Placate your abuser

Charles Taylor doesn’t buy the story that’s being pushed, that we “elites” mustn’t judge people who voted for Trump on the grounds that “Trump voters are too disenfranchised or despised or dismissed to be held morally responsible for their choices.”

It’s just that they resent us, the story goes. It’s just that they hate us for looking down on them. We must sympathize with them, for the sake of having a dialogue.

Time was when battered women were told by police or by their priests that they must try not to antagonize their abusive husbands. That is exactly how Americans of color, gay Americans, undocumented immigrants, and women are now being addressed: They’re being told they must respect people who believe they have the right to jail, deport, or beat — if not yet kill — anyone who makes them uncomfortable. Because, of course, unlike the black or brown or queer people on the coasts, those Trump voters are the real America.

The apologists for Donald Trump voters have given their imprimatur to a culture that equates knowledge and expertise with elitism, a culture ignorant of the history of the country it professes to love and contemptuous of the content of its founding documents. Trump said his campaign would prove the experts wrong. He was right. The Trump supporters who in the last few weeks have contributed to the sudden surge in hate crimes, often invoking the name of their candidate, have shown, much more than the experts, they understand exactly what his candidacy was about.

It’s not as if Trump ever made it a secret.

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