The women of ABC daytime talk show, “The View,” have always been known for their heated discussions over politics and on Wednesday, an assessment of Trump voters from one of the show’s cohosts, Sunny Hostin, led to another debate.
Co-host Joy Behar kicked the discussion off by saying that she found the high numbers of those who voted for Trump disheartening, saying, “We see half the country ignores the terrible things that he has done, for whatever reason.”
Then, Hostin — a former lawyer and frequent Trump critic — jumped in, agreeing with Behar and saying that she found people’s support of Trump, in spite of policies targeting asylum-seekers, aspiring transgender military service members and others, “despicable” and “un-American.”
The conversation kickstarted a disagreement between Hostin and Sarah Haines, a co-host who rejoined the panel after leaving in 2018.
Hostin Says Being ‘Selfish’ Breaks the Country’s ‘Collective Social Contract’
Here are her comments in full:
“For the past four years, this president has shown us that he is a misogynist, that he is homophobic, he is racist and that he mismanaged a coronavirus pandemic to the tune of over 250,000 American deaths,” she continued. “Yet 50% of America saw all of that and looked the other way to their brothers and their sisters and said, ‘I’m gonna vote for him anyway.’ That is really disheartening.”
“For me, that means that you are selfish,” she added. “I’m not gonna say that 50% of Americans are racist and sexist and homophobic, but I will say that tells me they will look the other way to that kind of behavior, to the plight of their fellow Americans, if personally they feel they are doing okay and they will do better under that type of president and that, I think, is despicable. It is un-American.”
Hostin’s co-host, Sara Haines, agreed that she was disheartened by the number of Trump voters, and she also described voting as a selfish act. “That’s their choice. That’s their vote and they’re just as American as we are, they have a different viewpoint”, she said. “That was the part that really shocked me on election night, is how different it was.”
Hostin, however, said that democracy is a collective endeavor which means people should not solely vote in pursuit of their own interests if that could also mean suffering for millions of others. Here is what she said:
The problem, Sara, is that our very democracy is founded on the notion of a collective spirit. We the people, for the people, by the people and unless you have that collective social contract, our democracy fails.
So when you see 50% of the country just looking the other way at the plight of 50% or more of the country, at the plight of the LGBTQ community, at the plight of African Americans, at the plight of immigrants whose children are being torn from them at the border, at the plight of people that are losing their spouses, their children, their brothers, their sisters from a deadly virus because the President could not control it because he lied to us, when you see that and you still continue to vote for yourself, democracy fails.
In response, Haines said that liberals should show more empathy and that she can’t judge those who work paycheck to paycheck and believe Trump will help them economically. “People are raised in different places and they have different things at the top of their ballot they’re voting for,” she said.
Hostin retorted that although she wasn’t calling all Trump voters racist, homophobic and sexist, she did find it disappointing that so many people were willing to ignore that Trump’s history of being that way. “This election showed us what the true character of many Americans is. I’m not saying that if you voted for Trump that you are a racist, that you are a homophobe, that you are a sexist, that you are against transgender rights,” Hostin said.
“But,” Hostin added, “I will say, if you voted for Trump, you then did look the other way at the fact (he has) not allowed our transgender brothers and sisters from serving in the military, that he has called people from African country, that those people are from shit hole countries, that he has slandered women, that he has done all of these terrible, terrible things. If you voted for him, then all of those things are okay with you because of your own personal circumstance.”
Joy Behar, another co-host and frequent Trump critic, agreed, adding that, “a lot of people in this country need to have a come to Jesus moment and look in the mirror and see what they did. She’s right about a lot of it.”
Hostin Has Been an Outspoken Critic of Trump
Business Insider reported that when Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. (and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle), appeared as a guest on the show nearly a year ago, he and Hostin started a verbal sparring match that continued after the show ended. While on the show, Hostin asked Guilfoyle, “Did you advise your boyfriend that it is a federal crime to out a whistleblower?” she asked in relation to the name of the whistleblower whose complaint was used to open an impeachment inquiry of Trump. In response, Trump Jr. said it’s only a federal crime for the inspector general to do it.
Hostin has also posted on Twitter in support of Democrats and against Trump, retweeting on November 4, “Joe Biden is going to win. But what people of color have long understood should be clear to everyone now: Donald Trump is not an aberration, he’s a mirror. And that ugliness we see in him is America’s.”
As absentee ballots continue to be counted in swing states, Biden has inched closer to a presidential victory and taken the lead in the swing states of Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania.