Five Questions

In the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election, I noticed a trend on Facebook. Trump supporters were posting false information and then complaining when the Facebook administrators called them out. Apparently, some of these individuals were even getting private messages telling them about the consequences of posting false information. When discussing this, one person said, “everyone is getting that message.”

I wanted to comment, “I haven’t received that warning because I don’t share false information.” I didn’t though, because I was fairly confident I would have been called a lying libtard or told that Facebook was targeting conservatives and protecting progressives.

The irony of all of this is that the people who kept posting false information were the same individuals ranting about “fake news.” While they were definitely projecting (unconsciously taking unwanted emotions, traits, and behaviors they didn’t like about themselves and attributing them to someone else), they were also acting like spoiled children. In their delusional brains, something is only a fact if it justifies their beliefs or meets their needs. 

Before the election, I rolled my eyes at their temper tantrums and self-centered posts. After the election, I realized that this twisted thinking, encouraged by President Donald Trump, was dangerous. When Trump and his allies told his minions that the election had been stolen, they believed them. Even when every avenue was pursued to ensure the election results were accurate, including re-counts in Republican-controlled states and court cases, these Trump supporters were convinced, or pretended to be convinced, of some grand conspiracy to steal the election. In an attempt to get their way, they filled busses and airplanes during a global pandemic and went to Washington D.C. to demand that Trump remain president.

The mayhem committed at the capitol building in Washington D.C. on January 6 is unforgivable as are false assertions that members of “Antifa” disguised themselves as Trump supporters and were the actual perpetrators. 

Following the events on Wednesday, Trump followers are now complaining that actions taken by social media and technology companies to address hate speech and violence is fascism. Considering the education level of most of the people I’ve witnessed saying this, I’m fairly certain they would be unable to define fascism without being given a computer to Google it. These are, after all, the same people who call any policy with which they don’t agree socialism. The icing on their hateful cake is that many are proclaiming themselves Christians while calling people with different beliefs evil.

Don’t get me wrong.  I believe people have the right to different opinions just as they have the right to organize and participate in peaceful protests. What they don’t have the right to do is demand that our country revolve around their belief system. And for those who say that’s not what they want, I have five questions:

  1. No one disputed that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 but that Donald Trump won the electoral college. If Hillary Clinton had proclaimed the election was stolen, filed multiple lawsuits trying to get the results overturned, and tried to convince a secretary of state to find 11,000 votes, what would you have done and said?
  2. In Italy, the birthplace of fascism, people noted that the scenes at the United States Capitol on Wednesday were reminiscent of events in Italy in the 1930s under Mussolini. You call people who have taken a stand against police violence and for basic human rights as “Antifa,” which is short for Anti-fascists. Does that mean that you are pro-fascism?
  3. In America, where the economy is rooted in capitalism, the wealthier you are the more access you have to political power.  Donald Trump used his wealth and celebrity to win the 2016 presidential election but has yet to publicly share his tax returns. Since taxes are used to pay for public education, public safety, roads, and numerous other services that are equally available to all citizens, the amount he pays in taxes is one mechanism of demonstrating how he much he has or hasn’t contributed to the public good. Taxes are a contentious issue for many conservatives who constantly worry that their taxes might increase (even though they are benefiting from those public services). If the amount people pay in taxes is so important to you, why haven’t you held Donald Trump accountable to ensure he contributes his fair share?
  4. This week I saw a heartbreaking post from a young woman whose father berated her for not supporting Trump. He told her that college was giving her the wrong ideas. This isn’t unusual. I’ve witnessed numerous Trump supporters complain that colleges are turning young people into liberals. A college education is intended to expand a young person’s knowledge, expose them to different ideas, and teach them critical thinking skills.  Are you afraid that people who think for themselves or are better educated than you are a threat who will challenge your belief system or demonstrate that your way of thinking may not be for the greater good?
  5. A vast number of Evangelical Christians have continued to support President Trump even though he has never been actively engaged with the church or behaved in a Christ-like manner. Among his many behaviors, he has bragged about grabbing women by the genitalia, engaged in name-calling, endorsed policies that separate families, and lied on a daily basis. He cheated on his wives. In order to gain the support of Evangelical Christians, he chose Mike Pence as his vice president, but last week put him in danger when he didn’t “follow orders” to disrupt the electoral process. And he has supported a health care system that operates on the principles of making money rather than on ensuring all Americans have access to it.  None of these actions are in the least bit Christian. And yet so-called Christians have supported him in part because of his ability to put in place conservative judges. How do your reconcile the Golden Rule, the beatitudes, and the Ten Commandments with supporting a man who has demonstrated he worships wealth and power more than anything else? 

