Media Accosted

Here’s a good read about Q-balls and other assorted nuts at the Tampa Trump rally.

Comments here are disabled.  Please leave comments on the original post.

claytoonz

cjones08062018

Donald Trump took his traveling freak show to Tampa Tuesday night and it was a coming out party for the worst of us.

He continued his war against the media, where he’s labeled them in the past as scum, dishonest, terrible people, bad actors, liars, fake news, and even the enemy of the American people. During the presidential campaign, he would single out MSNBC’s Katy Tur at rallies to the point she would need security to get out of the building without being harmed. In case you haven’t noticed yet, Donald Trump is a bully.

Another one of his favorite targets is Jim Acosta from CNN. On Tuesday, Acosta captured footage of Trump’s supporters screaming and cursing while flipping him off. Where do these people come from? They come from 4chan (and 8chan, which I just found existed. What the Hell is 8chan? A place for those who find 4chan…

View original post 917 more words

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The deconversion of a Trump troll.

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You may remember a few weeks ago I asked readers to let me know if they knew of anyone who had finally turned on Trump.   I wanted to write a blog post describing the journey of such a person.

I got no responses to my question, and personally, I don’t know anyone who supported Trump who has changed their mind.   I gave up finding such a person.

But they do exist!   Granted, they’re rare as snow in Mississippi, but they are out there.  Yesterday I came upon an article written for Forward (an online magazine focusing on issues related to Judaism and Jews) by a New Yorker named David Weissman.

He colorfully describes his days as a hardcore Trump supporter and Internet troll.  Everything you might expect, he did it or said it.  He was all-in on bullying liberals and  Democrats (and RINOs — “Republicans in Name Only”).   He mainlined on Fox News.   He went to Trump rallies and owned a MAGA hat.   He willingly soaked in Trump’s hateful rhetoric and dismissed anyone who was offended by it as “snowflakes.”

It took one woman to change his views.    One day the comic actress Sarah Silverman responded to one of his inflammatory comments on Twitter.  He describes the way she engaged him in conversation and debate without putting down his beliefs or attacking him.  She remained patient and doggedly kept replying to his tweets in a civil and engaging way, explaining why she felt the way she did about things like healthcare, immigration, racism, and many other topics — and why she believed Trump was wrong for America and the world.

I have also tried to engage Trump supporters with the truth, but eventually I give up, because most Trumpists I meet online waste my time with straw man arguments, what-aboutism, straight-up gaslighting, and even personal attacks.   If they realize they’re losing the argument, they always fall back on their old standby, “it’s fake news.”  Or, “well, Hillary would have been worse.”  I began to block them  because it was just easier than the frustrating and seemingly futile experience of trying to get them to think outside their comfort zone or handle the resulting cognitive dissonance.  Patience is not one of my greatest virtues.   Maybe if it were, I might be able to eventually get through to a few of them.  Maybe.

cognitive_dissonance

Mr. Weissman seems like a man who might have been receptive to a different viewpoint anyway.   One of the things that worries and saddens me is that many Trump supporters seem to show signs of sociopathy themselves — or are attracted to a “strongman” type of leader who tells them exactly what to think because they don’t want to or don’t know how to think for themselves.   Trumpism has been compared to a cult, and it really is one.   Its followers respond to Trump as they do to a cult leader, and like Jim Jones’ followers, they willingly, even eagerly, drink his poison Koolaid even though it might eventually harm or even kill them (Trump is doing nothing for the average working class white person and is fact is doing a lot of damage to his own supporters).

As with all cults, it’s almost impossible for someone on the outside to deprogram a believer; it really is a form of mind control.    Trump supporters are literally in thrall to their golden calf.  Reality and facts get trampled under the hooves.

Maybe Mr. Weissman was less brainwashed than most other Trump supporters, or had just enough insight or self-awareness for reason and facts to begin to sink in.   Maybe it’s because Ms. Silverman, a fellow Jew, was perceived as sympathetic.   But it doesn’t matter why Weissman could be redeemed from Trumpism, while so many others seem impermeable to the truth and facts.  What matters is that it’s possible.

