In Donald Trump's America, Civil Discourse Isn't Even an Option
There's a saying I use fairly often -- I didn't even coin it, and I'm not sure who did, but I use it good-naturedly when somebody drops something or messes up in a humorous way. I often say, "This is why we can't have nice things." It's a joke, of course, but I'm beginning to feel that way about the 2016 presidential campaign. And Donald Trump and his supporters bear the blame for making me feel this way.
The idea of a Trump campaign held a lot of promise for folks on the right -- and then The Donald opened his mouth. As the Trump campaign has gone on and gathered more and more steam, Trump has become increasingly brazen about saying things that are beyond the pale. He has gone after women in the most misogynistic way. He has resorted to name calling over and over when he can't respond substantively to an attack. He has alienated entire ethnic groups. He lost me when he said (while claiming to be a Christian) that he hasn't done anything for which he needed to ask God's forgiveness. I could go on and on, but you get the point.
His supporters have become increasingly insufferable as well. I can't get on social media without seeing friends post the most unreasonable things about Trump. One of my long-time friends (who I always thought was pretty reasonable) shared a meme-style photo that read: "You're Anti-Trump? Good for you! I bet you're either a Muslim, illegal, or living off the gov't. [sic]."
I would only consider a handful of my friends who are Trump backers as reasonable in supporting their chosen candidate, and therein lies the problem with the Trumpites. They have chosen to embrace the smug and unreasonable, and they've chosen to throw all pretense of civil discourse out the window.
Erick Erickson has placed himself at the forefront of the #NeverTrump movement. I listen to his show live or via podcast nearly every day, and his opposition to Trump has always come from a position of reason and principle, with the right amount of humor thrown in for good measure.
Of course, this hasn't stopped Trump's backers from attacking Erickson in the worst ways. Last week, Erick played a couple of voice mails that illustrated perfectly the tactics that Trumpbots use in going after those who disagree with them.
One woman called in all the way from Wyoming (even though Erickson's show airs in Atlanta):
Erick Erickson, this is Blossom Grace. I am very disgusted at your anti-Trump campaign, and I would hope that you would just knock it off, and if you can't be civil, just be nothing at all. And if you continue to blast Trump against the will of the people who are voting for him, we will boycott your station. We will share it virally - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter - it's going to continue, and we will not stop until you stop bashing Trump.