Lincoln Center, the world's largest performing arts center, released a public statement about President Trump's threats against the National Endowment of the Arts. By contributing $704.2 billion every year to the U.S. economy, the arts not only are a robust facet of American culture, but are also attract private philanthropy.
Lincoln Center is home to the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. In an open letter posted to their website, the New York arts institution argued for both the human and economic benefits of continued federal support of the arts.
“Beyond our shores, American arts institutions are the envy of the world,” reads the statement. “In a unique public-private model, private sources provide the vast majority of funding for our artists and arts organizations. Government helps in targeted ways at pivotal moments, for example, by providing early funding to get projects off the ground or helping to create or expand promising initiatives to achieve greater reach and impact. Underlying all of this is the National Endowment for the Arts.”
“For more than 50 years, the NEA has provided leadership in the public arts arena,” reads the statement. “The total cost of the NEA is less than one dollar a year for every American. But because it is so successful and its imprimatur so prestigious, every dollar the NEA contributes leads to nine additional dollars being donated from other sources.”
Lincoln Center, which brings in six million people annually to its events, also made the strong case for how the arts serve a public good, while highlighting organization's work in arts education.
“A child's early introduction to ballet teaches strength and discipline,” the statement said. “A veteran's exposure to art therapy brings healing and hope. A student's participation in music class improves math scores and critical thinking skills. Art shapes achievement, with profound and practical effects.”
The statement does not mention President Trump by name, but in an echo of his “Make America Great Again” slogan, it states: “A great America needs that kind of return.”
You can read the full statement here.
"Everything is political."
That was the word on the street in the late '60s and '70s, when the Twisted Hipster came of age.
The age came by it honestly: From the assassination of JFK to the anti-Vietnam War movement to the killings of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King and the riots at the 1968 Democratic convention, to Watergate and the Iran Hostage Crisis - it was truly a turbulent age and one the contributing factors to twisting up the inner life and expectations of any hipster, including this one.
Many years have passed since then, and our national focus has been more on that twisted inner life and the emotional fallout from those turbulent times. But now we have Trump - an atrocity with a bad hair weave. A cult leader who hides behind any shred of decency until he doesn't have to and reveals himself for the predatory freak that he is - witness his recent rescinding of transgender protections, after earnestly promising to be their champion.
Now comes his exclusion of The New York Times, CNN, Politico and several other media outlets from his most recent press conference - just think if President Obama had tried anything like that. Richard Nixon was bad, but he was never this bad. This is boldly undemocratic. UNDEMOCRATIC. Please consider that word. Trump claims to represent "The People," even though he lost the election by 3 million votes. (Oh, and what happened to all those claims of "illegal voters"? Just another bright shiny object used to distract our attention from the bigger crimes that he is surely committing.)
The fact is, Trump received the fewest electoral votes since Jimmy Carter - the last one term president, something that the Twisted Hipster also sees in Trump's future. He keeps touting what an "incredible" victory he had, how "huge" it was. And when a reporter corrects this misinformation, he merely brushes it aside - oh my God.
The Twisted Hipster has lived through Nixon, Reagan and Bush W. Trump is Nixon on acid. Trump is Nixon without the statesmanship. Trump is Reagan without the personal likeability. The Twisted Hipster yelled at the TV screen for Reagan's 8 years, as he deregulated business restrictions. The Twisted Hipster yelled at the TV screen for another 8 years as W nearly destroyed our economy. But this Orange-Haired Menace is so much worse than them all - not even close. He got elected by Trumpeting his not being a politician, and somehow that worked just enough. Now he wants to be King Donald, and he has declared war on the press - ignoring the fact that this is the First Amendment for a good reason. There is no democracy without it.
The Twisted Hipster is an artist who has also proudly worked as a journalist. He was hired by The Village Voice right out of college to write theater feature articles and wrote several during his 18 month tenure there (before his job was phased out for financial reasons). But this was The Village Voice at the end of its heyday, and the young TH was privileged to share a newsroom with the likes of Jack Newfield, Nat Hentoff, Andrew Sarris, James Woolcott, Karen Durbin, Bob Christgau, Richard Goldstein, Alexander Cockburn, Erika Munk and so many others, all under the leadership of Maryanne Partridge - perhaps the first female editor at a major news outlet. (Not counting Katherine Graham, who owned the Washington Post.) TH's editor was Ross Wetzsteon, a legendary name in Off-Off-Broadway theater circles for helping to put together the Obie Awards for years. Ross was not warm and fuzzy, he wasn't a friend, but he was a very serious journalist who has mentored many current journalists, including Charles McNulty at the Los Angeles Times. Ross had studied writing with Vladimir Nabokov at Princeton, and he was ruthless in terms of applying those stylistic lessons to those he edited. Thank you, Ross, for the indelible lessons.
