Saturday, May 16, 2020

The trouble with Trump

One of the biggest problems with someone like Trump is that he (along with anyone who still supports him) does not actually care about integrity. That's why he is able to blurt the baldest lies, repeat the most contradictory and debunked positions, and make the most ridiculous accusations, and even though he will inevitably be called out later and proved wrong, it won't matter at that point.

Because he has had the experience of speaking the falsehoods on a national stage, and by the time anyone calls him out on it, the damage is done. It doesn't matter how clearly false they are; people who want to support him only hear the part where he says it, and then the people who contradict him are FAKE NEWS and ALWAYS PICKING ON HIM trying to discredit him. He lies, and then he brands the truth-seekers as unreasonably harassing him, as if wanting him to have any integrity and be in any way beholden to honesty is all just a plot to make him look bad.

He already looks bad without help, if you would LOOK AT HIM.

Trump was impeached and the outcome of that investigation was that he was acknowledged to have done the things he was accused of, and they still decided it was okay to keep him in office anyway. He translated that as TOTAL EXONERATION and THE DEMOCRATS' HOAX, and that's what his supporters heard. It's not in any way true that he was "exonerated." It was in fact proven in the investigations that he did everything they accused him of. They just also decided those crimes weren't wrong and that he has the right to commit them, happily flouting the laws of the land his supporters claim to love, and they're walking away with the belief that the Democrats tried to unfairly oust him from office and were instead embarrassed and proven wrong. That isn't what happened. They just established that he indisputably did a bunch of shady stuff and the members of his party fell in line agreeing that the way he abused his power didn't count as abuse. 

He calls himself perfect and insists that he has "absolute" rights to do whatever he wants. He fires people who get in the way of him abusing power. He hires people who don't know anything about the office they're elected to. He announces utter scientific and historical falsehoods consistently and then fires people or insults people publicly if they call out his mistakes. The man can't even be corrected on his spelling or his misconceptions of literal geography without him blustering at other powerful people until someone's head rolls, and then his followers will still repeat excuses, denials, and reframed versions of the truth so they don't have to accept that Trump has ever been wrong on anything he's ever said. They do this even though the statements are on video. It should be embarrassing for them, but it isn't.

Despite our country becoming an absolute dumpster fire, Trump continues to praise himself on what a great job he's doing and how nobody else could have done a better job and anything that suggests he isn't winning, winning, winning better than you, YOU'RE WELCOME--anything anyone says against him is met with transparent, pathetic blustering and whining about how we don't see what a great job he's done.

What I really don't get is how come this supposed perfect superman can't solve any problems at all.

Our country is now the WORST when it comes to coronavirus response in terms of deaths and illness, and Trump is busy blaming China, blaming Obama, blaming people who supposedly didn't give him the right information, and downplaying how bad it is because he thinks he and his will only be in trouble if the economy continues to tank. Buddy, if everything you do is perfect, why didn't you hire the right people to give you the information? Why didn't you have all your ducks perfectly in a row to handle something like this instead of insisting you couldn't have done a thing? Why, if you're so superior to everyone else, are you failing harder than absolutely every industrialized country?

I mean, I know why. And I also know why people think you're not failing; because you keep telling them you've already won, and they believe you.

There simply isn't a way to criticize you that gets through to your supporters because literally anything we say is rebranded as "THEY'RE JUST TRUMP HATERS! THEY'LL DO ANYTHING TO DISCREDIT ME!" Uh, but . . . what we said should discredit you! It's like a couple of third graders are in a dispute and one stole the other's eraser, and then the one who reports it to the teacher is crucified as a TATTLETAIL and a SNITCH because that's much worse than committing the crime they reported. Let's not even look at the eraser-stealer, who is still enjoying the eraser and enjoying watching everyone reject the victim for daring to have a problem with what the thief did. 

It shouldn't WORK to derail like that, but it does, because many people who follow Trump in the supposed name of patriotism and respect for capitalism are not applying critical thinking skills to any of the statements he makes, and they're willing to get all of their news from a single source that has a strange habit of disconnecting their news stories from sources so you can't research what really happened and drilling into your head that everyone else, everyone but them, is lying to you. (It's a known abuse tactic where you isolate people and then make them think only those in the inner circle are safe. Ironically, it's also what "liberals" outside their circles get accused of--needing "safe spaces" where they can't be "triggered"--and yet these folks are the absolute most oversensitive and easily exploited tools of authoritarianism I've ever seen in my life.)

You should want to know the real story. You should want to hear opinions and perspectives from people on "the other side" so you can form an opinion of what you think. You should immediately mistrust anyone who tries to give you a sensationalistic summary of this is what happened, and THE LAMESTREAM MEDIA won't tell you about this because it means they're LOSERS and we're WINNERS and they can't handle it ha ha ha! ...and mysteriously, they don't include the names of the people involved in an incident, or the places where it happened, or enough detail to pin down what news story they're even reporting on before they fill your head with specious details about what REALLY happened. If they leave out the details and clutch their pearls over everybody else's fake news, spending more time making you fear and pointing at who you should consider an enemy, they are manipulating you and you are falling for it.

You should want to know. You should actively seek out the story after Trump and his supporters tell you something happened. Even if you support Trump completely, you should be able to read a countering view without being swayed or poisoned if he's so obviously right and righteous. Just like a "true Christian" shouldn't be in any danger of being corrupted if he goes ahead and learns what other religions actually believe (so he can argue more effectively and with some actual nuanced understanding), you should be able to expose yourself to the "other side's" perspective without getting recruited if in fact one side is clearly wrong and one side is clearly right. But they've got you convinced that no one's saying anything of value on that other side, and that we all "fight" the same in our political arguments. We don't.

Do yourself a favor and mistrust statements that aren't presented with facts you can check. Do yourself a favor and start noticing when the politicians who serve us toss out abuse to distract from the fact that they won't answer a question. Do yourself a favor and realize when you are being manipulated. Don't be embarrassed; these are established, intentional, aggressive techniques developed to make you fall in line and make you angry. But you should want to know the real story. And if the real story contradicts what Trump told you to believe, no matter how much he calls the opposition losers and comments on how their ratings suck, you should seek out more information and corroborate it from multiple sources, not swing around looking for someone who will repeat what you wanted to see. And if someone's reporting something that makes you think differently about one of Trump's statements, you should let yourself disagree with him sometimes. Unless you think the President is God, you should sometimes be able to think for yourself and separate what he says from objective reality. If him saying it MAKES it true in your mind, congratulations, you are in a cult and worshiping him as a god.

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