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Trump Blindness Syndrome (TBS)

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Mr Spinkles, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Mr Spinkles

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    I think we need a word for this. It's when a person refuses to acknowledge Trump's countless failings, or views them through a biased prism, or normalizes Trump's behavior as being just like any other politician - therefore unworthy of note, or concern.

    Should we call it Trump Blindness Syndrome (TBS)? Is there a better term for it?

    TBS involves any of the following in response to the Chosen One's failings:
    • Denying
    • Downplaying
    • Dismissing
    • Equivocating
    • Selective outrage
    • Critiquing the criticism**
    • Whitewashing
    • Whataboutism
    • Sugarcoating
    • False equivalence
    • Willful ignorance
    • Interpreting as a joke
    • Interpreting as a single event in a vacuum (not part of a pattern)
    • Undeserved benefit of the doubt (similar to above)
    • Putting words in Trump's mouth ("what he meant to say was ...")
    • Blaming the victim ("If you listen to him, you're an idiot")
    • ... and more?
    ** I love this one by the way. It's very clever. This is when someone holds what Trump's critics say to a far, far higher standard than what Trump says. Very popular among conservative pseudo-intellectuals who know they can't defend him. The WSJ op-ed pages are excellent at this.

    What are some real life examples of TBS? Which famous people suffer from TBS? Is there a cure?

    [​IMG]
    Photo: Donald Trump, President of the United States, looking directly into a solar eclipse. An apt symbol of TBS.
     
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  2. Mr Spinkles

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    A few more examples of TBS:
    • Normalizing
    • Attacking the source (e.g., someone close to him who criticizes him has an axe to grind, is just disgruntled, wants to sell books, part of the Deep State, etc.)
    • Amnesia / selective memory (e.g., forgetting that Trump used to say something totally contradictory, or that his supporters in Congress once told the truth about him)
     
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  3. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Armchair pathologizing one's political opposition is a surefire way to sow more division. We don't need any more of that. Please don't. Try actually talking to them instead. They are, after all, us. Your friends, neighbors, and citizens. Let's stop othering.
     
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  4. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    Ive been using Trump Derangement Syndrome for awhile now.
     
  5. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    We talk to them here to provide you with examples. It's bad enough that as people were getting arrested and tried those with TDS kept demanding we show them the arrests and convictions.
     
  6. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    Sadly, you can't really talk logically to people who do not value logic :(
     
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  7. Mr Spinkles

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    First: I would normally agree with what you are saying. Unfortunately, I do talk to them, and because of that I know the friends, neighbors and citizens you refer to, are quite simply bananas.

    I take no joy in saying that, but it’s true.

    The time for polite talk is over. Now it’s time for real talk. The time to convert Trump supporters to our side is over. Now it’s time to beat them at the ballot box.

    If someone is doing something wrong, and inconsistent with their own values, at some point politeness does them no favors; you are just enabling.

    At some point the most considerate thing to do is hold up a mirror. This is who you support. This is what you’re doing, when you defend him.

    What they see in the mirror may make them uncomfortable. That is not the same as “othering”.

    Second: I am not really doing what you suggest, to begin with. I’m not speculating on what goes on in the mind of a Trump supporter. I am describing a phenomenon that I have observed - and I’ll bet you have too - and breaking it down into its parts, to better understand it. How many times have you heard someone say in defense of Trump, “He was joking”? Or “what he meant was ..”? Or “all politicians do that”? I’m simply observing that people are doing this. Again: if people don’t like what they see in the mirror ... don’t blame the mirror, or me for holding it.

    I can provide specific examples we may discuss. The OP was intended just to kick things off.
     
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  8. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Looks like you've eliminated any reason to have any discussion with anyone who supports Trump. Hopefully, things will quite down now.
     
  9. Mr Spinkles

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    Agreed, we need to reclaim that term. I guess we could call it TDS or TBS.
     
  10. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I think there is: fascism.

    I think it's a mistake to take Trump supporters at their word. Most of them are fully aware of what he's doing and how he's different from other people. They don't care about telling you the truth; they care about getting you off their case long enough to advance their fascist agenda.
     
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  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I can't say that I count any Trump supporter as my friend, and I think it's a mistake to normalize what's going on as if support for Trump is a reasonable position worthy of respect.

    Meet me in the middle, says the unjust man.

    You take a step toward him. He takes a step back.

    Meet me in the middle, says the unjust man.


    Source: Twitter
     
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  12. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Only TDS sufferers would think of something like that. *grin*
     
  13. Mr Spinkles

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    Well, that’s up to them. The topic is various arts employed to defend an ostensibly indefensible man.

