Is there any point to even talking to a Trump supporter?
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  1. #1
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    Is there any point to even talking to a Trump supporter?

    In 2016, I had some sympathy for people who voted for Trump. I, personally, thought he would be a disaster as a President, but I felt that there was the possibility that I was wrong - that Trump could become "presidential" once the reality of being installed in office set in. And I could also understand to some extent the "NEVER Hillary" reaction of lots of Republicans. I only held my nose and voted for her because I believed the alternative would be worse.

    But now, after 4 years in office, and after his actions (and inactions) since the election, I honestly can find no justification for anyone who continues to support Trump. And I have family who I love and respect(ed), friends, co-workers, neighbors - you know, regular people who you can laugh and cry with - who, mind-bogglingly, still support that putrescence on the backside of humanity. The cognitive dissonance is well-nigh overwhelming. I just can't wrap my head around it. These are not monstrous people, how can they support a monster? I hate to invoke Godwin's law, but I can think of no better corollary in history than Hitlerism to help explain Trump's appeal. I suppose I'll have to find a book about Hitler to read to try to help me understand, but I think perhaps it is impossible for a sane person to truly understand insanity.

    If I were to talk to a Trumpian, what could I possibly say to them that would be more damning than Trump's own words and actions? For someone who still supports him (and that's close to half of the people in this country), what in the world could Trump say or do to lose their support?

    Given that anyone still supporting him is immune to reason or empathy when it comes to Trump, there's obviously no point in discussing politics. I guess complete avoidance is the only alternative, since these people exist and you can't avoid them, so you have to find some way to cohabit the same (physical) world.

    ------------

  2. #2
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    As Johnathan Swift famously quipped, you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't get into with reason (paraphrased).


    I think the best analogy is people who have left cults. It does happen- people do snap out of grand delusions. Sometimes it's a simple as tiring of the same thing- it's no longer new and exciting. Sometimes it just requires empathy to get people to understand how their position has harmed themselves and others. But the latter path generally requires a very close connection and a lot of hard work. You aren't going to get that level engagement from a bunch of flag waiving Trump groupies on the street.

    The country really dodged a bullet with Biden's win. Not because another 4 years of Trump would be that bad (it would indeed be pretty bad), but because another 4 years would have probably taken Democratic institutions past the point of no-return. I liken it to Venezuela. It still had a functioning democracy for years after Chavez took power. It was after his reelection and the subsequent failed coup attempt that the country went past the point of no return. Likewise, Germany still was still more or less Democratic in 1933 when the first election with Hitler as Chancellor was held. I don't think Trump would have ever been quite so bad as Hitler (no WWIII or mass genocide), but he could have taken his place among autocratic leaders that are fully protected against any real chance of Democratic opposition.

    A second win would have allowed him to consolidate his support among the true believers and fully cast out any hint of opposition within the executive. He could have done things like gotten Republican-lead states to repeal popular vote for presidential elector or retained power for a third term with a Medyedev-shuffle move with Pence.

    We aren't totally free of him as long as he retains the ability to stay in the news, but I think the thrill that his followers got from his actions as president will fade along with his power.

  3. #3
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    don't associate with any known Trumpers.

    if I were to personally encounter one, there certainly wouldn't be anything to discuss.

    it would be a pointless exercise in futility and not worth my time.
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

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    Quote Originally Posted by D&MsDad View Post
    I suppose I'll have to find a book about Hitler to read to try to help me understand
    Funny you say this.

    The very day after Trump was elected, my coworker's wife (a German citizen) came to the office in tears begging him to move back to Germany with her. She told me, "when you grow up in Germany you are taught A LOT about the rise of Hitler. Trump winning the election just gave a voice, a legitimacy, to an entire segment of society who...".

    I forget exactly how she phrased the end of the sentence but suffice to say, she hit the nail right on the head.

  5. #5
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    The saddest part of this election are the numbers; SEVENTY-FIVE MILLION PEOPLE VOTED FOR TRUMP. I don't think we can continue as a democracy with numbers like those.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by D&MsDad View Post
    In 2016, I had some sympathy for people who voted for Trump. I, personally, thought he would be a disaster as a President, but I felt that there was the possibility that I was wrong - that Trump could become "presidential" once the reality of being installed in office set in. And I could also understand to some extent the "NEVER Hillary" reaction of lots of Republicans. I only held my nose and voted for her because I believed the alternative would be worse.

