Kaufman came out of the closet on Thursday.
Oh not that he is gay. He is. No, the news is that after much soul-searching he made public that he may possibly support Trump. I realize that is not much of a stretch for a Post writer. But that does not mean he is immune to ostracization.
From Kaufman's column:
I’m neither white nor wealthy nor heterosexual; I have no opinion on gender-neutral bathrooms.
Yet I, too, have been repeatedly labeled a racist, sexist, privileged gay-shamer simply for refusing to obey the rules of conventional identity politics. I’ve been told how I’m supposed to act and feel by endlessly “enlightened” strangers deeply convinced that I’m their enemy.
If I feel alienated by this treatment, I can only imagine how Trump’s beloved West Virginia coal miners are coping.
Trump has wisely identified and exploited this sense of isolation — offering a safe space to supporters shut out from increasingly rigid definitions of “acceptable” cultural conversations. Tired of being told what to say and how to think, Trump’s supporters are reclaiming their voice — and publicly committing it to the ballot box.
For the moment, Trump’s supporters don’t include me. But if Clinton wants to win in November, she’d better evolve her message beyond its canned feel-goodness and gender clichés.Now of course, the West Virginia coal miner is not alienated from anyone by supporting Trump. West Virginia is the trumpiest state in the union. I said this before: in the seven dwarfs of life, we're Trumpy. But Kaufman's is a lovely thought, and while I cannot speak for coal miners (I have known only two in my time in West Virginia and maybe talked to 20 more) I can speak to alienation.
Robin Williams was right when he said, "I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone."
And the majority of Americans have felt that way for a long time: alienated in our own country. Our nation's political and cultural leaders routinely mock who we are and what we believe. We are hated by our leaders. It is not that the Clintons and the Obamas never served in the military, it is that they hate, disdain, despise, and loathe the military. Ditto Christianity. That church Obama attended was strictly Maoism papered with crucifixes.
You can only push a people so far.
"Trump is riding a zeitgeist wave he didn’t create. And the unending efforts to divide America into a nation of victims and perpetrators will only perpetuate that surge. Both Trump and Clinton hope to use this to their advantage. Trump, at least for the moment, is winning Round One," Kaufman concluded.
In my book I call it a Cause without a Rebel.