No, You Can’t Be a MAGA Republican and a Suicide Prevention Advocate
Sometimes, party affiliation kills people. Sorry, it’s true. Do I have research to back that claim up? No, I don’t. But I don’t need research to prove a very obvious fact: intolerance, prejudice, othering, marginalization, fear-mongering, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and emotiophobia (see the ever-popular “fuck-your-feelings” mantra which is basically a Republican election slogan by now) gets people killed. By homicide, perpetrated by people who believe in racist, dogmatic, paranoid and phobic ideologies, and, what I’ll focus on in this essay: by suicide.
Let’s look at what the suicide prevention community espouses as far as what we can do to help prevent suicide, and let’s see if our friends on the far right measure up to these ideals.
Please note, these are not items culled from any sort of list disseminated by some national or local suicide prevention organization; these are my interpretation of well-established guides and principles that are oft-repeated and recycled in myriad ways by different organizations and advocates, presented here in my own language:
- listen without judgment
- encourage sharing without restriction
- have empathy
- be open
- affirm the inherent rights and dignity of people who may be/look/act differently from you
- don’t bring God, religion, or morality into discussions with people in crisis
- never shame anybody, for any reason
Hmmm… what do we think? Do we think that individuals on the ultra-conservative side of things have some skin in the suicide prevention game? I wonder.
I was at a car show once, with my little Volkswagen that I use to promote suicide awareness and discussion around mental health topics, and I saw a sight that sickened me. It was 2018, just after Voldemort had gotten elected President. I saw, coming toward me, a guy holding his little boy’s hand. The father was wearing a shirt that said, “TRUMP: FUCK YOUR FEELINGS.”