There are many people who simply cannot understand how anyone could vote for Donald Trump. The accusations of his racism, misogyny and sowing hatred in the country overwhelm so many that they cannot pause to consider that many people consider many of Trump’s actions to be excellent and preferred to what Joe Biden might do as president. People who prioritize a strong economy built on capitalism and a strong foreign policy in rewarding allies over enemies might be willing to ignore Trump’s vile statements.
It is much the same of people who vote for Ilhan Omar for congress despite her repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes. Some constituents love her progressive socialist values and give a pass to her comments.
A popular lawn sign that “Hate has no home here” dots much of suburbia but the reality is that many liberals and conservatives are willing to overlook the hatred. Liberals might rant about Trump but will defend Omar, while conservative people will do the reverse. The placards really need to add the word “SOME” before “HATE”.
Pew Research did a poll in August 2020 about the top issues for voters. Trump voters placed the economy, violent crime, immigration, gun policy and foreign policy as their top five issues. Biden voters placed healthcare, the coronavirus, race and ethnic inequality, the economy and climate change as their biggest issues. The two different lists point to an America that doesn’t simply have different policy preferences on certain matters (like capitalism over socialism) but completely different priorities.
Yet to read social media leads one to believe that hate itself is on the ballot. That a vote for the likes of Trump or Omar is a tacit approval of inciting division in these envisioned “United” States.
Arguably, the polls and social media should be read together and not as distinct data points. Trump voters consider fellow citizens that ignore the economy, violent crime and their most important issues as undermining America, much like Biden supporters view people who do not prioritize healthcare, the coronavirus and racial inequality as destroying society.
It is worth considering whether the hate that’s on the ballot in 2020 really belongs to the politicians or the convictions of our fellow Americans.
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