It didn’t happen overnight.  His deconversion happened over a period of several weeks or months (he doesn’t give an exact timeframe of how long it took), mostly by continuing his online conversation with Ms. Silverman.   He decided to read the links to articles she gave him instead of attacking them as “fake news.”  By reading and educating himself about the facts, he began to question what he’d believed (or wanted to believe) about Trump.   He became willing to deal with the cognitive dissonance all the new information was causing him.  (Cognitive dissonance is extremely uncomfortable for most people, who will do almost anything to avoid experiencing it).  Weissman describes how welcoming the “liberals” were, and the way they did not judge him.   Some of his Trumpist buddies began to bully him and call him a traitor. They were incensed that he and Ms. Silverman — a liberal — appeared to be friends.  Weissman began to see his fellow Trump supporters in a new light –  as ignorant people embracing a narcissistic bully (or even being bullies themselves) and willfully shutting out the truth.

Here is his story (which also gives tips on how to engage with Trump supporters):

I Used to Be a Trump Troll 

Sorry, Trump supporter, I can’t be your friend anymore.

bobandsally

Cartoon Credit: Unknown.

 

A few days ago, I unfriended an old Facebook friend because I couldn’t handle her constant pro-Trump memes and posts anymore.  Later, she asked me why I unfriended her.  I decided to be honest.  She replied that she thought I was being silly for unfriending people over something as shallow as politics.

But she missed the point.   I didn’t unfriend her because I didn’t agree with her politics.  Because it’s not about mere politics.  It’s not about Democrat vs. Republican.   It’s not about liberal vs. conservative.   It’s not about right vs. left.

It’s about good vs. evil.

It’s about whether you’re on the side of the bullies and sociopaths and applaud their scorched earth terrorist tactics vs.  being a decent fucking human being.  It’s about whether you’re on the side of a wealthy group of selfish criminals vs.  the average Joes and Janes just trying to get by.

So, if you still support the dictator sitting in the White House, you are supporting evil, and I can no longer be your friend.

I can handle mere differences of ideology, and in normal times, I have.   I used to have friends who were George W. Bush or Reagan supporters, though I never voted for either of them.  I could respect your differing opinion and agree to disagree with you, without it affecting our friendship, because I still knew that you were a good and decent person.

But if you still support Trump,  I’m not at all sure you’re a good and decent person, and you’re certainly not anyone I’d call a friend.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who separates children from their parents, many of whose parents were applying for asylum legally.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who puts young children in cages.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who wants to take away my healthcare.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who threatens to steal away the social security I’ve been paying into since 1976, leaving me penniless in my final years.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who threatens to steal away the Medicare I’ve been paying into since 1976, leaving me without healthcare in my final years, possibly to die penniless and in great pain.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who’s packing the courts with patriarchal  hardline conservatives who are waging war on women’s reproductive rights, not only threatening to overturn Roe v. Wade, but also outlawing certain forms of birth control. Their decisions will affect my daughter, who has medical issues that would make pregnancy very high risk and possibly dangerous for her.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who wants to bring back pre-existing conditions, making it impossible for my daughter, who has several medical conditions, to access healthcare — or for me to access healthcare, for that matter.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who is appointing hard-right judges who want to outlaw gay marriage and make gay people undergo conversion therapy or return to the closet.   That affects my son, who will no longer be free to live in a way that makes him happy or love the person he chooses.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who bullies the disabled.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who calls people who disagree with him unflattering names.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who has shown zero respect for women or POC.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who constantly gaslights his own people.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who thumbs his nose at the rule of law every single day.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a pathological liar.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a malignant narcissist who only cares about his own image and his own wealth — at the expense of the American people.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who admires the most brutal and inhumane despots and dictators of our time and aspires to be just like them.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who emboldens bullying  (by riling up his base at his rallies and inciting violence toward groups of people he dislikes)

A friend of mine doesn’t support a fascist who is destroying democracy and systematically shredding our 242 year old Constitution and Bill of Rights into so much hamster bedding.

A friend of mine doesn’t support a man who causes my PTSD to be triggered every freaking day.

A friend of mine doesn’t aid and abet evil, and that’s what you’re doing when you support Trump.

So, Trump supporter, those are just some of the reasons why we can’t be friends.

Sorry but that’s just how it has to be.

I’ll end this rant with the same words you like to spit at us “libtards” and “snowflakes” —

Get over it.

Help wanted! I’m looking for ex-Trump supporters.

burning-trump-hat

Former Trump supporters who had a change of heart and turned against Trump — or even joined the resistance! — seem to be pretty rare.  In fact, I don’t personally know of one Trump supporter who has changed their mind about him.   I’m sure there must be at least a few out there.   There just has to be.  Right?

