Flat White

I don’t like Donald Trump, but don’t hate him enough to be fashionable

20 September 2020

4:00 PM

20 September 2020

4:00 PM

Just for the record because everything is on the record: I doubt I could ever vote for Donald Trump.  

My problem is I just I don’t hate him as much as I should. 

I’m not overly in love with Jacinda Ardern either though I recognise her empathy. Yes, I know Churchill was occasionally racist but he did save Europe and I often wonder why Greta Thunberg isn’t back in school. It’s more an irritable passive aggression I apply to most politicians and anyone on social media who uses a Thumbs Up to like my posts.  

These days though, this isn’t good enough. Defining this presidential election as an existential battle between good and evil means you cant just dislike the Trump presidency or cynically view it in the bigger picture of Presidential American Gothic from Nixon to Clinton to George W Bush 

The message is clear, from commentators who are claim nothing is binary and yet are very binary when it comes to the presidential election: you must consider Trump evil and Biden-Harris the second coming of Barack. 

Despite what the Twitter hordes claim, for many of us with a more Zen approach this too will pass. Politically things are rarely clear cut and for those totally amazed that anyone could not hate Trump as much as they do, let me say it is complicated, and yes, as is the modern trend, we have a list of grievances. 

Acknowledge the protest violence: Most of us aren’t stupid so aren’t particularly fooled by Republican Convention attempts to paint Trump as some compassionate friend of minority groups. But watching coverage of BLM protests across America that includes the burning down of buildings, looting and violence it should be acknowledged in the media and not downplayed.  Not in a partisan way but just because it’s a fact (we are intelligent enough to tell the difference).  Having a CNN reporter describing the raging fires behind him as a ‘largely peaceful protest’ makes him look stupid and makes us laugh when we probably shouldn’t 

Stop the double standards: We all get that Trump is a narcissistic sexist pig with a dubious past, so dont necessarily need this to be endlessly pointed out to us in an aggressive manner with the largely redundant observation he is unfit for office. We completely agree he fails the character test — though did you apply the same test to Bill Clinton? And given some of the former incumbents what does being unfit for office mean anyway? 

We are bemused by the blind eye turned to Biden when he makes racist observations such as ‘if youre black and dont vote Democratic youre not black,’ or when he is accused of sexually assaulting a former staff member and the media seem to bury it while digging for the next lurid Trump sex story 

We particularly don’t understand how Kamala Harris as a woman of colour has agreed to be his running mate when she is on record as saying she believes the accuser and she strongly implies during the debates that Biden was a racist (an accusation a complicit media allowed her to explain away as mere debate rhetoric). Can we just dump the piety and acknowledge both sides are whatever-it-takes cynics? 

Stop shouting at us: Firstly it’s very annoying but it also implies we’re stupid as you explain how partisan Fox News is or how inappropriate the latest Trump foot-in-mouth was. We can work it out ourselves and don’t need the endless hate-Trump memes of actual and contrived incidents on our Twitter feeds so we understand. To be honest, it just makes you look like you have way too much free time and need to get a hobby. Maybe something outdoors involving guns. 

Mostly though being shouty, covers-up when you are wrong such as with Covington schoolboy whom the media said was the personification of Trump arrogance when he passively stood in front of a Native American protester while wearing a MAGA cap. This was shouty media vitriol on a world scale (including our own ABC and recently on a shameless The Project both of which should probably see their lawyers). But then it turned out none of this was true and Nick Sandmann won a massive settlement from media organizations including CNN.   

We don’t support Trump, but if you were wrong about this what else are you wrong about and why do you have to keep shouting? 

Michael Scammell is a former US Consulate Media Officer. He writes at https://mdswords.wordpress.com and Tweets at @MichaelScammell.


Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments