Do you still support Donald Trump for president of the USA? If you do, I hate to break it to you, but that makes you either obtuse or depraved. Translated that means you’re either stupid or you’re a really bad human. But you don’t have to be, and I think deep down you’re really neither stupid or bad.
Now that may seem harsh. And I don’t normally make such expansive, judgmental pronouncements about anyone I disagree with, even when their ideas seem ludicrous. I generally try to “attribute the best motive” (Noddings, 1984). This means that even if I think the person before me expounding on the merits of, say, destroying “Obamacare” is insane, I attempt to understand the argument with the belief that they must have a good reason for believing it.
I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat. While I tend to believe Republicans are mostly selfish and narrowly obsessed with individualism– the GOP serving mostly to advance the interests of the frightened and greedy, I have never really attributed immorality or corruption to them.
And I often find Democratic Party ideas to be silly, onerous, damaging to individual liberty, or divisive — but not corrupt. And in fact I do find an affinity for what some would call Republican Party values, tempered with Democratic Party standards – especially the Libertarian values.
For instance, I own a gun and believe in gun rights (as well as gun control); I tend to believe the federal government can be overpoweringly abusive at times (but regulations save lives and money); I think we ought to carefully consider laws with the original intent of the Constitution in mind (but understand we don’t live in 1776).
I’m not commenting on the obtuseness or depravity of the Democratic party right now, though, because the Democratic Party has not put forward a Narcissistic, ignorant, megalomaniac as its nominee to take over the nuclear codes and tend to the affairs of the most influential nation currently on Earth.
And so, if you’re a Republican now (or anyone) who still supports Donald J. Trump I am calling you out. You are either obtuse or seriously depraved. If you want to be neither, all you have to do is stop supporting Trump. Ideally you would renounce him and call him out yourself.
You are obtuse (at best) if you follow him blindly, without researching what the man truly is about. But there’s not much we can do about stupidity. We can just hope there are only a very small number of actually stupid voters in the USA.
But if you’re not following him blindly, then you are depraved — morally corrupt. This is because Trump is not just someone to disagree with like Republicans before him were. Unlike prior honorable Republicans, his ideas are rooted in evil, containing within them the potential to cause grave harm to many humans. His perspective on the world validates all of the hatreds and hostilities towards those in the minority in our pluralistic experiment of a truly egalitarian society. It foments harm to others.
So, to be smart enough to learn about him and still support him, you support the destruction of the foundation of our country, harm to humanity, and the spread of ignorance. This makes you a depraved soul. A dangerous life form for our country and our people.
The rise of megalomaniacal authoritarian fascists happens slowly but inexorably because people do not call out the obtuse and depraved. The comparisons to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, are not exaggerations. Authoritarian Charismatic Tyrants rise to power because morally corrupt people or simpletons support them; but they also rise because Good people don’t expose the tyrants or their perverted supporters.
All Good people, Republicans and Democrats and Independents, have a duty now to expose Trump and his supporters for what they are — the early blossoms of a poisonous Kudzu that will strangle and overpower our nation.
If you’re a Republican, you only have a couple of choices in order to save yourself and our world from your depravity. You can be like George Will – a truly Smart and Good person and renounce your Republican membership for now. Or you can be like Jeb Bush, another (surprisingly) Good and Smart person, and declare publicly that you will not vote for Trump.
To choose otherwise only exposes your stupidity or your inherent depravity. Republicans do not have to be either.