Dearest Deplorables

Dear Deplorables,

(Meaning, You Folks Who Might Be Planning On Voting For Trump.)

I’m already betting you’ve checked out of this post. You either won’t click or, or you’ll share it to hate on it, or you’ll just downright disagree with it. And that’s your right. I’m a nobody to you (and really, a nobody overall). Just an uptight creative with a head full of ego, who thinks what he says matters even though, mostly, it doesn’t. I’m squawking into the void. Maybe you’re listening, maybe you’re not, but I’d like to make one last-ditch effort to convince you not to vote for Donald J. Trump, that greasy taint-stain, that Tribble merkin, that handsy orangutan. I’m not going to try to convince you to vote for Hillary. (I won’t ask for two miracles, just the one.) Though I am unabashedly a fan of the HRC, and I legitimately consider her a hard-working, smart-as-hell-bad-ass, I don’t need you to agree.

I just need you to not vote for DORMALD TORMP.

I come from what I like to think is a line of Probable Deplorables. And I recognize it. I recognize in the country a special kind of anger reserved in part for a changing world where technology and globalization have left people feeling alone and unchampioned, and I recognize too the realities of a swath of the population who is only now just seeing themselves and their default status as being genuinely (and existentially) challenged. I see too that there is a strong educational gap here, and that’s not your fault. Education is increasingly necessary at higher levels, but education is also increasingly costly — and loans are unduly punishing when made to cover those demands and those costs.

Just the same, I think Trump is a bad candidate. For you, and for everyone.

I could pretty easily make this a case about his racism and sexism, but realistically, those are issues I assume you have considered and discarded. I could also go through this and populate it with links to click-through to that clarify or bolster my points, but honestly, I’m not going to do that, either. It’ll take time, and you don’t really care anyway. This is pure opinion coming from me to you. No great substance. Just some quick bits to chew on and spit out as you see fit.

Let’s talk why voting for Trump is a bad, bad idea.

Even for Deplorables.

1. The Russia Thing.

Trump has said he never met Putin. But he also said he did. Then there’s the server. And the spy who says he’s compromised. And Manafort’s Ukraine connection. And the fact Trump hasn’t released his taxes. And he also said he admires Putin and — okay, you know, listen. I grew up in the time of the Cold War, where Russia was the bad guy in a lot of our movies. And sometimes that’s overly simplistic but Putin? Not a good guy. We don’t want a president who admires him, or who wants to be him, or who is already in bed with him as Kompromat. These aren’t just red flags. This is the entire Red Army waving red flags down I-95. As they fucking invade us because we just put a Russian puppet on the Iron Throne.

2. The Economy Is Gonna Crater

There’s a reason the market takes a hit when bad news about Clinton lands — hint: it’s not about Clinton, it’s about the increase in chances for a Trump presidency. With Brexit, the pound collapsed. With a Trump presidency, expect our economy to again suffer under a pretty significant seismic shock, one from which it will not be easy to recover.

Now, I know, some of you are saying GOOD, BRING IT ON. THE RICH WILL SUFFER. Except, I got bad news. The rich never suffer as much as you do. They just don’t. They’ll be okay. Take half of a millionaire’s money way and he’s still wealthy. Take half of a middle-class person’s money away and it’s WELCOME TO DESTITUTIONTOWN, POPULATION YOU. Trickle-down economics is half-bullshit, but one part that does trickle down are economic woes. And they don’t just trickle. The rich pop their umbrellas and the shit slurry rolls right off them and onto you. That means reduced investment in America. It means fewer jobs. It means fewer benefits.

Remember the 2008 recession? That was bad. That was from the Bush era, by the way, not the Obama era. We’ve pulled out of that tailspin to great effect. Which leads me to:

3. Things Are Not Terrible Right Now

Actually, things are pretty good.

Poverty’s down by 1.2 percent. The middle class is finally growing again, at a better clip than it has in recent memory. We’ve got an improving job market, lower inflation, lifting wages. Even the worst-off Americans are seeing the improvement.

If you imagine we’re on a boat, and the boat is in calm waters with easier fishing, it seems silly to want to steer that boat into uncharted territory. Sure, sure, the part of the map labeled HERE THERE BE DRAGONS sounds really, really interesting, but maybe it’s interesting when it’s the stuff of fiction, and not the stuff of life. Calm waters are boring. But maybe we should learn to like boring. If you want to spruce things up, go to an amusement park or try light bondage with your significant other. If the trend is good right now, and it is, let’s keep the trend going.

4. The Guy Lies A Lot

Like, really. He lies more often than he doesn’t. Check Politifact — I won’t bother linking, you’re an adult, you can Google. But the guy maybe needs to have an intervention. Lies come out of him like diarrhea out of a sick pig.