    But now, after 4 years in office, and after his actions (and inactions) since the election, I honestly can find no justification for anyone who continues to support Trump. And I have family who I love and respect(ed), friends, co-workers, neighbors - you know, regular people who you can laugh and cry with - who, mind-bogglingly, still support that putrescence on the backside of humanity. The cognitive dissonance is well-nigh overwhelming. I just can't wrap my head around it. These are not monstrous people, how can they support a monster? I hate to invoke Godwin's law, but I can think of no better corollary in history than Hitlerism to help explain Trump's appeal. I suppose I'll have to find a book about Hitler to read to try to help me understand, but I think perhaps it is impossible for a sane person to truly understand insanity.

    If I were to talk to a Trumpian, what could I possibly say to them that would be more damning than Trump's own words and actions? For someone who still supports him (and that's close to half of the people in this country), what in the world could Trump say or do to lose their support?

    Given that anyone still supporting him is immune to reason or empathy when it comes to Trump, there's obviously no point in discussing politics. I guess complete avoidance is the only alternative, since these people exist and you can't avoid them, so you have to find some way to cohabit the same (physical) world.

    ------------
    Loss of respect is inevitable, considering. It's sad and perhaps permanent. Are there degrees to it?

    See what it did to Ivanka's friendship in my signature.

    I expect an opportunity for some to come to Jesus if Trump is convicted of wrongdoing.

    We won't be attending gatherings for some time in any case, perhaps something to be thankful for. We can hope that the Trump BS burns out with the rising number of pandemic deaths. A taint will remain even then.
    Last edited by BadHabit; 1 Week Ago at 02:25 PM.
    Joseph R. Biden—First president in history to win more than 80,000,000 votes.

  7. #7
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    As we have seen repeatedly here it is not possible to talk with Trump supporters. They never engage. Never talk policy. They throw rocks, spew nonsense, then run away and hide.

    Trumpism is a cult.
    "I would like you to do us a favor"

  8. #8
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    Everyone wants to be respected. People are entitled to their opinions. It is your responsibility to decide to recognize the difference between a helpless and hopeless battle.

    When I have been confronted with unreasonable people, I try to remain claim and polite while saying "You could be right" as I walk away. After all, unreasonable people only become more unreasonable when they are confronted with facts they will not accept. So why invest your most valuable commodity, your limited time*, on a hopeless endeavor, when you have the choice to invest it elsewhere.

    * I have all the money I will ever need to buy all the watches I could possibly wear. BUT I can not buy one more minute of my life.
    I am 100% convinced the internet and social media are not the salvation to human civility.


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  9. #9
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    Trump’s supporters are overwhelmingly white, uneducated, underemployed, etc. In a country where white supremacy is still very prevalent, their whiteness is all they have. Trump validates their world view. Their fear, anger and racist beliefs cannot really be reasoned with because they are not reasonable.

  10. #10
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    Actually, much of Trump's support comes from white suburban males.

    They aren't just hillbillies and hicks.
    "Damn. Y'all murdered the sh*t out that mutherf***er"

  11. #11
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    Is there any point to even talking to a Trump supporter?
    IMO ... it's not worth anybody's time, just a circular argument with people that are throwing their support behind racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, etc.

    I have neither the time nor patience for Trump supporters, and I have other places I prefer to spend my time. Hell, arguing with a "TREE" would be more productive.

    The issue is that by not talking, we are all living in a bubble ... the difference, one side believes in science and truth ... the other Trump and lies. There will be no coming together as a country, no common ground and just a continuance of distance between both parties and parts of the country.

    It's amazing that in a short period of time this country has been taken down so far, however a divorce is imminent. The question is whether that divorce will be peaceful or violent.
    Voting isn't marriage - it's public transport. You are not waiting for "The One" who is absolutely perfect. You are getting on the bus, and if there isn't one going exactly to your destination you don't stay at home and sulk - you take the one going closest to where you want to be!

