A question that was posed in your previous entry forced me to look inward, and take an introspective exploration of my own beliefs and biases. In relation to the removal of illegal immigrants from the United States, I started thinking about the similarities between Barrack Obama and Donald Trump – something that isn’t explored very often. I asked myself: If I had known about Obama’s extensive deportation program at the time of its implementation, would I have opposed it in the same way that I’ve opposed Trump’s proposed program? I have enough self-awareness to realize that the answer is no. I believe it’s also important to point out that I’m not the only Trump resister that has fallen into this paradox.
So, why is this my stance? If two men make exactly the same moves, why does one garner praise and the other damnation? While I could probably point out several reasons for this contradiction when it comes to the wider American population, I’m just going to examine myself at the moment. The conclusion I’ve come to is as follows: if it’s not the man’s actions that determine my support or opposition, it must be the man himself.
I’ve already discussed my personal thoughts on President Trump previously. It’s probably no surprise to anyone still reading that I don’t have a very high opinion of him. However, I think that unsurprising revelation is the crux of this whole dilemma. It’s not Trump’s policies that I’m fervently resisting, but instead Trump himself – although, it’s still clear to me that he was the candidate I disagreed with the most during the 2016 election. And this is where it goes from just being about me to being about all of Trump’s opposition. Both Democrats and Republicans who dislike Trump may be anywhere from ice cold to lukewarm on his ideas, but what puts them apart from the President are what they see as his character flaws.
Jon Favreau, a speechwriter for Obama, once said that Trump is an “uninformed voter who became president.” Now, that’s a great line. In fact, I wish I would’ve come up with it myself – not only because it’s funny, but because it’s also true. The way Trump handles himself in public – the Trumpisms, his demeanor, his movement, his body language, and of course the things he says – makes him look like an internet comment page made manifest. That’s what really drives people crazy about Trump.
While politics was already taking a backseat to personality when it came to presidential politics, that fact has never been truer than in the era of Trump. Of course, this isn’t me saying that there aren’t legitimately political reasons to critique Trump, because there most certainly are. However, I just want people – especially people that hold my views – to step back and realize the reason the thought of Trump makes your stomach catch fire might have more to do with his Twitter than his policy.