Originally Published: February 13, 2017 6:02 a.m.
Michael, my roommate when we were both at Arizona State University, texted me soon after the election. He’s a lifelong conservative/Republican and now he’s living in Pennsylvania, so his vote counted more than most people.
“It appears most of the divisive talk these days come from the left,” he wrote. “‘If you voted for Trump you are automatically a racist and disrespect women.’ That’s pretty tame.”
I wrote back that I don’t believe that. Michael and I lived together for three semesters and a summer session, I know him very well. He’s not racist nor sexist.
He, like many Americans, just happens to believe conservative philosophies will best serve our nation.
There are many reasons people voted for President Trump. The key group was middle class Americans in rural America who are not seeing the benefits of globalization, just the pain. Both Democrats and Republicans have ignored this group for too long, and they lashed out and demanded everyone take notice in 2016.
Some very religious people overlooked Trump’s character flaws and voted for him because putting a conservative justice on the Supreme Court was the most important issue for them. I know a Latino man in Prescott Valley who voted for Trump because protecting his right to bear arms was the most important issue to him.
Yes, it was troubling to many Trump supporters that the Ku Klux Klan and white nationalists endorsed his campaign. But that does not make all his supporters racist.
In his first few weeks in office President Trump has taken actions that alarm some of us. If you look up the first steps to being a dictator in the “Dictators for Dummies” book, you’d find that they are to undermine a free press and the judiciary. Trump has done both.
Trump supporters are certainly not ready to give up on their candidate at this point. Neither should any of us. He entered office as the least experienced president in history, the first ever with no government nor military experience. It would have been a miracle if it wasn’t a rocky start.
For the sake of America, we should all hope he can turn it around and succeeds.
But Trump supporters, you have a special responsibility. If Trump continues to attack the media and justices and if he continues to move toward a more authoritarian form of government, you are the only ones who can stop him.
Republicans in Congress fear you. They’ve seen your support, and they are not eager to anger you. If President Trump doesn’t right his ship, avoid ethical lapses, and show respect for the separation of powers that our founders wrote into the Constitution … then Republicans in Congress will need to act.
And they will only do so with your blessing, Trump supporters. Please, keep watch, pay attention and let’s all root for the president’s success. But don’t let your hopes of what might have been keep you from seeing what’s really happening.
Your country needs you.