What is this election missing? Empathy for Trump voters. - WaPo

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Cody87
What is this election missing? Empathy for Trump voters. - WaPo

I really believe this article is a valuable read for everyone with an interest in politics.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/11/02/what-is-...

I recommend reading the whole thing with full context, but I'll bold italic some of the portions that I think are the most important and which resonated with me the most.

...We’ve been fractured politically for years now, but 2016 feels so polarized that we might as well be living in two different Americas.

But...the problems that plague white rural conservatives might not be so different from what worries African Americans. Many lament a system that’s unfair, discriminatory and one where the American Dream is out of reach.

As the tea party rose to political prominence at the end of the last decade, a liberal Berkeley sociology professor set out to understand why the white working class, once a strong voting bloc for Democrats, had embraced anti-establishment ideas that put them further to the right of even the mainstream Republican Party...

...What Hochschild discovered...is that neither side makes an effort to understand the other, but especially progressives, she said. Without understanding, there can’t be empathy. Without empathy, it’s nearly impossible to explore common ground.

...

Q: What were your preconceived stereotypes or expectations before you first visited Louisiana for this book in 2011?

Hochschild: What I expected was a self-centered people, but I found people who were nothing like that, quite the opposite. They were openhearted, they were communal. They were very eager to be known. They’d say, ‘Thanks for coming. We’re the flyover state, people don’t care about us, they don’t know who we are. They think we’re racist and homophobic and sexist and fat.’ There was a gratitude toward me, and I would tell them exactly who I was: ‘I think I live in a political bubble, and I’m trying to get out of mine and into yours. Will you talk to me? In some of them you sensed loss and a sense of being invisible and unappreciated and insulted. That liberals just think they’re rednecks. Here were people, some who had worked very hard, half were college-educated, and they just felt put down, and they felt a drifting downward in their economic circumstance, but didn’t hear anyone listening to them about their distress. They felt like a minority group.

Q: Do you think they had preconceived notions about you, too? 

You could see brows knit up. One woman said I was her first Democratic friend. I met another woman who said, ‘I love Rush Limbaugh,’ and I said, ‘I would love to talk to you about that.’ It came out that when she was listening to him she liked that he was defending her against criticisms from liberals. That reversed the picture [of him] to me from accuser to defender. There is tremendous power to open up a cultural space for respectfulness. I was out fishing with a man, and there we were, and he says to me, ‘You know, I think our leaders are trying to divide us. If we just get together, we’ll find much more in common than we think there is.’ I found a bridge in our ways of thinking that I never would have discovered without laying down an emotional carpet that we could tread, of trust that we’re not going to be disparaged.

...

Q: But there is a segment of Trump supporters who have expressed racist, sexist and/or xenophobic beliefs, like the man who yelled, “Jew-S-A,” at the press at a rally. If you feel threatened by that, how do you also feel empathetic?

Start with the world’s finest mediators — Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi. Explore the history of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the extraordinary history of victims understanding their victimizers. And then you say, ‘I’ve seen myself and my “side” as a victim, and now let’s see how they might feel that way, too.’  It doesn’t mean you’re ceding ground, it just means you’re seeing more possibilities in that person than if you saw them as a hopeless villain.

...

Q: So the onus is on progressives? Is there a responsibility for conservatives to reach out too?

It goes both ways but I think liberals bear the bigger responsibility, and the bigger interest, if they want to understand why the democratic party has lost so many blue collar white voters.

...

People here like to point out how "white males" generally support Trump despite his many documented character flaws because white males are sexist, racist, bigots, and seem completely blind to the fact that Clinton and groups that tend to be Clinton's strongest supporters have been scapegoating #YesAllWhiteMen, the vast majority of whom are decent people, as villains for years.

I can go to any thread in this forum with more than a dozen comments and find examples comments dehumanizing groups of people - usually Trump supporters, sometimes just men, sometimes all Americans. I am genuinely convinced that there are active posters here who literally believe that 40% of the American population would support concentration camps. There are people here who actually think the typical Trump supporter is evil.

One poster in particular has repeatedly wished me ill because I disagree with their belief that Clinton will win the election on the 8th and they believe that must mean I support Trump, and therefore deserve to suffer. I don't really care who wins. I find the discussion and analysis stimulating and fascinating, but I have no emotional investment in seeing either candidate succeed. I think Trump will win, and I know it's not what the polls say. I've argued why I believe the polls are wrong on numerous occasions. Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't go around telling people who actually are emotionally invested how miserable they're going to be on November 9th when their candidate loses. If I believed the narrative, which I don't, then I'd think that's something you would expect from...Trump supporters.

