Every day, I inevitably receive some variation of the same message from someone who voted for Donald Trump:
“You lost dude, deal with it!”—something like that.
It’s a snarky, middle finger, attempted mic drop designed to put me and people like me in my place.
And whenever I encounter these sentiments in my conversations with people, I know that they aren’t paying close attention to reality. Maybe they’re still clinging to the thinnest thread of hope or trying desperately to save face, or maybe they simply refuse to acknowledge what their eyes are seeing because of how terrifying it all is.
But the truth is, whether they can’t or won’t admit as much right now—they’ve lost too.
This is the thick irony at work in this election; that beyond the superficial idea of their guy winning, the vast majority of Trump’s supporters profit nothing from their vote, because outside of himself, Vladimir Putin, and all but the tiniest percentage of the whitest and wealthiest American males—Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn about them. He is bereft of the slightest concern for their well-being, their safety, or their prosperity, and so they too are losers along with Hillary Clinton, those who voted for her, and the country we all love and call home.
We are all in this terrible defeat together, without caveat or exception.
The misconception about those of us who voted for Hillary, is that we did so in part out of hatred for Trump supporters, but quite the opposite is true. We care for them and their children too much to have willfully placed their lives in the hands of someone so incompetent and with such disregard for them. With our vote, we were advocating for them as well. The bigger table we were seeking was for everyone, including them—but now we’re all losing our seats and our voices.
Donald Trump’s Russian alliances endanger every one of our lives.
His attacks on the Press are a threat to the pursuit of Truth that we all find security in.
His recklessness on social media places us all equally in harm’s way.
His promises to dismantle Medicare, Medicaid, The Affordable Care Act, and the Arts present a massive personal hazard to each of us.
His ignorance of and disrespect for the Constitution undermine our shared personal freedoms.
What Donald Trump is doing right now isn’t only thumbing his nose at his detractors and giving an attaboy to his supporters, it’s undermining the very bedrock of the equality and personal liberties all Americans treasure. His only loyalty and love are for the mirror.
This is the impasse we are going to have to navigate in the coming weeks and months if we’re going to avoid greater catastrophe: convincing strident, boasting, overconfident supporters of Donald Trump that none of us have won; that we are all less secure, less protected, and less free now despite the cheap emotional lift the election results may have given them.
Donald Trump likes to essentially label all sorts of people losers: prisoners of war, Gold Star families, grieving black mothers, reporters who oppose him, his alleged sexual assault victims, small business he crushed in Atlantic City, political opponents he slandered to defeat—essentially anyone who crosses, challenges, or presents him with the actual truth. That’s the thing about unhinged, immoral men who have power they don’t deserve and aren’t mature enough to handle: no one is safe from them because they see all people as expendable resources.
The reality of this past year’s election is that no one who believes they won, actually won:
Blue collar workers in the Rust Belt didn’t win.
Earnest pro-life Christians in the Bible Belt didn’t.
Small businesses didn’t.
College kids didn’t.
Sick people didn’t.
Elderly people didn’t.
Most Americans didn’t.
That’s perhaps Trump’s sick gift: convincing people to vote against their own self-interest and to ignore that truth whenever it was presented to them. And because of that, those same folks are now celebratory and gloating even in their own defeat. They’re in the same sinking ship and believing the water isn’t rising around them too.
Donald Trump won (the Electoral College), but that’s about the only real victory for the lion’s share of the people of this country, whether they voted red, blue, or green.
This is the very bad news, and in some twisted way it’s also the good news.
Trump voters, you are losers too.
We’re all in this steamy, stinking mess together—and we’re going to have to clean it up together.