Now, the thing is, some of you think that’s okay. We live in a POST-FACT age, I hear. But I want you to reframe it a little. I want you to imagine having a boss. You maybe have a boss at work, right? You ever have a shitty boss? One of the things that, for me, earmarks a shitty boss is a boss that lies a lot. Not just massages the truth, but who says whatever he needs to in order to grandstand and position himself as the hero while casting the rest of the world in and out of the company as a gaggle of shitbirds. A boss that lies — or a parent that lies, or a significant other that lies — is shit. Nobody wants to be lied to. And here you have a guy, Trump, who purports to tell you the truth while unabashedly lying to your fucking faces.

Which is a very good sign he doesn’t respect you one whit.

Or that he’ll do anything he says he’s going to do. He says he gives money to charity, but he doesn’t. He says he never said the thing he said, even if he just said it like, four minutes before that. It’s shitty. Maybe even fucking batty. Used to be, people like that, you didn’t need to see past their curtain of horseshit because all you had to do was give a few good sniffs.

5. He’s Got A Boner For Nuclear Weapons

I am a child of the Cold War, as noted, and so I am also a child of NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST FEAR. I saw the Day After. I knew to fear the mushroom clouds. I knew putting my head between my knees would not save me from the ghosts of radiation that would possess my fragile body.

For a long time, it was easy to put that fear aside.

Now, though, nnnyeah, we got a guy who can’t stop talking about nukes.

If that doesn’t scare you, well, why doesn’t it scare you?

6. Climate Change

We like to pretend climate change is a partisan issue, but it’s not. When an overwhelming majority of scientists say, HEY THIS THING IS HAPPENING, it’s happening. And it’s not something that’s hard to see outside our door — it’s there. Epic storms, epic temperatures, weather anomalies. Even if you want to maintain the line that this is not human-caused (it is, but okay), you can’t really deny that it’s still happening regardless of whoever is causing it.

And that means needing a president and politicians who will address climate change going forward. Someone who will respond to it and attempt to countermand it, again, even if you believe mankind as a whole isn’t responsible. It’s like this — the house is on fire, so we can worry about who set the fire later. We need someone willing to put the fire out instead of pretending it’s a Chinese hoax.

7. Freedom Of The Press Is Actually Really Important

He’s talked routinely about diminishing or outright destroying the freedom of the press.

That’s not presidential. That’s dictatorial.

Now, I’m sure someone will argue, he’ll sue those corrupt media outlets, and not the good ones, but remember, Trump fights with nearly everyone. Trump loves the networks who love him, and he despises those who don’t love him enough. And that can change literally day to day — he’ll slag a network for their bad polls, then trumpet them the next day when the polls are in his favor. The game is only rigged when he’s losing. And that’s scary. Because it means he will never, ever want to be held accountable for his actions. He’s that fragile. His fear of freedom of the press isn’t a thing he cares about as a larger issue — he only cares about it in context to him. Those who oppose him are corrupt. Those who stand with him are great, tremendous, just the best, big-fingered, big-dicked people. He has all the best people, until the best people aren’t doing what he wants. Then they’re the worst people.

8. Let’s Talk About That Fragility Thing Some More

I know, we’re not supposed to do the thing where we diagnose Trump psychologically, but it’s just you and me here, right? And I think we can all quietly agree that maybe, just maybe, he’s a raging Narcissist. Like, he’s so much a Narcissist he will one day die staring at his own reflection in a pool of water. (Or, the more modern version, he will die staring at a giant portrait of himself he purchased with charity money. He’ll sit there, idolizing his painted image, and the whole thing will pop off the wall because the heavy-ass painting was put up by guys who knew he would stiff them on the bill, so they used the cheapest anchors and the thing goes — WHOOM — and crushes Trump underneath.)

Thing about Narcissists is, they don’t get help. They can’t. Help is only available to those who admit they have a problem, and one of the chief characteristics of a Narcissist is projecting all his problems onto someone else. They are, in their own minds, bulletproof. They cannot be criticized because they are a routinely, unswervingly Excellent Entity, and anybody who says differently is wrong, and bad, and maybe the Actual Devil.

