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How Do You Deal With Trump Supporters?

Discussion in 'Liberal Only' started by Kartari, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Kartari

    Kartari Active Member

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    Hi everyone.

    It's been a while since my last visit here. I enjoyed a number of discussions and debates here. But I had to leave, as I just couldn't deal with the Trump supporters anymore. Both here and in my personal life.

    I still can't.

    Facing the waking nightmare of having the poster boy for the Dunning-Kruger Effect running the most powerful nation in the world is bad enough. Between the dangerously gross incompetence, the compulsive lying, the autocratic tendencies, the corruption, his seemingly probable treason, his apparent racism, misogyny, and other forms of bigotry, and the cynically complicit support given by most Republican representatives and senators for it all, this is an entirely unacceptable state of affairs which goes well beyond the scope of normal political arguments of the past.

    What makes it all the worse is Trump's supporters, though. The moron circus is in town, and way too many people are still buying tickets. Public interest in democracy as a form of government in the United States has sharply declined over the past two decades. This is not referring to a lack of trust in politicians, understand, but an explicit rejection of our democratic institutions, like having checks and balances or holding fair elections. Support for tough-talking strong men, nationalism, and even military rule has simultaneously risen to an astounding high in the U.S.. This is according to research conducted by the WVSA. Google Analytics research of search terms also reveals a sharp rise in racism since the 2008 presidential campaign. For instance, Google recorded a sharp increase in users' searches for terms like "n***** president" in reference to Barack Obama since his initial election. Yep, that n-word. Trump is not the root cause of our problems. He is the symptom of the open expression of American nationalism, bigotry, and ignorance. These have been brewing for a while now, and merely found in Trump a catalyst for more open expression. While not all of Trump's supporters are bigots, racists, or nationalists (i.e. the once aptly-named "deplorables"), the rest of them buy into the fictions of Fox News, Breitbart, Russian-sponsored Facebook conspiracy theories, Alex Jones, and other propagandists and lunatics. They've let themselves become groomed into living in an alternate reality, with its own set of "alternative facts" in defiance of actual factual reality.

    As this seems to be a safe space for us, my questions are posed to those of you who remain as rightfully frightened as I am for not only America's future but humanity's. How do you deal with this? How do you get along with and speak with people who are still buying tickets to the moron circus? In particular, how do you deal with friends and loved ones who drank the Kool Aid and started letting their horrifying ignorance and/or bigotry shine out more openly?
     
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  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I'd start by recognizing that not all Trump supporters are alike. They aren't all "deplorables". Many have what I think of as legitimate gripes about how they have been economically left behind (aka, "screwed") over the past few decades. And, of course, on a personal level, a whole lot of Trump supporters are pretty decent people. For instance, my best friend growing up is both an awesome person and a Trump supporter. He's neither a moron nor a racist, but rather an exceptionally compassionate, loyal, and down to earth person.

    Again, a lot of Trump's support seems to come from people who are not deplorable but who are to some extent politically naive. They have legitimate gripes, they know the Democrats are going to do little or nothing for them, but they have gone off the deep end in thinking there's any real chance that Trump will step up to do much of anything that benefits them, or that what he does in their benefit will outweigh the bad he does. Politically ignorant, naive -- call them what you must.

    So perhaps the first thing that might help you to deal with Trump supporters is to bear in mind that a good number of them are most likely decent people with legitimate concerns.

    Having said all that, I'm pretty suspicious of folks who make the absurd and childish claim that absolutely no Trump supporters whatsoever are deplorable people. Ah, to be in kindergarten again where unicorns are real and no Trump supporters are deplorable people!

    The truth is Trump attracts more than his fair share of such deplorables, and anyone who doesn't know that is either ignorant or in denial.

    So how do you deal with the deplorables. I would suggest that you have as little to do with them as possible. That you ignore them to the fullest extent that you can.

    dont-try-to-win-over-the-haters-youre-not-the-29086369.png

    Then you get out and participate in whatever ways you can in the political process to defeat them. Donate to candidates and causes -- whatever you can afford. Volunteer your time, if that's possible for you. Show up for marches and rallies. And of course, vote. Get active.
     
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  3. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    Sunstone you so sweet
     
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  4. Jaiket

    Jaiket Well-Known Member
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    I argue with them. It's fun. They aren't often bad people.

    Here on RF I don't believe I've seen any racist support for Trump. There are anti-immigration motives but that's not inherently racist. They aren't pushing Breitbart or Infowars conspiracy madness.
     
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  5. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    I treat Trump supporters just like I treat opposition supporters.
     
  6. Jesster

    Jesster Friendly skeptic
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    It depends on the person. If I don't think they will listen, I don't talk to them about politics. If I think it will have even the slightest impact, I inform them of the ways Trump has negatively impacted my personal life and hope it causes them to question things about Trump. It works with the right people who actually care, and who I actually care about.
     