The most distressing part of all of this is the fact that this whole situation is so obviously manufactured by the political parties themselves. Imagine for a moment that 2016 followed the script. Trump wasn't supposed to run, anti-establishment Cruz was supposed to lose to establishment Bush, Kasich, or Rubio (in that order of preference). Does anyone here for a minute honestly believe that if the election had gone according to plan and was Clinton vs. Bush that we'd be having the global discussion about establishment collusion, money in politics, and the abuse of power by the political elite that we're having today? Clinton and Bush would have sparred over distractions and everyone would have been too busy cheering on their team to realize that Clinton and Bush are the same candidate in any way that would affect regular people's day to day lives.

Republicans think Democrats are stupid, Democrats think Republicans are evil, and both groups ignore the fact that they are being played against each other while the establishment wins. "Brother killing brother for the profit of another. Game point; nobody wins."

For a space that is supposed to be for "the rest of us," there is an astonishing amount of attacks directed at the other half of "the rest of us." Every person on this board has more in common with the typical Trump supporter than they do with either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Remember that.

Aristotleded24

I agree wholeheartedly with what has been written. Much is made of the divide between the "North" and the "South," with divisions that have been ongoing since the Civil War. I have some thoughts that I feel explain what is going on.

The mythology surrounding the Civil War is that it was fought to end slavery. That is nonsense. In the pre-Civil War period, the Southern economy was doing very well as an agrarian economy. The Northern industrial economy was expanding and the Civil War was about the clash of these 2 economic systems. We know who won that struggle, and of course those who win wars write the history books. The fact is that the new industrial economy made plantation slavery obsolete anyways. Economically, the South has never quite recovered from this setback, and Southern elites like to use things like racism and anti-liberalism as ways to divide and conquer the population and maintain their stranglehold on power. Northerners play into it by talking about "red necks," etc.

By the way, is it not hypocritical to celebrate the end of slavery while the Northern industrial economy spawned horrible working conditions in the factories, while industrialists and the state alike used brutal violence to prevent workers from organizing against those very injustices?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

A U.S. voter saying that they've turned to Trump because "the other candidate(s) don't care about me" is like some dude hiring a sex worker "because my wife doesn't really love me".  News flash, dude:  neither does the sex worker.

Aristotleded24

Mr. Magoo wrote:
A U.S. voter saying that they've turned to Trump because "the other candidate(s) don't care about me" is like some dude hiring a sex worker "because my wife doesn't really love me".  News flash, dude:  neither does the sex worker.

Your point being...?

6079_Smith_W

I read the first article of this sort way back in April. It was in the Guardian. There have been probably a dozen or so since then about how some Trump supporters are in fact articulate and are supporting him for serious reasons.

The Globe ran a video piece in August on Trump supporters in west Virginia which was pretty much an unpaid advertisement for the campaign.

So no, this is not a missing piece of the campaign. And after seeing this this morning:

 

I care less about if they are getting enough sympathy, and more about if they realize what they are supporting. They aren't the ones being told they belong on the other side of a wall.

And I have more in common with Trump supporters than I do with either candidate? That eans nothing at all, and it has no bearing on the decision that needs to be made.

 

 

Misfit

I thought that the Globe video was about Pennsylvania and not West Virginia?

Cody87

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I read the first article of this sort way back in April. It was in the Guardian. There have been probably a dozen or so since then about how some Trump supporters are in fact articulate and are supporting him for serious reasons.

The Globe ran a video piece in August on Trump supporters in west Virginia which was pretty much an unpaid advertisement for the campaign.

So no, this is not a missing piece of the campaign. And after seeing this this morning:

 

I care less about if they are getting enough sympathy, and more about if they realize what they are supporting. They aren't the ones being told they belong on the other side of a wall.

And I have more in common with Trump supporters than I do with either candidate? That eans nothing at all, and it has no bearing on the decision that needs to be made.

Do you know who burned that church?

6079_Smith_W

I'll have to look back, but I am pretty sure it was WV, because it was a state which had previously been Democrat, and now is hard Republican. I do remember being pissed about it, because there was no analysis of the issues, or what Trump was actually supposed to do about their concerns.

(edit)

Ah... no, you are right. Thanks.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/video-why-is-trump-so-pop...

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

I doubt they left a calling card.

But do you really want me to start making a list? And yes, I know there was a Trump office burned (which local Democrats raised money to pay for). Not quite the same as targetting African Americans, Muslims, Latinos, LGBT people, women, and the poor.

