Trumping assumptions


Photo by Gage Skidmore, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/CC

Many people let white extremists speak for the entirety of the Trump supporter population, but it is an unfair accusation to say that all Trump supporters are racist. In fact, many diverse people are Trump supporters, including some pictured above.

To be honest I don’t really know what my political beliefs are. I know what I believe in morally, but I don’t have specific political ideologies to associate those beliefs with. While I do know I am not a Trump supporter, there are many Trump supporters among my family, close friends, classmates and colleagues, and they are not racist.

To say that all Trump supporters are racist is assuming the worst in every single one of these people and is simply an unreasonable blanket statement. Sure, some of them are, but those people cannot represent the entire population of Trump supporters. I am not defending Trump in saying that he is not racist, but I will defend the egalitarian people that I know would never discriminate against anyone based on their skin color.

Most people nowadays have this stigma that Trump is synonymous with white supremacy and that his supporters must equate in the same way. A stigma singles out a certain negative aspect of a person and uses it to define them. This is the danger of stigmas. No one should place all Trump supporters into the same box, believing that the voice of the extremists speaks for the majority of Trump supporters, who most likely support Trump for his policies rather than his social beliefs.

Even so, many Trump supporters may be single-issue voters or just victims of the two-party system our country has. Voters may have supported him simply because they shared the same opinion about their most important issue, they wanted to vote Republican or they did not want to vote Democratic.

According to The Hill, an online political news website, Bernie Sanders defended Trump supporters while speaking at Our Rally in Boston back in March of 2017: “Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree.” He went on to say how the Democratic party needs a “fundamental restructuring in order to win future elections.”

Even Bernie Sanders, one of the most liberal political leaders in America, acknowledged that some voters in this past election voted for Trump merely because they did not want to vote Democratically, not because they supported Trump’s racist beliefs.

And to that, some would argue that by supporting the Republican party at all, those voters are supporting all of Trump’s opinions, racist or not. I would argue that it’s much more complicated than that. People prioritize what they want in a political candidate, and for those people who support Trump, their main issue of interest, whether it be a specific policy or voting Republican, may have been far more important to them than the issue of racism or supporting a racist person.

And does that make supporters bad people? Does that make them selfish for not prioritizing the common good of all Americans so that everyone can all be treated equally? Well, that’s a personal opinion, but we can’t assume that just because people are supporting a racist person for a reason not related to race whatsoever that they themselves are racist. People prioritize what issues are most important to them every day, and for some, social issues may not be the most important.

Just like judging people and making assumptions about people based on their skin color is ignorant, assuming that all Trump supporters are discriminatory and racist is equally as judgemental and wrong.