There are a lot of “can’t we all just get along?” memes popping up as those tired of the political negativity or those attempting to salve a guilty conscience try to create a more tolerable climate. I thought it might be both instructive and helpful if I answered this meme: “No.”
I thought both John McCain and Mitt Romney were inferior candidates to Barack Obama, who I supported in both those races. By no stretch would I have ever have castigated or condemned a friend, family member, or acquaintance who, in their considered view, came to a conclusion different than my own. Both McCain and Romney were and are honorable men. I suspect Romney in particular may have been a fine president.
Donald Trump is not an honorable man. He lies with abandon. His treatment of women is appalling. His casual racism as a point of public policy has done as much to damage the civic (and civil) discourse as any politician in my lifetime, and, given today’s GOP, that’s saying something. Trump has the mental temperament of a six year-old denied a cookie, and every clear-thinking person should be properly terrified that he’s about to be in charge of the US nuclear launch codes.
If you voted for Trump, you endorsed these things. You may not consider yourself a racist or a misogynist or a liar, but clearly you’re okay with this country being run and represented by someone who is. I’m not saying that political beliefs are a terminal issue for me; our friendship or acquaintance may endure. But don’t expect me to hold your hand and sing Kumbaya either. In Trump, you’ve shown what you consider acceptable, and it’s behavior that general society finds unacceptable in children.
So plead all you want about being an adult, but you already had a chance at that, and you failed. Don’t expect the rest of us to be either thrilled or forgiving about what you’ve done. You’re partially responsible for this mess, and if this gets as bad as many of think it will, don’t be surprised if a goodly number of us find your actions unforgivable.