If any of Trump’s supporters read this, they will probably be angry. That’s fine with me. I’ve been angry for four years and during that time the most controversial political action I took was to wear a pink, knitted hat. And, for the record, I didn’t even have to purchase it thus contributing to a politician’s coffers. Someone made it and gave it to me for free because that is what genuinely nice, not evil, people do.

About Trina Bartlett

I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, with one dog, two cats, a husband who works strange hours. When I'm not still parenting my two "adult" children and working as a director at a nonprofit social service organization, I can generally be found riding my bike, walking my dog, playing in and planting in dirt, and generally stirring things up.

Posted on January 10, 2021, in current affairs, history, News, people, perspective, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Dang girl, you pretty much nailed them to the wall. Nicely done. Proud to call you a friend.

  2. I’m waiting patiently for all those Trump lovers to come here and answer your questions. But that would require them to be able to read more than 2 sentences. Since they have the attention span of a newborn gnat, I don’t see that happening.

    For the rest of us who actually took the time to read your amazing words, I am giving you a standing ovation. Hear, hear, Trina! I’m with you.

    • Calling everyone that voted for Trump illiterate is a bit ignorant on your part. I voted for Trump but not for the reasons that you think. And I imagine a million other Americans did as well. I cannot support the Democratic Party and their plans for America’s future that includes the murder of tens of thousands of preborn children and calling it healthcare. If they truly cared about the health and well being of women and children and families they would not push for abortion rights. They would require sonograms for every pregnant women seeking care whether they want an abortion or not. They would also provide mental health care and offer other options including adoption and financial help if they choose life. They would also offer follow up care and counseling for all women who choose abortion instead of butchering their babies and sending them on their way.

      • Wow! Quite a bit to unpack here. First, I don’t believe she called everyone who voted for Trump illiterate. You may want to read that again. (And no, the irony is not lost on me.)

        Second, abortion rates have been steadily decreasing in the US for the last 40 years, with the steepest decreases occurring during Democratic administrations. No one wants to see more abortions. The Republican approach is to make it illegal. The Democratic approach is to make it unnecessary by enacting policies that support families. Republican administrations at the federal and state level have continually made cuts to programs that support maternal health, mental health and families. Therefore, I find it odd you would criticize Democrats for not doing so, when they are the only ones who do.

        Third, I find it interesting you mention mental health. This is an issue I take very seriously as I am a trauma therapist. You mention mental health care for women who have had abortions. Have you thought for a moment about the mental health of the children who were stripped from their parents’ arms and then “lost” by the Trump administration? Do you have any idea the damage that trauma has done to them, or to their parents who were just trying to get their children to safety? NO ONE should endure that kind of suffering. For that alone you should feel shame for your decision to continue to support this man. Don’t dare call yourself “pro-life.” And please do not try to tell me that practice was going on under Obama. It was not. Families were detained together for a few days.

        You can attempt to defend your support by claiming it is all about abortion, but that argument doesn’t hold up. Maybe some self-reflection is in order. There may be other reasons. I do believe there is hope for you, but you must want to help yourself.

  3. Ali,
    “I’m waiting patiently for all those Trump lovers to come here and answer your questions. But that would require them to be able to read more than 2 sentences. Since they have the attention span of a newborn gnat, I don’t see that happening.” Sounds like saying all Trump supporters are illiterate…That was the comment I was replying to. Perhaps you should reread the previous comments yourself.
    And the latest data I found on the internet for US abortions was for 2018 during which time about 620,000 abortions were performed. That’s 620,000 babies whose lives were terminated. Not to mention the 620,000 women that were physically and mentally scarred in the process. And the hundreds of thousands of men denied their rights to be fathers. The abortion industry also makes a habit of covering up child abuse and sex trafficking. Even though the numbers are declining, 620,000 abortions is far too many. And the women receiving them are not properly cared for. Maybe you should check out Live Actions website: http://www.liveaction.org
    I do not agree with separating illegal immigrants’ children from their parents but to me, abortion is far worse. The children lost to abortion are not the only people that are negatively impacted by it. Not including men, 1,240,000 Americans were directly impacted by abortion in 2018 alone.
    I think the real blame should be put on Congress more so than our presidents, since they are the law makers and many have been in office far longer than any president.
    If we don’t want our nation to continue to be divided, we need to stop judging and stereotyping people that voted for the “other” candidate.