They might think they are just trying to open the old mill, but is what they are voting for, whether they want to recognize it or not.

 

 

Cody87

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I doubt they left a calling card.

But do you really want me to start making a list? And yes, I know there was a Trump office burned (which local Democrats raised money to pay for). Not quite the same as targetting African Americans, Muslims, Latinos, LGBT people, women, and the poor.

You have missed the point of the original post.

Quote:
They might think they are just trying to open the old mill, but is what they are voting for, whether they want to recognize it or not.

You have also missed the point of my previous comment. Trump's opponents are documented on video bragging about inciting violence, impersonating Trump supporters to damage his image, and "paying mentally ill people to do shit."

Considering anyone with an IQ above 70 could tell that burning a church and writing "Vote Trump" on it would have the opposite effect, it's reasonable to question if it was actually a Trump supporter who started the fire. 

And, since you brought it up, you may be interested to know that more than $130k has been raised for the church today, with significant portions of that coming from Trump supporters.

JKR

I think many people who vote Republican deserve a lot of empathy as they have been incredibly manipulated by the Republican Party's huge propaganda machine. It is sad to see how the Republicans have used their media outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to spread ignorance far and wide in America. It is unfortunate that the Republican Party has been able to convince many Americans that many of their problems are caused by racial minorities and feminists. It is sad that the Republican Party has also been able to persuade many Americans that lowering taxes on the rich and getting rid of government regulations and supporting capitalism will be good for everyone. It is lamentable that the Republicans have also been able to prevent the Democrats from passing legislation that would create more equality and then blame the Democrats for the lack of equality in America. It is also very concerning that the Republicans have been able to sell their simplistic law and order agenda to many Americans that has gone on to contribute to increased levels of violence in America and throughout the world.

I feel sorry that Republican propaganda has harmed many Americans. I guess one of the lessons we've learned from this darkest of elections is that in the future the Democrats will have a better chance of winning the White House if they nominate a relatively unknown white male presidential candidate. This tactic might be required to get around the Republican's powerful propaganda machine. I feel a lot of empathy for Americans caught up in this kind of sad situation.

Cody87

JKR wrote:

If the lessons we've learned from this darkest of elections is that in the future the Democrats will have a better chance of winning the White House if they nominate a relatively unknown white male presidential candidate.

Erm. Obama isn't a white male, and he did just fine against white males in general elections?

But yeah, people just don't like Clinton because she's a woman. It doesn't have anything to do with a list of major scandals and illegal behaviour that go back to the 80's.

Good god. Do you really believe that the reason why many people who supported Bernie will not support Clinton is because of the differences in their genitalia?

JKR, that's insulting to Bernie supporters but it's even more insulting to Bernie himself. Whatever I think of his endorsement of the Clinton's style of politics, Bernie himself is a good, ethical man with a consistent history of actually fighting for the rest of us instead of just selling us out. Suggesting that the only difference between him and Clinton is gender is disgusting.

6079_Smith_W

They aren't the only ones who can't pay bills in that country, and most importantly that does not absolve them of the responsibility for voting for an incompetent racist sociopath. 

This is actually a ridiculous line of reasoning, because this has already been covered.

And it is not really what is important here. They are far from the ones with the most grievances, even if they do whine the loudest.

Cody87

6079_Smith_W wrote:

They are far from the ones with the most grievances,

But they are the ones who are ignored the most, and who are demonized the most by mainstream culture.

And both major party leaders are incompetent racist sociopaths. Well, I'm not convinced Trump is incompetent...

lagatta

Interesting. Though Dr Jill Stein is not a "simpleton" - he could have said not to vote for her without making such a ridiculous slur.

SeekingAPolitic...

I posted the following a few days ago but it needs to repeated here in this thread.  I salute you cody

3 for 3 context

Ipredicted in feb.

clinton beats bernie

trump becomes the rep canadate

trump beats clinton

And if could vote in us  I would be voting Jill Stein

 

Whatever the result i just want to point that alot people will have become emotiomial invested to the results of the election.  If trump wins i will take my victory lap because i am 3 for 3 and boy my political instinits are just right on.  My personal sense victory or lose will be trempered by a important fact that applies to both sides.  All virtual ink spent on the 2016 elections posts had really 0 impact on the results.  On the practical level how many votes where impacted by the agruements made in rabble?  not many if any.  Its like bee compared the to the sun, rabble posts on the outcome are less than insignificant.  All the insults and frustrations that individuals hurled agaisnt each other on issue is poorly done because we as community had NO practical influence on the outcome.  If you want to invest emotional energy then chose something that your investment will actually impact the world around you. 

