I voted for Trump. There, I said it.
Also, what the hell, Bill (Bill is the other fat computer guy here– he wrote our site’s first blog post a few days ago). I wanted this to be a tech, food, & weight loss blog and somehow it turned to politics. OK fine, I suppose a bit of political commentary is apropos.
I am registered Independent and these days I’m very cynical about the state of American politics (crony capitalism). I reluctantly (but firmly) supported Trump even though he is an ego-maniacal loud mouth. The traits that appealed to me (Washington outsider, more in-line with my conservative fiscal political views) simply outweighed the fact that he comes off as a tool… I don’t think I need to get into specifics, it’s all been covered.
Ever since the first debates in the 2016 Republican primaries, I had a gut feeling that Trump would win… not just the primaries, but the presidency. When I watched the primary debates I saw Donald Trump, an outsider, celebrity, and already a household name. Then a bunch of other dudes (and Fiorina), each with their own form of presidential kryptonite: Cruz was just… creepy. Rubio reminded everyone of their annoying little brother; Jeb Bush actually was W’s little brother. Ben Carson was too far right; Christie was right fat. I liked Rand Paul… but no one else did. No one had ever heard of Kasich. My point here is not to be mean. It’s just that, for better or for worse, Trump stood out. And, most importantly he represented “something different” aka “change”.
Speaking of being mean. I don’t expect the media to support the candidate that they don’t want in power. I also know that there was a lot of ugly “poo-flinging” by both candidates. It is clear to me that there is a liberal skew in the media/entertainment industry, but geesh, things really got out of hand this time around. Trump is not Satan incarnate. You may disagree with him, even be disgusted by him. And he may very well fail miserably, I don’t know. My point here is that the media (and academia, to some extent) has made a really ugly bed for themselves to lay in. I think the apocalyptic reaction being felt by some of the thinner-skinned folks on the left is happening because the media just went overboard and got people too worked up over how bad Trump is. I don’t think said media considered what the aftermath of a Trump victory might look like as they were doing this, because they didn’t see that as a possible outcome.
Let’s suffice it to say that my wife’s (and most of her side of the family’s) political views lean more left of center than mine do. You know what? I like being challenged. It makes me think. My side of the family’s political views lean even further right than my own. Let me tell you, this combination has created some tricky waters to navigate during summer beach weeks and family dinner parties.
Like a lot of Trump voters, I mostly kept my choice of candidate to myself. I wasn’t really proud of it anyway, it was just the lesser of two evils. A couple of months ago, my in-laws came into town to help us babysit our then 9-month old daughter. During the visit, we had a dinner conversation over Mediterranean food. We were discussing the race, and it came out that my in-laws were Gary Johnson supporters. I kind of showed my ass when I told them about how wise I was. See, I figured out a couple of elections ago that voting on principle in a 2-party system was pointless. When I said that, and followed it up with “I’m voting for Trump”, it was like I stuck my kebab in the baba ganoush. Things got really uncomfortable. “Oh god, our son-in-law is a deplorable!” and “Really?!? …how did I marry this man?” were the vibes I felt.
My wife and I had some “spirited” conversations during the race. She voiced her disapproval of my decision quite often (that’s cool), and asked me not to vote more than once (that’s not). Deep down this insulted me, but I just shrugged it off most of the time. One time I told her I wouldn’t vote if she wouldn’t– we could cancel each other out. It was hard for both of us, but we got through it.
My wife and I drove together to early voting on a Saturday morning. We brought our daughter… it was a nice way to spend the morning. But driving back home afterwards, my wife got some final jabs in and told me that she thinks I will find myself on the wrong side of history (she might be right). I won’t go into all the details, but it got a bit ugly. I asked her, “have you stopped to consider that maybe I am just showing more grace than you?” (how graceful of me to say– ouch.) “…Have you considered that I have just as strong negative feelings about your candidate, but in the interest of peace, I keep them to myself?” (again– ouch). She came back with a snappy reply or two. I came back with “good response”. It was tense. But it passed.
We are still happily married. If anything it brought us closer, because we got through a difficult situation together. We decided the morning after the election, that if she and I can’t come together, then the nation has absolutely no shot at coming together. Coming together doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with one another. It means respecting one another. And listening. And with that, I will wrap this up– because that’s the point. This concept can scale up. From family to friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and strangers… that’s how we get through this. We are all Americans. Let’s respect one another… and listen. As Bill said, Let’s all take a deep breath. It’s going to be OK.