A close friend of mine has been busting my balls lately with comments that look something like this, “I see you’ve been defending Trump and attacking Hillary quite a bit lately. Can we assume you’re backing Trump now?”
It’s not the first time I’ve received a comment like this. In a political climate so polarizing and a social climate that shoves the “vote or die” mantra down our throats, I can understand why someone would come to this conclusion. We have a false range of choices, and people quickly look to the faintest hint of support or dissent as an excuse to slap an easy label on their friends, family, and colleagues. Not to mention, I indeed have attacked Hillary far more than I have Trump.
The short answer is no, I do not support Trump.
The long answer requires a bit of nuance and concession on the part of my accusers.
Let me make one thing clear — if I did support Trump, I’d do so fervently and without care of what my detractors said. I’ve expressed my ideas plainly and boldly on social media, my podcast, and my blog. Attempting to accuse me — or anyone — for supporting any candidate for the sake of slapping a label on them and defining them by who they vote for is utterly childish. It reasserts the negative divisiveness being wedged between people with different views. It’s the problem.
But I digress.
Does Trump suck? Of course he does. In my post debate analysis podcast episode released earlier this week (which was so much fun, check it out if you haven’t), I mention a lot of Trump’s terrible positions. For example, Trump’s stop-and-frisk policy along with terrorist watchlists preventing gun ownership, which he and Hillary share, are terrible ideas. Not only for the sake of personal liberty, but in the precedent it would set and the powers that would be granted to the federal government if such measures were passed.
But when comparing the two, I’ve made a very objective and clear distinction in my head. That being: Trump is an asshole who has hurt a lot of people’s feelings. Hillary Clinton deserves to be in prison and possibly even tried for war crimes.
Trump isn’t willing to be transparent and release his tax returns? Hillary’s IT staffers invoke the fifth amendment during FBI investigations regarding the destruction and tampering of evidence.
Trump has said some mean things about Muslims? Hillary is responsible for killing, starving, and displacing thousands of Muslims.
Trump has said mean things about women? Hillary granted favors while in the State Department in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation from Saudia Arabia, a country that oppresses women, refusing them the most basic rights. Not to mention Hillary’s involvement in silencing a young woman, Juanita Broaddrick, who after years of keeping it a secret, mustered the courage to come out and accuse Bill Clinton of rape.
As Tho Bishop put it on the post-debate podcast episode, “one of these two has committed human rights atrocities, the other hasn’t been given the chance to.”
That’s a really big difference.
Trump is not without fault, and I will continue to criticize him where it is due. But when I see Hillary supporters blindly attack Trump and turn a blind eye or apologize for the awful things Hillary has done, I’m attacking Hillary because of the double standard, not because I’m secretly supporting Trump.
I can criticize one more than the other and not vote for the one I criticize less. That’s allowed.