I Asked, She Answered, I Responded
We went to the same Catholic high school in Florida. We’re a year apart in age. We’re both Caucasian. I’ll identify her as K. She avidly supports Donald Trump. I avidly don’t, and will support Joe Biden.
How This Started
K responded privately to my inquiry to my Facebook friends:
D: For my friends still supporting DT (you’re not blocked because you’ve been civil), please read this (Heather Cox Richardson’s Oct. 2, 2020 post) and tell me how you square with his administration’s deception, for one.
I’m also curious as to how his underlying theme of nationalism /racism fits with your values?
(Since I couldn’t get my efficient table imported into Medium’s format, I’ll try to identify each section which includes a summary of K’s issues, my response, and an appropriate reference. If you decide to comment, please keep it civil.)
K (Trump Supporter) Issues
D (Not a Trump Supporter) My take on the issue
References that clarify the issue
K: Poverty, homelessness reduced in Tallahassee area.
D: Not sure where poverty/homelessness has lessened. Certainly not in Tallahassee.
Reference: ALICE documents continued economic hardships.
K: Fear of living under socialism or communism.
D: These terms are misunderstood and misused. And D’s are not proposing either, just seeking economic equity that reduces poverty/homelessness, across the races. Life under capitalism as we have it funnels wealth to the very rich and deprives the majority of the basics of life.
K: Right to practice religion as she wishes.
D: As long as we agree that non-Christians also have rights to practice their religion, and that one group’s practices don’t impose upon others, we should be good. Non-christian religions in the US have historically been persecuted, and that seems to have worsened of late.
K: Disrespecting/burning flag not allowed.
D: It would be nice if the flag was respected, and that people were respected. Ds don’t encourage burning/disrespecting the flag (though burning the flag is allowed by our Constitution). The flag is distorted/disrespected by all who use it in clothing or creating alternate flags. And what about the Confederate Flag?
Reference: Here are ways the flag is disrespected
K: Charging/penalizing citizens for insurance (Obamacare) while giving illegals free insurance.
D: The health insurance debacle has worsened due to political fighting. I would like to see Medicare for all, paid for by our taxes. Studies indicate that it’s the best way to deliver health care. The insurance industry, pharmaceuticals and medical industry will lose their profits, thus they oppose this. Compare US health care with any civilized country to see how distorted our current system is.
The term “illegal” is offensive to me. Immigrants have built this country. They don’t get “free” insurance. Many don’t get any, reliant on a sparse network of clinics. Providing health care to all is the ethical and economically sensible approach.
K: Not providing timely/adequate health care for servicepersons/veterans. Improved under Trump.
D: Health care for service members has long been abysmal. Trump’s claim of improving access is false.
K: Ds will take our guns.
D: Nope. That’s a fear-based response to an issue that has been distorted for years by the NRA and Rs. What is needed is sensible gun ownership legislation which Biden has proposed. Something drastic needs to happen to reduce gun violence. Sensible restrictions on gun ownership will bring about a reduction of violence.
Reference: Biden’s position
K: Ds taking Social Security and using it for other things, causing SS to run out in a few years.
D: Ds say the same thing about Rs. Sensible protections of SS, Medicare, etc., are needed. Myths about Social Security’s demise abound.
Reference: AARP’s 10 Social Security Myths
K: Ds scream for pay raises after spending millions on impeachment. (Need to reimburse for this)
D: Impeachment was a debacle, but we won’t agree on why. The Ds vs. the Rs battle is out of control. Not sure how to ratchet it back, but the way we’re headed isn’t working. The cost of the impeachment was minuscule compared to other expenses.
Reference: Cost of impeachment
K: Abortion/woman’s right to her body — should have thought of consequences before having sex.
D: Having a select group of white men decide women’s reproductive health care options is just wrong. Women who didn’t choose to get pregnant end up coping with the results. If we want fewer/no abortions, we need to prevent pregnancies, and we need to make sure women with children have support to thrive. Outlawing abortions only prevents safe abortions. The woman rarely is the one making the choice to have sex. Men should be responsible to prevent impregnating.
