Last week I engaged once more with supporters of The Donald (aka @, aka Drumpf) on Twitter. I know it’s a bad idea to think I might actually get anywhere by doing this – 1) Twitter is a medium for slogans and bumper sticker logic, not thoughtful conversation and debate, and 2) The emotional politics of the Trump faithful make the consideration of facts uncomfortable – but it was kind of fun nonetheless.
Here’s a few highlights from the echo chamber I stepped into:
Nazi Cat @ appears to have the same sexist, knee-jerk response as his idol when it comes to woman. Females should be evaluated on their looks – hot or hag – with himself as the arbiter of beauty and worth. As for Trump’s racism, apparently we need not look at any of his statements and actions over the years, because the liberal media conspiracy is to blame for anything we might find. In response to this nonsense I suggest that he, and other #AlwaysTrump Tweeters, take a look at their hero’s long relationship with bigot Roy Cohn, for starters. Mr. LOL’s response was to simplify the matter to the point of making it meaningless.
To begin with, if I were making nothing more than a, “You’re friend is X, therefore you are X,” guilt by association argument, that would not be an opinion. More importantly, young Trump wasn’t merely a casual friend with the very dishonest and contemptible Cohn. According to people who knew both men during the 70s and 80s, they cruised Manhattan together socially and Roy was a trusted mentor to Donald. More importantly to the question at hand, Cohn’s first big case for the Trump Family was defending them (Donald and his father) against a Federal Justice Department prosecution for rent discrimination. Even if you want to imagine that these accusations were false, their existence disproves the lie that Trump was never labeled as a racism before running for the Presidency.
At the heart of many Trumpets appears to be a denial of racism altogether. This fact was vividly brought home to me by a MEME from @lynn_weiser:
Seriously? I shudder to think what “Lady Patriot’s” conception of patriotism is if this is her idea of history. How willfully ignorant do you need to be in order to believe there were no racists until the commies made up racism in 1927 and anyone who is labeled as racist is really just a “nonconformist” anti-communist? What!?! It’s like a wormhole opened up in the sky and a flood of John Birch Society members rained down upon us from the 1960s.
Along with sidestepping racism and sexism, another canard in this encampment is the idea that Trump is a beckon of capitalist achievement. As @ClownGroovy put it:
What is Trump’s great success, other than becoming a celebrity? He was a spoiled rich kid who followed his father into the family business, drawing upon daddy’s contacts and a, “small million dollar loan,” from daddy’s bank account. With all these advantages, what stellar accomplishments has he managed? Trump Towers? A hit Reality TV Show? That’s as good as the list gets. There was a time when most people, myself included, thought of him as a casino mogul, but that illusion has been exposed for anyone willing to look at the facts. Many of his dealings actually have little to do with him; they are just poorly vetted third parties leasing his name for a phony seal of approval. When things go sour, as they often do, Trump hides behind the Bart Simpson, “I didn’t do it,” defense. Trump Steaks, Airlines, Vodka, Ice, Magazine, Mortgage, etc., are not examples of entrepreneurial trial and error; they’re just unmitigated failures. And then there is Trump University, which, “has been accused not just of fraud, false advertising, and unfair business practices, but also of having used such tactics against vulnerable seniors in ways that violated special “financial elder abuse” statutes in California and Florida.” These accusations appear to be rooted in a stronger and stronger foundation with each new detail we learn about this scam.
I invited all of my Twitter combatants to come to my blog and make a thoughtful, rational argument (something longer than 140 characters) explaining how my facts and/or reasoning was in error, but none of them would take me up on the offer. They pretended as if it wasn’t worth it but I’m guessing they were afraid they couldn’t do it. Surprisingly, Nazi Cat gave me the most inadvertently honest answer:
Speaks volumes, doesn’t it? He has already determined that my “stats” are misleading and my blog is “shitty” without reading it, so why bother to read it?
I could say more but you get the idea. I realize that Trump’s posse aren’t unique in their denial of reality, or their inability to make good arguments, these things are sadly all too common throughout society. But I sincerely believe that Trump is uniquely dangerous for America and I feel compelled to speak out against him. I also realize that I come off as rather arrogant, because I refuse to pretend that unreasonable things are reasonable. But I honestly don’t know what else to do. At the risk of sounding extremely conceited, I just can’t stop making sense.
After making this post I pointed it out on Twitter to those who were named in it and had this exchange with Nazi Cat:
To which I replied:
I left it there but he continued on for a couple more tweets:
You couldn’t order up a more stereotypical Trump supporter from central casting.