Raw Honesty:

“So why did you vote for Trump the first time?”

By Jorge Dante Hernandez Prósperi

An interesting phenomenon is taking place with citizens who voted for Trump in 2016 who have decided in 2020 to either switch allegiance or not vote at all.  

Have you heard the most recent hypocritical declaration?  It goes something like this, “Yes, I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 but I am not voting for him in 2020.” Or, I’m still undecided, just can’t make up my mind!”

So my critical question to each of these converts and procrastinators is why did you vote and support him in 2016? Why are you still wondering about his credibility, veracity and trust? What caused the change? Why would you still support and vote for him? Let’s revisit the Trumpian journey – the reasons, rationale and logic.

Was it Trump’s propensity to be consistently dishonest and a pathological liar? Was it his manner of interrupting, bullying and dominating a conversation so that no critical questions could be asked?
Wasn’t credibility, trust and character important in 2016? Does it matter in 2020?

Was it his racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant ideology?
What was his relationship with Domestic Terrorists, Neo-Nazis, White Nationalists? You say you never thought that anyone by choice and design would be – could be capable of caging children in 2020? Don’t other people’s children matter?

Was it his promise that he would un-swamp the swamp? 
How many of cabinet appointees by Trump were the result of nepotism? How many appointees have been indicted, forced to resign due to scandals, resigned voluntarily and/or are currently being investigated?

Was it his affinity, praise and esteem for dictators, totalitarians, autocrats, authoritarians and oligarchs?
Did you ever suspect that he could be compromised, conned and played by a foreign power?  Did it ever dawn on you that America’s national security could be compromised?  

Was it his promises to rural America?  Promises made to farmers that he was just a “good old boy” with a straw hat and piece of hay dangling from his mouth that he would do just fine by them – promised!
Were all your daily sacrifices as farmers in order to feed America respected and honored? Were your family members taken care as Trump’s children have been and will be? Keep in mind that while you are on your tractors plowing the fields in a sweat, he is on his golf cart playing chasing a ball! 

Was it the promises made to Appalachian miners and their families? Or was it to coal companies and their CEOs?
Were miners ever told the truth about the longevity of fossil fuels, the number of long term diseases suffered by miners, about transitioning into 2021 training for new jobs, about the relationship between coal mining activity and opioid mortality? 

Was it all about the deregulations promised in favor of oil/coal/fracking companies, land and wildlife preservation, emissions controls, and consumer protection regulations?
How are you explaining the deregulations to your children and their quality of life into the 21st Century? 

Was it that he would become the “law and order” president? 
How did he respond to racial tensions due to accusations of blatant police misconduct including: intimidation, false arrest, false imprisonment, falsification of evidence, police perjury, police brutality, police indictments, police corruption of police chiefs and police unions, racial profiling, unwarranted searches resulting in the killing of an innocent victim? 

Was it that he would keep the “black and brown” hoards from invading neighborhoods of white suburban women?
Breaking News:  White suburban women are not that stupid!  Reboot – try such dull-witted insulting sexism and pandering on other affinity groups not so educated, not so astute and not so independent thinking.  With all due respect to Tammy, white suburban women are not standing by any chauvinistic types.

Was it the promise of all those tax cuts that were going to put lots of money in your pocket?
How much $$ trickled down to you compared to Wall Street, CEOs, Board of Directors and corporations? How much did Trump family members and friends personally profit?

Was it Trump’s sexist misogynistic patronizing attitudes and womanizing?
What about the 26 women (and counting) that accused him of sexual misconduct? Were porn stars paid off?  How many?  What was his ‘macho’ relationship with Jeffry Epstein? Did it ever bother you that he proclaimed that he could grab your mother’s, sister’s, wife’s or daughter’s pussy (his term for vagina) at will?  Did the word ‘predator’ ever come to mind?

Was it his history of stiffing vendors and craftsmen for work done on his properties?
Do you like to be paid for your services on time?  Some vendors are still waiting to be paid.

