People love to root for their teams. They especially love it when their side wins, and that’s great–but only in the realm of sports. Politics cannot be treated in the same way as sports fandom. I have a favorite NBA team, football team, etc. But if you ask me which party I belong to or how I identify myself politically, the honest answer is that I couldn’t tell you. And that’s how I think it should be. People place too much trust in their party of choice and assume they have your best interests at heart. In sports, you stick to your team regardless of performance. They can stink it up on the court/field and you don’t go running to the squad who you think has a better strategy or talent¹. But in politics that is insane. If one party’s ideas are putting out poor results, it’s probably time to find a new party². Unfortunately there are countless examples of hypocrisy and slander of people that have done nothing but to have the wrong letter next to their name.
Many Republicans are abandoning their alleged principles in support of the GOP candidate. You might guess this is a direct response to the election of President Trump, and you’d be right. Trump may have run as a Republican but he is far from conservative. In fact, it’s hard to tell if he has any real principles at all. Many on the political right repeatedly excuse his actions with weak arguments, the most common of which I hear is that “Obama did it too”. While Trump tries to govern by executive order, criticism is quickly excused with reference to Obama’s 277 EOs. While Republicans pitched a fit every time Barry O. signed one, Democrats were quick to point out George W’s 291. Regardless of your affinity for whoever currently occupies the oval office, this should not be the norm.
Since Trump is the guy now, we’re talking about him. You don’t have to look far to see ‘progressives’ being triggered by the mere mention of the name Trump. From Ashley Judd’s majorly cringe-worthy sermon at the Women’s March to Silicon Valley’s T.J. Miller assaulting an Uber driver because he liked Trump, the level of butt-hurt is so strong it’s palpable. The collective outrage at Trump’s slightest movement was funny at first, but it has become extremely exhausting. And the interesting thing about all of this is, he has got to be the most liberal candidate the GOP has ever put forward–or in this case, bent over for.
I can’t tell you how many people I saw posting on social media that they were ‘literally shaking’ or ‘so so afraid’ after the news surfaced of Trump’s impending victory. And this brings me to my point–if you fear Trump as president so much, it should be obvious that the office holds far too much power. Giving your guy a pass to expand the executive branch only will lead to more pain when it’s not your guy the next time.
Just about everything Trump claimed to be running on could have been considered part of the Democratic Party platform. In other words–he could have just as easily ran as a Democrat, changed just a couple of his positions, and none of the marches and rioting would be happening. Republicans would be up in arms about his pussy-grabbing remarks, and Democrats would shrug it off. For an example of the lack of consistency, here are Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama all talking about the suddenly inflammatory issue of border security.
Where are the protests, the shrieks of “RACISM, XENOPHOBIA” and the like? Granted, they say it more eloquently than Trump did. I get that Trump is a petty, childish douchebag of a person. Anyone who argues that is clearly being dishonest or just not paying attention. I’m not particularly happy that he now represents the United States as its commander in chief. I really wish he would get off Twitter, or at least develop some sense of self-awareness. He is certainly not the best messenger for conservatism, or any ideology for that matter. On the other hand, I totally understand people had very rational reasons to vote for him–the best of which is that he was not Hillary Clinton. But you won’t see me holding a picket sign with some stupid slogan just because I don’t like the guy personally.
Instead I choose to look at the policy–you know, the part that actually matters. You can be good at your job (which remains to be seen for Trump) while still being an asshole in your private life. You can do good things even if you have done things you aren’t proud of in the past. And maybe, just maybe, you can accept that even if you disagree with someone on some things, you will find that we are all human and generally want to do good for others. Trump is not ‘literally Hitler’, and not even figuratively Hitler.
So, people on the left, stop with the meltdowns. Stop with the insanity and character assassination of anyone who might associate with or just moderately support President Trump. People on the right, don’t excuse terrible policy and actions just because your guy won the race. And stop treating politics as a team sport. When we do that, no one wins. Think as an individual and try to treat each issue as a separate entity. Sometimes you’ll agree and sometimes you won’t, and that’s okay. The world is not going to end. As Americans we are all on the same team, and pitting ourselves against each other gets us nowhere.
¹ If you are one of those bandwagon fans, there is a special place in sports hell reserved for you!
² I do realize with only 2 major parties this becomes extremely difficult.