The TH went on to write for many publications, including In These Times, American Theatre, The Sunday New York Times "Arts & Leisure" section and The New Republic. He also delved into hard news, being the only journalist to meet with boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in maximum security prison after Carter's reconviction. The TH sounded the alarm that justice still hadn't been served, but nobody listened. It took six more years for Carter to get his case heard in Federal Court, where he finally gained his freedom for the very reasons that the TH had written about. While jubilant that Carter was finally free, the TH felt nothing but a deep sadness for the five years that Carter spent in prison after the article had been written. (The New York Times actually bought it for their Sunday Magazine, but then cancelled its publication after complaints from Selwynn Raab, who had broken the original story of Carter's frame-up; the TH knows this is how it went down because Mr. Raab called at 10:37 pm one night to boast about it.)
The TH had issues with journalism - namely, its Trendiness. Hard to believe, but the word "demographic" was rarely used outside of academic circles before the early 1980s, Similarly, it was still possible to have a genuine conversation with artists about their art until around that same time, when everything started becoming publicity. That is, it was no longer about the art or the artist's authentic voice, it was only about getting your face out there, reaching your demographic. Which made the TH not a journalist but a grossly-underpaid publicist. And if the TH had wanted to be a publicist or advertising copywriter, then he would have done so.
One thing the Twisted Hipster can say absolutely: the journalists he observed and worked with were deathly serious about sources and verification. The instances of writers making up "FAKE NEWS" and getting away are very rare - most recently, the "Rape on Campus" article in Rolling Stone in 2015. But the fact-checkers at most publication are the most relentless and driven of all employees. They will call you five or six times a day if there is even a shadow of a question about the veracity of anything you have written. They will chase you down and disturb your dinner with friends until you have answered their questions to their satisfaction. To call these people purveyors of "FAKE NEWS" is obscene and an insult to journalists and seekers of truth everywhere.
But the insult is not personal, it's political - as is everything else now.
Yes, "everything is political" once again.
And the Twisted Hipster is honored to join the ranks of such "enemies of the people" once again at such a critical moment.
While BETTER LEMONS is an arts website devoted largely to the Los Angeles theater community, it is also an instrument for delivering the truth to its readers. The TH would like to thank Ashley Steed and Enci Box (who 10 years ago was acting in one of the Twisted Hipster's plays) for this opportunity.
The Twisted Hipster pledges to keep it real in a time when our gaslighter-in-chief is doing the opposite. (See what all that emphasis on Trendiness leads to? The sad imitation of a president that we have today.) The TH pledges to give you the artist's point of view, and to keep telling the truth - as he did in the case of "Hurricane" Carter.
Here's hoping you will keep listening.
Some people have asked if there will be a group of LA theatre people for the Women's March on Saturday downtown. So a few of us organized one!
We will be meeting at LATC at 9am and will walk over together to Pershing Square from there. There are speakers on from 9-10am but the march itself starts at 10am in Pershing Square and will march to City Hall where there will be more speakers (for the schedule please see the Women's March LA website).
Who's going to the march? Hope to see you there!
ON JANUARY 19TH, 2017 AT 5:30PM IN EACH TIME ZONE ACROSS THE COUNTRY, PEOPLE WILL GATHER OUTSIDE OF THEATERS TO CREATE A "LIGHT" FOR DARK TIMES AHEAD.
Here's the information from the Ghostlight Project:
While the national event is simultaneous and collective, the particular event is yours. And here's the thing: you're theater people – you know how to create an event. We have suggestions and inspirations but the event is really for YOU to make. Be creative. Go deep. Get crazy.
As January 20th approaches, I'm afraid that the world is coming to an end. It feels like I'm waiting for doomsday to happen, while trying to pretend in front of my boys that life is the best thing ever and every day is the “bestest day ever” as my son, Sydney (5 years), likes to say.