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Yeah, I agree. And I think he goes on a bit much about Putin. But given how some down there who have all the attention of a dog seeing a squirrel, there is good need for a slap upside the head.

On the other hand, she did say that Hillary's foreign policy was scarier than Trump's (falsely spun by many as an endorsement for him). So I do kind of rank her with many of those voters who have a problem with perspective.

 

6079_Smith_W

Cody87 wrote:

But they are the ones who are ignored the most, and who are demonized the most by mainstream culture.

Oh. Bull. Shit.

I think there are plenty of voters who wouldn't mind at all if they were ignored a bit more by trigger-happy cops with guns.

Or racist electoral officials:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/north-carolina-votin...

And who don't whine as much about it.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

A rebuttal by Emily Willingham in Forbes:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2016/11/03/yes-donald-trump-...

Quote:
Trump pivots effortlessly wherever his supporters’ emotions point him. Like a giant mirror, he reflects those emotions back at his loyalists without seeming to truly share them himself. He is a master of projection, both of his own faults and his followers’ anger, paranoia and fear.

What’s missing from this relationship is his supporters’ ability to in turn read and interpret him accurately. In their hunger for affective empathy, they may take cognitive empathy as a convincing surrogate. The West Pennsylvania woman who passionately supported Trump did so because she felt that he “thinks like” her. But he doesn’t.

Meanwhile, Trump doesn’t fool citizens on either side of the aisle whose cognitive empathy skills make his motives transparent and whose affective empathy lets them feel for those whom he insults and offends.

Cody87

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Oh. Bull. Shit.

I think there are plenty of voters who wouldn't mind at all if they were ignored a bit more by trigger-happy cops with guns.

Yeah. Poor ones. Police shootings in the U.S. aren't a racial issue, it's just framed that way because "ignore white people."

http://campusreform.org/?ID=7833

This is similar to how MMIW is not a gendered issue, but a racial one, but it's framed as a gendered issue because "ignore men."

Not only is this bad for the group who is being ignored, but it also prevents solving the issues because the underlying cause is not understood.

Many more Americans of all races get shot by police in the United States - disproportionately poor ones - than other mostly similar countries like Canada and the U.K. This isn't because of racism in America though, this is because vastly more suspects in America are armed. The issue is with having an armed populace which makes the job of police officers much harder as the margin for error is much smaller.

Quote:

Or racist electoral officials:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/north-carolina-votin...

And who don't whine as much about it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Black_Panther_Party_voter_intimidation...

The decision to dismiss the charges has led to accusations that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration is biased against white victims and unwilling to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations. These charges have been most notably made by J. Christian Adams, who in May 2010 resigned his post in the Department of Justice in protest over the Obama administration's perceived mishandling of the case, and by his former supervisor Christopher Coates.

In December 2010, the Civil Rights Commission released a report concluding that their investigations had uncovered "numerous specific examples of open hostility and opposition" within the Department of Justice to pursuing cases in which whites were the victims.

Cody87

Timebandit wrote:
A rebuttal by Emily Willingham in Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2016/11/03/yes-donald-trump-...
Quote:
Trump pivots effortlessly wherever his supporters’ emotions point him. Like a giant mirror, he reflects those emotions back at his loyalists without seeming to truly share them himself. He is a master of projection, both of his own faults and his followers’ anger, paranoia and fear. What’s missing from this relationship is his supporters’ ability to in turn read and interpret him accurately. In their hunger for affective empathy, they may take cognitive empathy as a convincing surrogate. The West Pennsylvania woman who passionately supported Trump did so because she felt that he “thinks like” her. But he doesn’t. Meanwhile, Trump doesn’t fool citizens on either side of the aisle whose cognitive empathy skills make his motives transparent and whose affective empathy lets them feel for those whom he insults and offends.

It sure would be nice if Trump's opponents had the affective empathy to let them feel for those whom they insult and offend.

6079_Smith_W

Cody87 wrote:

Yeah. Poor ones. Police shootings in the U.S. aren't a racial issue, it's just framed that way because "ignore white people."

This is similar to how MMIW is not a gendered issue, but a racial one, but it's framed as a gendered issue because "ignore men."

Oookay. 