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  7. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Regarding direct interactions as with family and coworkers, it's not a problem if you don't discuss politics.

    The larger issue is how do you deal with an electorate that can't tell who its enemies are and keep welcoming them into government. You can't. You either accept their poor judgment and learn to co-exist with it, or you find another country to live in as you would if you had a roommate who kept letting thieves into your place, or a business partner who kept hiring dishonest employees or consultants. You'd want to find a way to disentrain your life from theirs if possible.

    And so they vote Republican. They'll never get what they want that way. This is a big part of the problem just addressed.

    Does that really matter? Few actually actually directly interact with more than a percent of a percent of them. Their personalities wouldn't be an issue. It's how they vote that matters, and a vote for Trump from a nice guy counts as much as a vote from a deplorable.

    I've lost faith in the democratic process and therefore wouldn't bother with running for office, petitions, referenda, letters to congresspersons, demonstrations, forming third parties Boycotting, marching, picketing, shouting slogans and holding rallies.

    And now, there are good reasons to question whether the elections are honest.
     
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  8. Kartari

    Kartari Active Member

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    Thanks for the responses everyone.

    Hey Sunstone. I've always enjoyed your posts and your sense of humor. :)

    I do recognize this. In hindsight, I didn't edit my initial post well. It was late, I wasn't in the best of moods, and I was getting overly lengthy and opted to cut out half my post. I realize now that my post emphasized the "deplorables" far more than I'd intended.

    I am really interested here in hearing about how others deal with those who are not. I, too, know several who are not morons as far as IQ goes, though I'm convinced they're not using it with respect to politics. The support of otherwise intelligent people for this lunacy is a testament to the power subjective bias can have over reason.

    But it's one thing to be understanding about the ignorance of others. It's entirely another thing when that ignorance leads to not just faulty reasoning and the acceptance of propaganda, but to the resulting decay of our democratic foundations while rendering the ignorant immune to reason. If we cannot reason with them, then how do we get them to change their minds? And we need them to change their minds, if we want democracy to survive as a viable form of governance (and for humanity and the Earth to survive, too).

    And I'd argue that there is some level of bigotry in even the better among Trump's supporters. Maybe a small degree compared with the KKK and Nazis, but... let me put it this way. If someone voted for a presidential candidate who promised to deport all Muslims from the country if elected (be they illegals, legals, or American citizens from birth), and that someone defended this ban when pressed about it, exactly how non-bigoted can this someone honestly claim to be?

    Absolutely. You don't join the KKK or become a Nazi for rational reasons. Arguing with them is futility. But Trump of course thinks some of them are "very fine people," and he's a self-described "stable genius" so he must be right. :p

    Absolutely.

    I've actually been thinking about starting a blog. I think a root cause of the present crisis is poor research skills. Too many people just don't understand how to analyze and discern poor quality sources of information from good quality sources. And no decent human being who understands how to properly identify quality sources of information from bad ones voted for Trump.

    My lack of free time aside, what keeps me from starting is that I wonder if I'd just be preaching to the choir. The ignorance is so thick among his supporters, I fully expect them to find any logical, rational, or evidence-based approach to fact finding to be "fake news." I think maybe if I avoid politics and just focus on research skills it might get past their radar and sink in a bit. But as mentioned earlier, it's not that we're dealing with low IQ people here in many cases. These are people that should understand, but willfully refuse to.
     
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  9. Kartari

    Kartari Active Member

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    Hey Jaiket,

    I think I'd have a lot more fun if the threat they pose to American democracy and safety weren't at stake. Really, with the people as sovereign of the nation, we cannot afford to be this grossly ignorant. Democracy is fragile, requiring a well-informed public capable of informed analysis and deliberation on issues to survive. Our freedoms are at grave risk of being lost if this level of ignorance persists. I can laugh at a lot in life, but the astounding success of right-wing propaganda just scares me too much to find it particularly humorous.

    As for anti-immigration motives, I'm not so sure about that. It's not that I disagree with your sentence in theory, but in the context of Trump's America, there is clearly some degree of racism or bigotry involved for someone to support what he's promised (i.e. deporting all Muslims, or viewing all illegal immigrants as "rapists and drug dealers" when they actually commit fewer crimes than American citizens as a group).
     
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  10. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    One thing to remember is that we're all dealing with confirmation bias, even liberals. And presenting fact almost never changes someone's mind.

    I agree. Another way might be to ask questions such as "how has he helped you personally"? "Planting a seed" might succeed when a direct push fails.
     
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  11. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    We're at a delicate time in history. We've been here before as a nation. We'll survive and move forward if people do what they can.

