Sorry for the late response but work, family, and the holidays have kept me from writing as much as I would like, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to respond to your comment that 63 million people cannot be ignorant. I agree — 63 million people cannot be ignorant but many of them are.
What is ignorance, you pondered. Let’s ask Dictionary.com:
The state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.
After calling many of these people ignorant, I will retract a little and say a goodly number are stupid. Definition of stupid from Dictionary.com:
Behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment.
No doubt, many of these people did know what Trump really was; they read and listened and paid attention, and chose to ignore the truth. Therefore, they lacked good judgment — and were, stupid.
Now let’s see how that applies to the people who voted for Trump. I am assembling a list of groups that my experience taught me were most inclined to vote for him. This list is my opinion as supported by what I have read, heard, and learned. It certainly is not a scientifically-proven list nor is it a complete list — just my list. And, I am not taking the time to research and provide documentation here. As I said, this is my list.
The Christians and Other People of Faith:
If Christians (and other people of faith) read even a small amount about Trump, about his past shady dealings, about his penchant for suing anyone he doesn’t like, about his multiple marriages and admitted affairs; if they listened to the many recordings and videos in which he refers to assaulting women or listened to the many women who have accused him of assault; if they listened to the comments he made on the campaign trail or saw how he made fun of the disabled and disadvantaged; if they paid even an ounce of attention to his refusal to provide his tax returns or read about his many bankruptcies they would surely have to see that there is nothing Christian about his man. He never was a man of religion, faith, spirituality, or morals. His entire history proves that he was the worst candidate for people of faith. So, if those people ignored the preponderance of evidence about his character, they are, by definition, ignorant or stupid. This is the hardest group for me to reconcile with their votes for Trump. He is everything they claim they are not. Or, maybe they are, and this proves their piety is as fake as his.
The unemployed who were once employed by the coal, steel, automobile and other industries commonly found in the Rust Belt or the mountainous areas that mined coal:
These people are understandably angry that their jobs have disappeared. They are hardworking people who don’t like handouts, who simply want to continue working where and as they always have. I have a great deal of sympathy for them, but, sorry, that isn’t going to happen.
These industries are gone and will not return. Times change. Our country has gone from the industrial age to the information and service age. Trump can promise whatever he wants but he cannot stop change. He cannot recreate industries that have ceased to exist here. If those unemployed by the lost industries read about the sources of their livelihoods, or about economics, or about history, they would understand this. That knowledge would not put food on their tables but it would have educated them enough that they would know Trump’s promises are impossible to fulfill. For that matter, reading a little Trump history would show them that he hasn’t ever cared about the little guy, the hardworking guys — just ask all the workers who got pennies on the dollar for the work done on his properties.
With a little research and self-education, these unemployed Americans would know that they are living in a different economic world; they would accept the retraining programs that have been offered or, if possible, move to areas with other types of employment. Not easy — I know — but isn’t facing the truth better than believing in false promises and outright lies? If someone does not educate himself about his source of income, about the changes in that industry, about the economic changes in the nation, and about the candidates he could vote for, he is, by definition, ignorant.
Military and their families:
The only reason someone in the military had for voting for Trump is job security. Trump already began taunting North Korea on the campaign trail. He vowed to extract us from many peace-keeping organizations. He showed his inability to negotiate reasonably, to understand or respect other cultures and customs, to value the opinions of seasoned military personnel and other world leaders, and to show consideration for those who disagree with him. His penchant for childish name-calling, bullying, and baiting was obvious, and anyone who has studied or read history knows that none of those actions are compatible with diplomacy and negotiation. Trump made it clear through his own words that he intended to intimidate and disrespect our enemies and our allies. He isn’t happy simply pissing off our enemies; he has to piss off our friends, too. If your life is on the military line and you voted for Trump, you are, by definition, ignorant.
People who are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, sometimes called American Preservationists and many of whom are staunch conservatives:
These people were roped in by Trump’s Make America Great war cry. They believe America was great before gay marriage, voting rights, civil rights, and all the other laws that gave people other then them (white, straight, mostly male) the same rights they had. They are not good people. Maybe they are not ignorant because there are certainly people like this who are well-educated but they are backwards, self-serving, hate-filled, and not good people. I think that is worse than being ignorant. Most ignorant people can change if they learn. People like this are not likely to change because they are not good people.
