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Dear Conservative Friend

December 9th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Dear Conservative Friend,

You and I are obviously on different ends of the ideological divide. I respect that the considered positions of many conservatives are held in good faith, even if I think they are misguided. For most of our history we have been able to bridge the gap between left and right because both (perhaps reluctantly) conceded that their opponents were patriots.

But when it comes to Trump, I don’t think we’re talking about right vs. left; we are talking about right vs. wrong. The discussion about what Trump represents in American politics is complex and probably futile, since we will not agree on basic facts. But you can take it from me that those of us who oppose him do so not because of partisanship but because we believe he actually represents the absolute worst of American society. He represents an America that is retrograde, racist, misogynist, nativist, swaggering, self-absorbed, and brutal. His vision resembles an upright individual who has gotten drunk and succumbed to animal instincts, losing all sense of propriety. His shadow ironically shines a bright light on the principles many are willing to abandon in order to hold on to power. Evangelical Christians abandon the gospel and basic moral principles, “Conservatives” abandon patriotism and fiscal conservatism and even the fundamental Enlightenment principles of liberty and equality on which our founding documents are based. Bigots and “super-patriots” who were once relegated to the fringes suddenly and boldly take center stage. In other words, Trump and those he works for are at best agents of chaos, not patriots.

I’m not going to assume that what I just described, describes you. I’m fairly certain you don’t believe any of what I just wrote, and I believe you and most of those who agree with you are patriots. And I’m not going to try to convince you I’m right, because we conceptually live in very different realities. But you can believe that I believe what I wrote, and because of that I refuse to contribute to the normalization of this tool’s actions. We can agree to disagree about politics when we can concede that those we disagree with have the best interests of the country at heart. I do not believe Trump has the best interests of the country at heart, even in his own delusions. And I applaud people like John Lewis and John McCain who are willing to stand against what Trump and his followers represent and say. “This is not normal.”

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