If You Don’t Care About Your Neighbors, You Might Not Be A Good Person

I know people, who consider themselves to be good people, who voted for Trump in 2016. They told me they didn’t vote for him because they don’t like gays, or black people, or Spanish speakers. That wasn’t them, they said. They had other reasons, like a strong dislike for Hillary or maybe even her emails. Their vote had nothing to do with racial animus, or gay hating, or stuff like that. It’s possible to imagine that in 2016 some people did not take Trump’s dog whistles seriously. It’s possible to imagine that they, perhaps, had good intentions with their vote, maybe even misgivings. In 2018, however, this is no longer possible.

The policies of Trump are now the policies of the GOP at large. These policies may not seem to affect you personally, but they directly affect many of your neighbors and fellow citizens. It is now very clear what Trumpism means and what a vote for any Republican also means. No one can claim ignorance.

If you think it’s okay for your gay, lesbian, or trans neighbors to be fired or turned away from any business for who they are, to be denied equal marriage rights, to be tortured with “conversion” therapy, or to be humiliated at school, you might not be a good person.

If you think it’s okay for your black neighbors to be threatened, humiliated, or shot for going about their own business in life, you might not be a good person.

If you think it’s okay to threaten and humiliate your Latinx neighbors because of the language they speak, or their culture, or for not being white, you might not be a good person.

If you think Jews, or Muslims, or atheists are “ruining” your life or your country, you might not be a good person.

If you think a woman’s experience of sexual assault, harassment, or rape is unimportant or less important than a man’s consequences, you might not be a good person.

If you think it’s okay to spurn desperate refugees whose lives are in danger because they don’t look like you or they worship differently, you might not be a good person.

If you think it’s okay to separate children from their parents at our borders, with no plan for bringing them together again, in order to “scare” desperate people away from our country, you might not be a good person.

If you think it’s okay that your neighbor’s husband or wife is deported without their (citizen) family, you might not be a good person.

If you think it’s okay to arm every teacher, but you’re unwilling to consider reasonable gun controls to prevent dead schoolchildren, you might not be a good person.

If you think guns are the answer to anything, you might not be a good person.

If you think your religion is more important than anyone else’s, you might not be a good person.

If you think science can’t help us to understand our impact on this planet, you might not be a good person.

If you think that your neighbors shouldn’t have the same opportunities for healthcare, food, and education that you do, you might not be a good person.

If you think that some people are more deserving of government help than others, you might not be a good person.

If you think that the spoiling of our earth, air, and water is okay as long as some people can make money from it (and as long as it’s not in your back yard), you might not be a good person.

If you think that lead-poisoned water for an entire community is okay (as long as it’s not your community), you might not be a good person.

If you think that homelessness isn’t your problem, and you wish they would just disappear, you might not be a good person.

If you think that our democracy and the voices of your fellow citizens don’t matter, you might not be a good person.

If you think that every person in your town isn’t deserving of compassion or kindness, you might not be a good person.

If you think that the right-wing hatred of neoNazis has nothing to do with you, if you think “it can’t happen here,” or if you think you’re better than or even separate from your neighbors, you are deluding yourself.

At this point, if you are voting for Trumpism (“Republicanism” is dead), then you are voting for all of these things. And if all this is okay with you, you just might not be a good person.

Writer, painter, cat fancier, troublemaker, democratic socialist, & antifascist.