I’m a four-time Top Writer here on Quora. Quora, as you all must be aware, is a site dedicated to asking and answering questions by anyone on the internet. They advertise their mission to be “to share and grow the world’s knowledge.” It’s also very heavily left-leaning, as it was started in the far-left haven of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area. The first users all knew each other and invited their friends who invited their friends. It brought a great deal of talent, but also fed a sort of group-think in regards to something we all feel we are part of, but few have actual experience, such as politics, religion, and Game of Thrones.
For many years, the most promoted group of Quorans, the Top Writers, had a few things in common. Most were technical experts in something, most were great communicators, a few were simply a joy to read, but many gained their claim to fame by being just activists, or at least armchair activists. Activism, primarily liberal and progressive, almost always has a way of attracting support and a following. It’s nice to say nice things, even when those nice things don’t actually work or aren’t really solving actual problems. That said, most activists lean very far to left in the United States. What that meant, was that Quora and especially the Top Writer Community, began to grow very, very far to the political left through the inclusion of experts, communicators, fun people, and the far-left activists.
Why this is important is that many of us aren’t leftists. We don’t espouse all of the left’s ideas about Social Justice, not because we are bigoted, but because we don’t think their ideas work. We see most as causing more harm than good in recent years. We also don’t agree with their economics, having stagnated the job market of the most powerful nation on Earth, as well as the left’s attack on gun ownership and willful disregard for holding criminals accountable. We don’t respect the foreign policy of the last eight years, which saw the rise of ISIS, the collapse of hard-fought gains in Iraq, an empowered Russia, a weakened Europe, an aggressive China, compromises with Iran, the reduction of our military, and a reduced global standing of the United States, when Barack Obama was elected to change exactly that. Finally, we don’t appreciate being mocked and denigrated as country bumpkins or religious fanatics just because we have beliefs in a greater truth than that which can be easily understood by the human mind. We are Conservatives. But you probably haven’t heard much from us until right now.
That’s because Quora hasn’t been a nice place to be a Conservative for many years. Those who promote any Conservative viewpoint have faced an immediate and harsh backlash. I remember about a year and a half ago, I wasn’t very political with regards to domestic issues. But then something happened. I did have a problem with the riots that were taking place in relation to #BLM, and I said it. In Ferguson, Missouri in particular, where an overwhelming amount of evidence served to conflict with the popular narrative of a white police officer murdering an innocent black man in cold blood, I spoke up. It seemed a clear-cut case of a lot of people having bad information that I just needed to communicate, much like I have done with the Iraq War for years and which most people appreciated. Instead, I faced what, to me, seemed like a ridiculous amount of backlash when all I was asking for was to think about the situation from the other point of view and take actual evidence into account, rather than the word of someone who ended up being an accomplice to the crimes which led to the death that started it all. After that, when a group of girls posed in front of a Confederate flag, it happened again. A group of angry protesters assembled outside the girl’s home and verbally attacked the family with “protestations”. I said that was wrong, not because I support the Confederate flag, but because I am a high school teacher and I think it is wrong to endanger children like that. “Peaceful protests” have a way of turning to riots, as we’ve seen all too recently. Keep your protests away from people’s homes, especially children who don’t know any better.
Then this was said:
“People who say things like this want people who look like me [black people] back in chains.”
Yeah, I was called a racist. You either agree with them entirely, or you’re a racist. Well, I’m not a racist, but I was getting angry. In the last year, I’ve been called a bigot, a racist, an Islamophobe, xenophobe, and a misogynist, not to mention a few others, such as an amoeba, homophobe, inept, and “classic cisgendered white male”. I was compared to Hitler and Sam Davis (the Democratic leader of the Confederate South) and accused of wanting all black people back picking cotton, and that my grandfather assaulted Martin Luther King Jr. I was told I hate everyone, even down to autistic children, which still baffles me. In one altercation on the official Quora Top Writer Facebook group, my mother was even compared to a whore, just to make a point. And when I protest that that is wrong, irrationally off-topic, or just plain hate speech, well, the terms used for that are “white privilege” and “white fragility.” Actually, though I’ve faced those attacks repeatedly before and since, many of those happened on a single day. This was all because I posted an article about manipulation in Islamic-based topics on the site over the summer. (. The best I got was a comment by Quora moderation telling everyone to observe Quora’s policy, which I never violated and with no actions taken against the clearly evident attacks. After that, I really became aware of what Quora had become. It was a place where Conservatives were not respected, where it was allowable to mock, berate, and violate their online rights, where it was actually encouraged through the biases of the moderators because our ideas are presumed to come from a place of hate.
