54 minutes ago
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Attempting Discourse with Trump Supporters
After spending months at it now, I have reached the conclusion that it is useless to attempt an exchange of ideas with Trump supporters in the market place of ideas.
Here is what always happens:
Trump supporter: (Says something bizarre and obviously untrue, such as that schools in Oklahoma have banned the Pledge of Allegiance.)
Me: "I don't think that's true. I have several ex-students who teach in Oklahoma, and all their schools say the Pledge every morning."
Trump Supporter: "Well, I know it's true, because it happened at my friend's school! Where she teaches!"
Me: "What school is that?"
Trump supporter: "And it's happening everywhere, because LIBERALS hate the flag!"
Me: "Do you have examples of the places where it is happening? I've just done a google search, and I don't see any reports of anything like that happening any reliable media sources."
Trump supporter: "What do you consider reliable? The New York Times? LIBERAL BIAS!"
Me: "Do you have a reliable source that says this is happening in Oklahoma?"
Trump Supporter: "Why are you so ANGRY about this?"
Me: "You've given no evidence, except an anecdotal claim. Why should we believe this is true? Surely if this were actually happening, someone would be reporting on it somewhere."
Trump Supporter: "Why don't you give me evidence that it's NOT happening?"
Me: "I did. There's no media coverage. If all the schools in Oklahoma had banned the pledge, Fox News would be talking about it non-stop. You know that's true."
Trump Supporter: "I don't even watch Fox News! Stop condescending to me!"
Me: "You're repeating lies as if they were the truth, and getting other people to believe them. That's not okay."
Trump Supporter: "Don't call me a liar! Just like a liberal, always start insulting people when they're losing!"
And so on, endlessly. Trump supporters will never admit they're wrong, even when they obviously are. They will dismiss any evidence you give them as "liberal bias" or "liberal lies." And they will go straight to the "why are you so angry/mean/elitist" as soon as they start losing.
I'm an educator, and I have kept giving in to the urge to educate, certain that if I just present evidence and data in a reasonable way, learning can occur. People can change.
But Trump supporters dismiss any evidence or reason that contradicts their worldview. They are not using rational creatures. They are a cult.