I’m worried about my republican friends. I have plenty of people in my life who are bright, well-educated, kind, passionate, individuals who, for reasons I can’t understand, have aligned themselves with the Republican party. These are not the sort of people I can blindly label as idiots just because I don’t agree with them politically. But, what to do? I usually just chalk it up as differences in background and leave it at that; best not to think about it and steer clear of political topics. A tiny minority of my GOP acquaintances picked Trump from the start. Most have struggled; first with too many options and not enough. I have watched these good people rally around Bush, Fiorina, Carson, Rubio, Kasich, and Cruz. They support, then abandon, then realign with a new candidate all in a desperate dance to find their leader.
Now that it looks as if Donald Trump is going to land the GOP nomination, my repub friends are going to have to face the fact that there’s just one awkward guy left to dance with? So do they pack up their dance cards and go home? Or do they take one last desperate look at Trump in search of qualities they might have overlooked?
It’s not much of a choice. I don’t hold out any hope that they will “see the light” and select a democrat. An easier option might be to just stick their heads in the sand and stay home in November. My fear, however, is that my friends will have to resolve their dissonance by seeing Donald Trump in a new light.
Sure he’s a little goofy looking, but nobody should be judged by the way they look. So what if he’s been married three times. He’s been unlucky in love. Maybe he’s a little rough around the edges. But he’s smart. He can surround himself with smart people. Who cares if women and minorities hate him. With the right ads and a little more polish, those people will forget all about why they hated him and he’ll get at least some of their votes in November. He says some outrageous things. So, if he can’t lie like a good politician should, that means I can trust him.
I can hear the wheels turning now. My friends really want that wall. They really want to prevent the people they are afraid of from entering the country. they want to get rid of Obamacare and taxes and they want to keep their guns. They like the idea of a candidate who won’t be beholden to lobbyists and political elites. And the biggest motivator of all, they hate Hillary. They would vote for the man in the moon, if it meant a vote against Hillary.
They will be marinate in their hatred for Hillary for so long, it will soften everything they see unpalatable about trump. They will leave the convention this summer feeling more optimistic than ever only to have their hopes dashed and their worst fears realized in November.
Being a good friend, I will be there with encouraging words. I’ll do my best to placate them and calm their worries. I’ll tactfully remind them that the sky did not fall when Obama was elected, nor did it when he was re-elected. My republican friends will suffer. Their pain will be self-inflicted and needless, but real to them, nonetheless. So I worry about these people, my friends, my fellow citizens who see only a bleak future.