Supporting Trump is not your “opinion.” It’s just death

November 15, 2016 Originally published on SFGate

This is not a matter of opinion. It is not a matter of which party’s sociopolitical agenda you “believe” to be fair and true, and which you think is unsustainable and damaging – a bit of education reform here, America’s role in the U.N. there, your well-informed take on taxation and global economics, health care for the poor and the impact of environmental conservation.

If you’re voting for Trump, you care as much for those notions as a fish cares about lasagna – which is to say: absolute zero, and aggressively so.

Nuanced policy? The function of the social contract in human civilization? A deep curiosity about science, art, foreign cultures, economics, the vast complexities world? These matter not at all to rabid Trump fans, as evidenced by the fact the man himself has forwarded what amounts to a laughable garbage pail of genuinely workable ideas – favoring, instead, a battery of spittle-flecked sucker punches that have only one thing in common: they all openly despise you.

Could this be much clearer? For Trump, it’s all about hate, contraction, corrosion. Women, Jews, blacks, Muslims, Latinos, the environment, liberals, the poor, children, schools, health care and women’s rights, community and compassion, integrity and shared humanity? Here is a stubby, orange middle finger for all of you.

As the nation careens to the end of the ghastliest, most insufferable election season in your lifetime – all made so by the existence of one leering, bloviated beast of a rich white male – one final truth must be nailed, one and for all, into the coffin of Trump’s acidic campaign.

It is thus: On Tuesday, you are not making a genuine choice. Your vote is not between two sets of equally valid, but wildly differing visions for the future of the American experiment. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not opposing ends of the same spectrum. This is no “lesser of two evils.”

You are, very simply, choosing between a voice that champions life, fundamental humanity and intelligence, and a voice that hisses only violence and death. Put another way: The choice between a thoughtful conversation and a thug’s knife in your kidney is no choice at all.

There is no “disagreeing” with this point. It is not your “opinion” that it’s tolerable, even OK to sexually assault women, label foreigners rapists and drug dealers, default on your debts, mock the disabled, scam all your business partners, donate nothing to charity and skim millions from your own charitable foundation as you threaten to build a 2,000-mile wall, murder the spouses of terrorists and spit on the Constitution. That’s not an opinion. That’s moral, social and spiritual sickness. That’s poison.

Maybe you deny this? Maybe you say you don’t agree with many of Trump’s more offensive actions, but you choose to overlook them anyway because, despite his myriad “flaws,” Trump is a plain-spoken “outsider” who will bring “fresh perspective” to the beltway?

You are lying to yourself, and you almost certainly know it. It’s like saying the Fukushima nuclear disaster brought “new ideas” to the ocean, or advanced colorectal cancer will bring “fresh perspective” to your small intestine. You are not choosing between two carefully composed, equally workable sides. You are choosing only destruction and death.

Maybe you just don’t like Hillary? Fine. Whatever. Join the exceedingly well-trained, intellectually lazy army. Of course you are free to disagree with Hillary’s policies, votes, mistakes, dumb misuse of an email server. You might even believe, as many do, that, just like every other politician who’s been as visible and vilified as she’s been for 30 years, her positions and bedfellows make for a lousy option to lead the nation.

Whatever. To detest Hillary is, however lazy, a valid opinion. To agree with Trump is to willingly swallow some flesh-eating bacteria.

Here’s a clearer example: Just recently, Mark Zuckerberg was compelled to defend billionaire and noted libertarian imbecile Peter Thiel, the bizarre, intellectually inept Silicon Valley thug who recently took down Gawker for his own personal vendetta, and who thinks Trump is a swell guy, to the tune of donating millions to his campaign.

Facebook decided to keep Thiel on its board of directors, even after Trump gloated about grabbing women’s crotches, lied about his taxes, called for a ban on all Muslims, et al.

Zuckerberg’s reason? Because Facebook champions “diversity,” and Thiel’s opinion of Trump was as valid as any.

This is malevolent nonsense. Note to Mark Zuckerberg: Hate is not diversity. Sexism, racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, endorsing violence – these have no more to do with “opinion” and diversity than saying you believe it’s OK to beat toddlers, poison dogs and read “Mein Kampf” to schoolchildren. You are conflating respectful social functioning with cruel moral decay. To not understand the difference is one of the core illnesses afflicting our country.

Put it this way: To have a valid opinion implies certain moral and factual boundaries, a bit of reason coupled to functional wisdom and (hopefully) actual lived experience. When those boundaries are exploded, when opinion becomes infected with hatred, shot through with misogyny and stabbed with racism and violence, it is no longer an opinion. It turns into sociopathy. It becomes terrorism.

Let me be clear: This no attempt to change anyone’s mind. I am not appealing to Trump supporters to reconsider their vote – it is far too late for that, and they’re not listening to credible media sources anyway.

Furthermore, this is only a partial appeal to shrill Hillary-haters who might skip voting entirely because, despite her superb (albeit flawed) credentials, achievements, intelligence, feminist badassery and genuine concern for her fellow humans, you have been trained to hate her, no matter what. I’ll let Louis C.K. remind you what you are.

This is merely to add one final reminder, as November 8 screeches into view: If you support Trump, you do not just have an atypical opinion of America. You do not get to say you merely “see things differently” in your tacit support of racism, sexual abuse, unchecked lying, flagrant bigotry. You have forsaken thoughtful opinion entirely, and succumbed to only hopelessness and ruin.

Let us pray for your speedy recovery. President Hillary will approve.

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Mark Morford

About Mark Morford