After attending a Trump rally, I realized Democrats aren't ready for November - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, April 4, 2020
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After attending a Trump rally, I realized Democrats aren’t ready for November

By KARLYN BORYSENKO / MEDIUM

I think those of us on the left need to take a long look in the mirror and have an honest conversation about what’s going on.

If you had told me three years ago that I would ever attend a Donald Trump rally, I would have laughed and assured you that was never going to happen.

Heck, if you had told me I would do it three months ago, I probably would have done the same thing. So, how did I find myself among 11,000-plus Trump supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire? Believe it or not, it all started with knitting.

You might not think of the knitting world as a particularly political community, but you’d be wrong. Many knitters are active in social justice communities and love to discuss the revolutionary role knitters have played in our culture. I started noticing this about a year ago, particularly on Instagram.

I knit as a way to relax and escape the drama of real life, not to further engage with it. But it was impossible to ignore after roving gangs of online social justice warriors started going after anyone in the knitting community who was not lockstep in their ideology. Knitting stars on Instagram were bullied and mobbed by hundreds of people for seemingly innocuous offenses. One man got mobbed so badly that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital on suicide watch. Many things were not right about the hatred, and witnessing the vitriol coming from those I had aligned myself with politically was a massive wake-up call.

Democrats have an ass-kicking coming to them in November, and I think most of them will be utterly shocked when it happens.

You see, I was one of those Democrats who considered anyone who voted for Trump a racist. I thought they were horrible (yes, even deplorable) and worked very hard to eliminate their voices from my spaces by unfriending or blocking people who spoke about their support of him, however minor their comments. I watched a lot of MSNBC, was convinced that everything he had done was horrible, that he hated anyone who wasn’t a straight white man, and that he had no redeeming qualities.

But when I witnessed the amount of hate coming from the left in this small, niche knitting community, I started to question everything. I started making a proactive effort to break my echo chamber by listening to voices I thought I would disagree with. I wanted to understand their perspective, believing it would confirm that they were filled with hate for anyone who wasn’t like them.

That turned out not to be the case. The more voices outside the left that I listened to, the more I realized that these were not bad people. They were not racists, nazis, or white supremacists. We had differences of opinions on social and economic issues, but a difference of opinion does not make your opponent inherently evil. And they could justify their opinions using arguments, rather than the shouting and ranting I saw coming from my side of the aisle.

I started to discover (or perhaps rediscover) the #WalkAway movement. I had heard about #WalkAway when MSNBC told me it was fake and a bunch of Russian bots. But then I started to meet real people who had been Democrats and made the decision to leave because they could not stand the way the left was behaving.

I watched town halls they held with different minority communities (all available in their entirety on YouTube), and I saw sane, rational discussion from people of all different races, backgrounds, orientations, and experiences. I joined the Facebook group for the community and saw stories popping up daily of people sharing why they are leaving the Democratic Party. This wasn’t fake. These people are not Russian bots. Moreover, it felt like a breath of fresh air. There was not universal agreement in this group — some were Trump supporters, some weren’t — but they talked and shared their perspective without shouting or rage or trying to cancel each other.

I started to question everything. How many stories had I been sold that weren’t true? What if my perception of the other side is wrong? How is it possible that half the country is overtly racist? Is it possible that Trump derangement syndrome is a real thing, and had I been suffering from it for the past three years?

And the biggest question of all was this: Did I hate Trump so much that I wanted to see my country fail just to spite him and everyone who voted for him?

Karlyn Borysenko, MBA, PhD, is an organizational psychologist, consultant, and executive coach.

Read the rest of this column at Medium.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • We have been lied to so much it is hard to discern what the truth is. Fake news is responsible for most of the disinformation by outright lying. Thank you for sharing this woman’s story. Hopefully we can overcome this evil media agenda and learn to seek out truth for ourselves.

  • It’s a good thing she’s getting a few new friends because someone is certainly going to be losing many. The last line is the best:
    Did I hate Trump so much that I wanted to see my country fail just to spite him and everyone who voted for him?

    • Agreed.

  • Most wanted failure. No love for country, just hate.

  • Scum horse face sleazebag these are the words of Trump.
    I think we can all agree this is deplorable language.
    To lie as a method underm,ines informed consent and democracy.
    Period … .. …

    • You’re obviously a psychotic. Seek mental assistance.

      • I agree

        • How many trump rallys have you attended lisa. You just made her point.
          If you disagree with the left, you’re called names, shouted down or assaulted. You can disagree with the right and most will still sit down with you to a cup of coffee and still be kind to you.

    • Joe Biden says a lot worse, and America is a REPUBLIC not a democracy.

  • If you haven’t clicked the link to read the rest of the article, do so it is well worth it.

