The problem isn’t that Donald Trump is a narcissistic, lying, racist, bully. The problem is that his supporters simply don’t care. I’ve tried to understand these voters for years. I’ve tried listening to them. I’ve tried not to speculate as to why they believe in death panels, climate change hoaxes and birther conspiracies. I’ve tried to imagine they did not consent to every cruel thing their vote enabled. I’ve tried appealing to their sense of logic and reason. I’ve tried affirmations, straight talk, data and facts. I’ve tried expressions of kindness, discussing theology, sharing accounts of oppressed communities and the lessons of history-all in the hopes of finding some vulnerable place beneath their fear to access their sense of decency and compassion.
Unfortunately, these attempts have been fruitless and failed to reach fertile ground. We’ve all endured their angry, racists outburst on social media. We’ve tolerated their homophobic beliefs, listened to their callous opinions and witnessed the calcified thinking at neighborhood picnics and across the Thanksgiving table. We’ve acknowledged that hypocrisy, infidelity, lies, obscenity, cruelty and crimes against democracy are no longer liabilities in those who lead them. We understand their capacity to rationalize human suffering and atrocities now borders on complete delusion. That white supremacists, Russian interference and separating children from their families are acceptable collateral damage to winning and the truth is no longer necessary.
I think it’s time we stop saying we need to understand these people. I think we do understand them. They have put their faith and their future in the hands of a self-dealing vulgarian who knows the costs of everything and the value of nothing. We know there is no political scandal massive enough, no tweet reckless enough, no lie bold enough and no legislation predatory enough to alter their allegiance. We understand they perceive kindness as weakness and therefore, ignore their own plight flowing through the experience of another.
The harsh reality is the morally void and sterile-minded among us are simply unreachable. If their consciences, compassion and reason have not been unearthed by now, those things will never be forthcoming and there is little hope of any miraculous awakening or conversion of the heart. Therefore, we can no longer hope to enlighten them. Instead we must simply outvote them.