We Deserve Donald Trump

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As I sat down to write this article, I thought of several different ways I could go about beginning what I wanted to say. I thought about posting a politically relatable quote about the state of our country after last night’s Presidential Debate. I considered starting, as I usually do, with an off-the-wall analogy that I would then EXPERTLY tie back into my main theme (shout out Freshman year English class). None of these options made me feel satisfied in my approach because, to be honest with you, satisfaction in this political year may be a pipe dream.

The town hall presidential debate that took place last night between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was, objectively, two of the worst hours you could imagine spending. It was full of crude jokes, lies, denials of actual facts, and then Hillary Clinton also got to talk at some points. It was like watching your parents fill their divorce papers out in front of you for an entire evening. However, nothing stood out more than a remarkably horrifying moment when Donald Trump, commenting about Hillary Clinton’s emails scandal, retorted that, if he were president, he would have her prosecuted and thrown in jail. This line was met with applause. I don’t think I’m capturing that moment correctly. A presidential nominee threatened to throw the other nominee in jail and a crowd that had been silent until this point erupted in cheers. That moment still hasn’t left me.

Take away, for a second, the fact the comment was even made. For what it’s worth, Donald Trump is basically a racist, hate enfused label maker, spitting out various one line phrases towards anyone standing in his way. The most encapsulating moment of that entire debate was the sound of the applause upon delivering that line. It became clearer than ever, at that moment, that Donald Trump is exactly the type of person we deserve as president, because we as a country have failed to stop him from getting to that exact moment in time.

The blame, though, isn’t just on who you think it is. When I say all of us, that blame spreads far and wide among every political sector one can imagine. There are, however, varying degrees to which we should carry the blame. It isn’t a blanket over the entire system, but if there is one thing Donald Trump has succeeded at, it is forcing every single one of us to confront the flaws within ourselves that have allowed parasites like him to infect the entire political body. So, let us take a look at who is responsible for what:

 

Liberals

I want this article to go well, very much, so maybe it is in my best interest to earn your trust by starting with myself and others like me. Do liberals and the Democratic Party deserve a massive amount of the blame? No, but the responsibility of Hillary Clinton’s failures, as well as our inability to unite ideologies under the liberal banner in a more effective way. In other words, yes, I do take blame for Donald Trump shouting things on my TV.

Hillary Clinton is a very flawed candidate. Rhetorically speaking, there remains much to be desired, as one of her weaknesses is her ability to inspire the people she is speaking to. With Hillary, it always feels as though she needs you to believe that she is as good as she says she is, rather than having her record speak for herself. That is NOT to say that we should ignore the fact that she is a highly decorated, WOMAN politician, in a male-dominated system, who more than likely has to fight uphill every day to get her accomplishments across to the American public. That is also not to say that she hasn’t been burned with the sins that Bill Clinton made while in office that unfairly carried over into her career.

However, that does not excuse the fact that, when you need Hillary the most, her ability to articulate her points on issues, such as trade, health care reform, and foreign policy, never seems to make you feel as at ease as it should. She has all the experience and potential, but yet she seems to have never felt comfortable expressing it. The fact that she hasn’t been a better candidate falls on the shoulders of Democrats everywhere. We had eight years to find someone better to run, but instead we decided the Clinton family was the rightful heir to the throne, and could only be challenge by another extremely flawed candidate in Bernie Sanders.

Liberals this decade, if anything, have been more disjointed than ever on major issues. It seems as though we don’t know where to plant our feet on social reform, how to take responsibility for the shortcomings of the Obama administration, and most of all, we have failed time and time again to capitalize on a political atmosphere more liberal than ever in the fear that we will displease a part of our base. However, when you continuously trip over your own feet, you leave yourself open to be stepped over.

 

Conservatives Who Denounce Trump But Will Not Vote for Hillary

The Republican Party, as we once knew it, does not exist and that disaster lies at the feet of the modern conservative voter. We saw the signs of this during the 2008 Presidential Race when Sarah Palin was brought onto the ticket with John McCain. Palin, a dangerously vacant individual, riled up crowds nationwide with speeches about “Real America” and bringing the U.S. back to a place of prosperity. They were rhetorically empty speeches aimed at only further dividing Liberals and Conservatives from each other by shrouding every word in racial undertones and directing messages of “otherness” at Barack Obama. Conservatives had their chance then and they failed.