That little admission wasn't quite what I was going for, but consider yourself flushed out.

lagatta

The Indigenous women behind MMIW have every right to frame their movement and its purpose as they see it. It doesn't mean ignoring murdered and disappeared Indigenous men, or non-Indigenous men (of any origin) for that matter.

I want to throw my hands up about the other, racial stuff. I have Indigenous cousins who grew up in Ottawa South, in generally middle-class circumstances. They got followed around and questioned by police and in one case (a small boy) propositioned more than once by perverts. And friends of African origin can tell the same stories. Not all were from poor backgrounds.

I'm a veteran socialist, for more decades than I like to remember, and am well aware of the hardships capitalist globalisation and delocalisation have inflicted on workers North and South, as capital always seeks cheaper and more disposable labour. But that does not mean denying racism or sexism and their insults to human dignity.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Read the whole article, Cody. Willingham makes the point that the accusations that progressives don't understand is untrue. Meanwhile, sympathy for certain positions held by Trump's base would require a suspension of empathy - and mind, I'm talking opinions not people.

6079_Smith_W

And it goes a bit further than denial of racism and sexism.

Cody is arguing that those Trump supporters are the ones who are ignored and demonized the most.

You know, this makes me think of those who are still holding onto the ridiculous notion of poor old Dixie. Sure there were lots of underprivileged whites who fought in that civil war. None of that made slavery or the Confederacy a good idea. Nor did it mean that those white people were harder done by than those who were really enslaved.

Did those people get a raw deal, and were they manipulated and used? Sure. Doesn't make them right. And it doesn't make those who are still holding onto that myth right either.

Of course, some of them have a back up plan if this one doesn't pan out:

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.750516

 

 

SeekingAPolitic...

lagatta wrote:

Interesting. Though Dr Jill Stein is not a "simpleton" - he could have said not to vote for her without making such a ridiculous slur.

Could you provide more context to simpleton and slur.  I when I google I could not find anything of value because my search terms too broad. 

6079_Smith_W

Keith Olbermann called her a simpleton in his editorial, which I posted above at #12.

SeekingAPolitic...

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Keith Olbermann called her a simpleton in his editorial, which I posted above at #12.

Thanks, I watched about 5 and half minutes, way to much hyperbole to be effective communication. 

Cody87

6079_Smith_W wrote:

You know, this makes me think of those who are still holding onto the ridiculous notion of poor old Dixie. Sure there were lots of underprivileged whites who fought in that civil war. None of that made slavery or the Confederacy a good idea. Nor did it mean that those white people were harder done by than those who were really enslaved.

I'm not saying that racism and sexism don't exist. And I'm not even saying that Trump supporters are right about anything.

I'm saying that they, as a broad group, are generally good people who are being demonized by progressives who should know better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilIX_cz3HIQ

Best comment:

"Trump attacks women, minorities, and the poor that's why we hate trump" anti trump people then proceed to attack 70 year old homeless black woman...

http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2016/10/14/peter-thiel-shows-us-there...

Image result for trump supporter egged

Image result for violence against trump supporters

Here is my plea. Don't become what you're fighting against.

Cody87
Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Ah, so we're descending into "He spits on minorities and threatens women... But he's a really good guy..."

When someone's spitting on minorities - or demanding their deportation, or threatening the press for doing their job, or saying that women should be punished for having an abortion, yadda, yadda... I guess that's the point where you forfeit your "But he's a really good guy" status.

I empathize with the issues people are facing. I grew up working class, I know what it's like to nearly lose everything, what it's like to live on macaroni and margarine until the end of the month, what it's like to be on welfare. I get it. I also know that none of that is an excuse for the above, and that these folks are working against their best interests.

Saying that it's wrong to be racist, xenophobic and misogynist is not "becoming what you're fighting against". It's pointing out the bleeding obvious. The problem isn't so much the poverty, it's a deeply ingrained culture that is being told it's time to change, and they hate that.

6079_Smith_W

Actually you started out with a post about understanding Trump voters being a missing part of the equation.

No it isn't. There has been coverage of that from day one. And with less than a week to go it is, frankly, on the back burner as it should be.

I'll leave the kumbaya and appeal to unity for the victory speech on election night.

I wonder which candidate is most likely pay attention to your concerns at that point. The one who wants to build a wall, and "extreme vett" all the Muslims to the other side of it, you think?

 

Cody87

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I wonder which candidate is most likely pay attention to your concerns at that point. The one who wants to build a wall, and "extreme vett" all the Muslims to the other side of it, you think?

Or the one who hires people to start violent riots at political rallies?

Say whatever you want about Trump. This thread is not about him.