I Want a Change People:
There is a huge group of people who hate everyone and everything in D.C. They blame the federal government for all their woes, real and imagined. Wanting to protest government in general, they voted for the guy who never held a government office. Probably they would have voted for their neighborhood garbage collector if he/she ran. Babies kicking the side of their cribs, they just wanted to make a lot of noise and stir up the status quo. And, they did. I am sure they delight in all the drama and shenanigans in the White House and Congress. Some were ignorant and happy to stay that way; some were stupid and didn’t care if they were making poor and dangerous choices; most were unruly children wanting to cause bedlam.
This group mingles with the others. Some are clearly racists and American Preservationists who definitely belong in the above group; others are just scared Americans. Terrorism has made us a frightened nation, and no one can deny the fear that we’ve all experienced from time-to-time since the 9/11 attack. But, the truth is, most of our mass killings have not been by someone connected to a terrorist group. In fact, white American men with no connections to terrorist groups are the perpetrators of most mass killings.
But, not all the anti-immigration people are only scared of terrorists. Some are worried about jobs going to undocumented people. Some think undocumented people are living on welfare or committing crimes. There is study after study that debunks those theories. Most jobs taken by undocumented people are ones that Americans don’t want and won’t take. It is the Americans who qualify for welfare and would rather collect it than pick vegetables, clean hotels rooms, cut grass, or wash dishes.
Are there some undocumented people who commit crimes, sell drugs, join gangs? Of course, but many more Americans do those things. Still, strong arguments can be made in favor of stiffer immigration laws and better ways to control illegal entry. But, calling our neighbors drug dealers and rapists is not the way to reform immigration. Tearing apart families is not the way to solve the problem. Building ridiculous and expensive walls is not the solution. Immigration is a complicated problem that cannot be fixed with blanket discrimination. During his campaign, Trump gave not one reasonable solution or even a simple suggestion for how to solve immigration issues. Read his speeches, listen to his interviews, review immigration law, talk to immigrants here legally and illegally before casting a vote based on illegal immigration. If you didn’t do that, you are ignorant.
Any woman, who did not pay attention to or was not appalled by or did not care about the horrendous comments made by Trump about women during his campaign and for all the years he lived before running for president and made a choice to vote for him in spite of his disregard and utter disrespect for women is, by definition, ignorant or stupid.
Or, perhaps they chose to put other issues before their own self-respect. In that case, these women may fall under one of the other groups.
The Small Business Owners:
They fell for Trump’s promise to cut taxes on businesses, unfortunately his promised cuts, which are now a reality, are generally for corporations that eat small businesses for breakfast. It was small businesses, like the small contractors that helped to construct the many Trump properties that later went into bankruptcy, that got stiffed by Trump. Trump has never been for the little guy - whether the little guy is an individual or a small business. He only cares about the big guy, the huge business, the wealthiest, the gaudiest, and the most outrageous. I know many that fall in this small business category, and hearing them try to justify their votes would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic - they wanted so much to believe he would help them. Many of these are people who are well educated and intelligent but they were stupid, not ignorant, to vote for him because they fell for his lies. If you voted for Trump thinking he was a good businessman, you definitely did not do your homework.
Corporate Officers and the Wealthy:
The only group who cannot claim ignorance for their votes is this one. Highly educated, usually well-read and up-to-date on the financial and political news, those in this group voted for Trump based on their knowledge — knowledge that told them he would screw the little guys and help them increase their wealth. They, like Trump, are often unscrupulous, only interested in profits and acquisitions, and rarely interested in the public good.
The I Hate Hillary Group:
This is the tough one. Many people, including some diehard Democrats despised Clinton. Many decided not to vote at all. Some voted for the alternative party candidates or wrote in a name knowing their vote would benefit Trump. I wasn’t a Clinton fan but I read and listened to enough about and from Trump to know that I would vote for Clinton to defeat Trump. Was it a choice I liked? No, but I did my homework and knew who would do the most harm in office — Trump. There is much evidence that the Democratic Party pushed the nomination to Clinton. The Democratic Party carries a lot of blame for the mess we are in now but it is still the obligation of the voter to look at the information, study history, pay attention to what the candidates do and say, and make an informed decision. Some may have thought of Trump as a clown and less harmful than Clinton. I don’t believe those were ignorant or stupid people. I believe they were desperate people who made decisions they hated, hoping for the best.
This list is oversimplified. People are more complicated than lists and labels. No, 63 million people were not ignorant. Some were stupid or greedy or hate-filled or revolutionists. Many were desperate and confused. No matter what labels are used, most chose to believe in a myth rather than the reality of the man who stood before them, and, in my book, that is ignorance.