Letter: If you want to understand why people like Trump, just ask 'em

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In response to Denis Richardson's letter published Sept. 18, I'd like to say a few things.

First, I welcome and applaud the effort to probe the current state of our national politics. The media have polarized everything to keep our attention on them, and we get very little honest (non-monetizable) news or opinion anymore. We aren't given policies or positions to consider, just talking points to wear out on each other. So our speech deteriorates into concepts that don't have their own integrity. They're designed to engage our emotions, and not our minds. So if we can disengage from that mindset, we can all learn. In that vein, I have my piece to say.

If you view your debate opponent as "morally bankrupt, a chronic habitual liar, completely self-absorbed, a racist and xenophobic person," and someone who you would never want to be around your children, then you will be forever clueless about him or those around him. You are expressing the very attitudes that you presume to attach to others. Your approach to others is dis-inclusive at its core. That deserves some self examination.

If you say that after 10 years, you "love it here," and that you find us to be hard-working and "salt of the earth," I agree wholeheartedly. I truly wonder though, having not yet met you, with only your letter to go by, if you've spent much time with people of that description. The hard-working salt of the earth may have a different manner of speaking than you'd expect. They may not be as "educated" in the "proper" manner of expressing their thoughts to you, you see. They may think that the way they use their words is perfectly acceptable, and may deeply resent those would would punish them for it. They may not be offended by Trump's language in the same way that you are. They may be tired beyond belief at the scowl and the crooked finger of those that would presume to be their betters.

So to understand why people love Donald Trump as president, you have to first drop the insults. There is no way that you can possibly understand if you truly believe what you wrote. You say you are confused. We would both have to agree that your opinion is missing something, or you would be very certain that half of the population around you are terrible, terrible people, and I don't think you believe that, hence your confusion.


The solution is simple. Just ask 'em. Or, before you do that, ask yourself why you haven't already. Ask yourself what you thought you had to lose. Of course, to do it honestly, you'd also have to avoid blurting out insults or, I would suggest, even thinking them. I doubt any of them would actually want to insult you or would be hostile to hearing you. They'd probably be grateful to explain it to someone like yourself, without getting the tiresome moral judgement routine. I can assure you that I would. We could have a good heartfelt argument and come away friends. It's easy. Your moral judgments belong to you, not me. It would be entirely up to you. You don't have to believe your opponent talks like an ignorant sleazy hateful doofus. You could learn something new about people you clearly know nothing about.

The answer to your question is that Trump supporters aren't offended in the way that the rest of you all apparently are. That seems blindingly obvious. Again, some self-examination might be in order. Why isn't that obvious to you? More than anything, they're puzzled by the great big hoopla. The refrain never changes. Day after day, angry-faced people tell us, yet again, how much they hate Trump and the people who would protect him. It has a thick air of hysteria about it. It feels like hyperbolic political rhetoric, which has become a lot of fun on Twitter, but which is frankly, grossly ignorant and impolite in real life. Speaking your opinion more loudly with extra gesturing and an angrier face usually doesn't win arguments. Less shouting and more listening usually works better.


  • Letter: It's time to cure Trump Derangement Syndrome
  • Letter: Enough of the attacks, re-elect Donald Trump

Perhaps reading a little bit about Lyndon Johnson would help put things into perspective. He accomplished some great things. And don't forget that Hillary Clinton was Trump's opponent. Her supporters have some 'splainin' to do, too.
Just ask people. My experience is that Trump supporters don't think they're better than you are, and want you to be free to think whatever you want to think, even if it makes absolutely no sense to them.

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