“They’re evil because someone told me so, so I can do evil to them, because reasons…”
It wasn’t a place we felt we had a voice. Moreover, many didn’t even feel safe. And this was never a passive thing. It was very active on many who lean to the Right. Since I “came out” as a Conservative over the last year, and particularly since the summer, I’ve been targeted multiple times with open attacks like these, but also attacks more subtle. Cabals have been formed by the truly intolerant which have stalked my edit logs reporting everything I do or say because maybe I was in violation. They posted my views on secret Facebook groups to downvote and report statements and comments I’ve made which don’t violate any policies, but violate Progressive ideologues and their personally held beliefs and assumptions on what sort of conversations should be allowed on this site. I’ve been blocked by at least 4 Top Writers that I know of, some I used to count among my friends. They’ve gone onto boards set up to filter content that was poorly worded or the subject of topic manipulation (the sort of thing I reported on during the summer) and tried to have me banned. In the past, I’ve even had people try to get me fired. And in some ways, it worked. I’ve had less traffic than I had in the past because I have faced so much negative attention in the algorithm. A big part of how I am funded, through myto support this writing hobby, has slowed. More and more, on seemingly every issue that came up, I was confronted, not with rational discussion, but verbal attacks, threats to get me banned, and algorithm manipulation to try to silence my views and research on these social topics. What happened… I went a lot further to the right and became a lot more selective about what I said. That said, I didn’t stop believing anything. Those people who started this, they created a much greater enemy in me by not being subject to affording me the same respect I had originally given them.
Frankly, it’s been a rough year and not just for me. I’m one of the largest contributors to Quora and have amassed one of the largest followings here, and in doing that, I’ve received so many messages from other Conservatives thanking me for being their voice because they were too afraid to speak up here on Quora.
As a member of the Marines who went to Iraq and who didn’t see it as the worst thing the United States has ever done, but as a good choice which failed, I’ve always been a controversial writer on Quora. So people shouldn’t have been surprised about my beliefs. It bothered me though, that so many people on a site I had championed for so long as a place for learning and growth through a broad and diverse range of experiences and ideas were afraid to share their knowledge on a site designed specifically for that reason, and that they would be thanking me for doing it for them.
And no, it isn’t just Quora. This sort of sentiment is common on the internet and with Millennial Culture in general: “If you say mean things that we care about, we’ll crucify you. If we say mean things, it’s free speech.” But Quora is my personal sphere, so it affects me most here. Beyond Quora, for years now, the Regressive Left have assaulted traditionally conservative institutions. In every media presentation of the Church for the last, promoting the stereotype of only hypocrites, child rapists, con artists, and the ignorant. Religious tolerance? What a joke. Tell that to Pennsatucky. The military has been recast by profoundly hurtful and hateful rhetoric, to being murderers, psychologically damaged, threats to the workplace, and waste people extending into the common perception damaging the lives of so many veterans today. Our police officers feel as if they are hated by the nation, and have now been targeted for execution at the behest of the very same protesting organizations championed by the left’s administration. They’ve placed pressure on the media and universities to block Conservative speakers or else suffer the consequences of a predominantly Liberal educator and student base.
Where they can’t silence people, they try to silence speech that questions their view of the world, presumably the very point of higher education, through the ridiculous phenomenon of “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces”. All the while, they demand to be treated with “respect”, “equality”, and “tolerance,” meanwhile extending none of that themselves. They’ve forced people into silence and stepping on eggshells for the fear that something said may be purposefully taken out of context, blown up on viral media and cost someone their job. For our views, we’ve all been called redneck buffoons, ignorant and illogical idiots, uneducated populists, drooling inbreds, Proto-Nazis fascists, white supremacist racists, and of course, a basket of deplorables.
