politics, Trump

Elizabeth Warren has left the race and Alex P. Keaton now disgusts me.

I was genuinely sad to see that Elizabeth Warren gave up her run for president. I don’t get excited about too many politicians, but I did like her very much. For some reason, I found her refreshing, and I was surprised to see that she didn’t do better in the polls. I guess some people still aren’t prepared to accept a woman as President of the United States.

That being said, I’m not surprised that she dropped out of the running, nor am I totally surprised that Joe Biden has suddenly experienced a “miraculous” comeback. I have a feeling that he’s going to get the Democratic nomination. I guess I wouldn’t mind Biden running against Trump or even being president. I plan to vote blue regardless. This is the first time I’ve ever said that. In the past, I voted for a range of candidates from different parties and often voted third party. This year, I’m voting straight blue because I genuinely believe the Republican Party has completely gone off the rails. It’s definitely not the GOP of my father’s generation. It will be a long time before I will forgive the Republican Party for foisting Trump on the world. I think Trump is a woman hating disaster, and I don’t understand how decent people can continue to support him.

Lately, I’ve been binge watching Family Ties, a sitcom that was very popular when I was growing up. It’s not the first time I’ve binged on that show, although for the first time, I’ve had a really visceral reaction to Michael J. Fox’s character, Alex P. Keaton. I used to laugh at his conservative jokes. This time, I found them offensive, which is pretty weird. I guess back in the 80s, the sexist comments made by Alex Keaton were easier overlooked because they seemed far-fetched and out of touch with reality. In 2020, those comments hit closer to home, because there are a lot of people in the United States who embrace the racist, sexist, homophobic agenda promoted by Donald Trump.

It also occurred to me as I was watching Family Ties that Donald Trump never gets mentioned, even though he was definitely out there and in the media during that time. I’m not sure if Alex Keaton would like Trump. It seems like he would, except there were many times on that show that Alex showed himself to be, deep down, sensitive and caring. Trump is not sensitive or caring. Alex was also a “genius”, while Trump is a massive boob and many of his most vocal followers aren’t very bright, either. I would hope Alex P. Keaton could see through Trump and endorse someone better. But then I listen to what he says and notice who he admires– Richard Nixon– and realize that Alex P. Keaton, who used to be a “cute” character, laughably out of touch with reality, would probably admire Trump on some level. At least superficially.

He’s not so cute anymore, is he?

Last night, a long time friend of mine– someone I’ve known for about 30 years, who was one of my best friends– gloated about Elizabeth Warren’s decision to drop out of the race. I had a visceral reaction to my friend’s gloating, too. I usually don’t comment on other people’s political bullshit, but this time I felt compelled to type a response. I expressed sadness that Elizabeth Warren didn’t make the cut and added, “At least she’s not a rapist.”

My friend wrote that his candidate isn’t one, either. His candidate is Donald Trump and yes, there’s ample substantiation that he sexually assaults women and more than a couple of women have accused him of rape. There’s a lot of credible evidence that they’re telling the truth, and the accusations go back for over thirty years. Why people whom I know have good hearts continue to cheerlead for Trump, I’ll never know. My issue with him is not that he’s supposedly a Republican; it’s that he treats other people with contempt and derision, especially women. I’m tired of tolerating it. I’m tired of seeing and hearing Trump on a daily basis. I want him out of my life.

I have to admit, I came very close to disassociating with my long time friend over this… I really did. I have some friends who have completely cut ties with Trump supporters. I don’t want to do that myself, because I know a lot of them truly aren’t bad people. I also feel like people should be allowed to vote their consciences, even if I vehemently disagree with their choices. I’d like to continue feeling that way, even though I will never understand how anyone with a functioning brain can’t see how horrible Trump is. He’s a whole different level of horrible. He’s not your garden variety conservative. It’s like seeing someone cheer on a notorious criminal when I see someone gloat on Trump’s behalf, as if he’s never done anything to merit any of the criticism he gets.

