Donald Trump is President-Elect and I too am shocked, even though I voted for him. And why did I, a gay Latino, vote for a man I was told hates me and people like me? Allow me to explain.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, I laughed and jokingly said I was going to support him. And why not? Every American eligible has the right to run. Donald Trump is a businessman turned into a TV personally with a different view of how the country should be run. Some of his ideas such as keeping America’s military actions secret to protect or eradicate anti-American threats seems reasonable. I especially like his idea of ridding the government of corruption.
As a caregiver, I care for a hemiplegic man with an eccentric personality. I like to swap jokes with him and teased him about my choice, despite growing up Democrat. I wanted to cause a tension, and something to talk about, with the guy. And maybe, because at times he leans into becoming suicidal, to give him a reason to live and vote for Hillary Clinton, whom he absolutely adores and admires. I admit, she has admirable qualities.
As the days turned into weeks and months, I began to see how cruel and rudely the media, especially CNN which he watches religiously, was covering Donald Trump. I was able to distinguish the hypothetical thoughts created and opinions of Donald Trump’s demeanor expressed from what I witnessed. The twisting of some of Trump’s words into something dark or inhuman, when people like myself did not even consider those words to mean anything dark or sadistic but could see the manipulation with their facial expressions and an added tone or inflection. But the guy I care for could not differentiate those differences or create thoughts of his own. The journalists began brainwashing him with their personal and political opinion rather than focusing on becoming objective reporters to allow people to create their own opinions by using facts rather than propaganda. Everything became about focusing on all the negative things he said, present and past, to create some form of evil incarnate for people to hate and fear. And the reporters did not seem the least bit concerned with what they were doing. Because, as time progressed, they all believed he would lose and would be rid of this demon they created in their own and everyone else’s minds.
I was disgusted and disappointed with what I was watching. I saw, firsthand, how their coverage was manipulating minds. It angered me. I went into defense mode to defend Trump when those televised supporters were stumped to quickly provide the right words against the overwhelming hate and televised attacks on a man who clearly is not perfect (like all of us), who makes mistakes, and definitely speaks without forethought of what is coming out of his mouth. The media fed us their own idea of the word “presidential” and said this man does not, could not, nor would ever live up to their belief in meaning of that term.
I refused to listen to their aggrandized coverage of his verbal mishaps or their opinions of it. Out of spite, I refused to listen to Hillary Clinton, whom they believed was the epitome of the word “presidential”—a person who I believe they went to bed thinking they would take credit for in electing the first female president. Instead I focused on Donald Trump’s current messages, the message he gave at his political rallies. After listening to him defend himself, I paid attention to how passionately he spoke on how great America could and should be and some steps he would take to get it to this vision he created. He spoke always with the selfish and prideful thought of America first with its protection and development. I agreed with those thoughts. Some things I did not completely agree with, but the idea of change with someone coming in, outside all the government corruption I believe there is, untouched by the secret deals, favors, and money exchange. It seemed like a small step in the right direction, even though everything seemed against him. I believed maybe my vote will at least start a talk for change.
Then news came that Hillary destroyed information the US government requested from her and, as a lawyer knowledgeable in what to say and do, she avoided punishment. For me, I watched her became the political, governmental corrupt embodiment who brushed her shoulders off, like it all meant nothing to her. I witnessed how Hillary stood back and wore a smug look on her face on many occasions, like all those assholes in my past who believed to be above me, when Donald Trump spoke. The message she mostly pitched was that it is time for the American woman. I’m sorry, but I’m a man and I felt her main message was focusing on the opposite gender. The whole pitch felt like it was time for women to rule. All my life I had been surrounded by women, women who I look up to and I feel are powerful. Her movement seemed pointless and late for me. Especially because I believe women are powerful and already rule. She also seemed lacking in drive, as she seemed to disappear altogether leaving me with only thoughts of defending Trump, while she allowed the media to destroy and defame Donald Trump’s character. Hillary said she would fight for all Americans, despite who they are, and she had one of those chances in front of her the whole time. She could have taken the high road and asked the media to back off. If you want to be a defender of “the people,” it should start with you defending your opponents as it shows you mean what you say and will truly defend even those you disagree with.
While they go low, we go high. Bah, where did that happen? In Hillary’s commercial ads. Did it happen when she was asked to say something nice about Trump? Trump showed us his humanity when he went high and dropped all his political attacks and actually complimented Hillary Clinton. She did not go high. Instead, true to form as a politician gets asked to answer a question they would rather not, she instead danced around the question and complimented his children. (Hillary, you are a harboring coward, get off your high horse and be a real person. Donald, that was presidential and I am proud of you.)
At the end, it seemed like the polls, and the world, agreed in telling Trump, “NO!” I decided I would stand for him one last time, ignore the world, and tell him “yes.” Despite the domineering idea that he would lose, I submitted my ballot with his name. The world was cruel toward this one man with his own ideas and hopes of making a positive change. While he couldn’t hear me as a small meaningless-to -the-world defender from those around me who criticized him, I hoped he would hear it with my vote. And even though it may have seemed the world hated him, there is one person who can forgive and look past the hate.
Donald Trump, I hope you heard my vote through all their hate.