In the shallowest of attacks, our friends on social media demanded we unfriend them because they wanted to have nothing to do with us because we voted right of center. Yes, one friend of mine since high school unfriended me last night because I posted this message.
Seems a bit uncalled for, a bit irrational. It seems a bit hateful, especially given that it is exactly what happened.
And I’m not done. Being called names and people saying mean things is one thing that for some is pretty easy to get over once we develop our callous to it, but it didn’t stop there, as other answers to this question have made clear.
A 9 year old kid in US, who was wearing a Trump cap in school was asked to remove it as fellow students started making hate comments on him, just for supporting Trump. The school, instead of asking fellow students to respect the opinion of their friend, asked him to remove the cap.
A 16 year old teen had similar experiences when even teachers at his school mocked him by saying “Thank God you can’t vote”, when he wore a Trump cap. Another student told him, “I’m glad you’re being bullied,” after students knocked the hat from his head. So much for equality !!
And far worse, from
Clinton supporters created an environment where anyone who supported Trump was suddenly seen as an uneducated redneck racist sexist homophobic idiot. In that environment, the voices of millions of people were silenced.
I was especially suspicious when everyone was saying most Trump supporters are uneducated. At a college in my state, students held a pro-Trump rally and built a wall on campus:
It was mostly older professors at first who were vocally against this and started protesting against the students:
Eventually activist groups organized and made a counter protest:
- Most young people who vocally oppose Trump on campus are student activists. It is their job to be honest.
- There are college students who support Trump. College professors are more leftwing than students.
- If some college students support Trump, then some people with college degrees do too.
The most extreme example I saw of this was a group of Hillary Clinton supporters in California attacking a homeless woman who supports Trump:
I think that if the left had not shamed Trump supporters, then they would have had a better idea of what was going on and could have had a better ground game. Marginalizing Trump supporters with labels like “uneducated” “illogical” “red-neck” does not stop them from voting. You need voter ID laws or things like make it harder for them to vote to do that, which the Republicans have had a better job of doing in recent years.
It wasn’t just tolerated to be hateful, cruel, dismissive, and even violent to Trump supporters… it had become cool. It was the socially accepted form of political engagement. At no point did anyone question if they understood the context of what Trump, his supporters, or just Conservatives in general were racist, bigoted, sexist, or in some way hostile. Just identifying as such was deemed being guilty of something and it had to be punished in the most disgusting way, and it absolutely had to be shared for the world to see. The Clinton campaign knew this. They knew what Trump had said in interviews and they knew that the media was selectively filtering it to spin bias in her favor, but we couldn’t expect anything other than eating it up. That much is to be expected; it’s politics. But when Clinton began to believe her own rhetoric, when she joined in, when she encouraged the sort of hate and dismissal that so many of us felt… that’s when she saw a lot of people turn from not liking her positions, to hating her back.
To be aware of what she said, Secretary Clinton just completely violated the dignity of over 30,000,000 Americans, citizens she would have been expected to govern. Which 30? No one knows. It was just half of the people who in any way supported Donald Trump. Instead, she made it clear that these people weren’t people of equal merit or standing. Their opinions didn’t matter, in fact, don’t even listen to their opinions, because they are beneath you. And the violence and social ostracism that they faced… it was totally acceptable and encouraged.
And of course, not by everyone. Some of my best friends on the site are lefties. They are great people who I happen to disagree with. I’d like to call out a few of them for always being my reminder that everyone on the left isn’t a bunch of volatile self-righteous social justice monsters,, , and . I know that last night wasn’t easy. Trust me, I’ve been there before, and I am hoping people like you can be leaders of a new left that builds bridges to get what you want rather than tearing people down.
