Episode 22 - Stop "Supporting" Trump
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
I want you to stop supporting Trump. Seriously. Stop it right now.
You can like the president. You can love the president. You can agree with the president’s judicial and cabinet appointments, his handling of the economy, foreign affairs, domestic policies, and the like. Heck, you can even adore his outlandish, brash tweets both before and after becoming president. But, for the love of all that is good and holy, please stop supporting the president!
I suppose I could understand how someone who agrees with what the president is doing would say they “support” him, just as someone who disagrees would say they “oppose” him. But—to be honest—it’s never really crossed my mind to support or oppose Trump. Quite frankly, I believe doing either is a dangerous oversimplification of our civic duty.
Perhaps you’re thinking I’m getting all hung up on some trivial semantic. What difference does it make? Well, there was a time when expressing support of a president would have simply been understood to mean one supported the president’s agenda as it was currently understood and would likely vote for them again. but that does not appear to be a valid option in today’s political climate.
Words and their meanings do evolve over time. We no longer presume that someone described as “gay” refers to their jolly disposition. Calling someone a “liberal” today means something quite different than it did in the early days of the American republic, when “liberal” referred to support for natural rights and government of the people over authoritarian monarchy.
And in the context of our current political climate it is extremely important we discern what being a “Trump supporter” actually means. I don’t mean that it’s meaningless to support the president; but I do mean that the way in which that word is commonly used today carries with some dangerous connotations. Namely, “support” isn’t specific enough and, more and more, it’s coming to mean unquestioning fealty in a manner that was never required of conservatives in the past.
In this episode I take a deep dive into the shallow politics surrounding the support/oppose model of looking at the president and examine why this way of looking at the world is contrary to the conservative worldview.