Dear Trump Supporter I Don’t Know I Know:
No, this is not a joke.
Since I’m not able to go canvassing in neighboring New Hampshire, this is basically my virtual equivalent of going door to door. I am not writing this as an invitation to ANY political debate. What I am doing is writing this open letter to my Facebook friends and blog readers, in case there are some Trump voters among you.
Last night I dreamed that someone shit in my office. I mean, I walked into my office and was at first confused, and then upset and disgusted, to see shit, literally a pile of it on the floor, smears of it, bits of shit on my leather jacket. Even the furniture had been moved around. It wasn’t clear if this had been some kind of bizarre accident or a really nasty and twisted act of aggression, but either way I felt almost paralyzed, unable to figure out how to confront the situation, where to even begin the clean up. I could barely face it, and I couldn’t bear to face it alone. I called in a few colleagues and they were also shocked.
Lying in bed this morning, in that space between sleep and waking, I realized that this is what it feels like when I imagine that someone I know, someone I invite into my everyday life through social media, with a very open heart and mind by sharing photos and writing and snippets from my daily life and the work I care so much about, might be a Trump supporter.
Yes, I live in that big of a bubble that I don’t interact firsthand, knowingly, with anyone who’s planning to vote for Trump. But just as, on the flip side, many people may think they don’t know any gay or transgender people, it’s highly unlikely that that’s true — they just don’t know that they do.
I have 1,599 Facebook friends. I happen to remember that in 2010, I had 451 Facebook friends — I remember this because the number reminded me of the Ray Bradbury novel featuring that number, and also because I have a weird penchant for remembering numbers and associating them with different moments in my life. In other words, in the past six years, well over one thousand more people have become in some way, near and far, through work, writing, kids, and just random inexplicable internet connections, part of my world.
Now, it would seem that of this many people, there MUST be some Trump voters. What I wonder is: If you’re out there, do you just not actually read anything I post, or do our personal and political differences not bother you? Maybe you you keep quiet for other reasons?
If you frequently do read what I share here, or even more close to home, participate in my writing groups, your Trump vote feels not unlike you shitting in my house.
Stay with me here.
I know this is so awful and disgusting, but it IS awful and disgusting. I’m bothering to write and post this because I decided, at 4:30am, that if ONE PERSON decided to change their vote, even if you only do so in the privacy of that little voting both, it would be worth it to share my dream and to tell you how deeply personal this is. If you’re planning to vote for Trump, please reconsider.
Quoting my friend Wendy Wisner, a fellow Jewish mama with a German last name: “There are so many similarities between Hitler and Trump. It’s terrifying. And I will not stay silent about it anymore. I will not stay silent about hate, because I know in my bones how quickly hate can turn into so much more.”
Thank you for answering the door and not slamming it in my face. Thank you for taking the time to listen, to read this letter, and to really consider the power of your vote.