  12. #12
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    Here in Upstate NY I know Trump voters and Biden voters and they all vote down the party line.

    Such is life, unfortunately.
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  13. #13
    xxl
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    Trump supporter fights back by not talking:

    Donald Trump has never had a wife he didn't cheat on.

    Donald Trump has never won a popular vote in a governmental election.

    There are over 13 million covid cases in the United States (as of Thanksgiving), eleven months after Donald Trump said it was "totally under control," and that "it's gonna be just fine."

  14. #14
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    Screenshotting this for posterity. We can’t allow ourselves to forget who perpetrated, supported, and/or failed to stand up to this disinformation campaign, this attack on democracy. pic.twitter.com/fmHOedDOCY
    — Kate Starbird (@katestarbird) November 19, 2020

    Donald Trump has never had a wife he didn't cheat on.

    Donald Trump has never won a popular vote in a governmental election.

    There are over 13 million covid cases in the United States (as of Thanksgiving), eleven months after Donald Trump said it was "totally under control," and that "it's gonna be just fine."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Falsetti View Post
    As we have seen repeatedly here it is not possible to talk with Trump supporters. They never engage. Never talk policy. They throw rocks, spew nonsense, then run away and hide.

    Trumpism is a cult.

    You misspelled 'conservatism'.
    "We are doomed to live in very interesting times"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishtanker View Post
    Here in Upstate NY I know Trump voters and Biden voters and they all vote down the party line.

    Such is life, unfortunately.
    All the Trump trolls I know push "Both Sides!" nonsense in a weak attempt to deflect from the obvious fact their leader is scum.
    "I would like you to do us a favor"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishtanker View Post
    Here in Upstate NY I know Trump voters and Biden voters and they all vote down the party line.

    Such is life, unfortunately.
    Party politics? The divide is a moral one.
    Joseph R. Biden—First president in history to win more than 80,000,000 votes.

  18. #18
    feh
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    Quote Originally Posted by D&MsDad View Post
    In 2016, I had some sympathy for people who voted for Trump. I, personally, thought he would be a disaster as a President, but I felt that there was the possibility that I was wrong - that Trump could become "presidential" once the reality of being installed in office set in. And I could also understand to some extent the "NEVER Hillary" reaction of lots of Republicans. I only held my nose and voted for her because I believed the alternative would be worse.

    But now, after 4 years in office, and after his actions (and inactions) since the election, I honestly can find no justification for anyone who continues to support Trump. And I have family who I love and respect(ed), friends, co-workers, neighbors - you know, regular people who you can laugh and cry with - who, mind-bogglingly, still support that putrescence on the backside of humanity. The cognitive dissonance is well-nigh overwhelming. I just can't wrap my head around it. These are not monstrous people, how can they support a monster? I hate to invoke Godwin's law, but I can think of no better corollary in history than Hitlerism to help explain Trump's appeal. I suppose I'll have to find a book about Hitler to read to try to help me understand, but I think perhaps it is impossible for a sane person to truly understand insanity.

    If I were to talk to a Trumpian, what could I possibly say to them that would be more damning than Trump's own words and actions? For someone who still supports him (and that's close to half of the people in this country), what in the world could Trump say or do to lose their support?

    Given that anyone still supporting him is immune to reason or empathy when it comes to Trump, there's obviously no point in discussing politics. I guess complete avoidance is the only alternative, since these people exist and you can't avoid them, so you have to find some way to cohabit the same (physical) world.

    ------------
    I'm in the exact same place as you are. I have friends & family that I have a hard time looking in the face.

    I no longer respect these people. I don't think the damage can be undone.
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  19. #19
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    This election was a very lukewarm repudiation of Trump which was fairly disturbing to me but the post election insanity is positively frightening and I don’t think there is any solution to this mess. I think the best we can hope for is for the Trumpism to fade away over the next several years but I don’t think it will because there is money to be made and power to be had from it. We cut it close with this election but we’re not out of the woods yet. Both Hitler and Mussolini came to power through manipulation of their democratically elected governments (yeah I said it, there are familiar patterns here!) and there are a disturbing number of our own government officials on board with subversion of this election.

    Trump called in Michigan GOP legislators to “have a chat” about their state electors. W -T -F.

