Trump Supporters and Republicans Hate Us: The American Divide Deepens
Shortly after the election, Paul Ewell at Virginia Wesleyan University, dean of the school’s global campus, director of the MBA program, and tenured professor of business, went on Facebook to express his hatred of most Americans.
“If you were ignorant, anti-American, and anti-Christian enough to vote for Biden, I really don’t want to be your friend on social media.... You have corrupted the election. You have corrupted our youth. You have corrupted our country. I have standards and you don’t meet them.”
That was not smart. The resulting uproar at Virginia Wesleyan forced him into an abject apology: “I spoke out of anger which I should not have done. Second, I don’t believe what I said. I have friends and family who are Democrats and I love them dearly.” He had to resign his tenured faculty position, but he got the ultimate sign of approval when Trump tweeted “Progress!” about Ewell’s statement.
I don’t know what Ewell actually believes, but I doubt he dearly loves those anti-American, anti-Christian friends who are Democrats. I don’t know what Trump believes, nor does anyone else. But I know that Trump and Ewell and countless other Republicans, past and present, have convinced millions of Americans to hate Democrats, liberals, Biden voters, us.
The person they like the most violates every principle they say they believe in, and no amount of logic, reason, facts, or willingness to talk makes any difference.
Who are we, objects of so much hatred? As this election, and national elections for the past 30 years, have demonstrated, Democrats represent at least half of the country.
Chances are your child’s doctor and teacher are Democrats. So is your local librarian, the professors at the state university, the taxi drivers in big cities, the actors and athletes you see on TV, the guy (nearly always a guy) who fixes your computer. Most lawyers and government workers and professional poker players and park rangers vote for Democrats. Are all these Democrats anti-American?
A lot of Democrats are not Christian: great majorities of Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Buddists vote Democratic. Maybe the conservatives who hate us think all non-Christians are anti-Christian. If you don’t pray like we do, you must hate Christianity.
But more Catholics identify as Democrats than as Republicans, and mainline Protestants are divided nearly evenly. At least one-quarter of evangelicals are Democrats: are they anti-Christian, too?
Black voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, as are nearly three-quarters of Asian voters and two-thirds of Hispanic voters. Are white Americans the only real Americans? Should we go back to the days of Jim Crow, when nearly all voters were white?
The challenges to black voters in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Atlanta by many Republicans, which nearly all Washington Republicans tacitly supported, only serves to underline both the whiteness of contemporary Republicanism and their disdain for all other colors.
Former Professor Ewell may have been angry because he was surrounded by Democrats. Norfolk, Virginia, home of Virginia Wesleyan, voted 71-26 for Joe Biden. That was true for cities and suburbs across the country, while rural Americans voted overwhelmingly for Trump.
Trump supporters often imagine that he would have won the election if California were excluded. In fact, Biden would still have beaten Trump in both popular vote and the Electoral College without California. Both California and New York would have to be excluded. Is that how Republicans think about America? Are those 60 million people anti-American democrats? Is it morally better to live in the country?
I know lots of Democrats. None of them are anti-American and most of them are Christian. None of them are ignorant. There are some things they hate: lying, trying to subvert our democratic processes, separating kids from their families at the border, systemic racism, con men.
People like former Professor Ewell and Donald Trump and many in between say that makes them anti-American, which is like what Ku Klux Klan leaders said 100 years ago.
The uses of hatred are apparent in Georgia’s unresolved Senate elections. Both Republican candidates accuse their Democratic opponents of being anti-American, without using that term. David Perdue said Jon Ossoff is a “trust fund socialist who lives off his family’s money-making documentary movies that no one’s ever watched.”
Kelly Loeffler said victories by Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock would “literally shred the fabric of what makes our country the greatest in the world.”
Americans are dividing themselves into warring sides. One side, a white, poorly informed, nasty minority, says the other side is anti-American, pumped up by Trump’s assertions that Democrats are traitors and communists, that Biden would “hurt God”, that Kamala Harris is “a monster”, and that Democrats successfully plotted to steal the election.
This rump of America can listen all day to shouting voices on TV and radio who tell them their hatred is virtuous. The liberals around them, whom they see every day, somehow don’t count. The person they like the most violates every principle they say they believe in. No amount of logic, reason, facts or willingness to talk makes any impression.
I have no idea what to do about it, and neither apparently does anyone else. Their hatred does not diminish us. It diminishes them.