Liberals and Trump supporters: denial about the truth on Trump?

I remember reading the book Wartime by Paul Fussell. In it, he said that people had defense mechanisms for avoiding horrific truths:

rumors went around that units would be rotated home because they had done “their share” of the fighting (there were no “tours of duty for ground troops in those stayed until the war was won, you were severely wounded, went insane or died).

There were also rumors about the Germans being tipped off to landings ..that is why some landings were so bloody…the horrible truth is that the Germans were excellent fighters and ALL landings would be wholesale slaughters.

People look for comforting patterns when reality is too horrible to face.

I think that something like this is going on about Trump. His tweets are clearly ridiculous. Trump supporters posit that there is some hidden genius (in context) about these tweets..some grand strategy just for this situation.

Liberals see some evil genius at work:

I think that the truth is far more unsettling: 62 million (albeit not a plurality) thought that this unhinged, ignorant, utterly unqualified narcissist was a suitable president, and he is acting like the incompetent fool that he is..and was BEFORE becoming POTUS. His tweets are just “off of the top of his head rants”. Period.

In my opinion, there is no sophisticated “6 dimensional chess” being played here..just rank incompetence.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Trump supporter anger…

I am sorry that I deleted an uninvited comment on Facebook. It was from a Trump supporter making the usual stupid “Trump won 30 states” argument (yeah, but so what; it isn’t as if there are many people in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, etc.) and how left wing “hate” will somehow come back to bite us.

Gee, and they are supporting a President who routinely insults private citizens?

It is a bit like this:

But there is really no reasoning with these people. They support a President who understands very little of what he is doing, just says whatever is on his mind and the moment and..well, whatever.

And so, dialogue with the other side is utterly useless. It is best to just change the subject.

So what to do right now?

For one, forget impeachment. Impeachment is really political and we have no chance unless the House flips in 2018. And even then, forget getting 2/3 of the Senate which is required for removal. Best to focus on winning some seats in 2018 and gumming up the works so little gets past Congress.

This does NOT mean that we should not investigate violations of the emoluments clause, obstruction of justice and possible Russian collusion (Russian meddling has been proven).

What I’d wish that we’d all remember is that, as far as political speech and rallies, it isn’t always about “winning converts”. Sometimes it is to energize and rally a dispirited group. So yes, Hillary Clinton speaking out won’t convince any Republicans to abandon ship, nor will it bring the old Bern Victims into line. But it might energize many who still like her (and there are millions who still do). I think that she has a role to play, though that role is NOT to be at the top of the ticket in 2020.

Ok, once in a while, one of them says something funny:
(remember that the Saudis are our new “best buddies”)

June 1, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, hillary clinton, political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Moving forward: we won’t make progress with Trump’s base

Yes, Trump’s spending cuts will hit many red staters hard:

McCracken’s deep-rooted conservatism is matched by a passion to support Tulsa Domestic Violence Intervention Services, a nonprofit that helped her flee an ex- who she says beat and choked her, once until unconsciousness. She became teary as she described how staff members at the organization helped her and her son escape that relationship.

“They saved my life, and my son’s,” she said, her eyes liquid.

So she is aghast that one of Trump’s first proposals is to cut federal funds that sustain the organization. “My prayer is that Congress will step in” to protect domestic violence programs, she said.

Here in Oklahoma, I’ve been interviewing many people like McCracken — fervent Trump supporters who now find that the White House is trying to ax programs they have depended on, to pay for Trump’s border wall and for increases in military spending. And they’re upset.

“Why is building a wall more important than educating people?” asked Billy Hinkle, a Trump voter who is enrolled in a program called Tulsa WorkAdvance that trains mostly unemployed workers to fill well-paying manufacturing jobs. Trump has proposed eliminating a budget pot that pays for the program.

Yet Democrats gleeful at the prospect of winning penitent voters back should take a deep breath. These voters may be irritated, but I was struck by how loyal they remain to Trump.

I talked to many Trump voters about the impact if Trump’s budget cuts go through, and none regretted their votes in November. They all said that they might vote for Trump for re-election.

“I don’t think I re-evaluate Trump,” Moreno said, adding that he just wants the president to re-evaluate his budget proposal.