That said, up until now, it seemed all this treatment was working for the Regressive Left. Not even we knew how many of us felt so completely alienated in our own nation. We were silenced from voicing how we felt and what our concerns were. We were silenced, but we didn’t change our mind. In fact, most of us were probably pushed to this. I became angry and became a thorn in the side of many in the progressive community here on Quora. But others, they became the silent majority. That said, even I had to pick and choose if answering something I knew would be controversial was worth the blood, I wasn’t buying the “racist, sexist, bully” rhetoric because you know why? They had used it on me when none of it was true. Yeah, something crazy happened, they made poor people in the rural South, the Rust Belt, the Midwest, and the urban slums, the Christians, and the neighborhood business woman trying to keep her doors open, the housewives, and even blacks and Hispanics, the traditionally protected class of the Democrats, identify with a New York City white elite billionaire. By judging us so viciously, they did it better than anything he could have said or done. So in many ways even I may have been silenced, but when November finally came, we all learned something very interesting.
The Ballot Box won’t judge you. The Ballot Box won’t unfriend you. The Ballot Box won’t try to get you fired, call you names, or try to silence you. The Ballot Box listens to what you have to say.
I couldn’t believe how much people like me had to say. I was completely unprepared for the outcry of the silent plurality. I’m going, to be honest, no part of me expected Trump would win, and in the beginning, I didn’t even want him to. Well into the Republican primaries, I was a fan of Marco Rubio, but when he fell out, and the writing was on the wall, I knew I was going to vote for Trump. What he expressed, and particularly his choice for a running mate, meant that he was the closest I was going to get to perfect this go-around, but I expected to lose just like I have every Presidential election so far. You can read my. To say it was a resounding show of support would be a joke. I think the fact that I compared myself to a knight marching off to his doom because it was as close to his convictions as he had left seems the funniest now. I knew in my heart we had no chance, but it simply wouldn’t have been intellectually honest of me to vote for someone who identified with and so clearly expressed views against my beliefs, just because the guy running for my party wasn’t that nice. People have followed me on Quora, not because I followed a script to seek love and admiration, but because I have always tried to be intellectually honest with my readers. That said, up until last night, I thought this was just my burden to bear and that I was just going to have to deal with another eight years of the same.
Then last night happened, and it surprised me too. It was something very big. Yuge. Against all the polls, against all the predictions, against all the attacks, the mud slinging, the silencing, and against everyone comparing people like me to the Confederate Hitlers, Trump won. I was trying to put it all together too. How could it have happened, though, when I was sure, absolutely sure that everything was going to go the other way. Quite honestly, I think that it was just that everything I was experiencing, everyone else was feeling just as well. I wasn’t upset. I was elated, not because I particularly like Donald Trump, but because this was a slap back at everyone who had made the last eight years such a hell-hole to try and have a rational conversation and solve problems. While now President-elect Trump has many flaws, to many of us, he represents finally getting to be heard, for our culture to again be respected, and for a chance to not be called something hurtful just because of how we vote.
Honestly, it was my leftist friends who put it into words best. Many of the Top Writers are friends outside of Quora, and so we enter each other’s world more than you think. In particular, three friends, all further left than I,and , and , I think captured more of what drove the events of last night than anyone else I have seen.
Craig, bless his heart, summed up millions of Trump supporters while actually supporting Clinton. That said, he did so with a compassion and sense of understanding that is why I continue to respect him for his political acumen and his humanity.
I always like to start with the weaknesses in my argument, so let’s talk about why Donald Trump is candidate worth supporting. First and foremost, in most parts of America, things aren’t okay—and they’re not getting better. Here in the cities, we have too many high paying jobs, such that housing has become the big issue—the rest of the country? Ha! First world problems of the first world, you might say. The jobs are gone, the jobs aren’t coming back, and the bullshit politicians who promised to keep the jobs and bring them back (say the Philadelphia shipping industry and yard) were all full of shit. A new economy is emerging, but everyone who learned a trade and not how to learn is in deep shit. Donald Trump speaks to this part of the country.
Even if Trump doesn’t have solutions or even if his solutions would make the problem worse, politicians on both sides have been saying they fight for the American worker while things keep getting worse. In my job, I’ve been going to more and more cities, and in all too many, you can see anxious, melancholic, and graying civic leaders seeing just about anyone with an opportunity leaving for a few, shining cities where there’s hope for a better future still. They see the home that they love losing hope for the future. Someone that just keeps repeating, “I’m going to make things great again,” offers a renewal of that fading hope, a lifeline. Who wouldn’t grab it? I can’t and refuse to disrespect anyone for supporting Trump alone.
