I’m noticing how much our conversation about Trump voters is presenting them as one dimensional, which is how we dehumanize and avoid complexity. The poll numbers are oversimplified to one common denominator — white supremacy — when there are actually many factors involved. This oversimplification will not help us transform anything or anyone, it will likely lead us to another fascist (a more competent one).
The Trump issue is more than racism and White supremacy. It’s Christian supremacy (which created White supremacy) and how Christians are taught to bow to authority because sovereignty was the fall of humans. (Do you realize Eve’s sin was actually sovereignty — making her own choice?)
It’s that Evangelicals comprise 25% of the population and they believe the end of days will come when they achieve political dominion (which is why they don’t care about climate change, they think they won’t be here for it). About 23% of the adult population voted for Trump and a good number of those are Evangelical. The Evangelicals and their beliefs are clearly a force to be reckoned with.
It’s capitalism, the economy, and neo-liberal classism. Exit polls show a large percent of Trump voters include the economy as a reason. Many people watched Obama choose corporate interests over the people in the 2008 recession and realized the Dems aren’t for the working class. The Republicans are pretending they are for the working class now and people are falling for it because of the Dems’ many weaknesses, including their lack of will to take a real stand for progress and inability to tell a compelling story that evokes emotion.
It’s emotion and storytelling and how Trump is very successful at spinning stories that get people riled up. Obama was the last Dem candidate to evoke big emotion and then he screwed us by choosing corporate interests over the people. His words didn’t match his actions. Why should anyone have faith in the Dems when they don’t have integrity either?
It’s the Dems pushing the candidate with sexual abuse allegations so that both candidates enforce rape culture. It’s turning their collective backs on survivors (Kamala publicly claimed to believe the survivors last year, but apparently power matters more than solidarity). I’m a survivor, as is my daughter, and this makes me really angry. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
It’s education that focuses on maintaining conformity and passing tests rather than developing critical thinking. We wonder why people don’t know how to discern fact from fiction. It starts in our schools, where we’ve all been fed lies about our history and where we are taught authoritarianism.
It’s superiority, contempt, and perfectionism running rampant in the world of social justice, so people don’t actually feel safe there. There are few safe spaces for the mistakes that are necessary to lead to growth and transformation.
It’s the mythologies of both individualism and saviorism that permeate every aspect of our culture so that people don’t know how to imagine something else.
An aspect of transforming supremacy culture that I haven’t mentioned yet is honoring human complexity. Perceiving and speaking to people as if they are one dimensional dehumanizes them. Talking to people as if white supremacy is all they care about is not inviting them to transformation. Based on what I’ve witnessed, it alienates them.
Claiming whiteness is the supreme problem is dangerous because it fails to recognize the complexity of issues that are impacting people’s lives and voting decisions (including the half of adults who don’t vote). Failing to address ALL of the factors that brought us Trump and failing to honor the fullness of humanity in those who chose him will not lead us to transformation, it will likely lead us to another authoritarian who will be emboldened by everything Trump and the Republicans get away with.
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