    “I’ll be changing my voter registration from Democrat to Independent and walking away from the party I’ve spent the past 20 years in to sit in the middle for a while. There are extremes in both parties that I am uncomfortable with, but I also fundamentally believe that most people on both sides are good, decent human beings who want the best for the country and have dramatic disagreements on how to get there. But until we start seeing each other as human beings, there will be no bridging the divide. I refuse to be a part of the divisiveness any longer. I refuse to hate people I don’t know simply because they choose to vote for someone else. If we’re going to heal the country, we have to start taking steps toward one another rather than away.”

    Read some of the comments on that link, it bears out what is said in the article. Look at the comments on this site and other sites, open your eyes see what’s out there…lots of hate and divisiveness but lots of love and acceptance too. Gloom and doom or optimism and actual hope, pretty stark comparisons.

    • Welcome to the club. 🙂

  • Great article.

  • I was really waiting for the “punchline” in this article. That “ah-ha” moment. The part where I was supposed to be provoked into great thought. It never came. Look, it comes down to this. Our country is failing in many aspects and it IS because of Trump. He is NOT for “the people.” He is for rich circle of friends, the ones whom he has given a tax relief for, the top 1 percent of the wealthy. He does not look at things through an unbiased lens, rather he looks with revenge and bullies ALL types of genders, races, sexuality, socio-economic types, and anyone who challenges him. He IS a bully, and a self loathing, self-righteous, petty, and narcissistic man. And this is being kind in my wording. Do we really want a leader who fails to act like a man,? Someone who insults, brags, degrades, belittles, mocks, curses, and discriminates against others? Is this going to be the new norm for leaders? How sad it is that anyone thinks his behavior is acceptable, professional, “Christ-like” or even characteristic for a human to behave. We do not hear the Democratic leaders or our former presidents talk like this or use the language that Trump uses. The only people who suffer from Trump derangement syndrome are the people who continue to accept his pettiness, believe his lies, and listen to his bias.

    • We didn’t elect sister Theresa. You need to get over it. We voted for our country, the safety, the economy and the rule of law. That’s what we got. I don’t give a damn if he is a cad or not.

      • You forget that Trump lost the popular vote by millions of votes.

        • The popular vote doesn’t matter.

          When will lunatics on the left understand that America is not a democracy?

        • lol, the national popular vote means nothing. I’m sorry that you didn’t pay attention in civics class.
          He won the popular vote in more states. I apologize for the facts.

        • Votes were stolen from Trump, in states that don’t support voter ID laws. And you forget that the reason why we have the electoral college is so politicians don’t go to the most populated places and get only their support. Did they not tell you to think this on NPR? You are a sheep. Keep watching your TV. lol

          • Neal completely agree! If we didn’t have the electoral college than the coasts would be ruling our country! I grew up in Wyoming… the state and the people in the state would literally have no say without the electoral college! Ben, you say that he is not Christ like… have you not done your research about Trump putting prayer back in school and his stance on Abortion. Anyone who wants to kill babies is not “Christ-like”. Honestly, if you are going to bring up our country “failing” than you need to provide examples of where our country is failing under Trump. He has made many promises since his election and is one of the only politicians who has fulfilled many of those promises. He is all for the country. You really need to do your research like the article pointed out.

        • Only because of California with questionable voter integrity in their system. Take out California, and Trump bested Hillary in the popular vote as well. I live in California, so glad our state doesn’t control the country.

    • Look in the mirror and in your life, because people all around you believe in what he is doing. No one is perfect, and every president has made huge mistakes. But what have they done for the greater good? Obama has done so much worse and yet you don’t look around to see it. Please stop and listen, and if you still want to believe what you do, please do. You will never hear anything good if you only watch fake news and the agenda of much worse people. I appreciate you and your thoughts and would never not think you should believe anything you want. To me that is truly the best part of the great USA!! Thank you.

      • I don’t need to watch the news when I read his tweets and watch his rallies. Do you?? He says and tweets exactly what he is being called out for and rightfully so! You don’t deserve respect from others. You earn it. And with the things that he says and tweets, he does not deserve the respect from the American people.

        • Well actions speak louder than words my friend. Look at all the accomplishments he’s made in only his first term (USMCA, Securing the Border, Prison Reform, Tax Cuts for the Middle Class, The China Trade Deal, getting rid of the DEATH TAX) I’m sorry you have the fragility of a prepubescent child who can’t stand to be in the same room as someone you disagree with. Must be hard to be you. You know who doesn’t deserve anyones respect? People like you who ignore reality and want to lecture everyone about things you know nothing about.