Was it the scam of Trump University that resulted in settling three lawsuits in November 2016 for a total of $25 million?
Why did he use and abuse well-intended students? 

Was it due to the Trump Foundation shutting down for misconduct, forced to pay $2 million for misusing charitable funds for his own political gain? 
Do non profits deserve the highest degree of integrity and honorableness?

Was it that he would build a wall and have Mexico pay for it?
How did that play out?  Are we still waiting for the ‘pesos?’

Was it finding comfort and solace by excusing and projecting personal dysfunctions, failures and bad decisions by blaming the media, immigrants and people of color?
To what degree did ‘confirmation bias’, fear and hate provide genuine solutions to lingering problems?

Was it the promises of better universal health care – “Better than ever!” – “In two weeks!”  
Still waiting?  How about those citizens with pre existing conditions?  

Was it his self-proclaimed identity of being a “Genius” and his bogus cognition test? 
Does he speak in a coherent, intelligent, mature, responsible – common sensical manner? Does your middle school child have a more diverse and academic vocabulary? He is not a student council president or TV host – he is the president of the United States of America!

Was it the 5 military draft deferments for heel bone spurs that impressed you as a veteran?
How about vets being used for photo ops and called losers and suckers?

Was it your personal belief and conviction that he was going to be an excellent role model for children?
Would you trust him with your teenage daughter alone?  How about with your investments?

Was it his proclamation that he ‘alone’ could solve problems causing you to believe that he would have stellar leadership qualities during times of crisis?
How were his leadership qualities demonstrated?  Was it Trump companies filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcies?  His tax returns that you never saw? The countless lawsuits? The debt and taxes paid to China? His financial dealings and debts with Russia, China, Turkey and India?  How did he handle the COVID-19 crisis – was it with veracity, transparency, competence and moral courage?

Was it the constant incoherent tweeting and retweets, insulting, blaming, deflecting, defending misinformation creating distractions, anxiety, fear and stress?
Please – please . . . does he really – in fact – sound lucid, sensible, levelheaded, trustworthy and a visionary?  Would you hire him as an employee? Could you – would you trust him?

Did his lack of a religious background and declaring to be pro-choice before running for office matter? 
Was it good enough to compromise Christian religious beliefs and values for the sake of selecting judges and evangelical dogma? 

Was the demand for blind loyalty, legislative obstruction, deregulations, gerrymandering, anti-common sense gun laws, oppression of voting rights, deviating from the rule of law, denial of science and fostering fear-mongering-racial-divisiveness part of the Republican platform you voted for in 2016? Is the Republican platform the same for 2020? Is there a platform?
Did it all play out as you were told – promised it would?  

AMERICA!  We were so much better – so much more decent, dignified, intelligent and human than to vote for Donald Trump in 2016.  

AMERICA! There is no need, (even though its tempting), to shout . . . “I told you so!  Justice and vindication will speak for themselves – they always do.

America has been here before – native genocide, slavery, Jim Crow Laws, exploitation of women, children, immigrants and now Trumpism. 

It’s all there in 2020 – America’s underbelly fully exposed – in pain – damaged – dysfunctional – oozing injustices, -isms and pathologies – videotaped – each tweet as evidence – Republican legislators and governors enabling as co-conspirators and accessories . . .  some 545 children in cages that may never see their parent(s) again. This is the legacy of each vote cast for Trump in 2016 and also for those voting for him in 2020.  

With each wave of darkness that America faced, there has always been a light to follow. Single candles, lit and held high by each American citizen dedicated to citizenship – the kind of citizenship heralded by President (still my president) Barack Obama.  

“The true test of the American ideal is whether we’re able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them. Whether chance of birth or circumstance decides life’s big winners and losers, or whether we build a community where, at the very least, everyone has a chance to work hard, get ahead, and reach their dreams.”

America! The quality of life is always on the ballot, each and every time we vote with conscience, emotional intelligence and moral courage.