My daughter’s ex boyfriend was a Trump supporter, and a few months ago I wrote about a conversation we had where he seemed to consider my point of view.  But he never actually changed his mind and to this day, he still thinks Trump is doing a good job (this is one of the reasons my daughter broke off their relationship).

Because former Trump supporters seem to be as rare as blue diamonds, I’m on a quest to find one, and publish their story here on my blog.

If you fit this description and want to tell your story, please leave a note in the comments.

I am only interested in stories from bona fide ex-Trump supporters, not people who  were lukewarm about him and decided to give him a chance — or from Bernie Sanders fans who voted for Trump as a protest vote against Hillary.

Roseanne: to watch or not to watch?

roseanne-jackie-laurie-metcalf

A scene from the new Roseanne showing pro-Trump Roseanne with her anti-Trump liberal sister Jackie.

Roseanne was one of my favorite TV sitcoms back in the day (I watched the entire series from 1988 through 1997, when it was cancelled).    It was one of the most genuinely funny shows on television, because the characters were so relatable and realistic.  Roseanne and her husband were both overweight and had health and money problems like normal people.   Their house didn’t look like a page from Architectural Digest or even Decorating on a Budget.   It looked like the sort of home most of the people I knew lived in — messy, cluttered, out of date, with lots of kitschy objects, piles of paper and magazines, and unwashed dishes and other debris lying around.   The Conners were working class — at least until they won the lottery (that’s when the show began to go downhill and become unrealistic).   They struggled with bills.   Roseanne wasn’t always nice to her kids or her husband, Dan — and the kids were far from perfect.  They talked back and could be disrespectful.  But the love between all the Conner family members always came through anyway.   I particularly loved the Darlene character — played by Sara Gilbert — who was every bit as sarcastic as her mother but still had a huge heart.

roseanne-barr-sara-gilbert

Roseanne and Darlene in the original series.  

I did not watch the first episode of the Roseanne reboot when it aired last Tuesday night.    I passed on it out of principle.  Most of my anti-Trump friends have boycotted Roseanne and refuse to watch her new show, even if they were once fans.  I knew that Roseanne Barr, who used to identify as a member of the Green Party and had very left wing views back during her series’ original run, is today a vocal supporter of Trump.  Worse than that, she’s also all-in on one of the worst conspiracy theories many Trump supporters have embraced (a guy who calls himself “Q” and sells himself as some sort of pro-Trump prophet has many faithful believers).  Right now, there’s also a picture of Roseanne circulating (taken in 2009) that shows her posing dressed as Hitler and holding a pan full of “burnt Jew” cookies (Roseanne is herself Jewish).

But I have to admit I’m really curious about the new series.   I’ve seen a few clips.  It intrigues me that Barr has chosen to focus on a family that is divided because of politics.   It’s an interesting premise for a sitcom.   Roseanne’s anti-Trump sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) is back, all decked out in a pink pussy hat.  Her daughter Darlene, a lesbian in real life, is also an anti-Trumper on the show.   Harris, the premature daughter Darlene gave birth to at the end of the first series, is now a teenager and looks uncannily like her mother.   I’m curious about their relationship.   I wonder what sort of mom Darlene turned out to be.  I’d like to see the way they play off each other.

So I think I will give the show a chance even if it makes some of my anti-Trump friends mad at me.  Sure, it bugs me that Roseanne is a Trump supporter, and I don’t like some of the things she says and does,  but I feel like I have to be my own judge and at least watch one full episode.  The fact that all the original cast members have returned for the reboot series makes me feel like these people like Roseanne as a person — in spite of their politics mostly being different from hers.   So she can’t be all that bad — right?   If she were that bad, wouldn’t they have refused to return?

If I see that Barr gives the “other side” a fair shake, and it looks to me like the pro-Trump/anti-Trump conflict is played for comedy and/or for insight into the tribalism so prevalent in these history-making and tumultuous times, then that’s a good thing and I may choose to continue watching.   We could all benefit by laughing at ourselves and each other.   Better yet if Roseanne has the self awareness to see the humor of her rabid Trump support and can laugh at herself.