Trump has shown one thing over the course of this election — really, over the course of his existence — and that is, he cannot handle criticism. He can’t hack one ounce of it. We think of Hillary like a snake, but Trump is a shark — and not a shark in the way you think, not in the way where he’s driven and fast and predatorial. Well, he is predatorial, yes (especially with women), but I mean he’s a shark in the way that he is easily baited by a single drop of blood in the water. Chum the water and here he comes, mouth open, eyes rolled back, ready to bite, ready to fall into any trap you set for him. He’ll stay up all night tweeting about your criticism. He still can’t deal with the fact that Rosie O’Donnell, of all people, came at him. Any poll, any pundit, any politician who says boo to him — he blunders at them, clubbing his tiny fists in the air like an angry toddler. You could paint a face on a wasp’s nest and tell him, “That guy over there said you have a pinky dick whose smallness is only matched by the insignificance of your bank account,” and he’d run at it, mad as hell. (Well, he’d probably tweet about it first. “CROOKED WASP NEST. SHOULD BE IN JAIL. BUILD A WALL. BEST WALL. TREMENDOUS. I LOVE WASPS EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE ALL RAPISTS.”)

To quote Louis CK from his Conan appearance yesterday, “This guy, every time he’s criticized, everything stops, and he makes everybody pay.”

A fragile president is not… super-great. Putin will use him, then tear him up like he’s tissue paper. (Putin may already have used and torn him up like tissue paper.) Other world leaders will view him as, at worst, a Useful Idiot, or at best, a guy you can bait into showing his ass. He talks a lot about stamina, but what he’s missing is a more vital upgrade to stamina: Trump is missing fortitude. He has no (to use the dictionary definition) courage in the face of pain or adversity. He’s a raw nerve buried in a tooth made from rich, soft gold.

9. He Is A Successful Entertainer, And A Failure Everywhere Else

Trump is fun to watch, and that’s about it. Most of his businesses have tanked. Many have folded. He has, to put a Trumpian spin on it, THE VERY BEST bad TRACK RECORD IN BUSINESS. HE IS A TREMENDOUSly shitty BUSINESS PERSON, THE VERY BEST at bankruptcy, and so on. Sure, he’s good at making a show and we clap along. He has the right cadence and the energy to entertain us, even if what he says doesn’t make much sense when you actually write it out, word-for-word (or, rather, word-salad-for-word-salad). He says again and again he wants to treat America like a business, that he’ll bring his skillset there to the Oval Office. Only problem is, if he does that, then statistically we can expect him to be selling us off to the highest bidder by 2018 at the latest. The American Experiment will have ended, because he set fire to the lab and sold the burned husk to cover his debts.

Note, too, that he hasn’t even succeeded in getting many endorsements. Almost no newspapers endorse him. Very few economists or generals. Very few business people. I mean, sure, he has such high-value people such as Chachi and Curt Schilling pulling for him, but I’m pretty sure a presidential candidate should have a better at-bat roster, don’t you think?

Trump is a huckster, a carnival barker, a used car salesman. He talks a good game, puts on a good show, but at the end of the day, what he’s got for you is a beat-up Ford Taurus he sold as a Ferrari. He’s got smoke and mirrors, a house of illusions.

A guy who has to tell you again and again how successful he is is like a guy who has to tell you again and again how big his wang is. And, spoiler warning, that’s a sign of:

Methinks thou dost protest too much.

10. He Won’t Serve You

There exists this feeling that he is One Of Us, he’s the Common Everyman, the Populist Demagogue who Speaks Truth To Power. Problem is, he is power. I recognize that there’s a lot of talk out there about privilege — particularly the straight white male kind — but let’s go for a more generalized version. Trump is a child of very real privilege. He started out rich. He was given a huge loan — sure, he pulled himself up by his bootstraps, except his bootstraps were lined with hundred dollar bills. No, he doesn’t own a solid gold toilet, that’s a myth — but he sure likes gold. And he owns a mansion and a penthouse and private jets and yachts and —

Well, he’s rich. Really rich. Maybe not as rich as he says he is (again, braggarts brag to overstate and project, often to cover for their own weaponized inadequacies), but damn sure richer than you me.

Now, I don’t think that disqualifies him. Not at all. I think it certainly challenges the assumption that he’s a man of the people, or that he’s somehow a common man from common origins — but for me, I don’t need a president to be common. I don’t need to “get a beer with him.” I need him (or her) to to be quite uncommon, actually, in that I need a president who knows what it means to do things I’ll never know how to do — lead a nation, navigate global politics, be sensitive to the thousand moving parts that make up American society.

The problem with Trump goes much deeper.

The problem is how Trump treats people. Common people.

Trump doesn’t pay them. He stiffs them. He insults them. He sues them. Your common problems aren’t problems he understands or cares about. He cares about Trump problems. He has no interest in white supremacy. He has interest in Trump supremacy. He’s just telling you what you want to hear — remember, he’s a liar — to satisfy his own Narcissism. Your concerns are not his concerns. Watch him pick up somebody’s child — it’s like watching a giant praying mantis hold a puppy. He doesn’t know what to do with that thing. He has no idea what’s right or what’s common. He wants to fuck his own daughter, for Chrissakes.

