Remember after the 2016 presidential election when Trump supporters reached out to Clinton supporters in an effort to understand and sympathize with our pain and fear? To better understand us so that we could remind each other that we are all Americans and we need to work together for the good of the nation?
Yeah, me neither.
I do remember seeing a lot of “suck it up, buttercup” memes and coffee mugs that read, “Liberal Tears” and shirts with, “Trump 2020: Make Liberals Cry Again” and “Grab ‘Em By the Pussy Again.” I remember seeing banners and American flags with, “Trump 2020: Fuck Your Feelings.” I remember that the “lock her up” chants never went away and, in fact, expanded to include Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. I remember Trump boasting that he not only won the electoral college but that he also won the popular vote because the millions more votes Clinton got were all illegally cast. I remember Trump calling the press the enemy of the people. I remember him referring to his Democratic challengers as crooked, sleepy, nasty, crazy, brain-dead, weak, little, boring, shifty, dopey, sick, stone-cold phonies, clowns, monsters, lightweights, puppets, corrupt, phonies, flunkies, horrible, jokes, stupid, dumb, sneaky, lying and low-IQ individuals.
I remember when Donald Trump called for Hillary Clinton to be imprisoned, which is not hard to remember since he is still demanding that not only Clinton but Obama, too, should be locked up.
So forgive me that I’m not running out to find a Trump supporter to hug now that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have decisively won the 2020 presidential election. It’s not that I don’t know any. I have aunts who are big Trump fans. One of them posted a plea on Facebook on Nov. 4 for people to get down to Detroit to scrutinize the ballot counting going on there, the implication being, of course, that Black people were attempting to rig the election by voting and having those votes counted. Truly scandalous.
I don’t need racist people in my life. I don’t need folks who find it insulting to hear my wife referred to as “wife” and for what we have to be called a “marriage.” I don’t need people who applaud stealing the children of immigrants and asylum seekers as they cross the border. Who believe that vaccines are some kind of sinister plot. Who think that COVID-19 isn’t a big deal and who don’t think wearing masks to save lives is worth it. I don’t need toxic people in my life.
And no doubt Trump supporters are scared. Clearly. They are not ready to concede this election. They are shocked that one of the most unpopular presidents in history not only didn’t win but that he didn’t win by a landslide.
I’d be scared, too, if I believed that Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization rather than a declaration of a fact too long ignored in this country. I’d be scared, too, if the Democratic party was actually just a huge Satan worshipping ring of pedophiles. That is a genuinely horrifying concept made all the more horrifying by the fact that there are people who really believe it.
So while I am so relieved that Biden beat Trump, there is a lot more damage Trump could, and will, do between now and Jan. 20. People rejoicing that our long national nightmare is over are, sadly, incorrect.
So stop asking women, people of color, LGBTQ people, gender non-confirming people, immigrants, people with disabilities and every other group that has been marginalized and harmed by this administration to comfort their oppressors. You can’t meet someone half way when they’ve already gone around the bend and believe that you aren’t fully human. What these folks need isn’t a little love and understanding, it’s a reality check. Maybe some therapy to explore why they are so hateful and prone to con men. I’m not going to enable them by pretending that my belief that belief that public education should be fully funded is equally valid as their believe that public schools are dens of sin that teach children to be homosexuals. Or my desire to see COVID-19 under control so that we save lives is on one side of the coin, and that Gov. Whitmer’s mandate that everyone in Michigan wear a mask makes her Hitler.
You won’t see me drinking out of a mug that says, “I love the taste of conservative tears in the morning,” but you also won’t find me trying to placate supporters of the most corrupt and hateful administration in my lifetime now that they’ve lost.
You will find me, however, continuing to fight so that they continue to lose.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.