The Trump Supporters’ Reality vs. Reality


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Last night I posted about the things Trump supporters recently told Frank Luntz focus group with them, and called it ignorant. For the most part though, I didn’t go into any kind of depth. Why are these people wrong? What is exactly wrong with what they say?

The fear and resentment they display is probably what bothers me the most. The statement that one of the people “used to be able to” sleep with the door unlocked really stuck with me- violent crime is way, way down across America. Yes, it still happens. So do shark attacks. Your odds are very low of being attacked by a shark. The idea that America is less safe than it used to be is just not backed up by any kind of data- because it’s not true.

The resentment of “PC” language also really stood out to me. When someone says this, nine times out of ten, they actually mean they want to use racist and ignorant language about demographic groups without being called out for it. The idea that we’ve been “fed” this for 40 years basically means they want to go back to pre-Civil Rights era America in racial attitudes and interaction. I don’t know why anyone would believe this.

Then there is the idea that our border has “dissolved.” Let’s be clear- we’re spending a record amount of money on border security, and on deporting people. Nothing sort of the Berlin Wall on super-steroids would be any kind of real upgrade. We don’t need that. Walls like that in Berlin are actually disgraces to humanity. Even if there are 11 million undocumented immigrants in this nation, we’re a nation of over 300 million people, so that’s roughly 3-4%. We’re not worse for having more Latinos or Asians in this nation anyway. There is no real reason to believe we are. Economically, we’re actually better off not “rounding up” these people, but integrating most of them into our economy.

I’m also concerned by the idea that these supporters think their feelings are representative of broader society. Most of us hear this talk, and we don’t think we’ve found our match. We think, “oh my God.”

Finally though, i’m troubled by the gullibility. One respondent thinks that Trump having the slogan “Make America Great Again,” that’s what he’s all about. My God, if you’re that moved by a slogan, i’m scared for you.

In the minds of Trump supporters, we are being overrun by a “swarm” of Mexican immigrants. Violent crime is rising, not falling. Offensive language is needed more, not less. They live in a resentful world, where their country is being taken from them. It is a scary world that they live in. It’s also a world that isn’t real. It’s a world mostly in the heads of people who think the President is a foreigner, and that think they need an underground bunker somewhere. It isn’t reality, but that doesn’t matter much when you come from the perspective they start from.

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