Earlier in the week, I wrote a post explaining my bewilderment over anyone who didn’t understand my relentless opposition to Donald Trump. It was well received, read and shared tens of thousands of times online.
Of course, not everyone agreed with my position, which I expected. Every time I speak out against the President, there is some backlash. But this backlash almost always takes three distinct forms:
1. Rather than refuting the claims I made against the President, the responses almost always attack me personally and call me names, avoiding the actual arguments being made. In response to last week’s post, for example, I was called such original and scathing names as “snowflake” and “idiot” and “moron.”
Boy did that hurt.
2. The responses are almost always vulgar in some way. In response to last week’s post, for example, one person offered specific suggestions about how I might make use of feminine hygiene products. Another suggested that I insert certain objects into my body.
Solid political arguments made by decent and thoughtful Americans, I’m sure.
3. The people writing these scathing responses can’t spell or punctuate properly. Some are so poorly written that it’s difficult to discern what terrible things they are saying to me because the write in incomplete and run-on sentences and rarely use a period.
I’m sure there are some thoughtful, intellectual Trump supporters in the world who can communicate clearly without resorting to name calling and vulgarity, but I almost never encounter them online, which really shouldn't surprise anyone.
When you support an incompetent, anti-science, racist, self-acknowledged sex offender, you can’t expect his army of online supporters to be filled with the best and the brightest.
Nothing that these folks say to me has any impact on me or my opposition. Unlike Donald Trump, I have an exceptionally thick skin. I really don’t care about these trolls and cretins.
However, one comment concerned me. Someone who does not support Trump but questions my vocal and vociferous opposition said to me, “Republicans buy sneakers, too,” echoing the words of Michael Jordan when explaining why he doesn’t engage in politics.
It’s questionable if Jordan ever said these words, but until recently, he has been famously apolitical. When diving into politics for the first time a couple years ago, it came in the form of donations to two organizations that address police brutality and racial injustice.
Nothing about Donald Trump or his policies.
When Trump attacked Lebron James for his vocal opposition to the Trump administration last year, Jordan said, “I support LJ” and nothing more.
Whether or not Jordan said those words about Republicans buying sneakers, it’s also true that Republicans buy books, and yes, I am an author trying to sell books. But unlike Michael Jordan, who is unquestionably the greatest basketball player ever, I want to be known for more than simply my stock and trade.
Yes, I am an author wants to sell books, but I am also a patriot. I’m a man who stands beside my Jewish family and friends of color and immigrant students and friends and colleagues in the LGBTQ community. I stand beside the migrant children on the border who were placed in cages and the parents who were forcibly separated from them. I will stand beside our country’s intelligence agencies and the free press and Gold Star families and DACA kids and war heroes like John McCain and Americans who were drafted and served in Vietnam like my father.
I stand beside my Muslim friends. My Mexican and African friends. My female friends and family.
Someday in the future, when my children are old enough to look back on this time in history and wonder what the hell Americans were thinking, they will know that their father marched in opposition and wrote in opposition and tweeted in opposition to this administration. They will know that their father even joined suit against this President and won.
Michael Jordan’s stance might allow him to sell more shoes, adding to his already significant wealth, but when history looks back on Michael Jordan, he will be remembered as a basketball player and shoe salesman. He was a man of enormous wealth and influence who opted to remain outside the political ring for the sake of profit.
I want to make a profit, too. A huge profit. I want to sell one trillion books.
I hope I do.
But not at the expense of patriotism. Not if it costs me the support I can offer to the many Americans who need it. Not if it means that I will be remembered as an author and book salesman and nothing more.
Besides, let’s be honest: If the people who attack me for my opposition to Trump can’t spell or punctuate properly and call me vulgar, indecent names, I don’t think they were buying my books anyway.
They don’t strike me as readers.
There are many Republicans in this country - good, decent men and women - who stand in opposition to Trump like I do, and some of them buy my books.
I know this because they are my friends.
I want to sell books, but I also want to stand as a patriot and husband and father and friend. I want to be remembered as a man who stood against all that this administration represents.
And honestly, I suspect that I’ll sell more books that way than if I chose to remain silent.
If you want to buy a book and prove me right, there they are: