Published: Nov. 11, 2016
Donald Trump is now president-elect of the United States. He and those who voted for him frequently expressed their disdain for the “political correctness” they claimed had been foisted on them by the “elites.” We did not vote for Mr. Trump, but we too are tired of a world where people mince around any uncomfortable truth. In the spirit of telling it like it is (evidently the ultimate test of a person’s character), we now state the truth and beseech our liberal friends to join us and stop making patronizing excuses for Trump voters.
Many Trump voters really are racist (yes, there are data if the speeches and rallies aren’t enough evidence for you), and by definition all Trump voters are comfortable enough with xenophobia to go ahead and vote for it. Many of them are sexist, and all are comfortable enough with objectification of women to go ahead and vote for it. Many of them despise the poor and admire the rich (no, the truly poor did not vote for Trump, it was mainly the middle class), and all have now demonstrated their comfort voting for policies that will hurt the poor.
We all know and love some Trump voters, and it is painful, but that’s no excuse for denying reality and surely the Trump believers wouldn’t want us to be so ‘politically correct.’ The world really is turned on its head when people will bend over backward to make excuses for those who have willingly, knowingly and often mirthfully voted for this kind of person. How is it possible that it is worse for us to call out obvious racism than it is for a huge swath of middle-class white Americans to vote for it?
Regarding the single issue crowd, they obviously don’t have too much of an “issue” with racism, misogyny or having a bigot as president. They claim they chose “the lesser of two evils” ⸺ seriously, racism, sexism, religious discrimination, harming the poor, harming the environment, etc. are the lesser evils?? Well now they can explain their calculus to the rest of us.
You can use whatever psychological mechanisms you like to deny that this is what some of your white friends and family have done, but you shouldn’t be at all surprised to find that most non-white people don’t care about your denial and your excuses. They know the truth ⸺ that people who voted for Trump simply don’t care about them. Your excuses just add insult to injury.
Christie Pugh Karpiak, Professor of Psychology
Declan Mulhall, Professor of Physics