I write this to support all of you out there who may have found yourself in a similar position as me. It’s a horrifying position that I hoped I would never find myself in, yet here I am.
Yes, I have a loved one who is a Trump supporter. And it’s not like they are supporting him in a satirical or hypothetical or even a devil’s advocate kind of way. My loved one actually plans to go to the voting booth on November 8 and check off that spot next to Trump’s name that says he should be the President of the United States.
Yes, I’m heartbroken. Yes, I need to maintain my relationship with this loved one. No, I cannot talk about it with them or else I may simply erupt like Vesuvius with an ocean of words just pouring out me like racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, idiotic, or egomaniac. I could go on. I need to preserve our family, so I will never utter Trump’s name in my loved one’s presence. Thankfully, they know enough about me to avoid talking politics altogether. After all, we’ve watched Fox News together and they definitely know where I stand.
So here are the seven stages of grief you may go through if you, too, find out that someone you love is going to support Trump:
“No!” I hollered into the phone at my loved one’s spouse. “I know,” she whispered. “I can’t believe it either. It’s like he’s been brainwashed or something.”
That’s it, I think. It has to be brainwashing — or some kind of viral infection. I mean, I share the same blood as this person. How could we believe so differently?
“How are you doing?” I say to my loved one’s spouse, genuinely curious about what it would be like to live with a person who is going to vote for a man who basically believes that women are on planet Earth to have nice legs.
“We just don’t talk about it,” she says and then sighs. I can feel the weight of the world in that sigh.
When I went to my loved one’s home, I pretended like Fox News wasn’t blaring in the background. I pretended like we were one big, happy family where one of its members hadn’t lost their mind. I pretended until I was biting my tongue so hard that I was drawing blood, and I may have given myself an ulcer. And then I went home, and I entered the next stage.
I mean seriously. Seriously? How could any American decide that someone who lives to ignite anger, hate, fear, and run-on sentences should be our leader? No one is safe from him: women, gold-star families, war heroes, minorities, people with disabilities, freaking babies. How could my loved one believe all of that bullshit about building a wall? Really, people?! A wall?!
America, we’re better than that. And we are all immigrants. Every single one of us. So think about that.
One day I prayed, Dear God, please help my loved one see that Trump is totally bat-shit crazy. And then the Republican convention happened. And then Trump kept opening his mouth and speaking, his hate-filled rhetoric spewing forth from every screen, and I thought for sure all of my prayers had been answered.
“Did you guys watch the news?” I said to my loved one’s spouse one night.
“Yes,” she said. “And?” I said.
“He still supports him.”
“How is that possible?! Trump literally said, ‘I like people who weren’t captured.'”
She just sighed.
I mean, did I push him too far the other way with all of my “Hillary for 2016” talk way back in 2008? Could I have somehow unplugged the Fox News channel without him knowing it? Could I have prevented any of this? Probably not.
Oh God. I’m just going to drown my sorrows in all these old David Letterman interviews with Trump (hilarious) and try to remember that most Americans are kind-hearted and intelligent enough to not vote for someone who cannot go three minutes without lying. They actually timed him.
7. Acceptance (and Hope)
Well, I guess we all get to have our own opinion — even if the safety of the entire world depends on at least most of us agreeing that Trump is just messing with us. I will just have to accept that my loved one is unequivocally wrong but is still a good person.
So there you have it. These are the stages of grief you can expect if you happen to find out that one of your loved ones has gone over to the dark side of the podium.
We will just have to stick together until November 9th when, hopefully, the world will make sense again — after Trump remembers that he actually doesn’t care about being in politics and he goes back to his golden castle and his golden throne and probably all of his golden light fixtures.