In the end, I decided to unfollow my dear friend, instead. He did send me a private message to smooth my ruffled feathers. I appreciated that, although I know he still likes Trump, for whatever reason. I guess the worst part of it is that his like-minded friends who don’t know me were also jumping on the bandwagon, cheering that Elizabeth Warren gave up her fight… cheering on four more years of Trump’s insanity. Naturally, they’re mostly white people from rural areas who, for whatever reason, are scared to death to take a good look at the person whose policies they’re embracing.

I find it very depressing to consider that Trump will probably win the next election… Maybe, in a way, it’s kind of like what I wrote in my last post, about how Larry Nassar’s crimes against women were ignored and dismissed by so many people for so long. He’d become so emboldened toward his controversial treatment toward athletes– and he’d been falsely built up for so long as a “great” doctor, when he was anything but. In a weird way, it reminded me of how people ignored and denied the Holocaust– turning a blind eye to the obvious abuses and pretending like nothing ever happened. And then, it all came crashing down and Larry Nassar finally went to prison.

I feel like Trump supporters, like Nassar’s supporters, are kind of akin to Holocaust deniers. They ignore the obvious, turn a blind eye, and ignore suffering while they continue to prop up an obvious criminal. But maybe someday, Trump will finally be completely exposed for who and what he really is… and I wonder if my Trump supporting friends will still be gloating then. And sadly, I also wonder if our friendships or even family relationships will survive.

I never used to care about politics. I care too much about them now. Maybe that’s one good thing Trump did. He definitely pulled me out of complacency, at least for awhile. I think if he wins again, though, I might just go back to not caring. Trying to reason with Trump supporters is like throwing a cup of water at a raging inferno. It’s a waste of time and energy and ultimately futile.

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4 thoughts on “Elizabeth Warren has left the race and Alex P. Keaton now disgusts me.

  1. Julia Cornell says:

    I agree with you on feeling sadness about the end of Warren’s campaign. I think that she was usually the politically smartest candidate in the room. I’m tired of idiocy being seen as “just a humble, genuine ” ideal. That mess started during W’s administration and the Republicans (especially Tea Partiers) ran with it. When did having the smartest, most educated people running the government become a BAD thing?
    Your post reminded me of a quote I read a few months ago. To paraphrase: Those who say that they don’t care about politics are speaking from a extreme privilege. Privilege that civil rights, healthcare, economic opportunity and any other political issue have never been major concerns in your own life. That, my friend, is the very definition of privilege.
    It used to infuriate me when a former colleague used to say that she didn’t really worry about politics. She usually just voted for whoever would keep her taxes lowest. I couldn’t understand how she could just ignore the other stuff. Now, I look back and think it’s been a long-time game plan of the Republican party. At least since 1996. That’s about the time that additional standardized testing became more prominent. Then we had the focus on Reading and Math with No Child Left Behind in 2001. But, hey, we can’t forget about STEM, so science class gets funded. And the Arts! They make math better! But do you see which core subject got cut to meet the budget? Social Science: History, Government, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology. All the subjects that make us smarter voters. I believe that this was the plan. Make an electorate that doesn’t understand the Constitution and disrespects those who DO by calling them “elitist”. As a history teacher, THIS is why I am scared.

    • Thanks for a very thoughtful comment, Julie. I know it comes from many years of personal experience. I miss the days when I felt respect for the president. I can remember being a kid and respecting Ronald Reagan, even though I didn’t understand much about politics at the time. I look at Trump and just feel disgusted because it’s like a never ending Enquirer headline. He’s like a parody of what a president should be. I though Bill Clinton was kind of sleazy, but Trump takes it to a whole new level.

      And it really does bother me that a man who would never get a security clearance if he were a “regular” person has the codes for our nuclear weapons. It bothers me that a man who has openly admitted to sexually harassing and assaulting women is a role model and world leader. He’s just a vile person.

      Your comments about how public education efforts seem to be creating dumber voters is scary… especially since I know you teach in an area where there’s more diversity and money than other parts of Virginia.

  2. botaz says:

    My BFF from high school is disapproving of gay people, and other things she’s said make me suspect she’s a Trump supporter. I have struggled. :’)

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