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An open letter to former Trump voters

By Daniel Freedman

Section: Opinions

October 14, 2016

This election has recently evoked the Flight 93 allegory: We are on the hijacked plane destined for the capital building. We can storm the cockpit and still probably die, or sit back and await our fiery deaths.

If we accept the premise that Clinton is evil-incarnate and the destroyer of American sovereignty, and we accept that Trump is not in fact the volatile mass of compressed air hurtling toward Washington, D.C., then the comparison holds water. If Trump’s constituents think the country is in such dire straits and a Clinton presidency will spell certain ruin, then by all means they should subscribe to the Flight 93 logic.

My only desire in all of this is that they at least hold to some internal sense of consistency. Now after the allegory of the doomed plane made headlines, a lewd Trump video went viral, and his steadfast followers began wavering in their support, while a long list of congressional backers have finally had enough. Trump was caught joking about how as a star he can assault women without repercussion. If this is truly the Flight 93 election, that comment should not matter, nothing should matter short of him declaring his intention to destroy America.

Now, I know not all of his supporters champion the allegory presented, and thus their support is not predicated on the desperate times-desperate measures mantra. That said, to the growing list of governors, senators and representatives who are now rescinding endorsements, I must ask: why now? Is this comment so vulgar that you can no longer, in good conscience, support this man for president?

After the Birther movement and accusations that our president is Muslim, Trump was still an upstanding patriot. After accusing Mexicans of bringing drugs and being rapists, Trump was still an upstanding egalitarian. After denying John McCain credit as a war hero because he was captured, mocking a reporter’s disability in front of a rally, advocating for torture as well as war crimes (killing terrorist family members) and admitting interest in dating his own daughter, Trump was still an upstanding candidate. After calling women pigs, dogs, slobs and saying that Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” on a public broadcast, we didn’t expect misogyny, objectification and a propensity for sexual harassment?

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but you see the point. For the sake of both your time and mine I have to cut short the list of obscenities and inappropriate behavior that have become hallmarks of the Trump “brand.” These are not hot-mic faux pas, these were not instances when he did not know the world was listening—these are the veritable views of the man himself. If you have supported him this far, but are turned off enough to leave his camp on account of his latest comment, where have you been? This predates all the instances listed above, and few are surprised by the egregious nature of the comment. No one had this perfect image of Trump that was rocked by his latest and greatest. If you supported Trump, it was not for his self-proclaimed “best temperament,” so why change now?

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