    Also, my parents were subject to bigotry because they were Jewish. I was called names when I was young. Bigotry is nothing new with the Irish being the subject before the Jews. It's an old, old, tribal problem which is taking uncounted generations to deal with.
     
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  12. Kartari

    Kartari Active Member

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    Hi Jesster,

    I honestly can say that I've not come across a single Trump supporter to date who has shown me any sign of questioning their choice. Maybe if I had many, many hours to analyze and dissect with them the dense thicket of accumulated propaganda they've assumed from watching Fox News et al for years. But the best I can get out of them is an admittance that he's not a good communicator, or that he's not an ideal choice, and that's about it. It gives me hope to know that some might question their choice, and I do know that he has lost a small fraction of his original support base to date. But it seems few and far between to me. I certainly hope I am wrong about that, though.
     
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  13. Kartari

    Kartari Active Member

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    Hey IANS and Sunrise, thanks for replying, I'll be back to reply soon (it's really past time for bed for me, lol).
     
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  14. Jaiket

    Jaiket Well-Known Member
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    Hi,

    I suppose me living in Scotland makes it a lot easier to see the funny side. I suppose it's a bit rude me chuckling about it. I hope I'm not offending anyone but it's all been ticklingly surreal.

    I see that. Not on RF so much though.
     
  15. Kartari

    Kartari Active Member

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    Hi IANS,

    Agreed. I continue to suffer in silence though with certain family members especially. The disappointment I feel continues to haunt me.

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure what other countries out there are that much better. Though the research I'd read suggests the US has a greater problem than Europe as far as support for autocracy and the decline of regarding democracy as essential, the numbers are bad for various European countries as well. France's last presidential election for instance: though Macron at least won, the racist Le Pen came a lot closer than ever before to winning. Not to mention Brexit. Eastern Europe is in trouble as well from what I understand.

    The America and Europe both seem to be relapsing towards nationalism, populism, and autocracy.

    I hear ya. I too question the usefulness of many of those activities. I don't think Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell really care one bit how many people protested or signed petitions against the revocation of Obamacare, or of Net Neutrality regulations, etc., etc..

    I refuse to lose faith in democracy itself, though. We really have no choice but to keep fighting for it if we want to see present freedoms persist and expand. The only alternatives to fighting for democracy all lead us to tyrrany.

    While we do need to secure ourselves from Russian hacking and so forth, I think the most crucial challenge we must face is to attack our great ignorance. We must do a much better job educating our youth in how accurately identify the quality of information sources and improve their critical thinking skills. When so many adults trust Facebook, Fox, Sinclair, and Infowars for their "news," our future as a free country is in great peril. It gets harder to change minds the older people get.
     
  16. Kartari

    Kartari Active Member

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    Hi Sunrise,

    Absolutely. In fact, I've been a registered but unaffiliated voter for most of my life precisely because I don't believe in political parties as an institution (though I mostly happen to agree with modern Liberal philosophy on the social issues).

    I do maintain an open mind. I have changed my mind repeatedly when presented with facts that contravene my previously held notions. I've been a registered Republican and a registered Democrat when I was younger before abandoning both in my 20's, as I'd been open to and found truth from certain vantage points in both on a philosophical level at least. I was once long ago strongly opposed to vegetarianism; I've been a vegan for 20 years now since I'd come to recognize and admit the truth of what goes on behind the scenes in spite of my very strong attachments to eating meat at the time. I've also ranged the gamut from pantheism to atheism, following the evidence in spite of my personal feelings and desires.

    I would have changed my mind about Trump in a moment, if the facts showed otherwise. I did initially reserve judgment about him until after I'd conducted at least some independent research to see for myself. Unfortunately, I've found that, in spite of the occasional exaggeration or falsehood, President Twitler is as entirely incompetent and dangerous a president as the media coverage implies he is. No one in the country should be supporting Trump, regardless of party. It's not a political party bias issue, it's about the survival of the nation as a functional democracy. He should have been immediately removed from office for his incompetence alone via the 25th Amendment (section 4), even putting aside the treasonous allegations and several other strikes against him. He simply and clearly has no business being in the White House.

    We have been. And it has been worse before, in fact.

    That said though, this is the worst presidency in perhaps the past century, if not longer, I would surmise. While racism was worse even 50 years ago, I don't think we've seen this especially low level of utter stupidity in the office of presidency since perhaps the late 19th century. In fact, I see strong parallels between Trump and Andrew Jackson from earlier in the 19th. The media was far more biased back then than it is today as well.

