After the recent presidential election, there is certainly tension between the political left and the political right. A recent New York Times article by Sabrina Tavernise explored the ways in which Trump voters feel increasingly alienated by liberal rhetoric.
The article argued that the anger and “name-calling” from the left is furthering President Donald Trump’s agenda by attacking conservatives and by making them feel unwelcome.
To this, I say: too bad. Bad decisions warrant negative consequences, and it is not the left’s issue to make people feel comfortable now that they wish they had voted differently. There was no shortage of warning signs that voting for Trump was dangerous and incredibly harmful—signs that some voters chose to ignore.
Those who regret voting for Trump should not feel that they need an invitation to be part of the anti-Trump movement. They will not receive sympathy because they do not deserve it. If they disavow the decisions Trump has made thus far, then they must take action on their own.
People whose basic human rights are being threatened do not have the responsibility to make anyone feel included.
The article quoted one man who felt that the left is “complaining that Trump calls people names, but they turned into some mean people.”
It is astounding that people feel that getting their feelings hurt is at all equivalent to the misogynistic and racist-hate speech of Trump, which furthers actual systematic oppression and violates human rights.
Trump voters are not oppressed just because people are mad at their political decision. Those voters who are now realizing the danger of Trump’s presidency need to be held accountable for these actions and need to help the people they endangered, rather than continue to put their feelings first and expect sympathy.
Yes, it is always important to try and educate people who are receptive to criticism—but to expect blind kindness and acceptance from those continually targeted by Trump’s agenda is selfish.
Another woman stated, “I love Meryl Streep, but you know, she robbed me of that wonderful feeling when I go to the movies to be entertained.”
Being “robbed” of the ability to watch The Devil Wears Prada is not the same as being banned from the country, as losing reproductive rights or as facing hateful speech and actions based on your religion.
Casting a vote for Trump was a choice. Trump voters are being criticized for their active decision to ignore countless warning signs and to choose to vote this man into office. This is not even remotely similar to being attacked for something such as one’s race or religion.
If it weren’t so horrifying, it would be almost laughable to try and sympathize with Trump voters who feel attacked, considering the number of people whose lives they put at risk with their vote.
Just days after Trump’s election, racist hate crimes increased. There were over 200 hate crime complaints reported just four days after Trump was elected, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama.
With this spike in hate crimes and with threats on the safety of marginalized groups, the last people that need our protection are those who put Trump in office. These people who feel they are being attacked are those who are most protected by Trump’s presidency.
Hurt feelings are not the same as genuine oppression. It is their responsibility to use this privilege to put their pride aside, to accept the mistake they made and to do everything they can to protect the people who are suffering the consequences.
If you don’t support everything Trump is doing, prove it by taking action, rather than by waiting for an invitation—or an undeserving apology.