We all know — or sadly, have — them: the far-right conservative relatives who share every single "article" they find on Facebook endorsing President Donald Trump, oftentimes sharing them with phrases like "do-nothing Democrats" or claiming that Nancy Pelosi is just out to get Donald Trump to ensure the failure of America.
Contrary to popular belief, seeing such posts causes many Republicans to hang their heads in shame.
Those who proudly share said social media posts by no means represent the entirety of the party, and it's sad that this is how we're seen in the public eye. As for myself, I am a registered Republican who belongs to a far-right Christian conservative family, but I am most certainly the black sheep.
We get it: he (somehow) won the Republican nomination in 2016 and beat Hillary Clinton in the general election to become president of the United States, but don't harbor the sad misconception that ALL republicans hopped on the Trump train. Just because he won the party nomination does not mean that he was by any means the most qualified or deserving candidate of the position, and it certainly does not mean that he was everyone's choice. In reality, Donald Trump, being the celebrity that he is, had great media power, just as he has for decades now. Candidate after candidate dropped out before the 2016 primaries were over, many who would've represented the Republican party with great pride but simply did not receive the publicity they should have because Donald Trump's "make America great again" and "We're gonna build a wall, and Mexico's gonna pay for it!" campaigns stole the spotlight.
The constituents' arguments in his favor were endless, but here were some of the popular ones I heard a lot as an eastern Kentuckian:
"I like that he doesn't concern himself with political correctness! He says what NEEDS to be said!"
No, he's rude and far too many things he says are racially charged. He may have opinions, but calling immigrants "rapists" or mocking a disabled reporter is completely uncalled for and insensitive. I have no sympathy for the backlash he received.
"He's a businessman, not a politician! He's not like the rest of them, 'cause he's gonna run the country like he does his successful businesses!"
He's running for quite honestly the most powerful office in the world. Yeah, that makes him a politician. If he wasn't one before, he is now.
"He's for closed borders! We don't need more immigrants here, they're coming in and reaping all the free benefits while real Americans have to suffer and work for everything they earn! He doesn't support handouts! Plus, they steal our jobs. It's unacceptable."
Oh yeah, because it's not like immigrants built this country or anything. And yeah, you're so mad an immigrant "stole" that job as an avocado picker for $20/day that you were definitely gonna go after, or that an immigrant "stole" that job as a physician in your local clinic, because Karen, a mother of four who's a high school graduate and worked as a Mary Kay sales representative for years was a better candidate. But go off, sis. We see your intolerance shining through.
"He is a Christian and won't support these Muslims coming in and buying out the gas stations all over! They're taking over from the inside-out and somebody needs to do something about it!"
No, you're just racist and hold your doctrine above everyone else's, even if it means you're being completely intolerant and don't want anyone who doesn't perfectly agree with you to have the opportunity to better him or herself, even if it does not whatsoever affect you.
Let's also not fail to mention his use of Twitter as a platform for communicating with his constituents, but doing so in the worst of ways. President Barack Obama had Twitter, too, but never did his tweets make headlines for calling another world leader fat and short. I don't care if he "insulted" you by calling you "old," for God's sake, you're the leader of what can be considered the most powerful and influential country in the world, act like it. You'd expect the commander-in-chief of such a nation to behave with diplomacy and tact, not be a complete embarrassment. It's past the point of just not being a good orator or not being incredibly concerned with political correctness, it's just plain offensive and shameful.
With the rise of white supremacist groups, even if he says he doesn't endorse or encourage such behavior, his racially charged words can easily be taken as support, especially with so many people just blindly following him. I work part-time as an ESL tutor, and I have a 40-year-old Korean client who likes to ask me about politics and Americans' opinions of Donald Trump. One of the first things she ever asked me — and her being from South Korea, and ally nation — was, "Isn't it embarrassing to see the things he tweets or hear about things he's said on the news? Does it not make you ashamed?" And I answered honestly, and sadly, that yes, yes it does.
Let's not forget children in cages, backing out of the Paris climate agreement, porn star hush money, and "locker room talk," among plenty of other sickening scenarios.
Personally, I am sick of scandal-ridden administrations, strict bipartisan views, slandering and mudslinging, and no one willing to compromise or unite on any front.
I am sick of being embarrassed of our nation's leader and wondering where America went wrong. I just pray that one day we can do right by America again and I can say that I am proud of the leader that stands at the forefront, no matter the party.
I, like many others, am not and will not be riding on the Trump train, and I sincerely believe that many other Republicans will eventually have a voice that can rise above the hateful, bigoted ways of the current president of the United States.