My politics are a little less than mainstream.

I’m a pro-choice secular humanist, a vegetarian, and someone who believes in the right to protect myself and shoot a sexual predator in the face.

I vote Democratic because I like roads and schools, but it’s not like I’m all that impressed with the streets near my house or your kids who can’t do math. I’d like to pay less in taxes because most of my tax money is wasted on war and a federal food policy that kills animals and makes us sick.

But mostly I vote for Democratic candidates because I’m a first-person witness to how young girls and women are treated in my country. We don’t have equal rights despite what your drunk uncle tells you, we don’t fully control our bodies, we earn less than men, we are made to climb extraordinary hurdles if/when we ascend to positions of power, and we pay extra taxes on items like tampons and yeast infection treatments.

What’s worse is that we live in a society where we victimize women — physically, sexually, socially, emotionally — and then offer blame, shame, and maybe local resources that are supplemented by private donations and volunteer hours.

Not that you care, but I’m voting for Hillary because it’s not always great being a woman in America. And I think Donald Trump’s supporters will benefit from a Clinton presidency much like they’ve benefitted from an Obama administration while simultaneously saying racist and overtly stupid things.

So even though #imwithher, I can’t call Trump supporters “deplorables.”

Here’s why.

I firmly believe that behaviors (and not people) are deplorable. It’s an adjective to describe something that’s shockingly bad. It bugs me when smart people use “deplorables” as a collective noun.

If everything you disagree with is deplorable than nothing is deplorable. When you overuse the word, it loses its meaning. Look at the way people (like me) use the word “awesome.” If everything is awesome — getting my car washed, getting free Amazon Prime Shipping, scoring an upgrade on Delta — how do you describe the natural wonders of the world?

I’m not about calling people “deplorables” and I think you should stop saying it, too.

Sexually offensive language? Wretched. Building a wall? Stupid and short-sighted. Also, racist. Advocating sexual assault? Yes, this is deplorable.

But half of the country is supporting Trump, which means that your neighbors and colleagues are Trump voters. And if they’re deplorable today, they’ll be deplorable on November 9th after Trump loses the election. And then I don’t know how you get anything done — meetings, community programs, play dates — with people whom you don’t respect and trust.

Violent, sexist, racist language is never acceptable. Call it out on the spot, teach your children to do better, and then go vote. In fact, vote early and then go volunteer on election day to drive people to the polls.

But I think you’ll have a much better life — and better relationships with people in the short-term and long-term — if you lead by example and stop calling Trump voters “deplorables.”

It’s just unhealthy, and honestly, it stoops to Trump’s level of vague and invalid generalization without facts.

3 Responses to Stop Calling People “Deplorables”
  1. Mary

    Well said, Laurie. We need to all find common ground in order to make progress together.
    But In finding common ground with trump supporters, we need to find our way around this :
    www.mediaite.com/online/trump-supporter-took-that-grab-em-by-the-pussy-comment-and-made-a-shirt-out-of-it/

    Sigh….

  2. Alison Green

    Bravo! We all need to hear this message right now.

  3. Carmen Hudson

    Once again, we find ourselves in us vs. them territory. I think this article gets closer to the truth:
    www.theguardian.com/media/2016/oct/13/liberal-media-bias-working-class-americans