Donald Trump, the man of the hour himself, in 2011 began what was known as the “Birther Movement” against Barack Obama, in an attempt to get him to release his original birth certificate. This was an extremely racist ploy to get the President of the United States to prove that he was a natural-born citizen of the United States. Yet, very few prominent Republicans decided to address the issue and, instead, continued to block President Obama’s policies from being enacted at every turn. While one may be able to understand the political strategy of a Republican-controlled congress, the outright ignorance of the “birther” movement by prominent conservative figures was, again, another massive failure on the part of the Republican Party.

The conservative movement failed its supporters time and time again, and Donald Trump was just waiting for his moment to move. The rhetoric of the Tea Party movement, a parasitic branch of the GOP, remained attached to the GOP as an ideology hellbent on preventing any sort of liberal legislation from being passed into law. However, the roots of this movement came from a much different place than just political opposition, but rather out of hate and contempt for the President and the party in power. Furthermore, as the GOP transformed from a party of principled, and structured ideas of where the country should go to a party of scorched-earth narratives about where the country was headed, it was clear that Republicans had now allowed a virus of bigotry and hate to spread from within.

The virus is no longer spreading, because that would imply there is a host left for it to infect. There is no more Republican Party, and the conservative movement lives in the shadow of the “Real America” that Sarah Palin and Donald Trump promised to bring prosperity to. Sure, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan still has an “R” next to his name, but do not mistake for one second that he has the power that he could have. Instead, he, along with many other prominent conservatives such as Ted Cruz (a man with a face that looks as if it is trying to turn itself in for a crime), Marco Rubio, and Mitch McConnell have now become collaterally infected by the disease they chose to ignore. They are hostages to the twisted, and contorted narratives they were once indifferent to. Now, they can only watch as Donald Trump rips them in half from within.

Yet, they can’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton. Principled conservatives like to spin the narrative that what Donald Trump represents is despicable and dangerous to the party. However, when asked to either vote for Hillary or at least remove their support from him, they refuse. Is it out of fear of disbanding the party even more? That would be an acceptable excuse with almost any other candidate, but in this case only proves that they are too afraid to admit they are afraid at all. Sure, Donald Trump’s comments on women are disgusting, but conservatives would have you believe that they could never physically write down Hillary’s name on election day, as if they were Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar with the red pen.  Top conservatives watched as their prison was built around them for eight years and now, with cell door slightly cracked for them to slip out, they are too scared of freedom.

 

The Media

This isn’t going to be another rant about the shortcomings of the major news channels, I assure you. The media isn’t just CNN or FOX News. Rather, it spreads as far as Facebook and Twitter as well, and we are all partly responsible. For a long time, Donald Trump was a joke to us. We thought a campaign where, when the candidate announced he was running, he referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists could possibly gain any sort of ground. To us, Trump was just the dude on The Apprentice with the really terrible hair and a mouth that looked like a tanned asshole (ironically, he became that). We decided, instead, to focus all of our energy on everything BUT what really mattered. CNN decided its best course of action was to give every single Trump narrative as much airtime as possible, even once being conned into what they believed to be a policy press conference only to end up showing Trump validating Obama’s birth certificate (this happened). They also decided, that to be as fair as possible, political pundits like Corey Lewandowski (Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, who was still being paid by the campaign) needed to be put on air to gain perspectives from all sides.

On social media, political fairness took the form of trying to falsely equate Hillary’s shortcomings to Trump’s in a way of protesting our current political structure. Nearly half of all of our timelines are filled with posts and pictures about how doomed we are no matter whom we vote for, because both candidates would ruin the country. However, if one were to press the issue on someone posting these types of remarks, it was a rarity to find someone who could articulate just what it was about Hillary that equated to what Trump was horrifyingly doing every single day. “Trump said we should target the families of known terrorists with drones (war crime)? Well, what about the Clinton Foundation (Clinton doesn’t run it)? Trump used phrases of sexual assault? Well, both have said pretty terrible things, I’m sure. We are screwed either way.” The false narrative of equivalency between the two candidates only further diluted how little anyone actually knew about either of the candidates, and one can only attribute an approach like that to one thing: laziness.

