Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution, a list of earlier revolutions and the author, Entry #1.
Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether in the next few years, a revolution in the US is still possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Most recent sense check, Entry #332.
Entries for a few months were an intentional diversion from the craziness in Washington. Entry #352 put us back inside the Beltway.
Part of my daily ritual is a short trip to the coffee shop. Usually I listen to one of several podcast on the way over and back.
Today I finished a podcast on “The Best Way to Deal with Anger”, originally broadcast on “The People’s Pharmacy.” The People’s Pharmacy offers a wide variety of medical related topics.
While I don’t consider myself an angry person, I do have an incredibly difficult time understanding why anyone would support Trump. In addition, I find Trump supporters, when asked about an issue, are very defensive, often responding with a comment unrelated to the question. Further, the tone of the response seems to challenge my right to ask the question.
In several previous blog entries, I questioned whether Trump supporters had been brainwashed. Trump TV, aka Fox News, is anything but news. Yet many Trump supporters seem to make no effort to check other sources of information about a topic, or even apply the most basic test of logic to a conclusion presented on Fox. No matter the facts, or the logic, Trump supporters seem to be all in for the Donald.
So those of us in the middle politically and farther left have two choices. #1, continue to treat Trump supporters as brainwashed, or at best uninformed. Doing so will not change anyone’s mind and probably make non-Trump supporters even angrier. Choice #2 is sincerely try to listen and understand Trump supporters’ logic behind their decision.
Listening and trying to understand might not change any minds on either side of the fence, but it could save a friendship or avoid the family feud. Look at it this way. If you sincerely try to listen and understand the Trump supporter’s perspective, and the person continues to spout Fox News gibberish, then you can rightfully say, “Bless their little hearts.”
Have I tried to understand Trump supporters’ logic? Well, sort of. Recently, however, I posted on Facebook what I thought was a probing, but apolitical question. The short version, “If Trump were a Democrat, would you, as a Republican, still support Trump? As a Democrat, would you still oppose Trump?” The Facebook entry included a bit more explanation.
The response from a longtime friend, a Republican, seem to fit the pattern of response by Trump supporters – shoot the questioner and never answer the question. The Facebook post by the Trump supporter generated a couple of angry retorts from non-Trump supporters. In addition to the Facebook post by the Trump supporter, there were a couple of private messages, but still no answer to the original question.
So rather than getting into unpleasant and often heated conversations, should we try to carry on as if politics don’t exist? Well, no.
I may be naïve but I’m going to try and understand why people support Trump. Doubtless a number of friends and colleagues will ask, “Why waste your time? Trump supporters use no logic and, therefore, cannot be understood.”
The doubting Thomases might be right. And I might end up being even more frustrated than I am now. At the same time, I might learn something. If nothing else, I might learn how to discuss issues with Trump supporters, and that might save a friendship or two and/or allow the holiday dinner to proceed without a figurative food fight.
I’ll keep you posted on progress, good and/or bad. In the meantime, please take time to listen to The Best Way to Deal with Anger podcast in its entirety. Even if you don’t learn something, the guest is interesting.