I have seen a lot of news headlines lately with the articles following them stating that the Democrats expected a big blue wave but didn’t get it because they didn’t pursue Trump supporters hard enough: because they used virtual campaign techniques rather than the old fashion technique of getting out and knocking on doors and talking to people: because Republicans and Independents still remember the “basket of deplorables” statement that Secretary Hillary Clinton made in 2016 and their feelings remain badly hurt and 2020 Democrats made an equivalent mistake but without using Secretary Clinton’s exact words. Poppycock! Here’s how I see it…
Now I am just a regular old guy – who is, by the way, a rock-solid Democrat (I thought that you should know that), who believes that Trump supporters are going to be Trump supporters no matter what! Some of those supporters might support him for different reasons than do others but he still has their non-wavering support. For instance, Trump says you can grab women by their “p***y and get away with it; his supporters accept this and don’t budge. Trump regularly denigrates women in other vile and vulgar ways through name-calling; his supporters accept this and don’t budge. Trump calls Mexicans rapists and murders; his supporters accept this and don’t budge. Trump readily denigrates any of his supporters no matter how loyal they have been to him and for how long they have been loyal to him, as soon as they openly disagree with him; his supporters accept this and don’t budge. Trump rips children, including infants and toddlers, from the arms of their parents and locks them in cages without a solid plan to ever be able to reunite these children with their parents; his supporters accept this and don’t budge. Trump cuddles up with dictators and other strongmen in secretive meetings while not allowing American note takers into the room and then refuses to tell the American people what was said during those meetings; his supporters accept this and don’t budge. Trump allowed Covid-19 to run rampant in the United States killing more than 241,000 Americans without establishing a plan to bring it under control and as of the writing of this article, still has no plan; his supporters accept this and don’t budge. This list is by no means exhaustive.
All of his Republican enablers in the House and Senate also hear these things and witness his complete lack of respect for the office of the presidency and the long-held norms that have been observed by virtually every president before him and they accept this and don’t budge. Those who voted for him in this 2020 election have witnessed his behavior and know exactly who he is yet they voted for him again. They also – after all of the protests and demonstrations, after all of the fiery rhetoric about how terrible a person that he is and how unworthy he is to hold the highest office in America and how all of those who enable him should be voted out of office and replaced with elected officials who will respect their oaths of office and serve America with honor – voted those same enablers right back into office. Why is that?!
Now that they have voted these Representatives and Senators back into office and voted for The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America to have a second term and the race is extremely tight between him and former Vice President Joe Biden, they are pointing the finger at Blacks and Latinos and trying to steer the narrative for this tight race toward them. Well, this regular old guy believes that he knows why this 2020 election between Mr. Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is so tight. It certainly ain’t because of Blacks and Latinos! I agree with Princeton Professor Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. This story is about White America! It is about things that far too many White Americans do not want to talk about. It is about something that our country has struggled with from the day of its founding; that something is race.
The previously mentioned Trump supporters likely enjoy having Democrats chase after them and they wrap this attention around them like a fur coat and completely enjoy the warm and cozy feeling as if this metaphorical wrap were an actual fur coat on a very cold wintry day. But they haven’t the slightest intention on voting for anyone other than Mr. Trump. These voters may say that they detest the way that The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America conducts himself but they like his policies because they are for the greater good.
The following scenario is from a Black man’s perspective because that has been my personal experience so that is what I know best. Take a minute, close your eyes and really think about the things that Mr. Trump has done. As you relax and let your mind transport you back through some of the things that he has done as The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, allow yourself to feel and be a part of what is actually happening. Imagine a young Black man walking home to enjoy candy that he has purchased at a convenience store. He is attacked by a grown man (vigilante?) with a gun, who is a so-called neighborhood watch person on patrol, and ultimately shot and killed. Now imagine a twelve-year-old Black child who has a plastic gun, is playing in the park and is shot and killed by a police officer who acted within a few seconds of he and his partner rushing up in their patrol car because someone reported a person in the park with a gun. Now imagine that a Black man is standing on a corner selling loose cigarettes and the police arrive and within minutes have placed him in a chokehold and chocked him to death as he repeatedly tells them that he cannot breathe. Now imagine a Black man that has been pulled over for a traffic stop and as he runs away is shot multiple times in the back and killed. This is important so bear with me as I provide you with a few more examples…
Now imagine a black man who is on the pavement with a police officers’ knee on his neck for almost nine (9) minutes. And as this Black man pleads for his life, says time-and-again that he can’t breathe and calls out for his mother; the officer, with his hands in his pockets and with his knee still on the Black man’s neck tells him to get up and get in the car…the Black man says “I can’t”…and then he dies. Now imagine an innocent Black woman who is shot to death in her own apartment by police who are executing a no-knock warrant. Multiple shots were fired into her home but the only charge filed was against one of the officers for endangering the dead Black woman’s neighbor because one of his bullets penetrated the wall of her apartment…and the list goes on.
But now I ask you to imagine just one more thing, imagine that all of those killed were White…and that the police officers who killed them were Black! Would the greater good perspective that you hold still prevail? Would you still be so tolerant of Mr. Trump? I am not by any means saying that Trump supporters and enablers are responsible for bringing about the above mentioned deaths but I am saying that they condone them by winking at them and they tacitly tender their approval of them by refusing to speak truth to power! One of the main means to throttle Mr. Trump and his enablers and prevent them from leading America backwards toward the days of Jim Crow and slavery is by way of our vote. During this 2020 election, almost half of the American voters voted to give Mr. Trump four (4) more years in office. That speaks volumes about the great divide that exists in America and is indicative of the great amount of work that all Americans have ahead of us if we are serious about creating a more perfect union. It is neither perfect now nor will it ever be. But if our democracy, this great American experiment that we are involved in, is to survive, we must work in perpetuity to make it perfect.
Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between the Line