We hate to admit it, but the most underlying problem of this entire election is that most of us really do not care about how the election process works, and it’s a lot easier for us to just pretend everyone is terrible and blame on politics as a whole. Why fact-check the lies that Donald Trump says when you can just take him for his word? How could he possibly be lying that much? This is the type of thinking that leads to disaster. Hillary Clinton, by no means, is a perfect candidate, but you will seldom find a person who can actually tell you why without using talking points. You find, very quickly, that the emperor has no clothes and that most of us on social media would rather leave it up to someone else to figure out how to fix the country.

 

Independent and “Undecided” Voters

Ah, yes, the “undecided” voters share a large part of the blame as well. If you are someone who has yet to decide whom you will vote for, let me ask you one simple question; do you honestly give a shit about any of this? It is not my intention to place all of the blame at your feet, but rather to open your eyes to the gravity of what you are claiming. If this election has shown us anything, it has shown us that there are two candidates (no, Gary Johnson does not count so please stop) running that many people find very displeasing. It also shown us, though, that there are two kinds of people. There are those who are voting for Donald Trump and those that will do everything in their power to make sure he does not win. So, explain to me what about him you feel up in the air about. What exactly would he need to say to either gain or lose your support at this point? Is the bigger issue that you just honestly do not care and would rather post videos of dogs doing the Stanky Leg (those aren’t bad)? What more can we do to motivate you at this point, or are you just too afraid to admit that this kind of thing just doesn’t affect you?

I want to add to this that it is perfectly fine to not have a decision made, or to sit out of the election entirely. However, with that indecision comes a price and a responsibility. There is a man running for president right now that represents some of the worst ideologies in the history of American politics, and, with him, is a base of supporters that refuses to be checked by the rest of the country. If you remain on the fence to the point where you choose not to vote at all, with it will come a price of a Donald Trump presidency that you willingly chose to not care about. Say what you will about Donald Trump supporters, but at least they will vote on election day. Maybe you are someone who feels discouraged by the current structure, yet how does remaining undecided and not voting for anything help that cause in any way? No one is telling you to vote for Hillary Clinton, but by not voting you are, in turn, placing a vote in the hands of Donald Trump and you seem to care too little to be bothered with it.

 

Trump Supporters

It is far too easy to blame Donald Trump supporters, for they already know the bed that they have made for themselves. Trump supporters do not care about logic, fact, reason, or knowledge regarding policy. The truest thing Donald Trump ever said was that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any support. If you question his lies to his supporters, you are met with immediate defenses about the politically correct culture of our society or “liberal bias”. One never actually receives an answer to the questions they ask, but rather receive a myriad of talking points coated in racism, sexism, and Islamophobia. The blame is inherently within the Trump base, so to expel energy on trying to reiterate that is obsolete. The only thing that will come out of such discussions is empty rhetoric about Hillary’s emails, Benghazi, her health, Bill Clinton, and various other distractions used by his supporters to evade having themselves look at the candidate they support and, furthermore, look at their own morals and values.

We are past a point where we can pretend that Donald Trump’s core base of supporters are people who hold much of anything outside of hate in any sort of high regards. It is more important to win than to do the right thing for many of them. Admitting that they were wrong doesn’t compute, because Trump will never admit he is wrong. It is a base of hatred and bigotry that, with a deeper look, is filled with self-hatred about one’s own value in American society. It is a wave of insecurity and fear that has manifested itself in the very worst of our society and as much as those who are devout to Trump deserve him, we too deserve him for making light of the danger they represent.

 

So, there I was, listening to the applause as Trump spouted about placing Clinton in jail for a crime that was never proven. An encapsulation of everything morally wrong with this election, and the ignorance to the seriousness of his claims once again. It was a crowd so seduced by the entertainment of Trump, that they didn’t even realize the ramifications of what they just approved of.