K: BLM, aided by Antifa, paid by George Soros, acting like heathens/rioters.
D:This is a hoax-- BLM protestors are not being paid by Soros. Antifa isn’t the organized force they’re made out to be. It’s too easy to have troublemakers infiltrate and blame the other side. But the bottom line is Soros isn’t paying them.
K: Fewer bad cops than rioters.
D: The need for police reform is clear, and much criticism is rightfully directed toward the police unions. All cops aren’t good/bad. Equating the number of bad cops with rioters is apples and oranges.
Reference: Police reform needed.
K: “Defund the police” should cause loss of federal funds.
D: The “defund the police” movement chose a confusing title. But, over $100 billion of funding has been shifted to police — especially military-grade equipment and weapons — and away from investments in our communities. Municipal funds need to be reallocated to social services that would prevent violence. Federal funds — housing, health care, education, child care, nutrition — need to be restored. The origin of our criminal legal system is based on deep-seated racism. Policing doesn’t guarantee public safety.
K: Lawlessness needs to stop.
D: When rightwing protestors show up fully-armed at state capitols or polling places, I see lawlessness. Brazenly carrying automatic weapons into areas where the public congregates shouts lawlessness to me. When law enforcement officers brutally beat and tear gas peaceful protestors, I see lawlessness. When law enforcement encourage militia to get involved with peaceful protests, that’s lawlessness.
Reference: The irony of armed protestors
K: Looters need to be jailed. Soros bonding them out.
D: Looters come from a variety of groups — right, left and in-between. Those caught looting need to face the consequences. Historically, looting and mayhem has been a response to injustice, e.g., Boston Tea Party. Classifying all looters as criminals is incorrect.
Reference: Hoaxes abound about George Soros.
K: D’s rhetoric egging rioters/vigilantes on, encouraging them to harm, maim and kill law enforcement.
D: From my perspective, peaceful protestors have been attacked by vigilantes and some law enforcement officials.
Reference: WaPo analyzed video of Lafayette Park protest
Reference: Police encouraged militia in Kenosha
K: All lives matter. I’m not prejudiced, I just demand respect to get respect.
D: It’s easy to misunderstand what “Black lives matter” means, especially by white people. Important distinctions point to the need to support BLM. Racism has thrived too long.
K: Prefer Trump rather than the socialism and communism of Ds.
D: Equating socialism and communism is a false comparison. Calling the D’s platform socialism/communism deceptively distorts it. Trump’s platform seems to be based on deception accepted without question by his followers. He can falsely label Biden as a “socialist” and gets away with it. Then he adds the word communist to further inflame.
I summarized K’s responses to me, and asked her if I had done it accurately. I tried to keep my responses brief. I didn’t seek the most extreme references that represent the far left. I tried to stay kind of mainstream.
My Closing Thoughts:
I’m really tired of fighting lies. In many cases, including with K, I think the lies have been fed so long and hard that people just end up believing them.
I get my news from a variety of sources, those I would consider responsible (not perfect) mainstream media. I have a fairly accurate BS radar. I don’t consider myself a hardcore Democrat. I’m bipartisan pissed.
I also have spent 15 years traveling mostly backroads of 49 states (not Alaska) as I chronicled family and youth homelessness for my nonprofit organization, HEAR US Inc. I have seen more of America’s underbelly than most people ever will. I have talked to countless people experiencing homelessness and those trying to help them as well as legislators and policymakers. My positions on social issues are greatly shaped by this experience.
I’m not an extremist. My reason for doing this blog is to challenge beliefs held by Trump supporters — without being hateful. I appreciate K’s willingness to share her positions, and while I’d be happy if this changed her mind, that is not my purpose.
This post predated Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis. We left many issues uncovered. I love posting my pics in my blogs, but in the interest of time, I resisted. I have to dig into the final editing of my book!