Friday, October 21, 2016

How To Empathize With Trump Supporters


Empathizing with Trump supporters is hard. I mean, how can people be so blind? Who could ever find it in their hearts to vote for this two-bit sleazeball? What could possibly motivate otherwise nice people to support the modern-day Mussolini?

Well, perhaps I'm being too harsh. After all, how would we feel if the tables were turned, and the Republican was the sensible choice while the Democrat was the mean-spirited demagogue? But what would that situation look like? How can we visualize it?

We need some names and faces to bring this thought-experiment to life. First, the Republican side. We would need to find a hypothetical candidate who embodies Hillary's qualifications while being conservative instead of liberal. She would have to be a woman, highly qualified, a resume as impressive as it is long, and a number of highly touchy scandals for which she is not legally culpable. That's a tough bill to fill, but one name comes to mind: Condoleezza Rice. She's eminently qualified, sensible, has a long track record of competent public service, and even fits Hillary's resume right down to being a former Secretary of State with her own email scandal. Perfect!

Now, the Democrat side, and this one's much tougher. We need to find a liberal demagogue, and that's not easy. The very act of being a liberal means that one is anti-demagogue, and so finding the leftist anti-thesis to Donald Trump is like finding a four-leafed clover in a desert. Plus, there are other things. This person would have to have no political experience, would come from an entertainment and/or real estate background, and spew insane babble from time to time. I don't know about you, but I'm hard-pressed to come up with a candidate like that who might sneak in as the Democratic nominee with twelve other names watering down the opposition. But I can think of one person who might fit the bill: Charlie Sheen. TV show? Check. Liberal? Check. Demagogue? Surely! He even has a track record of being abusive towards women. Double check!

So there's our scenario: Instead of Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, we make it Condoleezza Rice vs. Charlie Sheen. And now that the shoe is on the other foot, we can pointedly ask the question among fellow liberals, could we do it? Could we really vote for an incompetent nincompoop over a highly qualified former Secretary of State, even when that particular woman happens to disagree with everything we believe, and will probably tilt the Supreme Court towards the conservative side for the next 30 years?

I'll be honest, folks, even with a candidate as horrible as Sheen, and a Republican as wonderful as Condy, I'd balk! I mean, with the stakes so high, even a liberal who was complete shit might be better for us in the long run. And there's also the possibility that Sheen would get himself impeached right away with his insanity, thus leaving the vice presidential pick as the new president. If we leave the vice presidential picks the same as before, that would mean Tim Kaine would be the new president, and he's not a bad pick. I don't doubt there are some conservatives out there who anticipate that Mike Pence will be sworn in as president in only a few to several months after Donald Trump is sworn in.

Yet I have to look at the bigger picture. If Condy were sworn in as president, the liberal movement would galvinize in a way never seen before. We would not be as scorched-earth as Republicans have been with Barack Obama, and so we would actually get things done when the time came, but we would dig in our heels over the important stuff. And then we would secure nice majorities in the house and Senate during the midterms, as opposition parties always do, while flipping many, possibly even most, conservative states. Furthermore, we will have a president we are not embarrassed by. We would have a person who would make a good president. And isn't that an important standard?

And so, with a heavy heart, I would hold my nose and vote for Condy. Oh yes, I'd prefer a liberal, but if that liberal were potentially the death of liberalism as a movement, I would have to avoid that at all costs. I would also be sickened at a primary system which handed me such an asshole when the majority among my party wanted someone else. (And WHERE, I ask, are the Republicans who should be loudly voicing that concern?) I think most of my fellow liberals would agree with me on this.

Now, we can really turn things around. If we liberals would be unwilling to support a candidate who stinks on ice, and would vote for the person we vehemently disagree with in order to preserve our nation's pride and integrity...

What excuse do you Trump supporters have left?

Okay, Trumpsters, I get it now. It's a tough thing to vote against your values, even when your candidate is a living train-wreck. But now that I've proven that liberals would vote for the opposition candidate if their own candidate were as bad as Trump, aren't you now obligated to prove yourselves to be at least the moral equals of liberals?

Aren't you now obligated to vote for Hillary?


Eric

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