Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Parks and Rec creator on Trump win: America has always survived

Posted on

Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Before seeking a post-election respite from social media, Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine creator Michael Schur shared a solemn, lengthy rumination about Donald Trump’s political rise and unexpected victory.

In a 28-tweet thread posted Wednesday, Schur lamented that “America, in its collective wisdom, has elected a vain, violent, ignorant, sexist bully as our President. Not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, or a misogynist. But they did vote *for* a racist and a misogynist.”

Asserting that there is “plenty of blame to go around,” Schur called out the news media “who happily covered [Trump’s] rallies and hired his henchmen as talking heads,” the federal law enforcement agents “who intervened, banana republic junta-style, into a democratic election with a made-up scandal,” the politicians on both sides of the aisle “who treated him like a joke instead of flatly stating that he was a dangerous and unserious person,” and “the (predominantly white) people who looked at the toxic cocktail he had to offer and thought, ‘Sure. Sounds good.'”

While grappling with questions of empathy and how he will talk to his children about Trump, Schur concluded with very cautious optimism.

“America has always survived its (many) disastrous political decisions,” he wrote. “This feels like the most disastrous. I believe we can survive it. … Progress comes from empathy and inclusiveness. I will try to find empathy for the people who voted for Trump. But Trump voters have to find empathy for the people who, with very good reason, fear his Presidency. That is the only way forward.”

Read Schur’s full thread:

Been planning a post-election twitter break for a while. Think it’s probably a good idea, now. But first: America, in its collective wisdom, has elected a vain, violent, ignorant, sexist bully as our President. Not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, or a misogynist. But they did vote *for* a racist and a misogynist. They voted for a man who was happily, enthusiastically endorsed by the actual KKK. And who wouldn’t even denounce that endorsement. His voters saw him say he liked to grab women by the p‑‑‑y, then watched as a dozen women accused him of assault, and they voted for him. They saw him present zero real ideas, change his mind constantly, and present no vision except to “Make America Great Again.” They saw him invent his own reality, repeat lies as if they were truths, and utterly dispense with basic civility.

There will be an endless post-mortem on how this happened. There is plenty of blame to go around. Start with the for-profit news business, who happily covered his rallies and hired his henchmen as talking heads. The media who equated Clinton’s emails with Trump’s litany of absurd personal, professional, political, and ethical failings. The federal law enforcement agents who intervened, banana republic junta-style, into a democratic election with a made-up scandal. The Republicans and Democrats alike who treated him like a joke instead of flatly stating that he was a dangerous and unserious person.And the (predominantly white) people who looked at the toxic cocktail he had to offer and thought, “Sure. Sounds good.”

This was not a “working class revolt,” as was first reported. The data shows it clearly. This was a white revolt, and a male revolt. I am being now asked to have empathy for the Trump voters who feel left behind in the midst of changes to our world. Why are those voters not being asked to have empathy for the women who are victims of the kind of misogyny Trump put on display? Where is their empathy for African-Americans and Muslim citizens and Hispanic citizens who are routinely victims of prejudice? Where is the empathy for non-white people who haven’t been “left behind” because they’ve never been able to catch up in the first place?

For eight years, my son’s entire life, I have been able to point to the President of the United States and say: “Be like him: thoughtful, intelligent, steady, nuanced, kind, a good husband and father.” For the next four years, I fear I will have to say: “Do *not* be like him: rude, vindictive, callous, self-obsessed, and aggressive.” For six years, my daughter’s entire life, I have been telling her she can be anything she wants to be. For the next four (the next 50?), I will keep telling her that, until the cancer of misogyny is cut out of this country forever.

America has always survived its (many) disastrous political decisions. This feels like the most disastrous. I believe we can survive it. The problem is: this isn’t just a political decision. It’s a clarion call to forces of white nationalism, anti-semitism, and fascism. I thought the country had progressed enough to shout down a man whose campaign was fueled only by fear and hate. It has not. Progress comes from empathy and inclusiveness. I will try to find empathy for the people who voted for Trump. But Trump voters have to find empathy for the people who, with very good reason, fear his Presidency. That is the only way forward.

Comments