We Can Disagree About Politics but Not Human Decency

If you support Donald Trump, what else are you supporting?

Protestors walk along Court Street to the county services building in downtown Reading, PA on November 6, 2020 where people marched and protested in opposition to the possibility that some of the votes from the election would not be counted. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle/Getty Images

Elections are supposed to be an opportunity to vote for your political beliefs. They are a partisan battle to turn states blue or red. A right-side versus left-side standoff. But let’s not kid ourselves by saying that this is the case for the 2020 presidential election.

This time around, this isn’t a fight between the two major political parties. You’re not voting on a Democratic or Republican leader. You’re voting on whether or not you want the president of the United States to have basic human decency.

We can agree to disagree. That’s the beautiful thing about our world. We have the right to have our own political beliefs, our own priorities, our own personal opinions. Part of a free country is being free to express your uniqueness. We can disagree politically. We can be friends and have different political beliefs. I truly wholeheartedly believe that.

But we can’t disagree with what human decency means.

If you are going to support the oppression and disrespect of human beings, then we cannot be friends.

Don’t get me wrong: You are free to have your own political beliefs. But we need to separate political beliefs from human decency. We can disagree on policies. You can be liberal or conservative. I may not agree with you, but I will respect it. Everyone is raised a certain way and prioritized some things more than others. We can disagree with where money should be put into the economy. We can disagree on policies and the environment. However, freedom of speech is also accompanied by the responsibility of not harming or hurting others.

But this election is about more than political beliefs. I think a lot of people have forgotten that. Or even worse, they know and they just don’t care. On social media, there has been an ongoing trend of people posting “We can disagree and still be friends.” If you are going to support the oppression and disrespect of human beings, then we cannot be friends.

When I look at the numbers for the 2020 presidential election, I don’t see half of the U.S. population voting for the Republican party. I see half of the population voting for a man who time and time again has disrespected human beings.

The president of the United States is an old White man who has boatloads of money. This does not make him unfit for the presidency (after all, almost every president has been an old White man), but it does speak a lot to the privilege he faces every single day.

Donald Trump has time and time again disrespected women. He has discounted Black lives. He has taken rights away from the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout his time in office, he has found a way to practically disrespect every non-White community I can think of. Donald Trump has made so many concerning statements in his campaigns and during his time in office. He has spread false news and said disrespectful things in public. He has acted in ways that would get him fired in any other job.

However, he still holds the most powerful post in the United States.

Does that not seem wrong to anyone else? Imagine if a Fortune 500 CEO made jokes about sexual assault. Imagine if a medical professional told everyone that laundry detergent would cure them of Covid-19. They would be fired in a heartbeat. Yet with Donald Trump, it’s brushed off as another item on a long list of baloney that comes out of his mouth. For some reason, some Americans support these inappropriate comments and lies because they think it means that Trump is being honest and saying things that most politicians usually don’t.

Do you know why they don’t say those things? Because they are wrong. And absolutely disrespectful.

Voting may be over. The election may be over. But don’t for a moment think that this movement is over.

To every single person supporting Trump, I have one thing to say to you: Stop hiding behind politics. I don’t care what your political beliefs are. I don’t care if you are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. Those are just labels that we put on political systems. Politics have nothing to do with human decency though.

And if you voted Republican, you voted for a man who does not respect human beings. You’re voting for a party that is supporting a man who is unapologetically misogynistic, homophobic, and racist. You decided that those characteristics of basic human decency are not deal-breakers. You decided that your economic or policy belief is more important than human rights.

I’m not trying to promote hate. Hate destroys and we should be striving to build. Build tolerance and build acceptance. Please just think about what you want your voice to stand for. What you are willing to accept.

Voting may be over. The election may be over. But don’t for a moment think that this movement is over.

This is another crossroads where you decide what side of history you want to be on. Because you cannot be naive enough to think this was just a battle for the presidency. It’s a battle for human rights.

Think about this that next time you tell someone that “we can disagree and still be friends.”

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing … or both | jessicalim.me | Contact me: jessicalim813@gmail.com

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