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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 3 years ago

Chris Jepson: "You may be right."

For a liberal libertarian such as myself, I find it unfathomable that anyone supports Donald Trump.
by: Chris Jepson Staff Writer

Just how dumb are you? We’re not supposed to categorize “those” who think differently from ourselves “that” way. I know. It’s hard not to do. Of course, semantics gets in the way. How does dumb differentiate from ignorant? Is racist dumb or just the lazy byproduct of ignorance? Where do selfishness and simplicity fit into the equation?

I’ve had “dumb” benchmarks over the years. The Vietnam War created categories of people for me. Back in my intolerant 20s, whether or not you subscribed to a personal god indicated a level of intelligence, that you had embraced superstition and myth at the expense of rational, reflective thought. I’ve let that one go as I’ve encountered sufficient numbers of the “godly” who practice my values to have not discarded the folly of youthful certainty.

Besides, as my brother, Uncle Stevie, has observed we Jepsons practice “things” religiously but not in church.

I attended a rooftop party in 2005 or 2006. A group of women were chatting away and as I am wont to do, I introduced politics into the conversation. The war in Iraq was/is a first magnitude, unmitigated tragedy for America, let alone for the Iraqis. I suggested to the group that voting for Bush 43 in 2004 was a litmus test for stupidity. I thought the man extremely light in the loafers yet I was somewhat understanding if you voted for him in 2000, but to have done so again in 2004 was unforgivable stupidity.

Much laughter and agreement ensued, but then a visiting woman with Texas hair volunteered that she had proudly done exactly that. Sometimes in life, it’s better not to volunteer such facts. There wasn’t an audible group gasp, but eyes narrowed, furrows developed and the laughter began. Miss Texas Hair soon exited stage right. She proved incapable of intelligently explaining why she voted for a president who so cavalierly and disastrously led America to its knees in Iraq.

Much has been written concerning the polarization of America today. I trust my readers to already have an understanding of the reasons. For a liberal libertarian such as myself, I find it unfathomable that anyone supports Donald Trump.

There is no intellectual foundation to the man. In some respects there is no man there in any positive sense. He’s a 70-year-old child of a man and not a particularly endearing one at that.

The question becomes how does one arrive at supporting Donald Trump? Unwavering lifelong Republicans support him. Pro-life advocates, too. If it’s “just for money” as in lower taxes and corporate profitability I ask what good is it to profit if our nation’s air and water quality suffers as a result of Trump’s actions? Pro-life perversely becomes merely pro-birth if Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the other federal and state human services programs are cut so that the already wealth-off can have yet more of the national pie.

Is dumb the appropriate word to describe Trump supporters? What about shallow? Sexist? Simplistic? Superficial? Selfish? Susceptible? Juvenile? Infantile? Uninformed? Uneducated? Jingoistic? Misled? Myopic? Miserable? Angry? Embarrassing? Let alone, fools.

I am well aware how the Right characterizes my beliefs. I venture they would include many of the above adjectives.

My worldly buddy, the late great John Fisher recommended that one offer the following riposte of, “You may be right,” during particularly heated exchanges (in order to facilitate social decorum). We laughed.

Of course, we both knew what that meant.

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