We all deserve Trump for different reasons. Many of us didn’t care enough to begin with. We chose to believe politics was beneath our attention, and that nothing we could do would actually matter. Some of us deserve Trump for not preparing for this moment with an effective strategy, but instead choosing to remain naive to the power of racism and bigotry of others. We chose to believe love and hope could always outshine hate no matter what, yet never prepared ourselves for the glitch in the system.

Many of us deserve Trump because we are lazy and choose to remain uninformed. It wasn’t just the idea that we care enough about Trump, but that anyone who ran against him had to also be just as terrible, because that was just more comfortable for us to believe. There were plenty who watched the debate last night and, before any sort of analysis, decided that both candidates were equally terrible, rather than choosing to analyze how much destruction Trump had created. He has infected every single one of us in some way, and the responsibility lies at our feet for choosing to let him spread. That moment of applause will never be forgotten.

Blank Check is a Movie Full of Lies and Here Is All of The Proof We Need

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Have you ever been lied to? I don’t mean the type of lie where you can tell that the person is lying midway through whatever you are saying. I mean a lie so believable that even as you are experiencing it, you can’t seem to wrap your head around the idea that it isn’t true. These types of lies only happen to a handful of times during our lives and, when uncovered, can alter our entire view on life. Many of these, in fact, happen when we are children, when we are more inclined to have a somewhat fantastical view of the world. We, as children, aren’t capable of believing that what is in front of us can’t possibly be true, and it is the realization of the actual truths that make us into what we are today. The movie Blank Check is one of these lies, and it’s time we finally prove it.

I can’t really tell you much about the circumstances in which I first saw Blank Check, but I can tell you about the emotions that I felt. It is a movie of wonder, exhilaration, and, ultimately, deceit. It is a film so manipulative in its nature, that I, myself, cannot name a single person who has ever had a bad thing to say about it. Think about that fact for a second. What do you remember about Blank Check? You have fond memories, I would assume. Therein lies the genius of the lie at hand, and the skill of manipulation this movie has placed on all of us. A lie so great that we don’t even believe that it’s there. As they say, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

Blank Check was released in 1994 through Walt Disney Pictures, and stars absolutely no one you will remember. It has the guy who played the Secretary of Defense in Independence Day in it, if that gives you an idea. It also contains famed rapper, Tone Loc, who is best known for his terrible song “Wild Thing”, and when a bunch of other presumably terrible songs that followed “Wild Thing”. It is a story about a boy named Preston Waters, a 12 year old boy with a fascination for money, and an obsession with not remaining, as they say, “broke as fuck” (Preston does not use this exact phrase but one can only imagine this is an encapsulation of his frustration). Preston, amidst his money troubles, crosses paths with three crooks who have just stolen a million dollars, and manages to obtain this million dollars by using a blank check given to him by one of the crooks during a car accident between the two. Now, if you are already confused, don’t worry because the plot up until this point is bullshit, so you are actually right on par with where I need you to be.

A million dollars; that is the number we as kids remember from watching this movie. Preston manages to create a printed check, using his 1994 Macintosh computer, for a million dollars, and then proceeds to swindle one of the other crooks into giving him the million dollars they had stolen. It was a magical moment to watch for us as Preston laid on his bed throwing the countless dollars into the air, as most of us have never seen, and will never see, a million dollars up close.

Here, my friends, is where the lie becomes so enmeshed in our tiny little child brains that we never once questioned what we then saw for the rest of the movie. We watched as Preston, in six short days, spent almost all of his million dollars on almost everything only to learn a lesson about money. However, we took our eyes off the magician’s hands for just one second, and let the trick fool us. The lesson of the movie is not what really matters in this case. Instead, what matters is the fact that Blank Check had us believe that Preston ONLY spent that million dollars, and it left us in a reality that doesn’t exist. It taught us that we can have anything we want in life if we just con our way into it (what up, Trump), it taught us to devalue money and to believe that a million dollars was unfathomable amount of money and, finally, it taught us that as long as we have a Macintosh computer that we can somehow figure out a way to print enough money to be rich. It lied to us over and over again for 90 minutes, and it left us in denial for many years to come.

