Yeah, so I guess that whole “I’m not blogging anymore” thing was about as authentic as most campaign promises. The events of this week have understandably gotten me fired up, so it seems that The Cutter Rambles is back open for business. (For now, at least)
I’m here to bring you an analogy involving sports. For all my non-sports fans readers, I assure you that this post isn’t really about sports, and that you can continue to read.
Philadelphia fans do not have the best reputation in the sports world. When most people think of Philly fans, they think of batteries being thrown at opposing players. They envision fans of the visiting team being harassed and beaten. They see snowballs being thrown onto the field. Most prominently, the stereotypical Philly fan is considered to be an awful person who would go as far as to boo Santa Claus.
Some Philly fans revel in that reputation. They love the fact that other fans are scared of them. They feel anyone wearing a Cowboys jersey into Lincoln Financial Field should be yelled at and have beer poured upon them. They want to be part of the most hated fan base in sports.
Most fans do not actually fit that stereotype. Most fans in attendance at an Eagles game do not engage in any subversive behavior and act like perfect (albeit overemotional at times) citizens.
Last Spring, after Flyers team owner Ed Snider passed away, the team gave away commemorative bracelets to fans who attended the following game. Unfortunately, a combination of poor play by the Flyers and some poor calls by the refs made the fans a bit agitated. Some of them reacted by throwing their bracelets onto the ice:
Most Flyers fans were disgusted by the act. They condemned the fans who threw the bracelets and called for their peers to stop acting in such a manner.
In many ways, Trump supporters are a lot like Philly fans. (Which is ironic considering how little support Trump received in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.)
Hillary Clinton famously (and unfortunately as it turns out) condemned a percentage of Trump supporters to be deplorable. She said that Trump’s voting base contained racists, and bigots. And sure enough, for some of them, that description was completely accurate.
My hope is that most people who voted for Trump are not actually bigots or racists. I hope that most voted for him for financial reasons, or because they can’t stand Hillary Clinton, or because they felt desperate, or simply because they’ve always voted Republican, their family has always voted Republican, and their family will continue to vote Republican until the end of time.
It was somewhat surprising to see so many Trump supporters take that deplorable tag and wear it as a badge of honor. Ironic or not, they didn’t seem to think that lumping themselves together with neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan was a bad idea. They didn’t seem to realize that by calling themselves deplorable, they were essentially telling people, “Yes, I’m a bigot and proud of it!”
Now that the election is over, there have been several stories about racist graffiti, or racial taunts at schools. While it’s foolish to blame Trump for racism and bigotry existing in America, it also doesn’t feel like a reach to say that his campaign implicitly encouraged it.
Since the election, I’ve heard Trump supporters claim we need to “come together,” and move past the anger and hatred. To those people, I have a question: If you truly want to come together, then why don’t you start by condemning the racist behavior? Why don’t you make it clear that you are just as angry that it’s happening? Perhaps you can call upon your choice for president to do the same?
The president-elect made a nice little speech after his victory. He talked about wanting to unite the country and move ahead. If he’s really serious about that, why not make a few good faith gestures to the people who opposed him?
- Tell Congress that they need to respect the office of the presidency and give Merrick Garland a hearing.
- Reassure all of the people fearful of losing their health care coverage after the inevitable repeal of the ACA that they will still be able to obtain health insurance under the new system.
- Denounce the hate. All it would take is a simple speech. I’ll even help you out, Donald. Just say something like this:
I am saddened to see acts of hatred carried out in my name. I am saddened to see that people have co-opted my campaign slogan to make it about white supremacy and antisemitism. I am saddened to think that my victory has caused anyone to carry out an act of violence or terror upon others.
I do not stand for hatred. I stand for making America great, and part of that is to make us unified. If you truly want to show your support for me and my presidency then you will not carry out despicable acts in my name or anyone’s name. You will act in a civil manner and treat your fellow Americans – regardless of race, gender, or religion – with respect and dignity.
Do I think Trump would ever do any of those things? No. And would it really make me feel much better if he did? Probably not. But at least it would be a sign that his reign won’t be the disaster that many of us believe it will be.
As for the rest of you, where do you stand? Are you happy to be lumped in with the deplorables? Or are you as disgusted as I am?
If you are disgusted, then stop defending Trump’s role in promoting hate, stop defending his supporters, and stop telling us to “move on.” Stand up for your fellow man and denounce the hate.