If, on the other hand, I feel like I’m being preached at or the show is really serving as a vehicle to peddle pro-Trump propaganda, then I will turn off the channel and never think about it again.   I want to be my own judge, not just boycott the show because other people are doing it or because it’s politically incorrect for a “woke” person to watch it.  Hell, the old Roseanne was funny!   I have to see for myself whether or not she can still be funny (even if she loves Trump) or if she completely lost her ability to make me laugh after she drank the Trump Koolaid.

If anyone has already seen the episode, please comment on your impressions of it.

The sick cult of Trumpism.

trumprally

I must have a stomach made of iron, because last night I actually was able to watch the Trump Rally in Pensacola, FL without vomiting.   I have never seen one of these things before in its entirety, and it was eye opening and sickening.   I’m not going to bother posting the video of it here.  If you really want to watch it, it’s on Youtube.

Trump holds his hate-rallies to garner necessary narcissistic supply and the adulation and worship he craves, but this one had a secondary purpose — to drum up support for Bible thumping pedophile and sexual abuser Roy Moore.  I believe Moore is every bit as much of a narcissistic sociopath as Trump, and birds of a feather do tend to stick together.  Between Steve Bannon, Roy Moore, and Trump himself, these morally bankrupt despots are ready to take over the GOP and remake America into their hateful, racist, homophobic, sexist, and nationalistic image and call it “good.”

Trump’s speech, as always, was full of generalizations, baldfaced lies, self-congratulatory nonsense, empty slogans, demonizations of the liberal press, and smearing of people he dislikes or that threaten him, all while puffing out his chest and clapping for himself.  As usual, he said nothing the least bit inspiring, wise, compassionate, or intelligent.  His audience soaked it all in.

I have never seen another president demonize the opposing political party the way he does.    He called the Democrats “evil, bad people” who are actively trying to obstruct what he is doing (like, maybe they are trying to save America from becoming Nazi Germany 2.0 or Mussolini’s Italy?). He even accused liberals of trying to set up an authoritarian regime that would suppress free speech and freedom of religion (yes, really).     This is the way you talk about ISIS or maybe North Korea, not your fellow Americans.   It’s the kind of rhetoric banana republic dictatorships use to divide and conquer, while disguising their corruption and moral bankruptcy by making themselves blameless.   It’s a tactic utterly alien to any working democracy.

It’s not much of a stretch to go from “they are evil, bad people” to “they aren’t human,” and “they should be killed.”   Despotic leaders throughout history have justified genocide and torture by dehumanizing their opposition.   I fully expect that if something isn’t done to stop him soon, liberal journalists, protesters, and others who disagree with Trump and his cult will be jailed.  Our First Amendment is hanging in the balance.

Trump’s speech was also a great example of how malignant narcissists use projection and blame-shifting to manipulate.   To anyone familiar with NPD, it’s easy to see that whenever Trump smears others, he is really talking about himself.   He attributes those negative qualities to others that actually belong to him.   It’s almost funny once you realize what he’s doing, and once you see it, you can’t unsee it.   He’s really smearing himself, although most likely he’s not consciously aware he is.

waltermartin

Even more disturbing than Trump’s hate-filled, despotic speech, was the spectacle of the supporters attending.   They really remind me of a cult, and in fact they are one.    Cult leaders can convince their followers that the most heinous or amoral acts are somehow A-OK if they benefit the cult’s or leader’s goals.   Charles Manson was great at this sort of manipulation.    L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, was also well-versed in it.   The Children of God “Christian” cult was a less famous example.  Cult leaders throughout history have been able to brainwash and control their followers.  They can convince their flock to believe anything, no matter how insane or wrong, using mind control and manipulation techniques.

Cult leaders can also convince their followers to commit evil or amoral acts, often against what the cult leader believes is their opposition.  L. Ron Hubbard did this by calling people critical of Scientology “Suppressive Persons (SPs) or “low tone”  and followers who were in contact with them “Potential Trouble Sources.”  Hubbard required his followers to do the same, which included  cutting ties with concerned family members who dared to criticize Scientology or their family member’s involvement in it, or shun other Scientologists who were “ethics” problems.    Trump (and his sycophants) do the same thing by calling liberals, Democrats, and leftist and even centrist media “evil” and “enemies of America,” when in reality it’s Trump and his lackeys and enablers who are the ones destroying America.

