A few years ago, for reasons I cannot fathom, my college bully friended me on Facebook. So I know she voted for Trump because she “decided that ‘more of the same’ with Clinton as President” was not what she wanted for our country.
In college, we were on the same team of junior counselors when she took to calling my name, prompting me to look up, at which point she flipped me off. It must have been great fun, disrupting me while I studied, talked to friends, or ate in the cafeteria. “Hey Soni!………flip.” I get it, I was a dork. Thanks to my roommate, who never suffered fools and who put a stop to it, there was no lasting damage.
I cannot say the same about her vote for Trump.
Because of Facebook, I know I have lots of friends who voted for Trump. I sympathize with the job-insecure for whom the government seems unconcerned and paternalistic. I understand those who fear terrorism at Crossroads Mall when the government provides no discernment around being both welcoming and watchful. I can inhabit the minds of those who flinch as the civic order recalibrates in acknowledgement of our diverse community. I can even comprehend those whose feelings of hate found pleasure in Trump’s most repellent remarks.
But the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. And so I cannot abide the vague, unarticulated justification to vote Trump because he’s not “more of the same.”
First of all, I call bullshit on her rejection of ‘more of the same.’ The ‘same’ is precisely what she wants. The same hegemony that allows her to live in peace without having to consider that #blacklivesmatter; where she needn’t be challenged to account for other sensibilities; and where she’s not vexed by the disorder that accompanies societal change.
Supremely, I find her lack of engagement unforgivable. Her post goes on to hope that Trump surrounds himself with brilliant people…smarter than her, to solve our problems. This isn’t humility, it’s abdication. God gave her a brain, parents gave her an education, and prosperity affords her bandwidth to use both. To satisfy our contract with a society that granted us so much is to at least break a sweat contemplating what was at stake in this election. Because her vote wasn’t an urgent and palpable fear of unemployment, terrorism, or loss of power, she had a responsibility to be thoughtful and take a long view. Instead of weighing American ideals, she voted for torture. Instead of considering the historical and economic context of immigration, she voted for mass deportations. Instead of heeding data indicating we need to intensify efforts on climate change, she voted to abandon them.
By concluding with a plea for grace and a promise to delete comments that rekindle debate, she signals her forfeiture is complete. And while her feed fills with praise (because declarations of indifference are what pass for political courage these days), I might like it if all the people whose lives will be upended seek out her suburban redoubt and shatter the tranquility with a cry of “Hey Cory!….