I think it’s important to use language that he and his supporters understand. Although my writing is above a 5th-grade reading level, hopefully my message comes across loud and clear.
Yesterday the Trump campaign — no strangers to plumbing the depths of the human condition — released one of the most abhorrent advertisements I’ve witnessed thus far in this hellacious never-ending march to the presidency.
I won’t link to it because that’s exactly what they want, but I’ll quote it:
If I had a bowl of skittles and told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?
That’s our Syrian refugee problem.
Besides the hard data, which means that bowl would have to contain millions of skittles to accurately reflect the proportion of refugees who have committed a murder, let alone any sort of crime, it reflects the fundamental moral bankruptcy of Donald Trump and his supporters.
Donald Trump has surely never met a single refugee from Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan in his whole life. I’m guessing almost none of his supporters have, either.
Fuck every single one of them.
I haven’t devoted my life’s work to aiding refugees of the civil war in Syria, and the violent spillover from the Iraq war, but I spent a week volunteering in a refugee camp last December and saw enough that every attack on these innocent people makes me furious.
To label them terrorists when they endured not because they wanted to, but because the only other option was death, is a disgrace.
Do you know what I felt, as I cried at the sight of a group of five brave young children with their mother, standing in the cold at three in the morning, exhausted beyond any meaning of the word?
I felt rage.
This was almost a year ago, so it was long before Donald Trump was being taken seriously as a candidate for President of the United States.
I felt rage towards the willfully uninformed baby boomers, fat and lazy like suckling pigs in their air conditioned suburban homes — too young to serve in Vietnam and experience the horrors of war, yet too ready to inflict death upon hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq who had nothing to do with the atrocities of September 1th. Those tax rebates for the upper middle class were too juicy to pass up, I guess.
There in the heavy winter mist of Slavonski Brod, in eastern Croatia, I felt the cold zero-sum knowledge of what your vote actually counts for.
Here, staring right at me in the face. Young children who have known nothing but war and death because half of our country was selfish and ignorant enough to elect a man who probably didn’t know the difference between Shia and Sunni before 2001.
I’ve met George Bush time and again when I’m at a social event that my parents and I were invited to: A white middle-aged guy who can crack a few good jokes — someone who would be fun to chat with over a few beers the first time you met him, but completely lacking the intellectual or emotional substance to merit anything beyond mere acquaintance. He’s also the sort of guy who would preface comments about black people like “I’m not a racist but …” unless it was about Arabs or Muslims, in which case he would drop the pretense and spew Islamophobia without even a token qualification.
We handed the keys to that guy, and look where it got us. Of course, the Iraq war was not the exclusive domain of Republicans. We know Trump supported it, and Mike Pence supported it — but so did Hillary Clinton and many other supposed liberals. Fuck her, unequivocally, for having the blood of innocents on her hands.
We invaded a country that was no threat to us, toppled a dictator who we’d propped up when it suited us back in the 1980s, and opened up a pandora’s box.
And after that box was opened, and the instability in Iraq spilled over into Syria, with a flood of bombs and sectarian violence, the misery spread, and millions of people were wounded and homeless. Countries that had nothing to do with those wars are now saddled with refugees. Jordan has been flooded with Syrian refugees. Lebanon, hardly a stable country but at least more stable than Syria, has taken in one million refugees, meaning one out of every five people living on Lebanese soil is a Syrian refugee. Turkey, which hasn’t exactly helped contain ISIS, has more Syrian refugees living on its soil than any other country.
Our European allies, especially Germany and Sweden, have absorbed close to one percent of their populations in Syrian refugees.
We destabilized the region. We should be willing to clean up the mess we made. Hillary Clinton wasn’t my first choice, but she’s still a more capable leader than Donald Trump, any day of the week. There might be a resolution to the Syrian civil war under her watch, but never under his. She’d certainly stand up to Putin and keep him from further destabilizing Europe. She wouldn’t completely sell out the working class and poor the way he will, and would appoint Supreme Court justices who would protect the rights of women and possibly of transgender people, currently some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our country. And she would accept refugees from Syria. Those are people, not skittles. They are such better people than Donald Trump, his imbecile children, or his supporters will ever be.
Our votes have consequences, even if we can’t see them at home. I saw that when I met war refugees. It isn’t easy to vote for Hillary Clinton after feeling the energy and hope of Bernie Sanders, but the alternative is much, much worse.