A journalist finally uncovers the root of Trump supporters' anger


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/03/a-journalist-finally-uncovers.html


#2

“I’m not a racist. I’m just incredibly worried about some racist bullshit absolutely unrelated to this reality we live in but that encapsulates all the racism I cant admit to myself I have”


#3

I think it’s that they didn’t get taken up in the rapture after voting in George W, so they want to try to start a second apocalypse and maybe then Jesus will swoop them up out of their dustbowl towns during the second draft pick. That their candidate will do no good for anyone hardly matters, since they’ll be up in heaven partying with the Big Guy. Plus Hillary will make them eat more vegetables and go to bed by 10 o’clock - she’s so mean!


#4

I’ve heard that narrative before…


#5


#6

As one of the commenters on that piece says, the problem with making fun of Trump supporters like this is that they then go quiet and don’t talk to anyone but become more determined to vote. We had experience of this in the UK with the EU referendum (and, indeed, in our recent General Election too.)
Whilst I still think that Clinton will win, the insidious message of the alt-Right is still being whispered into the ears of those who feel that they are being betrayed, and it’s not going to stop with a loss next week. The Tea Party wasn’t a flash in the pan, just a first warning shot. (To be fair, Sanders was something similar on the “other” side.)


#7

Good.

You don’t defeat fascists by compromise and conversion; you beat them with numbers, and keep them beaten with ostracism.

The Trumpeters aren’t the majority. They represent two-thirds of a party that is supported by less than half of the voters, in a country in which half of the people either don’t or can’t vote. 0.6 x 0.4 x 0.5 = 0.12.


#8

Making fun of them may not be a good strategy. Trying to find a way to wash away all the ugliness because you really need to listen because they cant be that bad they have to have reasons more sofisticated than “I hate and fear everybody not like myself”… is wishful thinking.

They have reasons. They are movilized and electrified for those reasons. The reasons are racist paranoid bullshit. Explanations about why huge numbers of voters are eager to buy racist bullshit are interesting, but the racist paranoid bullshit is still racist paranoid bullshit.

One thing is to ask yourself, for example, why the failure of more progressive options to connect with voters that should be part of their demographic on economic grounds. Another is not calling a spade a spade; they are voting for far-right reasons, some openly, some even in denial.


#9

Dagnabbit I was really hoping for some answers. I’m gonna have to call Clickbait.


#10

It’s the high school revenge fantasy model of politics: “We’ll make fun of them until everyone realizes we’re the cool kids.”


#11

You don’t defeat fascists by compromise and conversion;

I think it’s mistake to approach the very large number of people who are drawn to Trump this way.
Whatever the reality of what Trump offers, it is a mistake to assume that hatred is the motivation for his followers, or to mock the anger and disillusion of his followers.
I don’t think for a second that Trump is capable of sincerity, but he conveys a fake concern for the fears of many white americans - while stoking those fears - that many find more sincere that anything they hear from Clinton.

There is scene in ‘triumph of the will’, in which Hitler is recruiting unemployed men to come dig the autobahn, in which he is telling them they will be soldiers, but with shovels.
It’s nonsense, but in that scene you see the pride in themselves they feel in that moment, and the love they feel for Hitler for giving this to them. I think it is an important scene to understand that people are often drawn to despicable ideologies, not directly because of the ideology, but because the movement associated with that ideology responds to their personal emotional needs.


#12

I think this is a lot of why Trump.


#13

It’s as if all the folks who’ve commented so far have missed the point of the article, which is taking the piss out of all the journalism about Trump supporters, who it’s only tangentially concerning.


#14

Citation needed.


#15

I did give some examples in the rest of my post (which you obligingly cut.) And whilst those examples may well be due to pollsters having broken models, it also seems plausible that there’s a reasonable percentage of people who won’t talk to pollsters but will turn out to vote. What becomes interesting is when that group can have an active influence on the result (which is why, I think, the UK EU vote result was unexpected.) It’s not true for most elections though, as years of corruption (on all sides) have hardened the lines to make them less and less representative.

And I also think that my observation was merely one about human nature. Make fun of my beliefs and there’s a better-than-decent chance that I will hang on to them even more firmly. I don’t think that’s a particularly radical observation!


#16

You didn’t even show a correlation in the rest of your post, let alone a causal link between them.


#17

I heard a good quote last night from some local pundit discussing Hillary’s emails, paraphrased “conservatives have convinced themselves that Hillary Clinton is an evil bad nasty person, and if they just keep digging deep enough they will uncover some proof that will be her undoing.”

That’s what it comes down too: self-hypnosis. In 2008 we were told that after only four years of Obama the USA would become a Maoist Muslim dictatorship. It didn’t happen, but of course plenty of conservatives tell themselves it has happened, and anyone who can’t see it is blind or “drinking the Kool Aid.”

My view is that the end of The Fairness Doctrine is basically the root of all this; we now have a huge propaganda arm of the GOP that even the GOP can’t control.


#18

Which they continue to coddle, so long as people vote Trump and downticket. If the GOP loses congress somehow, they’ll start trying to wrest control back.

The “GOP” brand name is tarnished, but the Alt-Right still isn’t very independent. The voters are still Republicans but pretend to be “indepdendents”, the control over them remains the same.


#19

The problem is that reporting the things they say and do, accurately and in context, often comes across as “making fun of them.” Just like airing unedited footage of Trump saying hateful, misogynistic or racist nonsense is “media bias.”


#20

The secret Trump voter standard is as valid as the secret Hilary voter standard. There’s zero compelling evidence for either.