When Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2015 most people, myself included, laughed it off as a joke. Unfortunately, those of us who laughed at the idea of Trump running for president underestimated just how many ignorant and naive people there were in this country.
Looking back, none of us should have ever treated his candidacy as a joke. As I wrote soon after Trump began to rise in the polls, when you really look at the type of person he is and the way he ran his campaign, Trump really was the perfect Republican candidate.
A person without ethics, who pandered to racism and bigotry, who never let facts or truth deter him from saying or doing anything. He knew, possibly better than anyone, that it didn’t matter how dishonest he was, as long as he was telling conservative voters what they wanted to hear, they would worship him and turn against anyone who called him out.
That is exactly what’s happened.
The more vile and dishonest Trump became, the more those who wanted to see him become our 45th president rushed to his defense. Even as we saw the KKK, white nationalists, and Nazis embrace the “Trump train,” becoming more politically active than they had been in decades, it never once dissuaded his supporters.
Even as Trump brought on alt-right white supremacy hero Steve Bannon, someone whose ex-wife said, under oath, was anti-semetic, it never mattered to the vast majority of the millions who eagerly shouted things like “Make America great again!,” “Built that wall!,” or “Lock her up!”
When Trump “won” last November, becoming possibly the biggest loser who won an election in American political history, the KKK, white nationalists, and Nazis publicly celebrated his “victory.” At long last these groups had a “president” who they felt represented their values.
Just take a moment and let that sink in.
So, while it was absolutely revolting to see the horrific events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, and heartbreaking as it is to say, what happened, at least in my opinion, is not-at-all surprising.
While Trump and his supporters will never admit the truth, he’s the reason why these types of reprehensible animals feel as if it’s okay to act out publicly like they have for the past two years.
Since Trump’s rise within the GOP, hate crimes have seen a drastic surge. The acceptance of his disgusting and hateful rhetoric by a major American political party and the millions of people who support it have made these deplorable bottom-feeders feel as if their racism, bigotry, and hate are all justified and accepted.
No longer are these shameful creatures shunned to the fringes of society — they’re now part of the mainstream. Not only did they have a major party’s presidential candidate pushing the same type of racism and bigotry they’ve used for decades, they had one of their own, Mr. Bannon, as one of Trump’s most trusted advisors.
After all, if someone can call most Mexican immigrants “rapists and criminals,” make anti-Muslim rhetoric a huge part of his campaign’s platform, retweet anti-African American propaganda made by white supremacists, and push campaign rhetoric that’s both nationalistic and anti-immigrant — yet still get “elected president” — isn’t that exactly the type of justification of their hate, racism, and bigotry these mouth breathers have been searching for?
Then during one of the darkest moments in our nation’s history, when the current “president” was forced to address the hate-fueled violence in one of his nation’s cities, instead of calling out, specifically, the KKK, white supremacists, and Nazis who were the cause of that chaos — chaos that led to three deaths and numerous injuries — this gutless leader instead chose to deliver a short, mostly vague message where he essentially said that all “sides” are equally to blame for what took place in Virginia.
Days like Saturday are why I’ve said that what Trump doesn’t say is just another way he pushes and endorses hate. When he refused to single out, by name, these appalling white nationalist groups, instead implying that all sides share blame, that was further vindication for these monsters that their values, beliefs, and behavior are justified.
The fact that Donald Trump is currently our nation’s “president” is something that brings me shame and embarrassment every single day. To think that this incompetent buffoon is representing my country is nauseating.
However, I do find some solace in knowing that, in my opposition to Trump, I’m on the right side of history. When people look back upon this time with the shame and disgust I’m certain they will, when they talk about the nearly 63 million people who voted for Donald Trump, I will not be one of them.
I can say from today until the day that I die that I never voted for or defended a man who was proudly backed and supported by the KKK, white nationalists, and Nazis.
That’s something that no Trump supporter will ever be able to say.
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