In many circumstances, his words of “Why not me? What do you have to lose?” resonate, though not to the audiences of color who he’s directing them at. Why not? He’s the only one saying something truly different, and in the choice between change v. experience, Trump is change embodied. Change the course, change American Democracy, change everything you think you’ve ever understood about the body politic and American stability.
While Trump has policy proposals—some that I agree with, some that I oppose—he’s really this candidate who, if you support him, offers hope in the future. Though if you oppose him, he provokes fear. Almost all candidates for the American Presidency offer hope, some more naturally than others. Few have done so using fear, and fewer, if any, have said that they alone offer hope. I had a growing distaste for how the Obama campaign in 2008 provoked a savior complex among too large a slice of the population, but the Trump campaign actively encourages it, whereas candidate Obama belatedly tried to tamp down expectations and unjustified hopes.
Jonas Mikka Luster then had this to offer, after it became clear where the night was heading.
This may (will!) cost me friends, but it has to be said, because right now I am raw and hurt and in pain and despairing.
We forgot, that America is mostly conservative, made up from a marginalized middle class, that is predominantly well off enough to pay the bills, in debt as most Americans, raises a few kids, goes to work every day, and feels left out ever since the days of Reagan. Where Democrats won, it was by putting up a very, very, convincing candidate, that spoke to them, the swing voters, the lethargic voters, the ones who generally don’t go vote or don’t know whom to vote for.
We’ve become bullies. We’ve learned, that by shitstorming on Twitter, screaming loudly in assemblies and election rallies, by shaming people on Facebook and Twitter, by doing GoFundMes and Patreons, we can force people into compliance. We’ve become demanding of immediate change, we’ve stopped explaining, and turned into a people who “or else” our way into progression. Technocrats.
The thing about acceptance, togetherness, friendship, all the values Trump stands against, is that they can’t be forced. They have, first and foremost, to be offered. Buzzfeed listicles about inbred, drunk, uneducated, Appalachians, classism, lookism (“small hands” or “orange Hitler”), open attacks on anyone even remotely asking why they should vote for Hillary, reinforce our own ranks, make US internally, stronger, over a meme-ized enemy. They don’t expand, they don’t convince, they don’t strengthen ties to undecideds and lethargic voters.
You can shame someone into not loudly stating their opinion, into walking on eggshells, into never asking a question or wanting assurances. You can bully, belittle, laugh, exclude, anyone who does not, magically, become enlightened and follow your ideals without having been shown compassion and reason. But you can not guide their hands on election day. That comes from the inside, from dreams and hopes, from fear and anger.
We did little to alleviate the fear and anger. We gave no dreams, no hopes. Yes, we presented the alternative(s) by showing how a Trump America would fare against a Hillary America, but we failed to explain the reasoning well to those whose choir we’re not already preaching to. Instead, we stooped to insults and lost no second showing our classism and intellectual superiority, going so far as to divide the country into the elite and “50 percent dumb fucks” or whatever the narrative was, that day.
Well, those “dumb fucks” on the fence voted. And they voted not for Trump, they voted against a movement, that told them that they’re either with them or stupid inbred Appalachian yokels.
Brexit was not much different. And neither will the next elections be. Unless we get off our high horse, seek debate as equals, not as screaming harpies, seek to learn, not to teach, and seek to understand, not “make them comply,” the scales have tipped. We’ve passed the acceptable threshold of telling people they’re dirt, showering them with made up polysyllabic words to demand acceptance and compliance, rather than sitting with them and offer friendship and understanding.
I, for one, will be there. Because this is not the America I want, not the world I want. And rather than forcing hands and belittling those who do not think or act the way I understand it to be the only/best way, I’ll try to show them, that there’s a better way. In the mean time, we have spare bedrooms, if anyone wants out.
…We did this to ourselves. We lived in a bubble. We weren’t able to communicate to half of Americans that we don’t actually live in a terrible world. (And easier for us to feel with white collar jobs.) We unfriended people that disagree with our views. We’ve become increasingly insular. We only see articles from people who think exactly like us. Us city folk live in a very different mind space than our rural friends. And do most of us even have rural friends that we can have an honest conversation about these things?
