“I Love America, It’s Americans I Hate” writes Tim Krieder, an “essayist and cartoonist who divides his time between New York City and Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.” So, you can just tell he spends lots of time around regular Americans. And the reason he hates Americans is because they chose Donald Trump over the decrepit, corrupt, dishonest, incompetent, Washington Insider Hillary Clinton. And the people who voted for Trump did so because they are stupid, racist and hateful, therefore he hates them.
A vote cast for Trump is kind of like a murder; there may be context to consider — a disadvantaged background, extenuating circumstances, understandable motives — but the choice itself is binary and final, irrevocable. There’s a case to be made that it’s indefensible; that his supporters have forfeited any right to be respected or taken seriously. The conservatives of the heartland have lashed back against the coastal elites’ condescending, classist prejudices by defiantly confirming them: that they’re pathetically dumb and gullible, uncritical consumers of any disinformation that confirms their biases, easy dupes for any demagogue who promises to bring back the factories and keep the brown people down.
Ignorance and bigotry are actually the best possible motives for having voted for Trump — they are at least honest, if not honorable. But I don’t believe all Trump voters are ignorant, or bigoted; most of them are just evil — evil being defined not as anything so glamorous as beheading journalists or gunning down grade schoolers, but simply as not much caring about other people’s suffering. They’re willing to consign someone else — someone Mexican, or Muslim, or trans, not anyone they know — to exile, arrest, or second-class status, in exchange for… what? A tax break? To send a message to Washington, or the mainstream media? Just out of spiteful, petulant rage?
So, I guess by ‘America’ he means he likes the landscapes and the residual capitalist wealth that enables him to earn a living by attacking it. It never occurs to him that the last eight (actually, the last 24) years have been not so great for people who don’t have large trust funds and connections to the political elite.
Later, he humblebrags about how nice he is. I don’t buy it.
I’m afraid what will probably win out over my ideological convictions is my accursed, ineradicable niceness. Niceness — as distinguished from kindness — is not something I regard as a virtue; it feels more like a weakness. There comes a time when civility in the face of barbarism is folly.
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