I assume, though, you want the proof. Ah yes, the proof that Preston didn’t really just spend a million dollars, but, in fact, spent much more and that the movie paid no consequences for such a fallacy. Let’s start with a couple of facts we know beforehand. First, the rate of inflation between 1994 to 2016 is -38.5%, meaning that if I were to purchase something for $100 in 2016, it would have cost me only $61.53 for that exact same item in 1994. The reason I know this is because I Googled “How to calculate Inflation rates between 1994 and 2016”. Second, one must also take well-rounded, educated guesses at the amount of something Preston may have purchased during the six days he had this money. For instance, we see him buy brand new suits, but never fully see how many he buys, so we will give him the benefit of the doubt based on how many we see him with on screen. Lastly, we will never fully know how much Preston actually spent but we are going to do our best to figure out how much he most likely spent compared to the million dollars he started with.

Preston’s first purchase is of a castle. Yes, a fucking castle, so this is a terrible start for Preston on, not only the investment front, but also a bold purchase for a 12 year old child who lives with his parents. In the movie, Preston purchases the house for $300,000 against its original cost of $220,000. Now, I did a little outside research and found that this castle actually does exist and is located in Austin, Texas. It’s net worth not is $5.2 million dollars, and with adjusted inflation costs right around $3.2 million dollars in 1994. So, congratulations Preston, you are fucking broke.

However, let’s imagine that a giant castle in the middle of the suburbs only runs you $220,000 dollars. Let’s also imagine Preston gets it for $300,000. He is now down to $700,000, and in one short hour has developed the spending rates of Charles Barkley in Las Vegas. The next scene shows Preston spending more of his money at various clothing stores. Now, there is really only one way to calculate the cost of what Preston is buying and that is to guess at the type of brands being shown to us. Preston is shown trying on at least three different outfits, so we will give him the benefit of the doubt in which that is all that he bought. The only way in which I could calculate this was to take the most common clothing brand on the planet which is Ralph Lauren. Now, the average men’s shirt for Ralph Lauren is $55, the average pair of sunglasses is $120, the average dress shirt is $90, and the average jeans cost $75. Adjusted for inflation and multiplied by three, and Preston spent around $600 in clothing during this short clip.

Next, he is shown in an electronics store purchasing an entire row of TV’s (I counted at least 12 so we will say 12), a stereo system, a massage chair, and then eventually buys a Nerf gun set. Let’s do the math, shall we?

  • Twelve TV’s (let us use Samsung 40-inch screens adjusted for inflation: $8,112
  • Sound system: $846
  • Two massage chairs: $8,600
  • Nerf Guns: $123

Preston spent another $17,681 on appliances and clothes alone in the same day. However, we forgot to calculate a very important component to Preston’s budget: his limo driver, Henry. Preston pays Henry for his services for the entire six days, and that comes out to a hefty fee. Now, the average price, adjusted for inflation, of a limo driver is $67. We then must multiply that $67 by the 144 hours he employs Henry which comes out to, roughly, $10,000 dollars. So, if you are keeping track Preston has spent roughly $328,000 dollars of his money up until this point, and that is not including some of the other purchases. I decided to expedite the adding process here and roughly estimated that Preston most likely spent at least another $10,000 dollars on products we did not see.

Now, let’s add some of the home furnishings that we know Preston also purchased. He is seen ordering around trucks of Chips Ahoy ($1,000), Coke ($5,000), Sharper Image ($20,000), and a security system for the castle ($10,000). Preston also purchased a Water Park in his backyard, which would have run him around $60,000 dollars minimum (plus underground installation which can only be best estimated as at least $100,000 as well), and at least three go-carts plus a track ($4,500 for the carts, $70,000 for the track). If you are keeping track, Preston is now up to an additional $270,500 added to his spendings, which puts him at a remaining budget of $402,000 if we are being lenient.