This thread is about his supporters, and the way they have been treated, which if it had happened in reverse would be called borderline fascist.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

First of all, that rabble-rousers were hired to stir up violence at Trump rallies is spurious, and his supporters have only needed encouragement from Trump himself to erupt in violence. Frankly, the Clinton campaign hasn't needed to. A highly dubious claim.

Secondly, how they've been treated??? Seriously? What has anybody done to them?

And honestly, we've seen article after article trying to parse and understand this particular group of people. To try and fathom what the fuck happened to create the situation. Who they are and where they're coming from. Ad fucking nauseum.

A sampling:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/19/podcasts/understanding-the-trump-voter...

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/11/george-saunders-goes-to-tru...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-facts-dont-matter-to-trumps-...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/15/i-asked-psycholog...

https://medium.com/@emmalindsay/trump-supporters-aren-t-stupid-3d38f70f2...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/02/donald-trump-supporters-...

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/who-are-donald-trump...

That's not even the total of the first page of a google search. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of articles, blog posts, youtube videos, news panels, etc. etc. dedicated to that very question. People on the other side have actually tried to get their heads around the ugly, festering, hysterical, fact-resistant movement we're seeing happen.

I wonder how much reflection Trump supporters have put into trying to understand Black Lives Matter, for example?

I mean, if we're worried about meeting the Trumpists halfway - do we expect them to meet us halfway, too?

Martin N.

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Cody87 wrote:

But they are the ones who are ignored the most, and who are demonized the most by mainstream culture.

Oh. Bull. Shit.

I think there are plenty of voters who wouldn't mind at all if they were ignored a bit more by trigger-happy cops with guns.

 


Cheesy. Non. Sequitur.

Martin N.

Cody, I agree with your assessment. The political classes are talking past each other and trying to ignore the fact that Trump is the chosen vehicle for discontent merely because he is politically "none of the above", not because of his perceived personal failings. Those failings do not compare unfavourably with the personal failings of presidents past.

lagatta

Some of the comments here might make sense at an elitist "limousine liberal" website, but rabble is not only anti-racist and anti-misogynist etc., it is also pro-labour (read our policy). I doubt there are many babblers who fail to empathize with workers whose plants have been "delocalised" to a lower-wage country.

Cody87

Here we go.

Timebandit wrote:

First of all, that rabble-rousers were hired to stir up violence at Trump rallies is spurious,

It's documented on video.

Quote:
Secondly, how they've been treated??? Seriously? What has anybody done to them?

Literally four comments ago I showed a video of a homeless woman being assaulted, a picture of a woman who was egged and had bottles thrown at her, a picture of a man with blood pouring down his face, and an article about how gay men aren't gay if they support Trump. So we'll start with that.

Quote:
And honestly, we've seen article after article trying to parse and understand this particular group of people. To try and fathom what the fuck happened to create the situation. Who they are and where they're coming from. Ad fucking nauseum.

A sampling:

">http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/19/podcasts/understanding-the-trump-voter...

“These people feel ignored in a very substantive way,” he said, especially by the Republican Party, with which they have long identified....“So along comes Donald Trump,” he continued, “talking the way that they talk and simultaneously speaking to their concerns over trade and over the economy, so it’s not super surprising that they’ve gravitated towards him.”

Agrees with my premise.

Quote:
">http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/11/george-saunders-goes-to-tru...

The Trump supporters I spoke with were friendly, generous with their time, flattered to be asked their opinion, willing to give it, even when they knew I was a liberal writer likely to throw them under the bus.

Agrees with my premise.

Quote:
">https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-facts-dont-matter-to-trumps-...

Bottom line: Vilifying Trump voters — or, alternatively, parents who don’t want to have their children vaccinated — won’t convince them they’re wrong. Probably it will have the opposite effect.

Agrees with my premise.

Quote:
">https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/15/i-asked-psycholog...

The political establishment is flummoxed, and at least one of its members has concluded that Trump's supporters are just insane....From a psychological perspective, though, the people backing Trump are perfectly normal.

Quote:
">https://medium.com/@emmalindsay/trump-supporters-aren-t-stupid-3d38f70f2...

Which, brings me to how we talk about Trump supporters. While the majority of democrats I know do tend to keep it civil with each other, nearly all of them will rail on “ignorant” republicans who “vote against their own best interests.” Thing is, Trump supporters don’t vote against their best interests, democrats just don’t understand the interest they care about most....And, America is terrible at giving its citizens dignity and meaning. We have, with the internet, the power for more people to be appreciated than ever before, yet we use it primarily to shame each other. Shaming Trump supporters for being “ignorant bigots” is the worst thing you can do, because their entire motivation in voting for Trump is to alleviate the shame they are already carrying. If you add to their shame, they will dig in further.

