Meredith Carroll: What your Trump vote tells all our girls
He didn’t get my vote although I might still end up being a contributing factor in extending Donald Trump’s White House tenure. That’s because if Trump wins a second term, the victory will be more emblematic of an obscene gesture than a thumbs up.
“For many people, he’s the only middle finger available — to brandish against the people who’ve assumed they have the whip hand in American culture,” Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative magazine National Review, wrote recently. “This may not be a very good reason to vote for a president, and it doesn’t excuse Trump’s abysmal conduct and maladministration.”
Yet much like Trump’s genocidal nonresponse to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is what it is. “No one is voting for his barely sketched-out second-term agenda.” Rather, Lowry said, Trump is “the foremost symbol of resistance to the overwhelming woke cultural tide … (a) vessel for registering opposition to everything from the 1619 Project to social media’s attempted suppression of the Hunter Biden story.”
There are those who lie awake at night agonizing over the hardships of others and there are those who fall asleep smirking at others’ agony and hardship. That’s how I’d explain four more years of Trump to my 9- and 12-year-old daughters: The people who take pleasure in jamming the cogwheels of social and racial justice won out over the people who find peace in seeing those causes advanced.
Regardless of who wins Nov. 3, though, your ballot cast in Trump’s favor already renders all of our girls this election’s biggest losers, because you necessarily voted against them when you voted for him. When Amy Coney Barrett starts setting the clock back, our girls will quickly learn that it is Trump supporters who can be directly blamed for the lack of access to affordable sexual health screenings. (And since your vote proves no small amount of fecklessness, go ahead and let the girls know they can call on me for help when they or one of their friends eventually require a quick trip down to Mexico.)
Should anxiety come to plague our girls over why Black lives matter but, not, say, Joe Biden’s son’s overseas business doings, they’re welcome to come over to my place for some coffee (or juice) and a frank discussion about the difference between journalism, opinion, fear mongering and fake news. (You also are welcome to tag along since you clearly struggle making the distinction.)
As the death toll continues multiplying exponentially and our girls learn of more friends, loved ones, teachers and neighbors affected by COVID-19, let them know you voted for the guy whose administration decided “we’re not going to control the pandemic.” Then remind the girls that they can come to me and I’ll be waiting with a face mask, hand sanitizer and shelter from your wanton ignorance.
Your vote for Trumps tells our girls that some of their biggest problems in life — and the lives of their girls — will likely be made demonstrably worse because you were more interested in revenge than righteousness.
When our girls are exploited on campus, paid less than their male counterparts for the same work, or feel unloved, unwelcome or unequal by virtue of being LGBTQ, I’ll make a point to be there for them because it’s critical that they know there exist people for whom sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, gaslighting and narcissism are deal breakers. And just as Mr. Rogers used to encourage kids to “look for the helpers,” I’d argue it’s equally, if not more important that they learn to identify who’s working against them, and that oftentimes those people wear expensive clothes and have fancy titles.
You can vote with your middle finger or vote for our girls; just know that you can’t do both at the same time, at least not in this election.
More at MeredithCarroll.com and on Twitter @MCCarroll.
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