Notes from the Abyss

The musings of geographer, journalist, and author David M. Lawrence

How have I been harmed by Trump voters?

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. – The Trump phenomenon has unleashed an especially pernicious strain of vileness in this nation.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

It’s not the unjustified and unconstrained ego and arrogance. It’s not the celebration of greed, of wealth accumulated at the expense of tens—maybe hundreds—of thousands of hard-working people. It’s not the flagrant disregard for the hard-won achievements of the human intellect. It’s not a lot of things that I find fault with in Trump.

The vileness Trump has unleashed is the total disparagement of the experiences, the struggles of and the trauma inflicted upon others in the all-too-hostile world.

I feel compelled to speak out because of something that was posted in a comment on my Facebook page. I shared a news item—from a reputable news organization—about government scientists and others depending on government science fearing the scrubbing from the Internet of scientifically vital websites and databases that are essential tools to help us understand the natural world around us.

Yes, scientists ARE scared. And for good reason: such scrubbing has been implemented by recent governments in the United States and Canada. But this, as disturbing as the possibility is, is not the point of this post.

The point of this post concerns the comment: someone I do not know—and whom I subsequently blocked—posted a graphic, a cartoon with an adult in a suit and tie and a kid examining a doll. The adult is pointing to the doll and telling the child, “Please show on this doll where Trump voters have hurt you.”

For those of you who have missed the last three decades of child sex abuse cases, the cartoon is based on a good investigative technique: small children rarely have the language to describe a sexual assault on them, but they can use the doll to point out where and how they were assaulted.

I can’t say if the Trump voter who posted cartoon hurt me, but he damned sure made me angry. Whether or not you want to know why, I am going to tell you.

I … am a sexual assault survivor.

So there it is. I’ve said it. You’ve read it. I have long since come to a truce with what happened.

If I want to talk about it, I will. Otherwise, I don’t care to have the subject brought up.

I hope you understand.

But I will say this. The callousness, the heartlessness of the pieceo’shit who created that cartoon and of that sonofabitch who shared it on my timeline is well below the level I consider appalling.

If this kind of behavior is what constitutes making America great again, no thanks. I’ll pass.

But—I hate to sound like a game show announcer—that’s not all. Trump voters are already affecting me personally. They may already have cost me a job that I was in the running for, a job where I can use my training and skills to make the world a safer, better place for humans as well as our non-human neighbors.

If Trump carries out the GOP platform, those Trump voters may have harmed me in many ways:

They may have cost my wife her job.

They may have undercut my children’s ability to get the health care they need as they get older.

They may have destroyed the disability support my son needs and that my daughter may eventually need to live independently and with some measure of dignity after my wife and I are gone.

They may have relegated my daughter to subservient status in a world full of predatory and entitled males.

They may have undermined the scientific search for a disease that may slowly destroy my daughter’s ability to live a full and unrestricted life.

They may have destroyed the environment that billions depend upon for sustenance and that I have grown to love over my five decades of life.

And they have made me—a mixed-race adult who grew up during Jim Crow and whose ancestors (both slave and immigrant) were persecuted by our government (back when it was “great,” I guess; and, yes, I have documents to prove it)—they have made me feel unwelcome again in the land of my birth.

So, dear Trump voters, is that harm enough?

Or do you just not care, as I suspect most of you don’t.


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