Let’s talk home furnishings just briefly. Considering inflation once again, and the fact that Preston would have needed to furnish both the inside and outside of his house, my calculations put him at around another $150,000 spent just on finishing up the castle that he so irresponsibly bought. We haven’t even gotten to the part where Preston, a twelve year old kid, takes a grown woman, Shay, out to dinner and buys her a diamond necklace (another $4,000 gone). The reason I chose to not dive into this nonsensical pit is that I would have to explain how a woman working for the FBI is somehow conned into dating a man (Mr. Macintosh, Preston’s alter ego who doesn’t exist) she has never met using Preston as a proxy, while also investigating a case that ties directly back to the same dude she thinks she’s dating. Can we please get Shay a Tinder account or Instant Messenger or something? In the meantime, Preston has also been seen purchasing an inflatable boxing ring ($3,000), a batting cage ($2,000), and is seen wearing additional clothing (cost calculations ended up around $2,000).

Before we get to the last great expenditure by Preston, we might as well add up some of the major guesses we will have to take with his budget in order to fully analyze what he spent. We can assume that when he is originally having the trucks of products roll in, that an additional $50-100,000 dollars were spent assuming the size of the street Preston lived on in comparison to how many trucks might fit on that street. That also takes into account the amount of trucks his dad walks by upon figuring out Preston is “working” in the castle he purchased. We can then speculate that Preston also must pay a house cleaning staff of at least ten people, and we can calculate that their average cost comes out to somewhere around what Henry is making driving the limo. That puts us at another $60,000 for the staff, roughly. We can also imagine that Preston’s closet has closer to $80,000 dollars worth of clothes in it based on his spending habits and the stores in which he can be seen traveling to. Finally, it is safe to say Preston paid for all of the gas that Henry was using to take him places (because Preston and Henry seemed to share a close bond and it seems like something Preston would have done to build their friendship up and not make the fact that he’s paying Henry seem weird), which would then put Preston at around an extra $1,000 in the six days.

Preston’s remaining budget is $79,000, and he still hasn’t thrown his “Mr. Macintosh” celebration which no one seems to realize is not a real thing and that Mr. Macintosh is not a real person (Seriously, Henry was floored and probably heartbroken). On average, a black tie event of that size including catering, and adjusted for inflation, would run Preston right around $100-150,000 when you also include invitations (how did people RSVP to a party in twelve hours?) and car service. As you can clearly see, Preston would realistically owe quite a bit of money and would have bounced a shitload of checks. The final budget for Preston would be in the ball park of at least $60,000 over his mark, and that is not including anything we as an audience did not witness him buy, all of the items we can only guess that he bought, and also not paying attention to the fact that the house he bought was really worth two million fucking dollars to begin with.

Blank Check is a movie of fallacies. It has questionable characters who go on dates with twelve year old kids, terrible crooks who base their entire scheme around a small cash grab of a million dollars, and a farfetched lie that a man named “Mr. Macintosh” can purchase all of these items and no one seems to wonder why the only person they can about this is a douchey kid in a New Kids on the Block outfit. Most of all, though, Blank Check made us believe that money could literally buy you anything you wanted, even if the numbers didn’t add up. Blank Check is the movie equivalent of Enron, and we were too blind and naive to notice. I know at first it will be hard, to accept but I challenge you to run the numbers yourself. Add them up, and face what you find wholeheartedly. Sometimes, the only way to get over being lied to is to, hopefully, learn something new about yourself. I am certain that I did.

 

It Is Time We Start Asking Trump Supporters The Most Important Question of All: What Do They Want?

 

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I have to admit something that many women my age might find quite surprising: I have never seen the movie The Notebook. It looks pretty terrible if we are being honest with each other, and it was before a time in which I considered Ryan Gosling a talented actor. I am, however, familiar with one of the more famous lines of the movie in which his character, who I do not know the name of, yells the phrase, “What do you want?!” over and over again at Rachel McAdams’ character who I also do not know the name of. The scene makes very little sense to me out of context, but I can tell through Gosling’s face and the particular mood setting of this six second clip, that the doubt that she possesses in terms of what she actually wants is very unsettling for Mr. Gosling’s character.