    But to the original point. No, I don’t often engage with these people. In my line of work, I often have to deal the mentally disturbed, sometimes agitated. My rule of thumb is don’t argue with crazy people. It does sadden me though to see so many cheerleaders for the end of the American experiment.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishtanker View Post
    Here in Upstate NY I know Trump voters and Biden voters and they all vote down the party line.

    Such is life, unfortunately.
    Funny how when slouching towards fascism is on the ballot, some will choose to uphold democratic institutions up and down the ballot instead.

    We all know that your posts are fine with fascism so no need to reply.
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  21. #21
    dcb
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    i just hope a lot of you guys are wrong about this, because if you're right, our days of living in a free country are numbered. There's no doubt in my mind that there are a significant number of Trump voters who are true deplorables and yes, there's no point in engaging them.

    However, there are also a lot of people who have fallen prey to disinformation campaigns that have them convinced that Joe Biden is some sort of Manchurian candidate who's going to turn the country towards socialism. I know there are some people who supported Trump not because they think he's great, but they actually perceive the alternative as worse. Mind boggling, I know!

    How was this possible? I'd suggest watching the Social Dilemma on Netflix for some information. The short version: Big tech companies have created algorithms that let people steep in a more and more polarized version of the "truth." This isn't some nefarious plot by these companies to do away with democracy, it's just about money. I'm stealing a line from one of the people on the show but we now have no common perception of reality in this country and it's probably true around the world as well.

    We need to somehow regulate what people see as news without eroding the right to free speech. I know that's a tall order but if we can't do that I'm afraid Trump will have just been one of the first big steps towards a massively polarized country that will eventually destroy us.

  22. #22
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    Interesting op-ed from the NYT that goes along with this thread:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/19/o...upporters.html

    In Ohio, I spent 90 minutes on a drive to the airport with a retired Trump supporter. We were cordial to each other, we made jokes and we shared stories about our families. But neither of us changed our outlook. “They’ll never take my guns. Ever,” he told me, explaining that his Facebook feed was filled with articles about how Clinton and Democrats would kill the Second Amendment and steal his guns. Although he didn’t like some of Trump’s “tone” and comments, he didn’t believe he was a racist “in his heart.” I’m not a cardiologist, so I wasn’t qualified to challenge that.
    Don’t waste your time reaching out to Trump voters like I did. Instead, invest your time organizing your community, registering new voters and supporting candidates who reflect progressive values that uplift everyone, not just those who wear MAGA hats, in local and state elections. Work also to protect Americans against lies and conspiracy theories churned out by the right wing media and political ecosystem. One step would be to continue pressuring social media giants like Twitter and Facebook to deplatform hatemongers, such as Steve Bannon, and censor disinformation. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.
    I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
    Party politics? The divide is a moral one.
    Indeed. Voting for Trump, and parroting his nonsense, is immoral
    "I would like you to do us a favor"

  24. #24
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    I will just say that I had friends who I no longer have any contact with since Nov. 2016. It is no longer a matter of just avoiding the subject of politics and religion. It's a matter of feeling dirty being around people who support racism, misogyny, Islamaphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, etc.

    The sad thing is that not every person who voted for Trump is a "Trump supporter". I met someone recently who told me he thinks Trump is an a-hole and his political views are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. But he votes Republican party line (including Trump) because he doesn't want anybody touching his money. Sadly, he's not the only one who bought the lame "Biden is a Trojan horse" argument or for that matter, the "Biden wants to abolish the police and eliminate the suburbs" argument.

    I am fortunate that all my close family members are liberals. So when we get together, it's preaching to the choir.
    Last edited by Lombard; 1 Week Ago at 06:13 AM.
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  25. #25
    dcb
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_fuji View Post
    Interesting op-ed from the NYT that goes along with this thread:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/19/o...upporters.html
    “They’ll never take my guns. Ever,” he told me, explaining that his Facebook feed was filled with articles about how Clinton and Democrats would kill the Second Amendment and steal his guns."

    This is what I was referring to. I don't know why he was concerned about Clinton, but Biden isn't going to do away with the 2nd amendment. FB and the like are just in the business of keeping you engaged and they'll do it any way they can.

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