An Open Letter to Trump Supporters


Dear Trump Supporters,

I’ve recently questioned the usefulness of writing as if I’m going to convince you to withdraw your support for President Trump. Clearly, his intemperate personality (to put it nicely), immorality, inexperience, poor management abilities, lack of honesty, conspiracy-peddling and remaining too-long-to-list transgressions haven’t changed your hearts and minds. My effectiveness can be no better than your own eyes and brains. No matter how many thousands of words I push into the Internet ether. So, I’ve decided to stop trying to change your beliefs about him as a person. Instead, I will stick to policy, which I try to do already, for the most part[1].

I don’t know that it’s even worthwhile to attempt to sway you on policy. I don’t think all conservatives are extremists who are unwilling to honestly evaluate the various sides of any issue and the arguments for and against certain routes to improving the lives of our fellow citizens. Moreover, I believe conservatives to be reasonable to the same degree I believe liberals to be reasonable. We may disagree, but let’s at least be intellectually honest in analyzing and implementing policy. A key quality of being reasonable is the willingness to confront issues with vigorous courage yet the robust humility to engage in negotiation and, should the course of a debate necessitate it, withdraw support from one policy in favor of another solution[2]. I’m willing to grant people (conservative, liberal, fence-sitters, et al.) their successes in developing well-thought-out, effective and useable policy proposals[3]. I think you – some of you, at least – would do the same. At least, I hope so.

I’ll be honest: I had far more notes for a post attacking Trump’s inability to “get over it,” as many of your comrades-in-Trump write to the local newspaper about Democrats’ response to the election; the policies he’s pursued, which are the impetus of those protests; and how sad it is we have a president who not only soils the office by leveling unfounded accusations against his predecessor but is also seemingly influenced most by a news channel and website that have been shown to reduce viewers’ knowledge of current events. Even if you disagree with that estimate of those media outlets, I think we can agree that our president should be relying on more information than that to which reporters have access.

I’m beyond that now, though, because I know you’re beyond being convinced by arguments against his person. As so many Democrats and others are arguing, you’ll only truly turn on him when you feel the effects of the rushed and harmful policies he and his accomplices in Congress are pursuing. We see a little of this happening as some of those who voted for him are coming to realize the consequences they will face. They may not have switched sides (yet), but, should things get bad enough that they pull support from the Republicans, it’s unlikely they’ll vote for Republicans next time. More likely, they won’t vote at all. That’s what happens when people lose faith in the system, which appears to be a goal of both Russia and the present administration, and “mainstream” political actors and parties. That would be sad to watch happen further than it already has in our country. Unending exhaustion and exasperation can lead to giving up. That’s bad for everyone.

In fact, there are any number of policy goals on which we agree. We may disagree on the policies to enact to reach those goals, but, at the very least, we should be open enough to discuss the issues in a reasonable manner (see note three for one example).

For instance, I despise the “corporatist, globalist neoliberal policies[4]” pursued by both parties over the past thirty years or so. But staffing one’s administration with businessmen won’t change that. They embody neoliberalism (which, in truth, encompasses corporatism and globalism within it). They don’t drain swamps. They promote the privatization of swamp-draining, giving the job to a private company to perform and complaining when the company “accidentally” adds to the swamp and follows up with a request for additional funding to clean up after itself[5].

Ultimately, we’re all aiming at the same goal – a better world – though our visions of such may be somewhat different and our ideas for achieving it vary. But we won’t get there in any amicable way if we refuse to base our discussions on an understanding of one another’s humanity. As liberals, we generally oppose a border wall. We should also try our best to scale or remove the ideological and psychological barriers our forefathers created for us.

I’ll try to do my part.





William O. Pate II

[1] However, this is a blog – a flippant, likely little-thought-through thought or ad hominem gets published on a regular basis.

[2] I know many, many liberals who would vehemently disagree with those opinions.

[3] For instance, I’m perfectly willing to admit that Republicans’ proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act will help my family by providing us the same tax credits as others in our age group when we currently get no subsidies. I have a feeling this is the plight of most Trump voters, as well. Nonetheless, I must question whether removing ACA requirements and protections will help those who will lose insurance (if not upon the law taking effect then down the road a bit when premiums skyrocket) or provide for my family as we age. When viewed through that prism, $2,000–$4,000 right now doesn’t seem No one is arguing that the ACA is perfect. Indeed, in those states that refused to expand Medicaid, it is far from a success for all people. Changing it to improve it is something even liberals support.

[4] After writing this piece and while searching for the source of the quote, I found the linked essay. The quote isn’t in there, but the piece is good. In fact, he hits on many of the points I make above.

[5] The easiest way I’ve found to explain neoliberalism is: When necessary government services are privatized so that a company may instead make a profit rather than focus on the greater good, that’s neoliberalism at work. It is fundamentally about removing long-assumed supports for Americans, convincing them that it’s their “personal responsibility” to take care of themselves, giving the job to companies to do and continuing that process when it fails.


2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Trump Supporters

  1. Maybe you should write a letter to your fellow cowards on the left who constantly beat and assault Trump supporters in greater numbers evident with pages and pages of video proof on Youtube. They deem it justified to shut down free speech they do not agree with. Or maybe you could enlighten us on the non-policy of the Democrats whose onlt policy seems to be “The Russians did it!” You realize letters like yours are a joke coming from people who voted for the most decrepid and scandalous hag to run for president in decades. This is why ya’ll will continue to lose, because simply put, you just don’t seem to get it.

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