    Yep. And the Italians and other south and eastern Europeans in the early 20th century as well, and so on and so on. I can only hope this nationalistic, strong man, racist stupidity is just another phase. Maybe it is; maybe it's the last hurrah of the ignorant in a post-segregation, post-first-black-president nation. And, hopefully, Twitler doesn't totally blunder and cause WW3 by continuing to instigate North Korea when they sooner or later do develop intercontinental nukes. He came close last summer... Tillerson saved us from a war. :/

    I knew racism was still an issue prior to the 2016 campaign. But I never expected to not only find that racism was far more prevalent than had been commonly realized, but to find some bigoted tendencies in my own family. I thought we'd made a lot more progress than it turns out we had. To say I was disappointed is a gross understatement.

    I think I'm going to channel it into a blog. With my background in history and historical research, I want to teach people how to properly conduct independent research. If I read one more ignorant Facebook post about how Lincoln was a (anachronistically modern) Republican, or how Confederate statues should be kept in public places of honor to "preserve our history..." Maybe I'll be preaching to the choir, but just maybe I'll convince some younger people who would otherwise have gone down a less informed path.
     
  17. Kartari

    Kartari Active Member

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    Hi Jaiket,

    No worries. I was not at all offended. :) I do laugh at this surreal circus sideshow of a presidency as well here and there, I just have to to release it. It is a bit too close to home for me nonetheless.

    I tend to agree, though to be honest I was concerned by a few posters a while back. I don't want to pick on specific posters, but lets just say I'm glad to see the suggested Nationalist Only forum did not manifest here. I was surprised, as I had enjoyed that particular poster's posts up until then; maybe that poster simply did not fully understand what nationalism entails (i.e. the racist aspect of it).
     
  18. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    The world is full of countries that you or I would enjoy living in. They won't necessarily all let us in, and some may be even more expensive than the States.

    My experience was that expatriation had to wait for retirement. The country I now live in, for example, offers a low cost of living and even lower wages, meaning that I could buy more with my income in the US I earned there than I could have had I worked in the local economy.

    But now that I am no longer working for income, only the spending side matters, and suddenly, an economy that's poor for earning but good for spending becomes appealing.

    And it turns out that we actually earn much more interest on our savings than we did in the States.

    That's just the economics. We also enjoy better weather, and a healthier, happier culture that doesn't divide its people, run toxic political commentary 24/7, or weaponize religion.

    Anyway, it's one option for how to deal with people that you really don't care to throw in with any more or live amongst. America needs to compete on the world stage when people have other options, like a set of nearby restaurants. You eat in the one you like best. Notions of national pride aren't helpful here. It's like one of the restaurants has convinced you that it matters more even if its food, service, ambiance, and prices aren't competitive.

    I haven't lost faith in democracy, either, although its vulnerabilities and weaknesses have been thrown into sharp relief of late.

    But it's not about democracy. It's about American life, and whether you like it or not. Your OP expressed a dissatisfaction with many of your neighbors. I understand. My last American experience was in America's Heartland (I'm mostly a Californian, where I was born in the mid-50's and came up in the late 60's and early 70's). I felt like an outsider in the Heartland, and being a liberal atheist, an unwelcome one.

    My point is that you have options if you can get past nationalism. What is that if not just another form of religion, but without a god?.

    If you like it, enjoy it. It's got to be great for conservative Christians. In God America trusts. It's one nation, under God. The president just announced again that real Americans are defined by their god beliefs. If that's not you, well, you decide what you owe to a country that defines inclusion in terms of god beliefs, and when it's right to put yourself and your family ahead of that country.
     
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  19. Kartari

    Kartari Active Member

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    Sorry to keep you waiting, IANS.

    Regarding other countries, yes. I understand, and I am reassured to know, that there are other countries who do better than the US in a number of ways. Happier lifestyles, better health care, less gun violence, among other pluses.

    I do choose to stay here, in part, out of the strong desire to fight for the America that I want to see. The America I thought we were approaching, and suddenly took a detour from in 2016. I am uncertain if that will come to pass. But considering Clinton won the popular vote by a few million, not to mention Trump's continually poor approval polling, I'd guess there are more of us who want that America than not.

    I do often think about visiting other countries, and starting to learn more languages, though. Just in case... :)

    I think it depends on where you go though, as far as being great for conservative Christians. The midwest and the south, generally better for them. The northeast and west coasts, generally not so much.
     
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  20. Thermos aquaticus

    Thermos aquaticus Well-Known Member

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    My brother in law once told me a story about his son, my nephew. When my nephew was little he would always run into the kitchen when my sister was cooking, and he apparently had no fear of the oven. One day my brother in law had had enough, so he didn't yell at my nephew as he walked closer and closer to the hot oven. Sure enough, he burned himself. It pained by brother in law to let that happen, but he knew that this was the only way my nephew would learn.

    This is how I view this presidency. Sometimes you have to let them touch the stove so they can learn what its like to put a know nothing into the office simply because he could parrot the same nonsense they hear on talk radio.
     
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