This was a campaign season of flawed candidates and divisive rhetoric. No matter who won, we were doomed to elect a President who is less than perfect, less than honorable, less than likeable. But they still had millions of followers who were passionate in their support. Half of America is mourning today. Half are elated. All are stunned. Now it’s time to stop the name-calling and the hand-wringing and focus on where we go from here. FreedomFest regular Bob Bowdon didn’t vote for Trump, but he offers an important reason others did–and it isn’t because they’re deplorable racists:
I voted for Gary Johnson. But to my progressive friends who are understandably dumbfounded at last night’s outcome after being misled by an insular, echo-chamber media clique, I would say this.
From where I sit there was plenty of disparaging invective on both sides; the trouble is that both sides tend to think of it as “truth” when dishing it out. When Hillary calls literally millions of Americans “the deplorables” — millions of taxpaying, law-abiding citizens who may go to church on Sunday and may volunteer at homeless shelters during the holidays — they don’t cotton to that too well. It recalls the “clinging to their guns and religion” Obama quip of 2008. And no, calling someone “racist” because they disagree on current national immigration policy is not noble, high moral ground.
The trouble is, too many media and political elites think it is. Many of them are thinking this very morning, “Next election, we need to do a better job of convincing these stupid, deplorable, backwater, idiot racists that when they don’t agree with us elites on immigration, they’re being… well… hurtful.” No, they do not see the irony.
To be clear, I don’t say this to excuse the many terrible things Trump said during the campaign either. I’m happy to denounce them. As I’ve made clear, I didn’t vote for the man.
I’m just making a small, humble point on this Wednesday autumn morning that a new category of epithet has quietly entered the American culture, certainly without some of us noticing. Underpinned by the deserved moral authority of the civil rights era, it’s morphed the idea of “you don’t think like me” into a Carte Blanche for condescension, strewn easily and regularly with self-righteous authority. Just as those old kind of epithets were once freely used on a daily basis with shrugging impunity, so too are these today. In fact, they’re seen as trendy.
And so I say, physician healers of the notion of “the other,” heal thyselves. Good morning, America.
Bob Bowdon runs Choice Media, a national education news group that publishes about education reform and school choice. He believes that expanding educational opportunities for America’s children is one of the good reasons people voted for Trump.