        • Have you actually been to any of his rallies? I have…twice. Both times they were full of excitement, energy, and great fellowship. You really should do your own research and not just listen to the left narrative. He’s not the complete monster the left will have you believe. He’s not a politician, and that’s why he’s s loved so much. He’s not PC, again why he’s loved so much. He says what he feels and stands by. He’s done more for this country, more for minorities, more for the middle class (to which I belong) than any other president. He IS for the American people. Take off your blinders. God help us if he doesn’t get re-elected. We’ll become a communist country before you know it!

        • Maybe he doesn’t deserve our respect due to his style, but I will still vote again for him this fall, because for the most part, I agree with the policies he has implemented.

    • Love – “…fails to act like a man.” What is that definition now? The left has cursed that word, you might have forgotten. And when more and words are re-appropriated (mostly by the left, ironically!), we lose the ability to express what we really mean. And today, you slipped. “Act like a man” no longer is universally understood. Many on “your” team would be appalled to suggest he act like that. In fact, because of ALL his transgressions, he MUST be a man. Better school up on “woke” words, Ben.
      Btw, I know what you mean. I still respect words and once held universal definitions as I believe you do. As cursed as being a “man” has become on the left, no wonder a few men want to become a woman (as watered down as THAT word now becomes!). Crazy world we let the left create, wouldn’t you say?
      But remember, Trump is Hitler. Bad vs Good. Since he is bad, you are good. Lovely dichotomies to live by.

    • Ben, stop it! You are only focusing on Trump’s personality. You have fallen into the hate trap of the Democrats. This will cause you great anger and misery for years to come.

    • You need to seek help . God Bless you

  • My first similar experience came about six month after the election, and numerous times since, although I do not Knit. I was visiting family in the Upper mid west, and the Trump hate came up out of know where. I am no political activist, and I stay out of most of these conversations. I did not vote for Trump, but here I was, so I mentioned the unemployment rate looked good, stock market was strong and I appreciated his support of Israel. I was literally verbally attacked by family and friends. I had made no strong statement either way, but I like to see the positive. One person at the table literally yelled “those are not good jobs”. Another yelled, “Trump in an antisemite” I pointed out his daughter married a Jew, and converted, and his Jewish son-in-law was a close advisor. I was asked how I could support Trump, I said I support a strong economy, and I support Israel. And then I had the audacity to say how disappointed I was in Obama for abandoning Israel, and supporting Iran. I had no idea, but this was a trigger.

    They kept yelling at me, I am not exaggerating, they were yelling. It was absolutely bizarre and disturbing. People I have known all my life were acting deranged. It was the day I had to #walkaway.

    It made the rest of my trip very awkward.

    I get people struggle with Trump’s ways, but I try to judge actions, and over the last three years I see Trump trying to take action which all in all are helpful and positive, as opposed to the actions of Democratic leadership (as weak as it is) which are nothing but destructive and harmful.

    The Democratic Party lost my vote.

    • Trump uses plain, divisive-type language that everyone understands, whether you like it, or him, or not. But the mainstream media has pounded on him relentlessly. The media has given him no credit of any kind, even when deserved. Thus, Trump’s tweets. Pure bypass method from the President. And the American public really does get this. Trump gets an A+ for tactical advantage.

  • I don’t understand what this title has to do with this opinion piece. I’m not sure how the author thinks her anecdotal experience has any relevance to whether the Democrats are “ready” or not. She doesn’t appear to have anything to say about policies, just about who is nice to her (a person who, on Twitter and Instagram, uses SJW as an insult) and who isn’t. The Democrats won big in 2018; right now, every candidate running handily beats Trump in a head-to-head comparison in most polls. What that has to do with how she (a white lady who showed up to the rally to hang out and not protest) was treated by the few Trump supporters she met, I have no idea. She seems like she’s either naiive or has an agenda here.

    • A few Trump supporters? Guess you have never been to a Trump rally with 100,000 supporters. Indy 500 track can hold 400,000. Check it out this May. Democrats are such a bunch of losers and whiners.

    • Maybe you should read the entire article and then use a new concept…comprehension and understanding…rather than blind partisanship and ignorance

    • Spoken like a true indoctrinated sheep. Conservatives just by the nature of the world we live in, do not live in an echo chamber. The main outlets of media are leftwing (save talk radio),; movies, music, and the vast majority of magazines spout leftwing dogma. We see all views because we also read, see conservative viewpoints. But the left, like yourself, only talk with fellow travelers, read fellow travelers, watch fellow travelers. This article was probably the first time you gave yourself a few minutes to read another perspective.
      Your comment drips with uneducated bias.

  • Did you watch the democratic debate? Just compare that with Trumps state of the nation, there is no hope in the democratic party, Bernie will be the candidate and middle of the road Democrats wont vote for him, he will be surprised and make accusations galore then amble off to his lake house never to be seen again, and to be frank democracy will be the loser. Every president needs a strong opposition to keep him honest but the what’s left if the democratic party won’t even have the heart to do that.

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