Posted in Commentary, Politics

What did you endure, Trump voters?

No, really, I’m asking:  What, exactly, did you endure, that you suffered so over the last 8 years with Barack Obama as our president?

Because I keep hearing about how you suffered tremendously under President Obama, and now we (progressives) get to know how it feels to be so unhappy in a president.  And I want to know HOW?  Because no one ever gives any specifics of how they, personally, were affected in the negative.  

He righted the tanked economy.  He rehabilitated America’s international reputation.  He advanced civil rights for many marginalized groups.  He showed mercy to refugees.  Right or wrong, he avenged America for 9/11 in killing bin Laden and in the continued hunt for and incarceration at Gitmo of suspected terrorists.  He helped millions of Americans have access to health care for the first time.  

What have you got against any of those things (and others), exactly?

What have you endured, from Obama and from progressives across the nation?  What exactly is your problem?  

Is it that you suffered the “indignity” of being led by a Black man, and were forced to confront not only the racist past, (present, and foreseeable future) of our country,  but also the unexamined white supremacist ideals and structures that have seeped into your own mind and values, and that made you uncomfortable and angry?  

Is it that you were “forced” to be legally decent to people who aren’t you and your family?  That you were prevented by law from actively persecuting people you don’t understand, or don’t agree with?  That you find it ever more difficult to find a receptive audience for your racial slurs and misogyny, and are held accountable when you misjudge that audience?  

Were you intolerably put out by the fact that a large number of people think their lives and their bodies and their sex lives are none of your goddamn business, and spoke out, loudly, to make you understand that they didn’t appreciate your inappropriate, hateful intrusion across their healthy boundaries?  

Were you brought up uncomfortably short by the realization that you really don’t understand what it means to live in a society with others, and that since time immemorial, humans have worked cooperatively for their MUTUAL benefit, stifling the unreasonable expectation that their every individual desire and preference be accommodated at all times, because people are different?  

Did you suffer further by not understanding the history of humanity in general, and this country specifically? Did it hurt your heads to reckon with the uncomfortable truth that this is a nation of immigrants built on the bones of the native peoples of this land, land our ancestors stole from them through violent genocide?  Do you feel enslaved and murdered, as they were, because you have to hear Spanish in the Walmart or Arabic in the grocery store?  And if so, where is your ongoing concern for the people who suffered when your family showed up on these shores as you unironically scream “Go back to wherever you came from!” at strangers?  

While you were enjoying unprecedented access to health care through the Affordable Care Act, many of you not understanding that that WAS the Obamacare you hated so, did it gall you that OTHER people’s children were not dying for lack of health care access?  What was the pain and suffering you endured when the cost of helping ill strangers was spread around to all of us?  I’ve got news for you:  It always has been.  If you haven’t been paying for your health insurance and health care up until now, that means the rest of us have been doing it for you.  That’s how insurance works, in case you didn’t know.  The well people have always been paying for the sick people.  When you get subsidized medications, it’s because the people who can afford them are paying more.  When you don’t have a primary care physician and end up in the ER with no ability to pay, the rest of the people who go to that ER who can pay pay for you, too.  That’s why one night in the ER for me cost over $18K.  Which sucks, but I’m willing to accept it so that at 3 a.m. when your child has pneumonia and can’t breathe, and couldn’t get antibiotics in time because you couldn’t afford to go to the doctor, you can get seen in the county ER and your child doesn’t die.  I know that you and your children are not to blame; my anger is for the insurance companies who are happy to profit from your pain and misfortune.  But I’m happy to contribute so that kids live, even though they’re not my kids.  Evidently, that pains you.

How did it affect your life, really, when Obama, and people like me, said that everyone having a lot of guns wasn’t working out so well for us, to the tune of children dead in elementary schools, and people dying in malls, movie theatres, and dance clubs?  You’re still waiting for him to come for you guns, aren’t you?  

Honestly, I just don’t understand what you’re talking about when you speak of the horrors of the last 8 years under Obama.  I keep hearing how we elitist progressives aren’t listening to you, or trying to understand what you’re going through.  But I’m not accepting that rap.  All we ever tried to do was make sure every last damn one of us, including you, was safe, sheltered, fed, educated, and protected equally by laws that exist ONLY to protect us in the first place.  All we’ve ever tried to do was make sure that our darkest, unexamined, historical demons didn’t get, or stay, enshrined to the detriment of any of our fellow citizens, including you.  All we’ve ever tried to do was get people to understand that it was better to share our good fortune and we’d all be better for it.  Were we perfect in the execution?  Of course not.  But at least it was coming from a place of decency, of compassion, of reason.  You’ll never convince me that starting from there isn’t the way to go.

Such unimaginable horrors you’ve endured, to be pushed to, please, finally, learn to recognize and respect the humanity, dignity, autonomy, and opportunity of ALL the people around you that you share this country and this world with, and that there is, truly, enough for every one of us if we share.  And the very people who have shipped your jobs overseas, foreclosed on your houses, made off with your pensions and retirement savings, locked you out of healthcare in the past, and gutted your public schools, all in the name of personal profit, are the ones running your country now.  If you think you were suffering before, I’ve got bad news for you:  You ain’t seen nothing like what’s coming.  None of us have.



I've been doing some form of creative writing since 9th grade, and have been a blogger since 2003. Like most bloggers, I've quit blogging multiple times. But the words always come back, asking to be written down, and they pester me if I don't. So here we are. Thanks for reading.

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