We are indeed a deeply divided country.
Sometimes to take a step forward you take a step back. If you give up and move out of the country then you’re a coward. Stay and fight for a better future. Stay and figure out why half our country is so unhappy with our government that they would elect this man, a morally reprehensible man that they don’t even like.
Let’s stay and heal and figure out how to make America better together.
So, am I happy that Trump won? It was a lot better than nothing, for me. I’ll go on record to say that I don’t think he has expressed anywhere near an adequate foreign policy. It makes me actually quite scared, to be honest. If anyone won in the race between Clinton and Trump, I’m pretty sure it was Russia. I’m also hoping to see a more diplomatic President Trump than the candidate we have seen for the last year. Frankly, there are going to be some major obstacles to the nation’s success in the next four years that only President Trump will be in place to fix. That said, I just wonder if I would like the guy if I had to meet him. Maybe that is the influence of all the media I have been talking about speaking through me, or if he really is just a nasty person like they all say. My wife put it best when her third graders asked her if she was happy about the election. “Well kids, I’m not really happy with either one. The President is supposed to be someone the people look up to and who makes good choices. Neither Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump have made very good choices.” One of them asked this morning, “Is it because they use Sandpaper Words, Mrs. Davis?”
“Yes, Caleb. It’s because they use Sandpaper Words.”
Secondly, the Presidential election wasn’t the biggest event in my life that night. In Oklahoma, we voted on a number of proposals. As a teacher married to a teacher, one proposal was to implement a 1 percent sales tax to help alleviate the teacher pay crisis. We were ranked 50th in the nation last I checked. Of course, the State is so desperate, not even that passed. What did pass, thanks to massive donations from the ACLU, were propositions to decriminalize possession of drugs including not just marijuana, but cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin to alleviate the overcrowded prisons. That one passed. I may have won the national elections and several of the people I voted for made it to the big chairs, but many of the laws I wanted didn’t come to pass. To make it clear, we are a State so desperate that we voted against a sales tax to help teachers and voted for making possession of incredibly potent drugs no longer a felony, just to save money on prisons. Our State is hurting, and has been for a very long time. Everywhere I look, I see the personification of J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, a rotten and decaying town forty years past its prime, but unable to die. Given that, it doesn’t surprise me that Trump symbolized so much for so many that one of my wife’s kids told her that his mom woke her up this morning to high five her that Trump won the presidency, nor does it surprise me that today there was a seeming euphoria in the air everywhere I went in the only State in the Union where every single county voted Trump.
Why did Trump win? It wasn’t because he is a decent human being. It probably wasn’t even that he has the best strategy. It was Clinton, or rather, the movement that started with President Obama that she intended to inherit. That movement forgot about us. More so, it was those 4 Top Writers who blocked people like me that lost the election for Clinton. When they blocked us, they stopped hearing us. When they did that, their feed became nothing but an echo chamber and drove them further into their wrong ideas about who we were and what we believed. Like terrorists in Iraq, they became fundamentalists for their own ideology. Of course, it wasn’t just them. It was the millions who acted like them. They ignored us, and where they didn’t, they belittled us, demeaned us, and practiced every form of vile bigotry that, now that the mirror is being held up, has proven the hypocritical nail in their movement’s coffin.
Frankly, I am elated that Trump won. I don’t think he will solve all our problems. I’m skeptical if he will solve any, but I know now by reading from so many who voted “for the other guy”, that they now respect us. And that makes me happy. That means that next time, I have hope that we can just elect a president without feeling the need to slaughter their supporters. That means that maybe my culture can be represented without being debased to prejudicial memes. That means that people like me, can finally have a chance again, not for Trump to save us, but for the world to let us save ourselves.
Am I really going to take this opportunity to direct you to my Patreon support page? Yeah, I am because this is an important answer that I expect a lot of people to see, and even if Trump won, Oklahoma teachers aren’t getting a pay raise… and I just had a baby… so yeah. This is exactly why he won. Because America really isn’t that great for all. Please follow this link and consider donating and thanks for reading –