Judy Banks, a 70-year-old struggling to get by, said she voted for Trump because “he was talking about getting rid of those illegals.” But Banks now finds herself shocked that he also has his sights on funds for the Labor Department’s Senior Community Service Employment Program, which is her lifeline. It pays senior citizens a minimum wage to hold public service jobs.

“This program makes sense,” said Banks, who was placed by the program into a job as a receptionist for a senior nutrition program. Banks said she depends on the job to make ends meet, and for an excuse to get out of the house.

What is going on with these people? I think that this is the best explanation:

But there is a more fundamental, discomfiting, question in all this: Does demonstrating empathy even work anymore for politicians? Or, to put a finer point on it, if you show empathy for everybody in your audience, does each person only hear that you care about someone else?

As one of President Obama’s speechwriters, I had the privilege of working for one of the most authentically compassionate leaders in recent history. He possesses a natural ability — and desire — to understand just about anyone. And as his speechwriters, we knew he didn’t just appreciate all sides of a story — he wanted to acknowledge those perspectives and reassure his audiences that he heard where they were coming from.

Yet, try as he did, message intended wasn’t always message received.

For example, whenever Obama addressed tensions between law enforcement and the communities they served, some critics would insist that he never had a nice thing to say about cops. After the horrific murder of two New York City cops, Rudy Giuliani was quick to blame Obama, saying, “The president has shown absolutely no respect for the police … All the president has done is see one side of this dispute.”

This couldn’t have been further from the truth, of course. As the fact-checking site Politifact detailed, Obama had on numerous occasions expressed support for police, praised their outstanding work, and strongly condemned violence against them. But it seemed as though a concurrent acknowledgement of communities that felt mistreated by cops, or of the Black Lives Matter movement, erased any trace of empathy detected by some in law enforcement. This happened on issue after issue, from gun violence to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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.

And go back to the original article: they were upset that the Democrats helped other people.

Here are more Trump voters:

The good news: while we will NEVER win all of them or even most of them, we can win “just enough” of them in key states to tip the tables. So it is worth the effort.

Upside: Scott made this meme for me.

April 2, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political | , | Leave a comment

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).

March 31, 2017 Posted by | political/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Saturday Night Live skit makes a profound point about some Trump supporters

Yes, I am backing Hillary Clinton for many reasons; I see her is smart, well informed, tough and highly qualified. Yes, I oppose Donald Trump for many reasons; the most important one is that I find him to be unqualified; a rank amateur for THIS particular job. To me, a big part of being the President of the United States is knowing how to work with Congress and state governments, knowing about the “give and take”, knowing when to twist arms and when to compromise.

But Mr. Trump does have widespread support from different types of people, though probably not enough support to win. Hillary Clinton is a heavy favorite. But that is beside the point.

I would say that I can understand why some affluent people support him, but, I really can’t…at least if they have stock.

But what about poor working class white people: what do THEY see in him? Oh sure, he isn’t “politically correct”, but, well,..remember that Trump looked down on Mitt Romney as not having enough money.

So, if he would insinuate that Mitt Romney is a loser

What in the hell do they think that Donald Trump thinks about them?

And so we have this funny skit where a working class Trump supporter (played by Tom Hanks) plays “Black Jeopardy” and finds…well, just watch:

Working class people, regardless of color, have quite a few issue in common. Yes, there are important differences (e. g. how they are treated by police).

Why such people would view Donald Trump as caring about them I’ll never understand.

October 24, 2016 Posted by | political humor, political/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Five weeks and a day from Taco Tuesday

Workout notes weights and an easy 2 mile walk afterward.
Rotator cuff, goblet squats (lots of them) and 1 set of leg presses.
pull ups: 15-15-10-10
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170
incline press: 10 x 135
military (dumbbell), 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50
headstand (very easy)
abs: 2 sets each of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, 10 moving half bridges.

Yesterday: 4.25 mile walk from our hotel to Soldier Field (Chicago)


The idea was to scout out how to get there; it turns out that one “solider field” location on Google Maps puts you in a park.

Election Odds wise, Hillary Clinton is a 3-1 favorite in some sports books; not quite that in others, and approaching 4-1 in others. (2/7 actually) Upshot has her at 78 percent and other models are similar.



This is about the time that the maps resemble the actual election maps, with maybe one or two changes. That won’t be enough to get Trump over the hump.