The rally started off fairly quiet, but like obsessed sports fans, once Trump got going and the attendants got sucked into his unhinged, hysterical monologue,  the audience got louder and their demeanor more fevered.  They cheered him on and chanted “MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!,” “DRAIN THE SWAMP!” and “Lock them up!”  They waved American flags and MAGA signs.  They seemed like more like fans at a rock concert than a political rally.

At the same time I was watching the live-stream video, there was a box to the side for comments.   Almost all those watching were Trump (and Roy Moore) supporters.  The comments were interesting and very reminiscent of those of young adolescents with a crush on some teen idol, obsessed sports fans, or cult members.   There was no depth or evidence of critical thinking or knowledge of politics in these comments — most were either repetitions of what Trump just said, strings of emoji hearts or clapping hands, or mindless phrases like “MAGA!” usually punctuated with American flags and hearts.  There were also comments like, “ROCK STAR!,”  “Trump rocks!,” “DESTROY THE LIBTARDS!,” and “DRAIN THE SWAMP!”   Strangest of all (but completely expected) were religiously tinged comments like “God’s Avenger!,” “KING CYRUS!” (many Evangelicals believe Trump is King Cyrus from the Bible) , “God’s right hand man!” and “THANK YOU JESUS FOR TRUMP!”   I even saw one that said “Trump = Emperor God King!” These comments were often punctuated with strings of emoji crosses or praying hands.  Most disgusting of all were comments that celebrated Trump’s spiritual or even physical beauty:   “His hair is made of Spun Gold!” and “Trump’s heart is so pure!” and “Trump always tells the truth!”

Yuck.

After watching the rally, I’m more convinced than ever Trumpism is not a political movement, but a cult.

 

A pseudo-Liberal and a Conservative walk into a diner. (Sigh) Political discussion ensues…

I’m reblogging this post because the thoughts here are so similar to the ones expressed in my most recent post (even down to the “liberal tears” mug, haha). Have we “liberals” not all experienced this sort of frustration and exhaustion when dealing with Trump supporters this year?

Please leave comments under the original post.

 

The Chatty Introvert

I was supposed to work yesterday, but ended up getting called off. So, in a state of tiredness and profound boredom, I decided to leave the house and hang out at Denny’s with a book and my writing stuff. I felt like I’d rather die than sit there and tune out the living room TV and look at a computer screen for five more seconds.

But it was like nothing could go right yesterday. I was driving to my fave diner, and half-way there considered turning around. But I got there anyway, and maybe had 20 minutes to myself when someone else walked in (it was pouring rain) that I’d talked to before.

Somehow, a question about the Coexist bumper sticker on my car led to an hour of political discussion, since he figured I had a liberal lean.

I was not prepared for this.

Thanks to being away from…

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Arguing with Trumpists is exhausting.

 

liberaltears

I should know better than to argue with Trump supporters on Twitter or anywhere else. Several other people were involved in this thread. I have called them Person A, B, etc. The Trump supporter is called “Trumpist” and I’m just “ME.”  This is the kind of twisted logic we are up against.

Thread Starter: With Trump’s base showing strong preferences for authoritarianism, and continuing to support a serial predator of children [Roy Moore], it’s time to look this problem in its face. 1/ (first post in a long thread)

Trumpist: YOU are the ENEMY… you are the bad guy. Christians like me are fighting progressives like you with all our hearts. We just want to live with our traditional values without scum like you trying to push ‘progressive” bs on kids like my nephew. 😡😡😡😡

ME: Well fine but then why are you evangelicals trying to shove your religious agenda down OUR throats. And that is precisely what’s happening. To your side religious freedom only means the freedom to enforce your beliefs on everyone else.

Trumpist: because GOD wants you to inherit the Kingdom which is Heaven but you can not do that with this Progressive agenda. LGBT is a sin, coveting one’s neighbor is a sin=jealousy of the rich,

ME: First of all, I think you are wrong. My God doesn’t operate that way (and I *am* a Christian). Second of all, we have FREE WILL and should have the ability to choose our own eternal fate, not under the duress of theocrats and authoritarians who want complete control.

ME (continuing): Also we are not JEALOUS of the rich. We see a few billionaire oligarchs taking everything away from average people and actively TRYING to make our lives difficult. They have NO empathy. Most of them aren’t even Christians. The Kochs are atheists, FFS. Greed is IMMORAL.

