of staving off some of the frenzy, although often to absolutely no avail.
The problem with this level of fear and lack of critical thinking is that it diverts attention from the real racists. You know, the one’s who are loud and proud and appear to be gaining momentum? And honestly, even discussing race over the past several years has become difficult because apparently, since all white males are racist, misogynistic privileged rulers of the world, my opinion and thoughts don’t count. So, when everyone is considered the enemy there is no way to win. If those who claim to want to fight tyranny, terrorism, and racism would focus their attention on those who are actively screaming “I’m a terrorist/KKK member/etc” then perhaps we can make some progress. But “racist” has become a term that means “I don’t like you”. How can we fight the real problem together when we can’t agree on who the enemy actually is?
The other problem all of this perpetuates is the division between Democrats and Republicans because anyone who identifies as Democrat points at Trump and says because we say he’s a racist, all Republicans are racist. Most Republicans, who are not racists, point at Democrats and call them liars and spout off about fake news. Rinse, wash, repeat. I hate to break it to you, but there are racists in both parties and in the ranks of independents. Heck even the great Bill Clinton was chastised for going to a “White’s Only” golf course for some golf time. I’m not saying that makes him a racist, but he was in friendly territory so some of those “friends” absolutely were. As a side note, Republicans and Democrats have more in common than differences. You can hardly tell a fiscally responsible Democrat and a socially conscious Republican apart. So why all the animosity?
Racism is a disease that does not discriminate and can be found in all socioeconomic areas. It’s wrong, but it’s true. Each one of us is called to combat racism with truth whenever we encounter it. I dare you to try to tell me a joke that demeans women, minorities, or anyone for that matter. I will at a minimum not laugh and depending on the situation you may find yourself with an earful. I may not change your mind but you won’t repeat your error in judgment in my hearing.
So, after all of this, why do I find myself “defending Donald Trump”? Well, because he is not actually encouraging or supporting racism, sexism, or xenophobia. The mass hysteria that has ensued since his election (propagated strongly by the media for ratings and sour grapes) has caused a spike in tensions between people groups and brought any kind of civil discussion to an almost complete halt. Finally, so long as this firestorm continues, the majority of the citizens in this country who care enough to be informed are being distracted from working together to hold all of our elected officials accountable for their individual commitments to their respective constituencies.