November 7th seems to have put me in a black hole. I have been avoiding friends and people in general. Even at my son's school I have not been able to talk to people much and I've avoided running into people. If I see someone I know, I say a quick “hi” and usually I quickly turn my attention back to my boys. They are a great distraction!
If I talk to anyone, I have to make a concentrated effort to say something positive and if I can't, I talk about the weather. Thankfully we have that now to talk about which also is a great distraction. If I don't focus on the positive, I'm afraid that I will crack and start to cry and fall apart.
I've been searching for inspiration online. Articles about why the wig-man might be a good president fail to inspire me or lift me up. The petitions I'm signing daily seem pointless (though I keep on signing). Calling the White House or my representatives is depressing because people either hang up on me, or the tell me to call someone else, or they connect me to a black hole.
I have avoided social media because it's full of bad news. Some people are outraged, some post articles that are not legitimate, and a lot of people share more and more petitions.
My email inbox has been getting little attention as well. I get emails about great deals on something that I don't need. Emails to sign more petitions. Harassing emails from the Democratic Party to fill out survey after survey and “Why don't I respond. Do I not care about the election?”
And as I'm trying to avoid everything, this past week finally inspiration found me when a friend of mine, Leonora Gershman Pitts, posted in her timeline in response to Meryl Streep's Golden Globe speech. Leonora is is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She works as an actress and filmmaker, serves as a City Commissioner for the City of LA, and is the co-founder of the Los Angeles Women's Film Collective. She is married, has two kids and two dogs and she lives in LA. Her post is very well articulated and call to action to artists. I needed this! I needed her post to finally be inspired to do something! To not sit at home and dwell on what is happening but to get up and inspire others around me with my art.
I want to talk about Meryl, about bubbles, about cities, and about makers.
The reaction from Conservative Twitter and our own President-Elect after Meryl Streep's speech at the Golden Globes was swift and predictable. After she called on us to access and nurture our collective empathy, to protect and challenge our free press, and to continue to create create create, the Right called the rest of us “elitists”, said that actors should stick to acting, that we West and East Coasters live in a bubble.
First, let's quickly recognize and then release the irony of this relatively small group of Americans decrying the idea that actors/performers/entertainers should hold political opinions and say them out loud; this is the same group of people who worship Reagan, wanted to change the Constitution to allow Schwarzenegger to run for president, and just put a reality show blowhard idiot in the White House.
Secondly, don't come at me with this idea that Trump wasn't mocking the disabled reporter, which seems to be a common right-wing response on Twitter. Own that you voted for the guy who made fun of someone's disability. Own it. You know full and well he was, there is no other excuse. Also, if you think asking people to choose empathy over bullying is political, examine your life and make some changes, I beg you, for the betterment of our fragile world.
On to the generalization that Hollywood, or the coasts, or cities, or any diverse area is stuck in a liberal “bubble”. I live in the second largest city in the United States. Before I lived here, I lived in the largest city in the United States. Before that, I lived in a small city in a vast but tiny-populated state. So, I have a little experience with white, rural America, and a little experience with diverse, urban America.
Here in Los Angeles, my family and I are surrounded by immigrants, transplants, and homegrown Angelinos of every imaginable ethnicity, class, race, and religion. My kid goes to public school, so we have seen first hand how a group of racially, ethnically, socio-economically, academically, and behaviorally diverse little people can come together and immediately form a little society. My white kid is a minority at her school. This isn't a bubble. It couldn't possibly be - we are all so very very different from one another.
Just because our experiences are diverse and co-existing humans has led us to be more collectively progressive in our views doesn't mean we live in a bubble. It means, as they say, that the arc of human thought and action bends toward progress. Always has. The more we work to get through each day together in a large city, the more we realize that we are all in this together, that we need to exist and protect and align with one another: that's progressivism in a nutshell. We co-exist in this city, sharing our experiences, our ideas, our troubles, our triumphs. We come together when we know someone is in need, we create micro-communities within our communities, we know each other's names. That's not a bubble.
A bubble is being surrounded by people who look and think exactly like you. That's a bubble. If you lack the intellectual curiosity to suss out the difference between fake news and real news - and then just automatically doubt the reporting of the real news, you're in a bubble. If you have convinced yourself that a man who uses the kind of bullying, hurtful language that our president-elect uses, is worthy of our higher office: bubble. Bubble. Bubble. If you think his cowardly and cruel heart is somehow honorable, bubble. Awful bubble.
