It’s not about feelings

I believe I’ve blogged before about the right-wing meme that tells “those who hate Trump” that Trump supporters felt exactly the same about Obama when “he went overseas and apologized for America,” when he said “America was no longer a Christian nation” (actually what he said was we’re not just a Christian nation) and told them all bathrooms would be genderless (no, not accurate). But they “bore him as much as we could. We waited and prayed for a president who would take a stand for America.”
The point of the meme, of course, is that Trump is Obama’s mirror image; he upsets liberals the way Obama upset conservatives. But that’s bullshit. You’ll notice they don’t cite Obama policies (except the alleged genderless bathrooms), only how he made them feel. He hurt their fee-fees by saying America had done bad things (which we have) and that America isn’t a Christian nation, which is correct. We’ve never been a Christian nation, just a nation with a Christian majority, which is not the same thing (and for most of our history it was conceived as a Protestant nation rather than Christian), and was a historical interpretation largely made up in the 1930s. The meme doesn’t suggest that Obama’s policies discriminated against Christians because he didn’t (except in the sense some conservatives think not getting what they want is anti-Christian). In short Obama saying that other countries can be as exceptional as ours and that other faiths are as American as theirs was seen as an attack.
Which may be the point of the meme. Living for years in a Bible Belt community, I’ve seen how many people think not embracing their worldview is anti-God. A world where they see black people shopping in “their” stores or women being independent and unsubmissive and gay people walking around openly is an attack. So if Trump creates a world we don’t like, that’s payback.
Then again, maybe it’s to suggest that all our objections to Trump policy — locking children in cages, separating them from their families, discriminating against Muslims, failing to be even minimally effective against the pandemic — are less about policy and about our own feelings being hurt, just like they were. We’re haters. We’re victims of “Trump derangement syndrome.” We’re the real crybabies so nobody needs to listen to us!
Or it could be both. Either way it’s a comforting lie to tell themselves so they can disregard the evidence they’re on the wrong side of history.

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