Dear Former Friend: I was wrong. It's been a long time since I've been this wrong about anything. Or about anyone. And I seem to be getting more and more wrong by the day. I feel the need to do something.
After the initial shock of Election Night 2016 wore off, I remember thinking, "Well okay, so a whole bunch of pissed-off white people got to cast a screw-you vote in an election that pitted a crappy candidate against a really vile one." They voted the way they did because they sincerely hated the Crappy One. They hated the fact that she wore pantsuits, that she used words with multiple syllables in them, and that she didn't seem to share their nightmare vision of a brown tidal wave sweeping across America's southern border.
I had no doubt that you also voted for the Vile One, but you're highly educated so I always assumed that you had held your nose while doing so (just as I had done a couple times in my voting life). I had always known you to have a love for America and a deep respect for the Constitution. However, you also had a disdain for the pantsuit-ed one, plus you probably figured that if the dolt ever took office, you and your rich buddies could use his greed and ego for your own purposes, nudging him in one direction or another and maybe making a few bucks along the way.
You and I always had lots of things that we could argue about, but we agreed on the important stuff, the American stuff. And, because we felt strongly about wanting to do the right thing, both of us were more likely to call bullshit on our own side than on the opposition.
That is no longer the case. I sincerely thought that after the initial exhilaration of having kept a woman from becoming President subsided, at least some of the Trump voters would come to see him for the really bad guy that he is. I thought that decent middle-class people would resent the repugnant manner in which he treated women. I believed that true conservatives would be appalled at his complete lack of understanding of—and respect for—the Constitution.
I believed in my heart that good Americans would peel off, layer after layer, until all that would be left was the core of his core, that being the white supremacists who would support him forever as long as he promised to keep the dark-skinned folks at bay. Instead, 90 percent of Republicans support this human pestilence. Our country has lost its way.
You and your fellow revelers are so caught up in the hillbilly hoopla that bursts forth from the Bully rallies that you have broken through that wall that used to keep us all decent and focused and American. You elected a man who lies far more often than he tells the truth. In the past, supporters of a scuz like that would have at least tried to rationalize such behavior, but you and yours just lie to yourselves and everybody else by claiming that his obvious lies aren't really lies.
You elected an admitted sexual predator and then willingly gave up what you had always claimed to have been the moral high ground in exchange for a tax cut. You elected a guy who is almost certainly the dumbest person ever to occupy the White House and then you don't call him on it when he claims to be the smartest person in the room. You elected a guy who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and then shreds it every chance he gets...and your side says nothing!
This is serious: I would bet my house that Trump (like most Americans) has no idea how many amendments there are to the Constitution. How much would you be willing to bet that he does? Yeah, that's what I thought.
And you elected a racist and sexist person who does racist and sexist things to satisfy his racist and sexist base and you pretend it's not happening. And saying that you're not a racist, even with all the faux outrage you can muster, doesn't make it so. If you support a racist—even a little bit—you're at least partly a racist.
What it comes down to is that all those years that you and I enjoyed each other's company, discussing policy and arguing issues, that's gone. You can't bring yourself to admit that your guy lies—not even once. You can't find fault with anything he does or says. You are complicit in his misogyny and his un-American behavior.
The other day, I saw this Phyllis Schlafly clone on Fox News almost crying as she said, "They call us a cult. What about the people who supported Obama?" You're freakin' kidding, right? Lots of us who voted for Obama criticized him all the time. (I, mostly because I felt he needed to be more assertive and progressive.) Plus, the definition of cult is "a misplaced or excessive admiration for a person or thing." That sounds about right.
Frankly, I never thought that you would willingly surrender an ounce of your integrity, even for a great statesman. Instead, you're whoring yourself out for a tyrant.