In her recent book, What Happened, Hillary Clinton responds to the question of whether she feels empathy for people who voted for Donald Trump.
it’s relatively easy to empathize with hardworking, warmhearted people who decided they couldn’t in good conscience vote for me after reading the letter from Jim Comey . . . or who don’t think any party should control the White House for more than eight years at a time . . . or who have a deeply held belief in limited government, or an overriding moral objection to abortion. I also feel sympathy for people who believed Trump’s promises and are now terrified that he’s trying to take away their health care, not make it better, and cut taxes for the superrich, not invest in infrastructure. [She’s nicer than I am. If you believed Trump’s promises after everything that came out about his bankruptcies, multiple marriages, and practice of not paying his debts, you deserve what you got. The rest of us didn’t deserve it, but you did.] I get it.
She then goes on to make an important point that I tried to make in several posts after the election.
But I have no tolerance for intolerance. None. Bullying disgusts me. I look at the people at Trump’s rallies, cheering for his hateful rants, and I wonder: Where’s their empathy and understanding? Why are they allowed to close their hearts to the striving immigrant father and the grieving black mother, or the LGBT teenager who’s bullied at school and thinking of suicide? Why doesn’t the press write think pieces about Trump voters trying to understand why most Americans rejected their candidate? Why is the burden of opening our hearts only on half of the country?
Charles Pierce made a similar point yesterday. Discussing Roy Moore, whom Alabama Republicans (but, then, I repeat myself) selected to run for U.S. Senate, Mr. Pierce says:
And, no, when it comes to the people who voted for Moore, I don’t have to “respect their beliefs.” I don’t have to “understand where they’re coming from.” I don’t have to “see it from their side.” These people are preparing to make a lawless theocratic lunatic one of 100 United States Senators, and that means these people are about to inflict him and his medievalism on me, too. If you think that Roy Moore belongs in the Senate, then you are a half-bright goober whose understanding of American government and basic civics probably stops at the left side of your AM radio dial. You have no concept of the national interest and very little concept of your own, unless, as I suspect, you’ve made your own fears, and hating people and hawking loogies in all directions, the sum total of your involvement in self-government. You are killing democracy and you don’t know it or care. If you had any real Christian charity in your hearts, you’d keep Roy Moore in the locked ward of your local politics and not loose him on a nation that deserves so much better than him.
Why do I not have to “respect their beliefs,” besides the fact that most of those beliefs belong in a cage? I don’t have to “respect their beliefs” because the U.S. Senate to which they are preparing to send him is in the process of screwing them with their pants on and they could care less.
Pierce goes on to explain that:
Why do I not have to “respect their beliefs,” besides the fact that most of those beliefs belong in a cage? I don’t have to “respect their beliefs” because the U.S. Senate to which they are preparing to send him is in the process of screwing them with their pants on and they could care less. . . . What I do know is that the people who elected Roy Moore elected him to join the Senate majority that will pass [Trump’s tax plan that helps the very rich and hurts middle class and poor people], if and when it ever comes to a vote. Then, come some April morn, they will be stunned to discover that they can’t deduct what they pay in state taxes anymore, and that their charitable contributions don’t count any more either. How could ol’ Judge Roy let this happen?
Because he’s a lawless theocratic lunatic, that’s how. Because you voted for him specifically because he was a lawless theocratic lunatic. It was the basis of his campaign, no matter how many times Steve Bannon tells you you’re part of a bold populist crusade. He very likely doesn’t know enough about tax policy to throw to the cat, so he’ll go along on that as long as they let him make his floor speeches about how Cecile Richards is an imp from hell. (Condom: The Devil’s Party Hat.) And you’ll cheer him so loudly that you won’t even notice that your pocket’s being picked again by someone with a solid-gold Rolex on his wrist.
I’m out of empathy for this stuff. I’m out of pity. I’m out of patience. And, not for nothing, but Moore’s opponent is a guy named Douglas Jones. In 2001, Jones convicted two men for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963, one of the iconic white supremacist terrorist acts of that period. One of those bastards already died in prison and the other keeps getting denied parole. If you’d rather be represented in the Senate by a lawless theocratic lunatic, rather than a guy that finally got justice for four murdered little girls, well, you deserve anything that goddamn happens to you.
Maybe the NYT and CBS should stop doing story after story about Trump voters and listen to the majority of people in this country who are all out of patience with this bullshit.
Picture found here.