To Hollywood, specifically, being an “elitist” bubble, I invite any of you to please come visit a set. Nearly every single person on that set belongs to a union. Nearly every single person, save maybe the very biggest stars (who have earned their money and acclaim are shouldn't be excluded from the conversation just because they happened to succeed) are working- and middle-class. Electricians, grips, sound designers, hair and makeup artists, PAs, most actors, costume designers, editors, line producers, location managers, camera ops, DPs, casting directors, set dressers and designers -- most of us are just independent contractors working from job to job. Union workers, just like a mason or a police officer or a plumber.
Lastly, to the point that Meryl should shut up, that actors / entertainers / performers / makers / creators / artists shouldn't speak about politics or current affairs - this might be the point that pisses me off the most. The entire reason art exists, in every single form, is to illuminate, explore, dissect, and attempt to explain the human experience. Since the dawn of man, since people could speak, artists - STORYTELLERS - have helped us understand ourselves. When a movie makes you cry or a TV show makes you laugh or a painting has taken your breath away or a piece of writing has made you blink in disbelief at its beauty or a song has given you goosies from head to toe - even if it is escapist art - it is because some part of you recognizes yourself within the art. Maybe not even you, personally, but yourself as a member of the human race.
Actors, creators, artists, we are all just storytellers. It's our one job. Art is inherently political, and it always, always, always has been. So to the people on the right who want us to shut up, nice try. We've never been able to shut up - it's precisely why we, even the shyest among us, became artists in the first place. So, as we say in California: yeah, no. We aren't shutting up. We're turning up, now more than ever. Make your own shit if you don't like it. Dare ya.
Artists: let's get to work. It's annoying them. That means it's working.
If you feel like I felt the past few months, I hope you will find inspiration to create art. Don't wait for others to invite you to create. Start on your own. And if you are inspired to create something, let us know what it is. We would love to hear it.
As for me, neighbors, inspired by my edible forest front yard, came over today. I gave them a tour of our garden and told them how we are harvesting and storing water with Hügels and ditches, with drought tolerant plants and native flowers. I showed them what vegetables and herbs we have planted and how we are protecting our plants from the scorching sun with arches and plants that will grow in during spring. They are inspired to have a garden like ours and I offered to help.
This will be the year for me where I can put my knowledge and pass it on and who knows, maybe these next four years I will work toward transforming our neighborhood into a sustainable community.
We were 3.5 weeks into the LA Theatre Works national tour of “Judgment at Nuremberg”. It is a radio play about the Nuremberg Trials after World War II.
You know the one-where Nazi war criminals were tried for the crimes against humanity that resulted in the Holocaust.
Our play is specifically about the trials of the judges.
The trials that followed the first Nuremberg Trials. These trials were of the judges, doctors, business men, IG Farben whose chemicals were used in the gas chambers and so on.
It's Judges judging Judges.
It's a morality play about who is responsible and how far does that responsibility go.
Fun fact: War crimes and crimes against humanity came out of the Nuremberg Trials. It was the first time that people were convicted of carrying out the law. The first time that people were prosecuted for doing something that wasn't illegal at the time that they did it. That's how bad the crimes were. We needed to set a precedent so that it couldn't happen again.
It isn't a comedy.
3.5 weeks at universities all over the country, doing workshops and having talkbacks. Amidst an impending Presidential election. We find ourselves in the middle of America facilitating a conversation about fascism, nationalism and hate. The kind that makes us insulate ourselves from our neighbors.
No one was going to come and see a play about the Holocaust tonight-so we had the day off.
The first thing I noticed when we arrived at Notre Dame was it's swanky-ness. It is gorgeous, surrounded by trees of every color changing before our very eyes. We checked into the Morris Inn-clearly the place they put up donors to impress them.
This is a place where dreams are made. This is a place where anything is possible.
The next thing that I noticed was the lack of color-everywhere except the trees and the staff at the college. The only students that I saw of any color at all were clearly athletes.
Did I mention I was in Indiana.
Mike Pence is the Governor of Indiana.
Rohr's-the fancy bar at the Morris Inn.
In the middle are me and my castmates. 8 liberal actor tour-mates/friends. 8 of the best that there are to work with. The crème de la crème. 8 people going onto the front lines of truth and 8 people who have been bonded together through intention.
