Saturday, December 30, 2017

2018 resolution? Stop trying to change Trump Voters Minds, assuming they have one.

I've finally turned the page; Trump worshipers won't budge, so why try to reason with em!  

My conservative friend in Milwaukee is a living breathing Trump playback machine, sending carefully crafted slogans and message pictures via text and tweets. It's an easy way to not have to think. I sent him Trump's contradictory statements, but he just dug in deeper, saying I was wasting my time, he wasn't going to change his mind.

He's right. We can't change Trumplovian in-the-tankers. That's one major effort I'm giving up for 2018 (I won't stop documenting this historic disaster though).

The Washington Post piece below makes the case beautifully. And no, there's no real way to fight it. While the article suggests the best defense is letting Trumpsters know you care, I say don't even try.

Here are some highlights that perfectly describes a Trumpster. Warning, it's really depressing:
Everything he’s done in the White House is more of the same: An enemy (the unpatriotic minorities, the lying liberal media, anyone not part of his Manichaean vision) is being cartooned, blamed for all of society’s evils and offered in sacrifice as a scapegoat to the United States’ problems. The purported solution is still simple: Shame them, silence them, build a wall around them. The basic premise that the restoration of the country lies in the destruction of its enemies remains.

His supporters are convinced that you are to blame. Until you can convince them otherwise, they will cheer him on. The name of the game is polarization, and the rookie mistake is to forget you are the enemy. like all populists, Trump offers a much different deal — “Vote for me: I will destroy your enemies. They are the reason you are not rich/have less rights/America is not great anymore.” 

Scandal is the populist’s natural element for the same reason that demolishing buildings makes more noise than constructing them. His supporters didn’t vote for silence. They voted for a bang. When Trump’s aides are indicted, but Hillary Clinton isn’t, the probe serves as proof that the system is corrupt. Or when the Muslim travel ban is not enforced, it means the “Deep State” is plotting some sort of coup.

That’s how populism works. As long as Trump is still swinging back, scandals help him to polarize the country further. The scorn of his adversaries, in the eyes of his supporters, proves that he’s doing exactly what they voted him for to do: dismantling a rigged system that they believe destroyed their hopes.

What did you ever do to these people to deserve their hate? What can possibly be going on? How can they, for example, make sense of so many former Goldman Sachs men in the Trump Cabinet? Weren’t the bankers supposed to be the enemy? Not to mention Russia? Sheer outrage at the president’s scandals is pointless. 

When directed at Trump, your anger gives him rhetorical ammunition to point toward his besiegers (“We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me)”) or to bolster his claims to be fighting for his base (“Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer — it’s actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!”). But worse still is directing your anger at his supporters. 
I disagree with the last line, but like guitarist Joe Walsh said once, "You can't argue with a sick mind." I'm done trying.

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