A president is supposed to serve us. For better or for worse, it’s their job to work for the American people, and that’s the legacy they get. Trump’s legacy has never been about helping people. He doesn’t donate to charity (except when his feet are held to the fire). Oh, he shows up to charity events to make it look like he’s done it, he’ll say he’s done it, but he hasn’t done shit. He says he helped on 9/11, says he worked, gave money, but when? To whom? Where’s the proof? The events of 9/11 were a singular moment in recent American history — to exploit that for your own gain, wow. (He even boasted after the towers fell that now his building was the tallest in Manhattan.) That is about as far from the common struggle as you can get. That is vicious, that is selfish, that demonstrates the most vain and venal traits of the uber-elite you can imagine. This is a guy who would kick a baby for a hundred bucks.

That’s not a guy who cares about your bridges or your health care costs. He’s not a guy who thinks about water supplies or sick kids. He’s not a guy who gives one slick fuck about your 401k or your job. Those are human problems, and in his own head, he’s Zeus, motherfuckers. He’s on Mount Olympus and the pleas of the common prole are not his goddamn problem. He’ll fuck a goose and shoot lightning up your ass if you look at him sideways.

Or, to go back to the carnival barker metaphor —

We’re all rubes to him.

He’s a user. And we will be the used.

He’ll grab us all by the pink parts, he’ll kiss us where he wants to kiss us.

To Conclude

To segue a little, my father was probably what one might consider a “deplorable,” in that, you know, he was a blue-collar guy who loved guns and was more than a little racist and sexist because that was just how you were where we lived. I think about him often in an election like this, and wonder what he would’ve made of it. I think I know, because I remember when he died in late 2007, he was pretty damn grumpy about the rise of Obama — but he was just as grumpy, even grumpier, about the turn of the GOP toward the religious right. (My Dad was not a religious guy.) Palin had just appeared on-scene, not yet a VP pick, and the simmering of the soon-to-be-nascent Tea Party were in play, and it wasn’t the GOP he remembered. (He was a lifetime NRA guy, too, and the NRA had become something he didn’t recognize anymore.) I suspect now he’d be Libertarian. I dunno that he could’ve voted for Obama, but I don’t think he would’ve voted for McCain, either.

One thing I know is, he was pretty old-school in a lot of ways. He was never much of an uber-patriot, but he had a cowboy’s way of looking at things. He was a John Wayne fan, a straight-shooter, a tough guy whose hands were callused and who ran our farm and drove a truck and worked in a factory. And he could spot a bullshitter at a thousand yards, and I like to think he would’ve cottoned pretty quickly to Trump’s very special, very transparent brand of bullshit. (He certainly didn’t like Trump back when he was alive.) He sure wouldn’t like someone who stood up there and talked about the weakness of America and the strength of Putin. Who winks to Neo-Nazis (remember WWII, when Nazis were the bad guys?). He wouldn’t like someone who didn’t pay his people, because for my father, paying debts was how you had to be. You paid what you owed, goddamnit. He didn’t like liars, either. He caught you in a lie, boy — *whistles* You better get correct, quick. He was a tough guy, and we didn’t always agree, but he was a man of principles. Those principles did not waver, good or bad. And Trump violates those principles on the regular. And I wonder what guys like my Dad — ones who are still out there — are thinking about all this. I hope they’ve seen the bullshitter for what he is.

I hope you have, too.

Even if you think of yourself as a deplorable, whoever you are, whatever you believe, you need to take a long look at Trump and ask yourself if this is a guy who’s going to serve you. Who understands you. Or if he’s a spoiled Narcissist who will tell you whatever lie you want to hear in order to take the cash in your pocket and slide it into his — just so he can spend it on a portrait of himself, or blow it on another bad business.

I know I’m not swaying anybody with this. I get that. But it makes me feel better to write. And maybe, just maybe, I gave someone out there something to think about. Even in this supposedly post-fact age, even if you’re a self-styled run-of-the-mill deplorable, even then there’s pretty good evidence Trump isn’t your man. You’re just a pile of shit he can use to climb on. You’re fucking firewood to him. He’ll tell you what you want to hear to get him there. He’s probably somebody’s Useful Idiot. So don’t be his Useful Idiot. Don’t vote for Donald Trump, that oleaginous dysentery stain, that sentient pile of cantaloupe-colored chlamydia, that fake-bronze huckster, that bloated baboon, that leathery lie-filled liar-face, that gold-capped canker sore, that pompous puppet, that nuke-happy numbskull Narcissus.

You need to vote for Trump, hey, you do you. I can’t stop you. That’s your right, your freedom to do so. But here I’ll quote Louis CK again — “If you vote for Hillary you’re a grownup; if you vote for Trump you’re a sucker; if you don’t vote for anyone, you’re an asshole.”

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