I’ve been thinking a lot about this article about why Trump is getting the support that his is getting.. I keep thinking about it because I am left-leaning and most of my friends are left-leaning and so I spend a lot of time with people who are watching Trump win state after state in the run up to the Republican convention with confusion and shock and disgust. I keep thinking about it because most of my friends and family come from a position of relative comfort and privilege and, reading this article, it occurred to me that we might be missing an opportunity to practice what we preach and listen to someone whose life experience is different from ours. It might be time to listen.
I want to make a few things clear. I think Trump plays to people’s base emotions and that he is stoking a lot of painful, angry and dangerous fires. I think his treatment of protestors is abhorrent. I think he holds beliefs that are untrue, unsupportable and disgusting with respect to women and minorities. I think America does have a lot of structural racism and other problems that need to be addressed. But, I don’t think that is entirely the reason he is doing so well. And, so this article really stuck with me. We’re in this place, as a country, where we need to decide what we value and then we need to work to support that. And, we need to decide together. Which, of course, means we may need to listen to and interact with people who hold opinions we dislike. I don’t like Trump. But, if talking about trade and examining the effects of trade agreements on the lives of Americans will help us all move forward, then it needs to be done.by