ME (continuing): I suggest you read the Gospels, esp. the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew to see how Jesus actually expects Christians to behave. You guys are the false prophets we were warned about. Twisting Christianity to support your own selfish, immoral, sociopathic agenda.

ME (continuing): Coveting your neighbor? How about ROY MOORE coveting underage CHILDREN? And defending the rapist of a FOUR YEAR OLD? Huh? Explain how that squares with your hate filled brand of “Christianity.” The party of family values, my ass.

Person A (replying to Trumpist): so, you essentially want the same as ISIS then?

ME (to Person A): The dominionists do. They have much in common with ISIS and the Taliban, just substitute Islam with Christianity and it’s the same damn thing.

Person B (also replying to Trumpist): What values? Pedophilia?

Person A: If you want a fucking theocracy, go live in Iran or Saudi Arabia and leave this country alone. We have SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE HERE. If you don’t like it, get out. (accompanying ISIS/GOP comparison meme posted)

Person C: You most assuredly have this backwards. Christians like you are attempting to require non-believers, and other religions to live according to your values because you are afraid that your belief system is so weak that it cannot hold if kids are exposed to other ideals. 1/ (beginning of a new thread)

Person D: Hint: allowing other views to exist is not “pushing” them on you. It’s what is required for a free and democratic society. This tweet right here basically demonstrates the authoritarian instinct the thread us talking about.

Person E: Why are you fighting progress?

Person F: So, “traditional” values like bigotry, hatred and supporting pedophiles? Good luck with that. You disgrace Christianity with every word out of your mouth and Jesus rebukes you.

ME: I just retweeted that hideous reply from TRUMPIST because it’s a PERFECT example of what’s wrong with America. The theocrats and dominionists want complete control and apparently do not believe in FREE WILL.

TRUMPIST (replying to everyone): gays are wrong, period.  Killing babies is wrong, period. There isn’t anything wrong with praying in school. WRONG! We want those rich people to invest in America since they have the means, we don’t want war, some sense of morality in govt, what rights have women lost since the election?

ME: You really don’t get it, do you? I give up. Bye.

ME: (not replying to anyone in thread, which I left): Why am I wasting my day arguing with Trump supporters and religious nutcases? It’s an exercise in futility and exhausting af. Now I have to take a nap.

someoneiswrong

I slept for about 4 hours after that conversation and then spent the rest of the day feeling depressed and deflated, no energy at all.  It’s amazing the oxygen sucking effect these zealots have on us. Of course, it might be more emotionally draining to those of us who suffered narcissistic abuse and who find Trump (and his apologists) personally triggering.   We have to be careful to take breaks and replenish. But sometimes I wonder, how are we going to win when there are so many people (like a whole third of the country) who simply deny facts and who logic, reason, and even a simple sense of right and wrong simply doesn’t work on?

I think I’ve figured out their obstinacy. There are a great many people in the United States who WANT an authoritarian president, who WANT theocracy and WANT to be told exactly what to do. They WANT draconian laws for those groups of people they dislike. It satisfies their hatred and fear of those who aren’t like them.  They don’t even care if those same laws hurt them too (which they will).   As long as they get to see the people they hate suffer. 

I’ve heard far too many Trump supporters actually gloat about how they love to “trigger the liberals.” They don’t care how morally bankrupt a leader is, as long as he is upsetting or threatening the “Others” they don’t like (who they see as the real threat).   They joke about “liberal tears.”  There’s something sadistic and even sociopathic in this mindset, which is common in people with authoritarian personalities who are drawn to other authoritarian types.   Conversely, I don’t know any anti-Trumpists who enjoy upsetting or triggering Trump supporters.  In fact, most avoid it.   If we argue with them, we’re just trying to get through, for all the good that’s going to do.   You hope you at least planted a seed somewhere.   But sometimes it feels like scattering seeds into the Sahara Desert.

There are also many people who find thinking for themselves and making their own life choices simply too stressful and/or challenging, so they prefer an authoritarian father figure who tells them exactly what to do and thereby removes the burden of having to make too many choices or do their own thinking.  It’s also people like this who are attracted to authoritarian leaders and authoritarian religions.  It’s actually comforting to them.   These people may have problems with codependency and don’t realize it.