So, just who is voting for Donald Trump anyway? Yeah, some are affluent. But many of his supporters are not; this is an interesting profile of one via the Washington Post. This woman has health issues AND was part of a workplace action against sexism; you’d think that she might be attracted to Hillary Clinton. But she isn’t.

She fits the unflattering profile of “them”; someone who believes that slogans and a strong personality are what we need to “fix our problems” and to “return” our country to a better era.

October 4, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, travel, walking | , | Leave a comment

Jeb Bush: Trump Supporters Aren’t ‘A Bunch Of Idiots’ (he is right)

Jeb Bush said the following:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said Saturday that supporters for GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump aren’t “a bunch of idiots” and should be respected, CNN reported.

“What I fear is that people, kind of looking down their nose, will say the people that are supporting Donald Trump are a bunch of idiots. They’re not. They’re legitimately scared. They’re fearful,” Bush reportedly said at an event in Amsterdam. “They’re not as optimistic for legitimate reasons and there should be respect for that. And on the other side, a similar respect needs to be shown.”

Now of course, this statement (which I think should be obvious) has met with ridicule. Yes, I know, I know, we’ve all seen the cherry picked photos of Trump supporters and of Trump rallies:



So, yes, there are some dumb people supporting Donald Trump. And yes, there are some evil ones too.

But when are talking about a national candidate with millions of supporters, a tiny selection of supporters tells you very little about the whole.

Here is an example of what I mean: think of 2008, when i was a proud Obama supporter. Well, some of then Senator Obama’s support came from the..well, less than informed people

and some came from morally questionable people too.

Again, this is just statistics in action; the larger the population, the more the population resembles the larger population.

So, what can say about Trump supporters, “in general”?

For one thing, on the average, they tend to have a higher household income than either Sanders supporters or Clinton supporters.: (the data I report measures median household income; “median” means “that income that is in the middle range of supporters; half of incomes are above, half are below”; this is done to mitigate the effects of a few very large incomes)

72K per year as compared to 61k per year for both Clinton and Sanders supporters. Now this isn’t true in every state: in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Virginia the median household income of a Clinton supporter exceeds that of a Trump supporter. Trump supporters earn more than Sanders supporters in all of the surveyed states.

Secondly, there is a positive correlation between income and IQ; on the average those with higher IQs tend to earn more money than those with lower ones. NOTE: the New Scientist article I linked to also deals with wealth too and there isn’t much of a correlation with IQ and household wealth (example: those with higher incomes might well spend more):

The work reveals that while exceptionally smart individuals typically earn more, they are also more likely to spend to their credit card limit, compared with people of average intelligence.

Jay Zagorsky at Ohio State University in Columbus, US, analysed personal financial information collected from 7500 people between the ages of 33 to 41. Subjects provided details about their cash flow – including wages, welfare payments, alimony, and stock dividends – and their overall net worth. They also answered questions about whether they had “maxed out” any of their credit cards, missed bill payments or filed for bankruptcy.


On the surface, Zagorsky’s analysis confirms the findings of previous studies linking higher intelligence with higher income. “Each point increase in IQ test scores is associated with $202 to $616 more income per year,” he says. For example, a person with a score of 130 (in the top 2%, in terms of IQ) might earn about $12,000 more per year than someone with an average IQ score of about 100.

On the surface, people with higher intelligence scores also had greater wealth. The median net worth for people with an IQ of 120 was almost $128,000 compared with $58,000 for those with an IQ of 100.

But when Zagorsky controlled for other factors – such as divorce, years spent in school, type of work and inheritance – he found no link between IQ and net worth. In fact, people with a slightly above-average IQ of 105 , had an average net worth higher than those who were just a bit smarter, with a score of 110.

Again, there is the correlation between INCOME (not net worth) and IQ.

So, if anything, the data might suggest that Trump supporters might be somewhat brighter than the Sanders and Clinton supporters, on the average. I say “might” because I don’t know the “n” for these income samples. It might be that the Clinton and Sanders groups are larger groups, and therefore subject to “regression to the mean” effects whereas the early Trump supporters might be a more selective sample of people (fewer people).

But I think that there is no evidence that Trump supporters are dumber than either Sanders or Clinton supporters.

May 22, 2016 Posted by | 2008 Election, 2016, politics, politics/social, social/political, statistics | , , | Leave a comment