Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Election Thoughts: When Good Men and Women Do Nothing

Okay, so I've seen a lot of posts about how it's inappropriate to say that all Trump supporters are racist/sexist/homophobic/Islamophobic/etc. And you know, I do believe that. I am perfectly willing to believe that there are plenty of Trump supporters whose votes weren't motivated by hatred or animus towards any of these groups.

But here's the thing: Trump and Pence are motivated by that animus. They do plan to implement policies that will separate children from their undocumented immigrant parents, that will erode the housing, education, and employment rights of LGBT people, that will lead to even legal immigrants losing their visas, that will attack the freedom of religion of Muslims, that will allow the Voting Rights Act to continue to be attacked in racially motivated ways, and that will do a whole lot more harm that I don't have time to list.

So if your voted for Trump, there are three broad categories I can think of for how you weighed the consequences of these issues:
-You voted out of hatred for these groups.
-You didn't think about these groups at all.
-You thought about these groups, and decided that other issues were more important.

And I understand that there were many issues in this election, that we all had to weigh them, and that some people may weigh them differently than I do. That is your right as an American citizen and you can be a good person while having different priorities than I do. But here's the thing: we all have to take responsibility for the moral calculus that was involved in our vote. We have to take responsibility for our actions, no matter what the motivation behind them was.

So if your motivation wasn't hatred, that's great. Really. I'm heartened to know that you personally don't hate these people. But that still means that you were either indifferent to the suffering these people would experience, or you decided that their suffering was less important to you than other issues.

And you need to own up to that. You need to own up to the fact that even though you didn't vote AGAINST us, you still voted in a way that would hurt us. You need to take responsibility for it, be kind to people who are hurting, and do everything you can in the next four years to mitigate that hurt as much as possible. Otherwise, the fact that you don't actively support the hurt doesn't mean anything, because it will still be happening because of who you voted for.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” - Edmund Burke

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