About three years ago, I wrote an article for The Flat Hat about not judging people for their political party or whom they voted for in the election without first knowing what they believe in. At the time, this was meant as an encouragement to foster discussion among people with differing opinions in a divided nation.
I was wrong.
In that article, I used Donald Trump supporters as an extreme example of judging someone in such a way that you isolate them from wishing to foster a constructive discussion. And maybe some of that is still true; these people are still part of our country and they will not be going anywhere — even if some of them mention moving to Canada despite criticizing Democrats four years earlier for saying the same thing — not to mention their views on immigration.
Oh wait, I just did.
President Joe Biden has made it clear that he does not want to isolate these voters in his administration. And while I admire his drive to heal the divide in our nation that has been exacerbated by a man who over the past four years has spread nothing but fear, hatred and misinformation, I personally can no longer excuse anyone who voted for Donald Trump when he has made it very clear what he stands for. And I can no longer excuse the Republican Party for standing by him as he attempted to undermine the democratic institutions that make up the very foundation of this country. I’m sorry that I ever did so in the first place. The sad part is that I wrote this article a few months ago, long before the Jan. 6 insurrection or the second impeachment trial.
A vote for Donald Trump is a vote against freedom. It is a vote against peace, and it is a vote against truth. Racism and xenophobia, a disregard for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, democracy and science are deal breakers. Over 200,000 Americans dead because of an administration’s failure to act is a deal breaker.
This election was not a bipartisan issue; it was a battle for everything we stand for as Americans and as human beings. The values of Trumpism cannot and should not be legitimized with open discussion. What happened in this presidency should never be allowed to happen again.
That being said, we must be kind. We must not make this a fight against the Republican Party, but rather a fight for the people of this country who have rights that deserve to be upheld. And that includes the right to vote. Former — that was a fun edit — President Trump cannot ignore the voice of the people. His desperate and baseless legal Hail Mary to uncover widespread election fraud and maintain his grip on the presidency will only continue to shine a light on the lack of ethics that the supposed leaders of our country have in continuing to stand by him.
Over my four years at the College of William and Mary, I have grown as a person — well, not literally, I am still kind of short — and I hope people reading this can do the same. It’s okay to be wrong, but instead of losing dozens of legal cases trying to prove otherwise and not paying your lawyers, you should own up to it.
We need to be better than the ugliness that the American name has invoked over the last four years. That being said, if anyone wants a video of me hitting a Trump piñata with a bat, I think my email is somewhere below.
Dylan Koury ‘21 is a finance and economics major with a concentration in business analytics. He’s Vice President of Logistics on the Mock Trial team and occasionally performs stand up comedy on campus. Email Dylan at firstname.lastname@example.org.