Does Jane Fonda Feel Sorry for Donald Trump?

US actress Jane Fonda gestures during the L'Oreal fashion, which theme is Paris, on the sidelines of the Paris Fashion Week on October 1, 2017, on a catwalk set up on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris.

Jane Fonda | CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images

In a landscape where many public figures have vehemently opposed President Donald Trump, actress and activist Jane Fonda‘s narrative is a little different.

Fonda recently voiced her opinions on Trump and his supporters during an interview with Politico’s Women Rule podcast. And while Fonda’s political views remain constant and she does not support Trump’s policies, she has some level of empathy for him. She stated during the interview, “I hate what he stands for, what he does.” That being said, the 80-year-old actress had this to say about the current president and his supporters.

Can’t we all get along?

In the podcast, Fonda says Americans should display a “radical kinship” for the president and his supporters. And, “Just like what changed and saved my life was being told things I didn’t know by American soldiers. We have to reach out and listen and then respond in a way that’s meaningful.”

She also spoke with The New Yorker and shared this observation: “People came after me, but they didn’t stop me. Now, I recognize that part of it has to do with who I am, and who my father is, and my race. But I’m still going. And what I’m interested in is helping people understand the importance of talking to people who don’t agree with you. Empathy is radical in this kind of environment. We’ve got to understand why people voted the way they did.”

Trump called Fonda ‘disgusting’ on Twitter yet…

Fonda does not have the same vitriol for Trump. She explains why to The New Yorker. “Well, I don’t like him. I’m making the distinction that Martin Luther King did: you don’t have to like them, but you have to love them. Because, if we carry hate, we’re the losers. We have to understand where the behavior comes from. Let’s not enable her or him, but let’s not hate him, because it steals something from your own soul.”

But Fonda sees Trump as a victim

Instead, Fonda believes Trump is a product of his environment. “Trump is a man who was profoundly traumatized as a child by his father and not protected by his mother, and it must have been really bad,” she told The New Yorker. “And we are reaping the results of that early trauma.”

This is how she views his supporters

The empathy Fonda has for Trump also goes towards his base. “And I think that that has to also transfer to the people who voted for him,” she said to Politico. “Some of them, you can’t possibly persuade otherwise because they’re white supremacists. You know, or they’re so far off the spectrum, for their own traumatic reasons, probably. But there’s a whole bunch of Trump voters who we have to open our hearts to and understand why they voted the way they did.”

Also, many supporters indeed were forgotten by politicians, Fonda told The New Yorker. “But there’s a whole lot of people in the middle of this country who are so scared and in such pain, because they feel betrayed. As well they should! Nobody’s been paying attention to them. That’s when you begin to learn: you talk to them.”

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