In 2016, Donald Trump secured 62,984,828 votes in the presidential election. Hillary Clinton had 3 million more votes, but that isn’t the point of this story. Trump has secured 74,223,744 at the time of this writing. Almost 12 million more people voted for Trump after seeing him in action for four years than last time.
Many people, including Trump, have touted this election as the most important one of our lifetime; some say in history though I would dispute that. In 2016, while Trump was fairly transparent, some can say they gave him the benefit of the doubt. He was going to pivot and become more presidential. He would grow in the job.
Trump did none of those things. George Washington once turned down the opportunity to be King of America; Trump tried to become a King. Along the way, he exposed the hypocrisy of the Republican Party, gaining their agreement to support policies they railed against since their inception. He increased the national debt by 36%, adding $8.3 trillion to the deficit in less than four years. He devastated the State Department, emptying it, leaving only his cronies and sycophants to try to run things. He turned the Justice Department into his personal police force with Bill Barr as his chief flunky, His trade war with China has hurt the economy, international relationships except with dictators are frayed, and his failure to respond adequately to COVID-19 has left 235 thousand Americans dead at last count.
He has governed as if only his base mattered. Most of them didn’t benefit from his policies unless they were rich and connected. He refused to divest himself from those of his businesses with a conflict of interest; his idea of a blind trust was letting Eric and Donald, Jr run the show. His fraudulent university was shut down after having to pay a $25 million fine. According to the Mueller Report, he obstructed justice at least ten times and is only avoiding prosecution on multiple federal charges because a sitting President can’t be indicted according to the Justice Dept. The State of New York is pursuing state charges against the Trump Organization with “Individual 1” a likely target.
Worse than all of that is the way he added to racial strife in the country. He governed as if only white lives mattered. Trump caged brown children, separating some permanently from their families. He indicated Black people all hail from “shithole countries,” Trump uses a racial slur to describe Elizabeth Warren’s heritage, mocked the Muslim gold star family of a slain soldier, not to mention his Muslim Ban. He has installed white nationalists into his administration, placing one in charge of his immigration policy. He suggested Oakland born Kamala Harris might not be eligible to run for Vice-President. Trump has appointed hundreds of Judges to the federal bench and Supreme Court, none of them Black.
His misogyny was exposed before he was elected the first time by the Access Hollywood tape. He had defended every member of his administration charged with sexual harassment or assault, even when there were pictures. He paid off a porn star and a Playboy model to cover up his sexual affairs, failing to disclose the funds in disclosure forms or taxes properly. He may be the most prolific liar to have held any political office in history? We know who Donald Trump is; everyone knows who Trump is, yet 6.7 million more people voted for him this time. The sad thing is that for many of them, the reason why is clear. Whiteness!
Indeed, Trump’s support dwindled slightly among some white subtypes. The college-educated dropped a little as well as white women in the suburbs. Those numbers were offset by rural white people and those belonging to groups identified by the Southern Poverty and Law Center as hate groups. These weren’t traditionally voters who turned out in large margins before as they haven’t recently had a champion like Trump. He refused to condemn them after Charlottesville. Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” He has never met a racist supporter he didn’t like, and they came out to support him.
To the white women that held the Women’s March on the first day of the Trump presidency. You can’t take credit for evicting Trump as white women voted for Trump in overall greater numbers. College-Educated white women increased their support for Trump over four years if you can imagine that? White women have historically not been the best of allies, ask the Black women of the suffrage movement.
People might claim they supported Trump over his selection of judges who were almost all white men. Some like his immigration policy (racist), his trade policies (racist), his firm stance on law & order (racist,) or his handling of COVID-10 (both racist and inexplicable). To be a Trump voter, you don’t have to be racist; you have to overlook racism to achieve different goals, and we see you.
If and when Biden wins, there will be a media surge to suggest that America repudiated Trump and his policies. In truth, more Americans, predominantly white, voted for him than ever before. Any claims to have rejected Trump will ring hollow; the good news is that we now know who many of you are. You might as well keep wearing your MAGA hats, keep your Trump yard signs up and wave your Trump flags. Your support of Trump says as much about you and this country as it does about him. We always knew who he was; we now know about you too.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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