    Example: Senator Lindsay Graham, during the Republican primary, called Trump a “xenophobic race baiting bigot”. And he said if you want to make America great again, “tell Donald Trump to go to hell”.

    No really, he said that. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    Lindsay Graham further said, and I quote:

    “We have to reject this demagoguery, and if we don’t reject Donald Trump, we’ve lost the moral authority … to govern this great nation.”

    He further called Trump a “nut job”, a “kook” and “unfit for office”.

    But after Trump won, he sang a very different tune, whitewashing and providing air cover for Trump at every turn. Just look at how he responded to chants of “Send her back!” At a Trump rally:

    'Send her back' chant not racist: Graham | Reuters Video

    I spot a few symptoms of TBS in that clip:

    - Amnesia, forgetting that he himself once called Trump race baiting, but refusing to acknowledge this as a clear example of race baiting. Forgetting that he once said we have to reject this demagoguery or we’ve lost the moral high ground ... and instead, failing himself to reject the demagoguery, now that Trump is his guy, and losing the high ground.

    - Whataboutism, changing the subject to the “extremely provocative” things other Congresswomen have said, as if that justifies what Trump encourages at his rallies

    - Critiquing the critics, he brings out harsh words like “extremely provocative” to describe Trump’s critics, holding them to a high standard, but uses kid gloves with Trump. He doesn’t say the things Trump encourages at his rallies are “highly provocative”, he uses a much gentler “I wish he would focus on issues”.

    - Equivocating, saying he wishes Trump would focus on “policy, not personality”. That’s pretty vague, and doesn’t address the specific xenophobic angle of a crowd of Trump supporters saying “Send her back!” about a Congresswoman from Somalia. Like, they weren’t just addressing the Congresswoman’s “personality” ... like her fondness of cats, or her habit of interrupting people ... this was a direct attack on who she is, and her heritage. So he’s equivocating to conceal the seriousness of it.

    So right there we have several examples of TBS. This helps at least put into a framework the behavior of people like Senator Graham, whose defenses of Trump are otherwise hard to comprehend.
     
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  14. Mr Spinkles

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    What do we have here? Looks like whataboutism.

    It will be fascinating to see how RF’s Trumpworld apologists demonstrate these arts in deflecting the OP rather than engaging with it.
     
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  15. Mr Spinkles

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    Another example of downplaying is when Trumpsters call his behavior “boorish” or “vulgar”.

    What they are really doing is taking a pseudo-intellectual position of, “yes that’s bad, but unlike you, I’m above it”. It’s one way to defend the indefensible.

    An example will illustrate this.

    Trump was quoted as referring to African nations as “ ****hole countries”, complaining that we allow too many immigrants from such (predominantly black) countries, and not enough from other (predominantly white) countries.

    Most of the media, of course, excoriated Trump for saying this because it was racist.

    But Fox News criticized the media for repeating the naughty word in their coverage. In doing so, they completely missed the point that the reason the remark was offensive was because it was so racist, not because a naughty word was involved. Judge the TBS coming from Fox News for yourself:



    How can anyone possible downplay, defend, whitewash, equivocate what the President said? How does it not simply draw universal condemnation - period?

    Because they have TBS.

    And here were the specific tools of TBS you can see being used by Fox News in that clip:

    - Putting words in Trump’s mouth
    - Downplaying
    - Equivocating
    - Normalizing
    - Blaming the victim
     
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  16. Mr Spinkles

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    Unfortunately, I fear you may be right.

    I do not take it lightly, and only consider agreeing with what you say reluctantly.
     
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  17. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Ironic.
     
  18. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    I would view it as self righteousness with a bit of trolling for flair.
     
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  19. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    It may be a case of ignoring who he actually is versus what he appears to symbolize in the eyes of some of his supporters. I've often said (along with many others) that Trump is more of a symptom of a deeper problem ailing large portions of America. Some of it may also be rooted in a certain "anti-establishment" sentiment which can be discerned at both ends of the spectrum.

    I don't know if there's really any kind of "cure" at this point. Even if Trump is voted out of office, there is still going to be a lot of damage and divisiveness in the coming years. The coronavirus is also taking its toll in more ways than one.

    At some point, I think we'll have to stop and take a long, hard look at the overall situation in this country and the direction we've been taking. We don't really need a cure for Trump, but we need a cure for whatever disease Trump is a symptom of. We need to figure out that part, in order to find a cure.
     
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  20. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    Reminds me of more point:
    -The Kings Court has often claimed things loke "hes just thinkng out loud" or "hes just joking" when Trump said something stupidly dangerous and potentially deadly. And then Trump said he isn't. But he still is according to many Trumpeters.
     
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