What Would You Say to an Embarrassed Trump Voter?

Oh, I can’t believe it
And people are strange
Our president’s crazy
Did you hear what he said?

–Talking Heads, “Making Flippy Floppy,” 1983

Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok!

–Denzel Washington, “Malcolm X,” 1992

They’re embarrassed now.

They have to be.

If they’re capable of embarrassment, that is.

You know them. You know them. You went to high school or college with them. Perhaps they are lifelong friends. You could have dated them 20 years ago, and you still keep in touch with them today.

They voted for Donald Trump. They told you last fall. They did so because they just couldn’t bear to vote for Hillary Clinton. They told you that to vote for Clinton was to vote for political correctness, radical feminism, transgender bathrooms, abortion on demand, racial quotas, inner-city gangbangers on welfare, neutered law enforcement, illegal aliens from Mexico and Guatemala taking all the good jobs, liberal judges, Black Lives Matter, Lena Denham and those Hollywood elitists, secular humanism and every other bogeyman Rush Limbaugh and Fox News told them to fear.

Now, they know–some of them, anyway–that Trump is nothing more than raw sewage flooding the Oval Office. They know–some of them, anyway–that it was a sin to bring on board Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn. They know–some of them, anyway–that Kellyanne Conway isn’t qualified to do anything besides star as Joan Crawford in a remake of Mommie Dearest, and that Sean Spicer–the miniature intellect with a name like an ‘80s male porn star–is so close in terms of behavior to the Melissa McCarthy parody that one can barely tell the difference.

Let’s say they call you or e-mail you today, telling you how embarrassed they are. What would you say to them?

Would you tell them to reconsider their hatred for the Democratic Party, and for progressive politics in general?

Would you tell them that voting for Trump wasn’t going to make people of color magically go away, that people with a different shade of skin have the same hopes, dreams and aspirations as they do, that they believe in America just as much as they do?

Would you tell them that Democrats and progressives are not the demons they have been indoctrinated to regard them as? Would you tell them that there is nothing wrong with wanting the civil rights of everyone in this country to be protected, regardless of where they were born, what language they speak, what they look like or who they love? Would you tell them that there is nothing wrong with wanting a woman to make a dollar for every dollar a man earns? Would you tell them that equity in employment is not, and has never been, “reverse discrimination”?

Would you tell them that the agenda of Trump’s opponent would have led to a better quality of life for the average American? Would you tell them that Trump’s opponent would not have disarmed cops–or private citizens, for that matter? Would you tell them that Trump’s opponent would have been vigilant in the defense of this country from “radical Islam,” without wantonly violating human rights?

Would you tell them that the incompetence Trump has demonstrated shows weakness, not strength, to the rest of the world? Would you tell them that even folks who grudgingly respected Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush see this man as dimwitted and dishonorable?

Would you tell them to consider, just for a moment, the idea that Democrats and progressives are not their enemies, and that their actual enemy may well be the man who posed as their friend? Would you tell them to consider the possibility that Donald Trump is the destroyer disguised as savior, that he will abandon them, their hopes, their dreams, to save his own skin?

Would you tell them that you’re not angry at them, but that you just want them to think things through before they cast their vote the next time around? Would you ask them to consider the national and international implications of their vote the next time around?

Or would you not be able to resist the urge to yell at them: “You damn fool!”

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.