blueollie

One reason why talking to Trump supporters is a waste of time

Check out this video: it is about 7 minutes:

Upshot: Trump is a winner with them because he says things that they want to hear, he confirms their current world view. The want someone who, at least in public, speaks like they do:

Yale psychologist Paul Bloom has written that, “When it comes to policy decisions … we are better off putting aside empathy and employing a combination of rational deliberation and a more distanced compassion.” I asked him what this means for political communication. He said that empathy, effectively, is a zero-sum game. Anyone who has to speak to multiple audiences at once faces a trade-off: A politician might tell you he cares about you — but if he also tells you that he cares about someone else, you no longer trust him. We demand of our leaders an unfair and impossible monogamy.

Trump implicitly understands this — which is why his us-versus-them rhetoric, while so appalling to much of the country, appeals to the small group of people he has identified as “us.” They’re not interested in hearing that he also cares about others. They want him all to themselves.

And the sad truth is, it works. For all the noise about his low approval ratings, he’s actually doing fine among Republicans, including those who once balked at his ascendance. They now sheepishly applaud as he translates that us-versus-them rhetoric into the policy equivalent: Rather than call Mexicans drug dealers and rapists, for instance, he calmly weaponizes the bureaucracy and announces a new office to prosecute crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, an almost nonexistent problem. His supporters are satisfied with his plan. His opponents are impressed with his “restraint.” Thus does a con artist slither over the lowest of bars.

Of course, the true Trump supporters are a relatively narrow slice of the country, hence the “below 40 percent” approval ratings at such an early stage of his administration.

Disclaimer: yes, one of the reasons I liked President Obama is that he tended to speak carefully and deliberately; he appeared to think things through. Those are qualities that I’d like to think that I have (though, in my case, that might be too much wishful thinking).

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March 31, 2017 - Posted by | political/social, social/political | ,

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