Across from us is a group of 40-50's something women celebrating a birthday.
At the end of the bar is a group of very large college athletes dominating the TV where the sound is on.
Sprinkled amongst us are several tables of couples that probably never look like they are having a good time.
We ordered food and drinks and waited for signs of how the night was going to progress. What the next four years would hold.
Our very smiley waitress, relatively young, particularly Mid-Western-but surprisingly, under further investigation, is a mother of 4. She looks around to see if anyone is watching her and secretly shows me a photo of her kids on her iPhone.
Smiley Waitress: This is a great job. If I stay-my kids will be able to go to college here and get financial aid.
She points to Murph, the grey-haired gentleman bartender.
Smiley Waitress: Murph has worked here for more than 40 years. They named a burger after him. It's really good.
Hillary has taken her first states. Our group cheers. We receive glowers from numerous guests. I feel obliged to remind our group that we are not in Kansas anymore. Kansas, actually would've been a problem as well-but to be conscious of the fact that we might not be in the majority.
Trump takes Tennessee and a middle aged white guy stands up at his table and obnoxiously cheers and claps and directs all of his energy at our table. He jeers at us.
Obnoxious White Guy: Yeah! That's what I'm talking about!
I am actually not sure why he would care that we didn't all vote for the same person-but he was successful at making a point. A point that felt like a threat.
I went to the bathroom and the front desk staff was peering into the bar TVs. They all jumped to attention as I walked past to look like they were working. I stopped and chatted with them-my way of letting them know I'm not the person who needs them to busy themselves.
Darlene the Front Desk Clerk: How is your night going?
Me: Good with the exception of the guy who just clapped for Trump in my face.
Darlene: Oh, yes. They get very aggressive if you don't do what they want you to.
Me: How is this for you tonight?
Darlene: Just a day in the life. This is a good job so I am getting through.
After I returned from the bathroom, the bar had emptied out quite a bit. It was that time in the night when it was looking pretty good for Hillary.
Gone was the obnoxious white guy. Gone was the group of women who I wished that I had asked how they felt about the election and being in Indiana-just to hear what they had to say.
And then about a half hour later-Trump takes another state. Hmmm.
The large athletes-couldn't tell if they were football players or basketball players or maybe both-were all white except one who was ethnically ambiguous. They cheered loudly and ordered more beer. I believe “Whoops” were involved. The ethnically ambiguous one looked like he was in conflict with himself as he tried to “Whoop” along.
One of my cast mates stands abruptly to leave.
Cast mate #1: This is how much they hate us. They had to make sure we knew just exactly how much they hate us. They are really that afraid of women that they would rather have him than her.
She refuses to watch anything further publicly and retires to her room for some kind of sanctuary.
I was feeling a little touchy. I went out for some air.
Earlier that week we were in Iowa. And Wisconsin. And Minnesota. And Arizona. But in Iowa, I was met with these stares. Not by the Quakers. Not by the Amish. Not by the students or the staff at the University. By the people who were just regular people that we'd bump into at the Culver's fast food joint (Frozen custard-check it out) or the lobby at our hotel. These people who stare-it is a look I've seen before-it is a look of disgust. Perhaps I don't look the way they think I should? Perhaps it's indigestion. It's the same kind of look that someone gets when they want to destroy something.
In the space of 3 hours going between Wisconsin and Iowa to return rental cars-it's a long story that involves a cancelled flight at Chicago O'Hare airport during the last game of the World Series when the Chicago Cubs won for the first time-
I was asked by 4 separate people in 4 different places:
“Where you from? You ain't from round here.”
One of whom was a toothless truck driver who thought I might like to see his bumper sticker that was an outline of a pin up girl holding a garden tool.
It read: Every farmer needs a good ho!
When he finished laughing and slapping his knee (really, he actually knee slapped himself) he invited me into the cab of his truck.
Toothless truck driver: Maybe you'd like me to show you other things you won't see out there in California. Maybe you'd like me to teach you a thing or two.
It was at that moment I assumed the person pumping the gas into our rentals was pumping diesel so that the car would stop in a half a mile and they could come “rescue me”.
People keep pointing out that he was just a trucker…and I keep pointing out that I am just a woman and it spooked me. I felt fear. The kind I haven't for a while. The kind that is intentional. The kind you can see in their eyes. That they want to teach you a lesson. The kind that should be unacceptable in a modern society.
