This nation has seen a rise in hate crimes since President Donald Trump took office on a platform that put xenophobic comments front and center.
That’s all there is to say about that, unless you are a Trump supporter who wants everyone to know that, hey, you are the real victim here.
Over the past six months, fans of the president have tried to raise awareness of #MAGAphobia, harrowing acts they’ve endured for loving Trump, and acts that often consist of being told the hat they are wearing has a racist connotation. Add to that growing chorus conservative pundit and Turning Point USA contributor Ashley St. Clair, who on Monday said she was almost left stranded in the middle of the road in Texas for her support of Trump.
She tweeted that an hour into a recent two-hour Uber ride, her driver said: “Tell me you don’t support Trump or I won’t finish this trip.”
It’s noteworthy that St. Clair announces to the world that she avoids “telling people I don’t know well” what she does. It speaks to the persecution complex touted on Twitter by voices in the pro-Trump camp–from men complaining about dating apps to students who feel marginalized in high school.
While St. Clair is right, she shouldn’t be left on the side of the road, might there be a reason behind someone driving an Uber not wanting to drive a Trump supporter? It’s easy to zoom out and claim “Trump Derangement Syndrome” and as St. Clair said, asking, “why has it become acceptable to discriminate based on political affiliation?”
Well, for starters, take the recent decision of Trump’s National Labor Relations Board. It chose to not come to the defense of Uber drivers, preventing the group from unionizing and allowing the company to continue to not provide healthcare. Or just take for the fact that Trump’s biggest legislative achievement of his tenure, a tax cut, gave Uber drivers a pittance while allowing the company itself to reap in tax breaks.
“I’m a young, cute girl and if she had canceled the trip halfway, I would’ve been stranded in the middle of nowhere Texas all because I believe in making America great again,” St. Clair added.
What she forgets is that her Republican party—one that pulls from well-to-do, upper-middle-class white people—maintains that there are two reasonable sides to any political decision. And so in some idyllic world, surely no one would be discriminated against for “political affiliation.”
But saying you’re being discriminated against for supporting Trump ignores the fact that the decisions the administration St. Clair supports are harming people: immigration policy that lands children in cages, a transgender ban that discriminates against Americans who want to serve in the armed forces, a ban geared at keeping an entire religion from entering the U.S.
It’s fine if you want to say that those policies are helping Americans as a whole, and that’s why you are supporting them, but there’s no denying they harm individuals who don’t deserve it. You can accept that or cry discrimination.
And if an independent contractor, paid dollars an hour at a company worth billions, thinks you—in the back seat of her car—can make a point by using shocking language, maybe you should listen instead of waving it away under the auspices of missing some distant America where political discrimination never existed.
Or St. Clair could have just taken her own advice days earlier and downloaded Lyft.
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