I’ve seen – either directly aimed at me, or expressed to others who shared the sentiments of my open letter to those who voted for Trump in 2020 – a rebuttal that goes something like this:
“I didn’t vote for Trump because of bigotry. I don’t agree with his bigotry. I voted for him because of the economy.” 
What they do not understand is … that reason is just as bad.
Here’s what they are saying:
It does not matter to me who gets hurt, as long as I think I will succeed.
They are the people who wouldn’t care if it’s a blood diamond, as long as they got a good price. They want their cheap items, no matter how many sweatshops are involved. They want inexpensive t-shirts for their kids, even if the shirts were made by starving children the same age as their own.
They don’t care how many other people – arguably including their own kids and grandkids, thanks climate change – do in life, as long as they get to step on the corpses as they climb higher.
I know, we can’t examine every unintended effect our choices have. I understand that it’s difficult to know the entire supply chain that made your smartphone, or your clothes. I understand that sometimes you don’t have a lot of options available. I’ve watched The Good Place, I’m aware of Doug Forcett (spoilers behind that link) and the dilemma we all face. Ironically, that’s what stronger government regulations (something Trump and the GOP oppose) are exactly supposed to help with.
It’s been a rough year financially. For pretty much everybody (ironically, except for billionaires), it’s been bad. I realize that.
I understand that when your back is to the wall, you do what you have to in order to take care of you and yours. I understand that saying “You should avoid hurting others to do well” is a very different thing than “You should avoid hurting others to survive.”
I rather doubt there are more than a relative handful of Trump voters in extreme poverty, living on less than $2 a day. I also doubt they’re in the quarter of the human race living on less than $3.20 a day, or the 40% living on less than $5.50 a day.
I rather doubt they’re living on $165 a month – or less than $2000 a year. Before taxes. So I don’t think the choice for them was anywhere near as stark as they make it out to be. (Ironically, if they are in that much trouble, the GOP’s systematic destruction of the social safety net is making their situation worse.)
Instead, they chose to ally themselves with greed and bigotry and evil, knowing the pain it would cause others, just for a hope that the rich would throw them some scraps.
While the rich got richer while we all got poorer – only more true since COVID-19 – they sold their ethics – especially the so-called “Christians” – for an empty promise that they might get to be just as evil as the obscenely rich are.
Those who want to be rich, however, fall into temptation and become ensnared by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.1 Timothy 6:9-10
Who would want to be friends with a person like that?
Post-post script: For those claiming to be “pro-life” issue voters, if they’re not supporting things like contraceptives and comprehensive sex ed (both proven to reduce abortion) and if they’re not supporting a robust social safety net and universal healthcare – all things the GOP and Trump oppose – then they don’t actually care about reducing the number of abortions and they’re definitely not “pro-life”.
Featured Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
 Nearly every response I heard about was about abortion or the economy. I’m really not interested in debating all the possible rationalizations for compromising one’s ethics like this.