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">http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/who-are-donald-trump...

If there were one question to identify a Trump supporter if you knew nothing else about him, what might it be? “Are you a middle-aged white man who hasn’t graduated from college?” might be a good one. But according to a survey from RAND Corporation, there is one that’s even better: Do you feel voiceless?

...voters who agreed with the statement “people like me don't have any say about what the government does” were 86.5 percent more likely to prefer Trump. This feeling of powerlessness and voicelessness was a much better predictor of Trump support than age, race, college attainment, income, attitudes towards Muslims, illegal immigrants, or Hispanic identity.

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That's not even the total of the first page of a google search. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of articles, blog posts, youtube videos, news panels, etc. etc. dedicated to that very question.

And the answers are there.

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People on the other side have actually tried to get their heads around the ugly, festering, hysterical, fact-resistant movement we're seeing happen.

You're just proving my point now.

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I wonder how much reflection Trump supporters have put into trying to understand Black Lives Matter, for example?

I mean, if we're worried about meeting the Trumpists halfway - do we expect them to meet us halfway, too?

Well I guess you could continue denigrating them and expect that they'll magically come the whole way to you despite your obvious hatred towards them.

6079_Smith_W

Martin N. wrote:

 Cheesy. Non. Sequitur.

White guys are neither the most ignored, nor the most demonized in our society. And pointing out that other people are being murdered is not cheesy. It is quite relevant, even if you do not want to recognize it.

 

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Or we could look at this without infantilizing Trump supporters. Their feels are not more important than reality. They need to put on their big boy pants now, or be ridiculed for giving an excellent impression of a bunch of three year olds who have been told they actually have to share, even if mommy always told them they were special.

Everything you've quoted above as in agreement with your premise shows that your premise in the OP - that no one has put any effort into understanding Trump supporters, and that progressives just don't get it - is incorrect. Progressives have looked at it, they've thought about it, they've done their best to get their heads around it, and in fact, do understand it for the most part.

See, it's possible to understand them, even to feel sorry for their predicament, without excusing the worst impulses that they're indulging right now.

And I think you have some serious source problems. But hey, what's a troll without spurious sources?

ETA: Just pointing out that there's no expectation of Trump supporters "coming the whole way". The question was - Are they willing to meet us halfway? Because progressives have put a lot more into understanding where Trump supporters are coming from than Trump supporters have in understanding anyone. Twisting that question to be an expectation that Trumpers have to do all the heavy lifting in this regard is dishonest.

I also don't know where you're getting that I hate these people. I don't. I do hate what they're doing and the sentiments they're espousing. I also think, given some effort, that they can be better than that.

Misfit

Lagatta, I agree. And I can't help but notice that it is these very same Trump supporters who voted for the Republican Party when Free Trade and NAFTA were signed and eagerly backed all the policy decisions by their politicians which saw their jobs head south. I know that I, for one, worked very hard to try to educate the masses against supporting these trade agreements. Now, I'm supposed to empathize when they beat up and spew hatred against women and minorities. I think this thread should be shut down.

lagatta

I was working for a labour confederation at the time, and yes, we were against NAFTA, but also for labour solidarity throughout North America, and I remember trilingual labour conferences on international labour solidarity instead of NAFTA.

Thist stuff isn't new to me, I've seen it a lot when in France, working-class voters who used to vote Communist or Socialist who give a "protest vote" for the Front national. Never mind that old Le Pen is very wealthy, and as anti-labour and anti-socialist as anti-North Africans, Black people and Jews. Yes, his daugther has relooked the party, but it is bullshit; no way is it about to promote pro-worker policies. And we've seen a lot of the same elements in the anti-Brexit voters in the UK. Yes, there are very good reasons to oppose the EU as it is now organised, and for whom, but the anti-Brexit vote also unleashed a lot of racist, xenophobic and otherwise reactionary venom.

Yes, there is a lot of stuff in violation of rabble policy on this thread. And I've never heard about organised fake Trump supporters except from dubious websites...

JKR

Cody87 wrote:

JKR, that's insulting to Bernie supporters but it's even more insulting to Bernie himself. Whatever I think of his endorsement of the Clinton's style of politics, Bernie himself is a good, ethical man with a consistent history of actually fighting for the rest of us instead of just selling us out. Suggesting that the only difference between him and Clinton is gender is disgusting.