There is a movie that I have seen that poses the same question between two different characters, and that movie is Good Will Hunting. In it, Robin Williams’ character, a therapist, asks Matt Damon’s character, Will Hunting, a simple question about what he’s looking for in life. “What do you want?” he asks, and Will remains speechless. Before this question Damon’s character tried to worm his way out of the question by using an elongated, metaphorical story about the uselessness of the government as some sort of defense mechanism to Williams’ intimate life question. It is a very important scene in the movie as it establishes the vulnerability of a person, even as smart as Will Hunting, that they can possess when asked a question that they’ve never really considered before.

 

The 2016 Presidential Election has made me feel like a combination of Robin Williams in that therapy session, and the six seconds of frustration that Ryan Gosling’s character experienced in The Notebook. Particularly, I find myself having these moments of frustration with supporters and fans of Donald Trump. I, in no way, hide what affiliation I have in this election. Being a solidified liberal for most of my life, the conservative way of thinking has always been something harder for me to understand, but the mutation it has taken during this election is something new. Conservatism, like liberalism, consists of a set of principles and ideals, and its conservative minded thinkers use those principles to decide what they feel they need and want the American political powers that be. You may find that a lot of those ideas I may not agree with all the time, but one cannot help but respect and appreciate the consistent values that they have always maintained…until this election.

That is not to say that we have lost conservatism as a whole, but rather that it has been substantially replaced this election by an unforeseen set of ideals mutated out its foundations, and contorted in a way to make you think that it is a replica of what we have always come to know. However, this is much scarier, and we as the American public were never really prepared. The ideas that have spawned from Mr. Donald Trump’s campaign have been centered around fear, doubt, paranoia, nativism, and a lack of accountability. It is a political anomaly, centered around a man who has been always been associated with money, power, and fame. Yet, his campaign has inspired those that feel they are powerless. Trump’s campaign has made those who have looked at the eight years under the Obama administration as a step back, and a loss of what they once had. Furthermore, it has fueled that fear by having its supporters imagine eight more years under a Hillary Clinton presidency that would only set them back even further than they once were. It has tapped into the racially menacing nerve of White America that had never found a formidable voice to express the frustrations that it held, and now that voice has demanded action.

Here is where, though, we have failed as a society up to this point in regards to the Trump supporters. We have spent the better part of a year laughing, ignoring, and chastising them in the hopes that humor would laugh away the darkest parts of this movement. Once we realized that wouldn’t work, we attempted to confront many parts, not all, of the movement for its seemingly violent nature in, again, the hopes that a realization amongst these voters would occur. We missed the bigger point, though, and, frankly, we weren’t asking the right question. We heard the ideas of the Trump supporters and then rather than add room for discussion, we decided to try and talk over them. But how can you talk over ideas, such as race and violence, that have been at the very core of American History? What we should have done, and what we should choose to do now, is ask Trump supporters the only question that really matters: What do they Want?

What we also failed to realize was the notion that Trump supporters had never thought, or even had to ask themselves this question, either. They are the Will Hunting in this scenario, boastfully talking around the one thing they never dared to consider because maybe it’s just easier to handle, and there we are in the room with them scared to engage. We may never know what attracts them to Donald Trump but we can at least do ourselves the service of finally understanding what it is they want him to achieve.

So, I turn this to you, if you are planning on voting for Donald Trump this election because you more than anyone should be asking yourself this. What do you want? Think about it for a second before you answer. What is it you truly want from this election, from this man, and from his potential presidency? I think we can clearly establish what you don’t want. We know you don’t want Hillary Clinton. You don’t want the Obama administration to take away the values that you hold dear, you don’t want to feel like you’re losing any of your constitutional rights, and you don’t want any future legislation that makes you fearful for your safety in this country. We have established that. However, before we continue let me just go ahead and tell you what you’re not going to get no matter what so we can establish some boundaries to this exercise:

  1. You want Hillary Clinton to go to prison for Benghazi and/or her email scandal? Never going to happen
  2. You want President Obama to admit that he is either not from this country, or that he has purposefully torn it down? Never going to happen.
  3. You want the supreme court to repeal any Abortion legislation? Won’t happen.
  4. You want the media to quit having so much “liberal bias”? Impossible to define
  5. You want to keep the government away from your guns? Point me to a piece of legislation that says you will lose them.