When I returned to the bar this time-
Trump had just been given Florida.
One of our cast mates hangs up his phone.
Cast Mate #2: My kids are in tears. They don't understand what is happening. I told them it was going to be fine and not to worry.
The bar was now mostly empty. Except for our group, Murph the bartender, a 21 year old blonde bartender who never smiled and a man who it turns out was speaking on the panel about the Nuremberg Trials before our show the next night. We talked about the precedent that Hitler set with his rhetoric of hate. We talked about his focus on how “others” were the problem and his meteoric rise to power. We talked about how quickly the tide can shift. We acknowledged how terrifying it is that his language is mirrored to a tee by Trump as we waited to see how Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin were going to turn out.
Dessert was definitely required.
The 21 year old blonde bartender who never smiled came over.
Me: I'll have the crème brulee with 6 spoons please. How is this night for you? How do you feel about this election?
Blonde Bartender: I'm just getting through it. Is that it? The kitchen is closing.
Me: Yes, that's it.
The crème brulee didn't help.
States that had seemed to be locked up were changing from blue to red.
Another cast mate hangs up his phone.
Cast Mate #3: I don't know what to tell my son. He has a Muslim girlfriend. What am I supposed to tell my son?
It was 1 AM. I'd never been on the east coast for an election. I'm used to Los Angeles where you have a new President by 10.
The bar was closing. It was me and 2 cast mates, the 2 bartenders and the staff of the hotel. All but the blonde bartender looked like they'd seen a disaster.
I felt like I had just watched the World Trade Center towers fall again. It felt as personal as that day did. An attack on our freedom. Our way of life.
We retreated to our rooms, in shock.
The next day-I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. And the morning news didn't bring a sudden miracle.
I walked to the bagel place on campus. It was cold, sunny and windy.
A very tall athlete brushed past me. I felt invisible. I felt like I had a target on my back.
On the sidewalk someone had scrawled in pastel colored chalk:
Love Trumps Hate
Standing in line, I overheard 2 undergrads mumbling to each other.
Female Undergrad: I don't really get what the big deal is?
Male Undergrad: I don't know. Everybody always overreacts. I mean what can happen in 4 years?
I felt like a crazy person. I felt scared.
The show that night was the kind of show you dream about. And never want to perform at the same time. Our mutual shock over what had transpired in the last 24 hours had turned to anger. Purpose.
If we were gonna be in the good state of Indiana where Mike Pence is the Governor we are going to leave it all on the stage. We are not going to leave a stone unturned. We are going to tell the fuck out of this story and hold our heads up high.
We had developed a camaraderie that you can only find on the front lines. With the people you go to war with.
Fighting the good fight.
Fighting for right by showing the humanity of being wrong.
The show was tragic and terrifying as these words that we had been saying for the last 3.5 weeks were ringing true. These words took on a new meaning.
There is a monologue in the climax of the play.
The character Ernst Janning, the pre-eminent Judge on trial for war crimes, is confessing to his part in upholding the law. He paints the scene as to how these crimes could have happened.
“There are devils among us. Communists, Liberals, Jews, Gypsies! Once the devils will be destroyed, your miseries will be destroyed…What difference does it make if a few political extremists lose their rights? What difference does it make if a few racial minorities lose their rights? It is only a passing phase. It is only a stage we are going through…It will be discarded sooner or later.”
I and my cast mates were in tears in the wings.
It wasn't until I returned home on Thanksgiving Day that I actually felt the weight of reality. Everything has started to normalize. Everyone is getting on with their day. And after standing on stages across this country for the last 5 weeks, I feel impotent. On stage everything makes sense. I am doing something. I am contributing to the world. I am an ambassador for peace. What do I do now?
Politics are a mirror the same way art is.
It is easy to sit in Los Angeles and say “How could anyone vote for him?” I know I did.
If you want to know how someone voted for him, ask them.
And then listen to what they say in return.
If you listen to someone's fear instead of their hate-they will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about why they are the way they are.
We seem to live in a time where everyone has to agree to be respectful. It's actually the opposite. Respect for humanity is out of the sameness of us all being people. Not because we are all the same.
Fighting for the good of all includes all, even those we don't agree with. Especially those who don't agree with us, because those victories are the hardest won and lost.
Wiser people than me have said that dialogue is the only true path to peace.