On Thursday night, during the Republican National Convention, the 54-year-old comedian shared his distaste for the Trump administration, writing directly to Trump supporters in one tweet: "Look Trumpers I get it. As a kid I was a cubs fan and I know you stick by your team no matter what but he's a traitor and a con man who doesn't care about you. Deep down you know it. I'm sure you enjoy pissing people off but you know Trump is a liar and a criminal."
Gaffigan thanked his fans on Saturday for supporting his tweets, writing on Instagram that it "will get worse if Trump is re-elected."
He added: "The bullying happening on both sides is wrong but Trump won’t even try to fix it. Makes sure you make a plan for how you are going to safely vote."
In a lengthy message on Sunday — which he noted was "too long" for Twitter, so he shared it to Facebook — Gaffigan reflected on some of the backlash he faced for posting about his political views after long choosing to appear "apolitical."
He titled the post "What I’ve Learned Since I Lost My Mind."
"To be clear upfront I don’t think anyone is going to let an actor or a comedian tell them who to vote for despite the fact that the current President is essentially both and actor and a comedian," he wrote. "However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to change some minds. Of course I do, I feel strongly about what is going in our country."
Gaffigan wrote that, while he has "repeatedly expressed support for gay rights and Black Lives Matter on social media" and joked about Trump before, he has also tried to remain nonpartisan during his standup career so as to not alienate half of his potential audience.
But he noted that he couldn't hold back this time since he feared the president, 74, was too "charming" and skilled at attracting supporters with "lies."
— Jim Gaffigan (@JimGaffigan) August 31, 2020
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The comic and actor, who is dad to five kids — Marre, 15, Jack, 14, Katie, 11, Michael, 9, and Patrick, 8 — with wife Jeannie, 50, said speaking out about what he thinks is right was "more important to me than selling out an arena."
"Honestly, I feel I had no choice at this point. I think Trump is ruining and possibly has already ruined my country," he explained. "... I feel a responsibility to coming generations, my children but selfishly I didn’t want to explain to my grandchildren that I didn’t fight to stop Trump. Maybe they will see that I stood up for decency, rule of law, and equality."
Gaffigan wrote he believes "many of the people who support Trump are good, decent people that have been fed lies and misinformation."
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"There are people that really don’t like Trump," he wrote, "but they do like what Trump is selling."
And so last week, the night he began his Twitter thread, he "realized ... if these people were frightened enough by Trump and the GOP lies, they would pinch their nose and vote for Trump."
"Maybe by stepping out of my presumed lane I could help inspire them to do what they already know is right and consider what they are actually voting for rather than feel they had no other choice than to vote for Trump," he wrote. "Did I make a difference? I don’t know."
Gaffigan wrote that vocally opposing Trump on social media "felt liberating" but he also received threatening messages online afterward. "We all know Trump is not a unifier but remember he and his cronies stoke hatred and violence. He may say he is the Law and Order candidate, but he wants chaos so can pretend to provide security."
Apologizing to his wife for using the f-word, Gaffigan concluded the post by encouraging readers to vote their conscience:
"I’m still digesting the whole experience (and still apologizing to my wife, Jeannie, for my profanity) but if you are still on the fence I encourage you to vote not for who I want you to vote for but for who your grandchildren would be proud you f------ voted for. (Sorry, Jeannie.)"