Before, though, we completely remove them, let’s imagine for a second that you did get these things; then what happens? You want Hillary to go prison for her actions? No problem, she’s in jail now. Do your wants and needs stop at this point? It is hard to imagine a political environment in which someone with Hillary Clinton’s power and ethical quandaries to not emerge in her place eventually. Do you now campaign against them as well?

What about President Obama? Clearly, you aren’t a fan of him either or his policies. So, let’s imagine for a second that everything he’s ever done in office was completely wrong and detrimental for this country? What would you then want? Surely, something as monumental of a revelation as that would be would mean you would have dozens of ideas of where to start fixing his mistakes, correct? I ask you this in complete seriousness, because these are the questions that matter, and we haven’t even arrived at the good stuff yet.

Now let’s imagine these questions are finally off the table because, in all objective seriousness, none of these are actually plausible in our current political climate. I hope while you were reading this you were already thinking of your answer to my very simple question: What do you want from a Donald Trump presidency? What do you want him to do for you? What do you want him to act like, to speak like, to behave like? You and I both know that part of his appeal to you is that he’s against the establishment of politicians you have always come to know, so we clearly know what you DON’T want him to behave like. However, could you tell me what characteristics you do want?

Many Trump supporters believe in Donald Trump’s idea to build a wall along the Mexican Border to keep Mexico out, but have probably never asked themselves what happens after that wall is built. So I ask you now, what does that wall mean to you, and what do you want to come from it? Let’s play this scenario out. A wall along the Mexican border would now heighten foreign tensions between and Mexico and the United States, while also creating more racial tension between Hispanics and people of other races. So, now that you have that problem to deal with, what do you want to do about it? The rest of the world is looking for you to answer, so what will you do?

Take economic policies into account for a second. You don’t like the way the Obama administration has acted, but Donald Trump’s economic policies seem in flux most of the time depending on what stage of the campaign he’s in. So, if you hate what you have now, what would you want instead? What should our tax code look like? How should we regulate our banks? Who do you want advising Trump?

Finally, consider foreign relations with the middle east. You more than likely support either a ban on Muslim immigrants temporarily, or at least believe in a better background check for immigrants coming in, but what would those policies actually look like? Trump, himself, has never fully established what he wants, so maybe you know the answer to that question. Do you really know what kind of relationship you want the United States to have with the middle east? If so, have you considered the ramifications?

These are just a few of the questions we, as the rest of the voting population, have failed to ask you. I take responsibility for my own reticence to do so because I was, honestly, to angry to engage in conversation about Trump’s candidacy, but I am asking now. I am not only asking for myself though, but also for you. If you want this man to be the president, then it’s time you start handling the responsibility of that presidency is going to mean for you, as it is our responsibility to ask you. We all believe that what we hold valuable, politically, will eventually put us on the right side of history one day, but in order to solidify those values, you sure as hell better be able to articulate them. Donald Trump has never been that type of person, but you can. If he wins, and he doesn’t have a clear plan for this country, that burden is going to lay at your feet to decide what you want his plan for America to look like and, god dammit, you better be ready.

Campaigns are fun. They are energetic, and when you find a candidate with charisma, no matter who they are (we have to give Trump that), the feeling can be intoxicating watching them rise to the forefront of politics. However, that fun doesn’t last forever at some point we as Americans need to understand the gravity of this election, none more than those of us who vote for Donald Trump. So, think about it for as long as you want before election night. Imagine that America that no one has truly given you the time to think about before. Whether we agree with you or not, you still have a right to vote, and with that comes a power you may have never really considered before. However, do not do the American political system the disgrace of walking into that voting booth with the unformed, vague, and potentially dangerous principles Donald Trump has never been asked to define for you. Walk in there and think about my question, and walk away with at least the notion that you knew what you really wanted, or otherwise you are wasting our time and putting people’s lives in danger.

So, let me ask you one last time. What do you want?