*****

Further reading:

My Twitter Debate With a Trump Supporter

I also just read this peripherally-related, but VERY important, article about the death of Christianity in America.   At first I thought it was just another brainless screed from the evangelical far right, but it’s actually a very well thought out essay about how the alliance between the evangelicals and the far right is actually destroying real Christianity in our country.  The evangelical excuses (bordering on idolatry) for Donald Trump and now their defense of a child molester and sexual predator like Roy Moore is the end-game, at least for Christian evangelism.  They have sold their souls for political gain and power.

The Death of Christianity in the U.S. (Baptist News Global)

Visceral Disgust

One blogger’s opinion about why some white women support Trump.
Please leave comments under original post.

CLUSTER B

lordofflies“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!” said the head. For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?”

Lord of the Flies
William Golding

whitewomenWe know emotions often Trump logic. But I doubt most of us realize the extent to which irrational emotions, many of which are barely on the level of awareness, can take the driver’s seat. An article in Alternet, Why the Majority of White Women Voted for Trump by Kate Manne (discussing a book by the same author, Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny), has alerted me to the way emotions barely acknowledged can overcome reason.

selfloathingIt seems that many women suffer from…

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A Trump supporter wakes up.

burning-trump-hat

Trump supporters have been burning their MAGA hats lately, but not exactly for laudable reasons.  To them, Trump has betrayed them by saying he will work with Democrats (even though I doubt he’ll actually do this since he lies about everything).   If Trump has been losing his allure to some white supremacists and other members of the alt-right, it’s not because they are finally seeing him as the dangerous authoritarian despot he actually is, but because to them, by agreeing to work with Democrats,  Trump has proven himself to be a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and therefore a traitor to their nationalist, anti-immigration sentiments.

But here and there, some people who voted for Trump are beginning to realize they made a mistake.   Most of them seem embarrassed by this.  They don’t like to talk about it, which gives the initial impression that Trump supporters have not changed their minds.  But have you noticed how few Trump/Pence bumper stickers you see these days? How few people are publicly wearing MAGA hats?   That’s because lots of people have been quietly removing the stickers from the backs of their Chevies and Ford SUVs and hiding the red ballcaps in the backs of dark closets.  FOX News is now only the third most popular cable channel.  MSNBC is now in first place.  It wasn’t that way in November or January.

My daughter’s boyfriend, Zach, is a good example of one of these bashful Trump defectors.   True, he was never very political to begin with.  He wasn’t all that gung-ho about Trump even back in November and he would never attend a white supremacist rally, but he does come from a working class rural southern background where everyone votes Republican, no matter what.   So when voting day arrived,  Trump got his vote too.   My daughter voted for Hillary, and I remember her saying that she couldn’t talk about politics with Zach even though they get along really well otherwise.   He was annoyed that she voted for Clinton even though he was kind enough to not say anything to her about it.  She said she could tell he didn’t like it one bit though.   They went to the polls together, and he wouldn’t talk to her for several hours after that.

But lately, Zach has been having second thoughts.

The first sign that he was beginning to think he made a mistake was after the Trumpcare debacle.    He admitted that his mother, who voted for Trump, but was covered under the ACA (Obamacare) was worried she was going to lose her health insurance.  Unlike some Trump supporters, both Zach and his mom realized the ACA and Obamacare were the exact same thing.   Zach adores his mother and does not want her to lose her healthcare, and admitted as much.   He said he hoped Trump would stop trying to repeal and replace the ACA and just move onto other things.

A few weeks later, over grilled burgers, Zach said he thought that perhaps Hillary should have won the election.  He said that, even though he still preferred Trump over Hillary,  it really wasn’t fair that the popular vote didn’t count and the right thing would have been for Hillary to be president.

I almost choked on my cheeseburger.

Right after Harvey hit a few weeks ago (and Irma was gaining strength in the Atlantic and looking to be headed for the continental US), climate change came up in conversation.   But it wasn’t me or my daughter who brought it up (since both of us know Zach doesn’t like to talk about politics with us) — it was Zach:

“You know, the past couple of summers have been much hotter than I ever remember.   And now these hurricanes.   I don’t know…maybe climate change is really a thing.  Do you think maybe Trump is lying about that?”

Knowing that I studied science in college, and read a lot, he was ready for answers.  So I had the opportunity to tell him what I knew about climate change, and that, yes, the man he voted for was lying.

He listened and then was quiet for a few minutes, thinking.  Finally he spoke.  “I don’t know.  Maybe Hillary would have made a better president.”

I could have ran over and hugged him, but I just smiled.