Just one question

According to Reuters, these are the final results from the 2020 US Presidential election: Joe Biden received 81,283,786 votes (51.3%), and Donald Trump received 74,222,552 votes (46.8%).

From this I conclude that many millions of Americans — 46.8% of us — are simply awful people. 

It isn't even about politics, it's about human decency. A nation's leader should act like an adult, not insult everyone who disagrees with him on anything, and not launch daily Twitter wars. The President of the United States shouldn't lie and lash out, every time he opens his yap. Ah, but 46.8% of Americans disagree with me about that.

During a worldwide pandemic, it's wise to wear a mask and get a vaccine. This is inarguable reality, but 74-million Americans don't live in reality.

Climate change is an enormous and growing problem, wreaking havoc, costing lives, and getting worse. Trump says it isn't, and his believers believe him.

There's almost nothing more fundamental to democracy than elections and the peaceful transition of power, but Trump says the election was stolen, and his believers believe him. There is, please note, no evidence of any noteworthy vote-counting irregularities, unless shouting without evidence now constitutes evidence.

I am out of patience with people who believe the moist, smelly horsepoop of Donald Trump and his followers and imitators. Therefore, I've enacted a new personal policy, which went into effect yesterday:

I am boycotting Trump-supporters. 

In any social interaction with anyone, once we're past "Good morning" or "Good afternoon," my next sentence is "Did you vote for Trump?" If the answer is no, our conversation can continue. Perhaps we can be pals. If the answer is yes, my answer is adios.

The first test of this strategy was my afternoon walk yesterday. As I was leaving the apartment building, two of my neighbors were chatting on the porch, and we all said hello as I passed.

"Can't believe how nice out it is today," said one of my neighbors.

"And it's November in Wisconsin!" said the other. "We're not going to see weather this warm for the next few months, that's for sure."

"Did either of you vote for Trump?" I asked.

They looked at each other and burst into laughter. "Of course not!" So we chatted for a few minutes, but if they'd said they had, I would've walked away in silence.

Later, my nerves wracked by Trump's first few lawsuits attempting to stop the counting of votes, I decided that I deserved some ice cream. While I was in the store choosing between strawberry and caramel (I bought both!), an older and shorter woman asked me to hand her some Popsicles from the freezer's top shelf.

"I can't quite reach it," she said.

"Did you vote for Trump?" I asked.

"Well, I don't think I have to tell a stranger who I voted for," she said, so I walked away.

Bearing in mind that the Popsicle incident is entirely made up, I intend to ask this question of everyone, and whenever the answer is '"Yes" my reply and my silence will be abrupt and immediate.

This won't cost me any friends, because none of my friends are nincompoops. It might cause some family drama, but that's a good thing. The family members who like Trump are already on my nerves.

In most retail transactions I don't have anything to say beyond "Howdy" and Thanks", but if an actual conversation begins, I'll immediately ask "Did you vote for Trump in 2020?"

Work-related conversation shouldn't be a problem, but if the topic wanders away from business, my next line will be: "Did you vote for Trump in 2020?"

Yesterday my sister emailed me, attaching a picture of her granddaughter, who's the certified cutest kindergartner in the world. I replied, "Did you vote for Trump?" I haven't yet heard back from her.

I am seriously almost serious about this new personal rule, because sir or ma'am, I am done with dumbass Americans. Y'all are free to be as stupid, cruel, deluded, and un-American as you want, and I am free to have nothing to do with you.

Should I also shun people who voted for Trump in 2016? Nah, I'm a generous soul. I believe in second chances. For some people in 2016, especially people who weren't paying much attention, Trump might have seemed like an unknown, or even a successful businessman. If you voted for Trump in 2016, I can forgive it — if you've learned from your mistake.

Trump is not an unknown any longer, though. In 2020, the only possible explanation for voting for Trump is that you're an idiot or asshole.

If so, then goodbye.

Republished 7/25/2023   


  1. Replies
    1. Why, thanks. I'm surprised that it's gotten me so little angry blowback — only one obnoxious email.

  2. This cracked me up when you first posted it. It's aged and become more serious to me, less jokey. Are you sticking to it and still asking the question ?

    1. I don't have much human contact, so it doesn't come up much, but it's something I need to know about anyone before investing more than 'hello' in a conversation.

  3. I'm continually wrong for being overly optimistic about national politics, I'm not sure why I'm incapable of understanding this. I thought 4 years of a milquetoast leader like Joe Biden would get people to mellow out and go back to following football for their safe outlet for violent tribalism and simulated warfare. Instead they're probably more paranoid than ever. I don't get it. How has anything done by this government in particular affected, like... anyone? Inflation sucked but it was worldwide. Higher interest rates = rates STILL lower than they were in 2007. I don't know how they can characterize a government that takes early naps as Orwellian but if they can do it with a Biden Admin that can't even appoint high level military figures anymore, they'll do it to anyone and won't ever be happy unless they're in power with a guy who lies to them and doesn't accomplish even 1% of his campaign promises but "owns the libs" on the reg.

    1. The Repubs have spent years and years making themselves the party of angry idiots. That's their only schtick. There's plenty to be angry about but they ignore that stuff, the facts, and make up angry-making lies instead.

      Biden is a criminal socialist dictator child molester, while Trump, of course, is Jesus Christ's younger brother.

  4. I have a Trumper friend, try not to talk about politics with him...Eel

    1. I have Trumper family, so I know about sidestepping, but friends would be tricky. I'm not going to stop myself from saying what I think when the subject comes up. Lucky for me, I don't have many friends, and they're mostly apolitical — but even the apolitical ones hate Trump by now. :)

    2. This is a problem most every democracy-loving American has. Before my heart went boom when I crossed that room, I had dinner twice a month with a couple of guys I used to work with. The guy I was closest to (he hired me twice, I hired him three times: the guy was good) is a trump guy. We didn't agree to not talk about politics, but we agreed to talk about it a little less. Now I haven't seen him since Covid, and the boys want me to come back to Friday night dinners. I'm figuring how I can respect the history we have together without giving an inch on politics. Yeah, I haven't figured it out yet.


    3. That would be a friendshipbreaker for me. With a friend I gotta be able to relax and be me, and if someone's talking about owning the libs or building a wall or truing the vote, that can't be a friend.

      That's just me, though, and I'm anti-social by nature anyway. But still, jeez.

    4. For me, political parties are meaningless indicators of character and priority, especially given such a diverse choice in America of two (2!) parties, both bought, sold and grabbing their ankles for big money corps.

      The question I would pose is: "Are you with the workers or the bosses?"

  5. That is a fundamental question. Most people would answer, "Depends," which is why I hate most people.

    Trying real hard to think of a time when management was right and the workers were wrong, and coming up with nuthin'.

    I'm with the workers, every time.

  6. The reality of being human is always complicated, he said with a sigh. I do hope your old friend can remain a friend.

    At our age, the grandfather clause becomes a literal thing. I have an old friend I play chess with and talk sci-fi. We never talk politics because we like being friends.

  7. From time to time I forget how and why I landed here, then I see it more clearly in a short comment: every word has a reason and, on most days you write outstandingly well.


  8. I was going to whistle you for unnecessary kindness, but I re-read it and OK, it's better than the throwaway coupla paragraphs I thought I'd written.

    Purely an accident, though.


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