    • Funny you haven’t even acknowledged any of the 5 questions the author writes about in this post. All you’ve done is quoted facts and figures about abortion, a subject about which the author makes no mention. Also I can’t let the “I do not agree with separating illegal immigrants’ children from their parents but to me, abortion is far worse” argument go without comment. You have no idea why the women who choose abortion make that decision, you are not in their shoes and there could be a million different reasons why they choose that option. Who are YOU to judge their decision? You are not God. In my opinion, it is much more cruel to take a baby or a child away from the only family it has ever known as punishment for the parents who are only seeking a better life for their family.

      That is my opinion. You have yours. No one will ever win this argument. But how about you try answering Trina’s 5 questions now?

  4. 1. I didn’t dispute the election and neither did my spouse or any other friends or family that I know voted republican. I accepted the loss and am ready to move forward with our new president.
    2. I personally did not blame anything on Antifa and I imagine most voters for Trump did not as well. I had no problem with the peaceful protests against the police and believe they were very necessary. But looting and burning down people’s businesses was not the answer. Defunding the police is also not the answer.
    3. Taxes are not a big issue for me, and I agree that all American citizens should pay their fare share, especially those that earn more than enough money. Trump isn’t the only political figure or wealthy American that finds loopholes and gets out of it. And no it is not acceptable. My vote in the other direction will not change that.
    4. Just because you’ve seen “numerous Trump supporters” complain that colleges are turning young people into liberals, does NOT mean that every individual that voted against the democrats shares that same view point! I gladly sent my kids off to college and hope and pray that they have a good faith foundation and value system to decide what issues matter most to them and who they want to vote for. My son voted for Biden and I’m totally fine with that.
    5. I can’t dispute or deny the accusations made against Trump. But like I stated earlier I voted against the democratic platform on abortion. And nowhere in anything I’ve written here have I judged any woman that chose abortion. I believe they are being misled and mistreated. I don’t think changing the legality of abortion is the problem. Women at abortion clinics are not receiving the care they deserve. There is no counseling provided, no other options or help given especially to those that feel pressured into having one, and there is no follow up care provided.

    Like I said in my last response, we need to stop judging and stereotyping people that voted for the “other” candidate. You don’t know the reasons why people voted the way they did or what issues they are struggling with. You’re judging millions of people based on the actions of a few thousand. I voted independent 4 years ago because I didn’t want Trump or Clinton, though in my mind he was the lesser of the two evils. Maybe that depends on what news channels you follow. And I voted republican this year because I disagree heartily with the democratic platform.

  5. I actually hate Trump, all the ego and self serving 4 years as president, plus all his business here in NJ, he’s just not a good person, I agree with what you wrote with a few exceptions, Antifa or anti fascist is what they call themselves,, believing that other points of view are fascist, they at there most extreme are just as rude and destructive as any other group not able to tolerate different opinions, My biggest problem is the political blindness of both parties, at least some GOPers denounced the siege on congress, a rare occurrence, when the BLM protests happened last summer some Dems used it as a way to get votes, most ignoring the looting and destruction, and the phrase ” they are mostly peaceful protests” being used often. I am sure there are peaceful protesters from both sides , its the lawbreaking ones that need to be chastised , heard so many story’s about people at rally’s losing there jobs just for being on the wrong side of public opinion, freedom of speech does have it consequences, seems like there was not one story about BLM looters and vandals losing their jobs, in fact they seemed to be given a pass, the country is divided, any one who believes that either party is for all the people is just being naive, maybe I am just tired of voting for the lesser of two evils, both party’s have some merit and no one should be demonized because one party is more in tune with issues important to them, weather it is abortion, civil rights, fiscal responsibility immigration or any other hot topic, both party’s are interested in one thing getting your vote by any means and staying in power.

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