Bernie Sanders is enthusiastically supporting Clinton and vigorously opposing Trump. I personally prefer Bernie over Hillary but I think Clinton is infinitely superior to Trump. I think Trump is likely the worst candidate to ever run for a majour party in American history. On the other hand, I think Clinton is similar to most Democratic politicians. What's extraordinary about Clinton is the right-wing media's vilification of her. The right-wing media hates that she is a powerful feminist. I think Fox News and right-wing talk radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh are creating a hateful climate in America that seems to get worse every year and unfortunately this may end in calamity for the U.S. and the world.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

JKR wrote:
Bernie Sanders is enthusiastically supporting Clinton and vigorously opposing Trump. I personally prefer Bernie over Hillary but I think Clinton is infinitely superior to Trump. I think Trump is likely the worst candidate to ever run for a majour party in American history. On the other hand, I think Clinton is similar to most Democratic politicians. What's extraordinary about Clinton is the right-wing media's vilification of her. The right-wing media hates that she is a powerful feminist. I think Fox News and right-wing talk radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh are creating a hateful climate in America that seems to get worse every year and unfortunately this may end in calamity for the U.S. and the world.

This is exactly how I see the situation as well. Thanks for putting it so clearly.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Well said, JKR.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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This thread is about his supporters, and the way they have been treated, which if it had happened in reverse would be called borderline fascist.

It does happen in reverse.  Do you think the radical left gets a free pass (either down there, up here, or even here at rabble)?

Your whole thread basically boils down to "if you oppose bigotry, but you're bigoted against bigots, then who's the REAL bigot??"

Aristotleded24

Cody87 wrote:
Good god. Do you really believe that the reason why many people who supported Bernie will not support Clinton is because of the differences in their genitalia?

JKR, that's insulting to Bernie supporters but it's even more insulting to Bernie himself. Whatever I think of his endorsement of the Clinton's style of politics, Bernie himself is a good, ethical man with a consistent history of actually fighting for the rest of us instead of just selling us out. Suggesting that the only difference between him and Clinton is gender is disgusting.

Of course! The only reason anyone would support Bernie over Hillary is because they are sexist. That is why so many Bernie supporters are now supporting Jill Stein!

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.npr.org/2014/07/10/330193246/could-a-socialist-senator-become... case of Randy Meade shows that progressives will never get rednecks to support them:[/url]

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Randy Meade, a dairy farmer, is a gun owner, thinks gay marriage is immoral and says the government should spend a lot less. But he has always voted for Sanders because he says Sanders protects small farmers like him against the larger dairy farms. When milk prices dropped a few years ago, the senator led the push for more government assistance so family farms wouldn't go out of business.

"He's not intimidated by large money," Meade says. "He's not intimidated by well-dressed people with, you know, $2-, $3,000 suits. That's not Bernie. And that's not us either."

The Northeast Kingdom includes the poorest sections of Vermont, where Sanders' ability to bring in federal help resonates more loudly than any dig that he's a "Leftist" or a "liberal." He brought more federally funded health centers here, and more outreach clinics for veterans.

By the way, I'll also note that Sanders was openly fighting for gay rights long before it was on the public radar in a big way, so something about Sanders convinced Meade to put aside his anti-gay views and support Sanders.

Martin N.

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Martin N. wrote:

 Cheesy. Non. Sequitur.

White guys are neither the most ignored, nor the most demonized in our society. And pointing out that other people are being murdered is not cheesy. It is quite relevant, even if you do not want to recognize it.

 

 


I am not advocating for Not All Men™ or espousing an opinion, just pointing out that the non sequitur is cheesy in that the conclusion has nothing to do with the opening. Putinistas create the most admirable non sequiturs. It must have something to do with the air in Moscow or the desire to avoid Lubyanskaya Square. They are quite cunning at it.....Sorry for the hijack, carry on.

Martin N.

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:

Your whole thread basically boils down to "if you oppose bigotry, but you're bigoted against bigots, then who's the REAL bigot??"


All of the above. Is there a prize?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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All of the above. Is there a prize?

Who usually wins that prize when it's a dead heat?

Anyway, no.  Sorry.  "Intolerance against the intolerant is just intolerance" isn't a silliness I can support.  Otherwise, I'd have to give honest and open empathy to White Supremacists.  Or else on what grounds could I criticize them?

It's all our duty to oppose bigotry, even if the bigots try to tell us that opposing them is also bigotry.

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