Millennial Trump supporters should realize what that says about them

by Sydney Sweeney, Staff Columnist

There are few things more laughable than seeing college students supporting Donald Trump on social media. But when liberal millennials realize that some of these people are old grade school friends, an uncomfortable feeling might settle in, especially if they belong to one of the marginalized groups that Trump regularly dehumanizes.

Suddenly the liberal conscious overwhelms with sleep-impeding negativities: How could anyone share their Scooby-Doo fruit snacks with some kid who grew to be a right-winger? Did that seventh grade BFF end up a xenophobic, pro-life, pro-gun advocate for the so-called American Dream? Possibly. But Trump supporters are decent people — according to them.

Knowing that everyone suspects the worst from them, these voters must remain prepared to explain their advocacy for this year’s GOP candidate, and for good reason. He is a living abomination who represents good old white American patriarchy.

Millennials who back Trump insist that their vote has nothing to do with his rhetoric or behavior and everything to do with “Making America Great Again.” This phrase resonates with millennials who subscribe to regressive ideologies, false media conspiracies and who want Hillary Clinton in prison.

It is the ambiguity of Trump’s campaign slogan that baits these young conservatives. While Trump and his older followers tirade about the loss of American greatness, young voters nod along without questioning how today’s America, more equal than ever before, is devilish. After all, this version of the United States is the only one millennials have experienced.

Families influence young people’s political attitudes more than anything else, so perhaps Republican parents are to blame for adult children deciding to support Trump. Some millennials have admitted to supporting him just because he is a Republican.

Is voting Republican a ride-or-die situation for conservative millennials? Apparently. They are such partisans that they would rather let the country be run by a man who jokes about being a sexual predator than a Democrat who is less offensive, more qualified and intent on keeping the nation moving forward.

But progress is not something that will “Make America Great Again.”

Josiah Lippincott, a political science major at Hillsdale College, told the Independent Journal Review that he “(yearns) for the Founders’ vision of America characterized by limited government, low taxes, strong families, and free association.”

A euphemism-free translation of that statement would reveal that Lippincott — and anyone who agrees with him — wants the preservation of a systemically discriminatory government, one that claims anyone can succeed if they just try really, really hard. The kind that does not act against obvious socioeconomic or sociocultural inequity.

Millennial Trump supporters must be blind to the systemically prejudiced policies that Trump champions because they have not experienced discrimination. They are not labeled as inner city folks, murderers, rapists or terrorists that are supposedly destroying the nation.

They are overwhelmingly cisgender, straight, white and Christian, raised in comfortable homes with access to healthcare and higher education. Issues that are important to liberals, such as LGBT rights, gender equality, free healthcare and education, gun violence prevention and racial justice do not affect people who benefit from the current social hierarchy. They hear about the social and economic issues that Democrats like Hillary Clinton address, but do not experience them.

Trump’s millennial supporters are quick to argue that their candidate is a humanitarian. He is good for the gays, they say, despite his running mate being an infamous anti-LGBT heterosexist.

As Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence approved legislation to allow businesses to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation. The claim that Trump is “good” for the LGBT community, like the claim he is “good” for women, is unwarranted and dismissable.

It has been saddening to see young women support Trump. He has been accused of more than a dozen sexual assaults, he regularly degrades women and he does not speak on women’s issues while campaigning. On the contrary, Clinton has said that during her presidency, she will work to close the pay gap, protect women’s reproductive rights, paid leave and affordable childcare. But conservative young women are more concerned with her marriage and email habits to consider that Trump is an epitomic misogynist.

Progressives are embroiled in a battle against the return of the type of society Trump and his supporters envision, one in which everyone other than white men were worse off. Lockstep party loyalty is not worth the the damage done to life-long relationships. Conservative millennials should shed their delusions of moral superiority and take a hard look at Trump as his campaign sputters, stumbles and nose-dives into its final week. It is not too re-think support for Trump — but it must begin now.

 

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