The other day I was visiting my neighbor, Ms. Ali for coffee-ranting and raving over the continuing inability of Trump supporters to finally see what was wrong with their choice of POTUS.
“All they do is blame the media, the liberals, and everyone else for attacking Trump. They don’t see what we see! Why is that? What can we do to change their minds?”
Ms. Ali sat and looked thoughtful.
“Have you ever had an opinion of someone or something that nothing could ever change, until you personally found it to be wrong?”
“Well, yeah, but I’m capable of change, too. They aren’t! They keep calling people like me ‘snowflakes’, telling us to move to another country, and things like that! ”
Ms. Ali continued on:
“Yes, they do-but you’re wrong on one point-those people can change as well, given time. It’s not that they’re totally incapable of change, just that they haven’t been made aware of the possibility that they might be wrong.”
I protested-“But they’re always so one-note-that DT is nothing like what everyone says he is. That he’s smart man, that he means what he says, he’ll deliver on his promises, and that we’re wrong to question him.”
“Perhaps there is another explanation for this-and it’s pretty simple when you look at it.”
“And how is that?” I asked.
“When you’re brought up to believe in a set of ‘rules’, you tend to believe in them until they don’t work for you anymore.”
“Many of these people have not been outside of the country, have never used Twitter, don’t know how to use a computer, don’t read the New York Times or the Washington Post every day. They read their local paper, talk to their friends and family, get their news of the world from one or two TV stations and the local radio station. That’s their ‘sphere of information'”.
“They don’t know how Donald Trump is so different from them. They want someone to talk to them in their jargon, not the ‘political’ one that so many politicians do. Hillary Clinton was seen as remote..and a woman to boot. Donald Trump was on TV, being a boss. They can relate to him. ”
“For them, Hillary was a threat to their way of life. Many people don’t like women in power. That’s been true for a very long time. When she became a leading contender, they shied away from her because of the flimsiest of excuses..those emails. But it would have been something else, had those not been available. She was not acceptable.”
“Donald Trump, on the other hand, was-being a big businessman, with all kinds of money, must have been smart to do that. What they didn’t learn was how he got that money-not that would have made much difference, but still-he was a man, doing this ‘man’s job’ they thought should be only for a man.’
“Yeah, sexism is still here, in this day and age..but that doesn’t answer the question. How can we change their minds?” I asked her.
“That’s not as easy, but it can be done-it does take humility, though. Remember the first time you ever found out that you were totally wrong on something, and were embarrassed to have to apologize for it? How agonizing it was for you to do that?”
“Or perhaps you did something that you shouldn’t have, and you have no way of ever correcting it? That apologies will never completely rectify? How did that make you feel?”
I sat and thought..”yeah, I can think of a couple of things and times..and it can be pretty humiliating to go apologize for something really stupid that I shouldn’t have done.”
Ms Ali said:
“Then translate that to all those voters who voted for Donald Trump who are finding out or will find out what kind of man he really is. It calls into question their intelligence and wisdom in voting for him. It calls into question their entire belief system..because if Donald Trump is as bad as everyone says he is, why were they so fooled for so long? What were they thinking? It makes them feel foolish and ashamed of themselves. Not a good thing to feel, really.”
“That’s why you should just keep on keeping it focused on him, not them. They’re not the problem-they did their part, but the man they elected was the wrong one, and they just have to be made to see that they’re not guilty of being stupid-they just got fooled by a great con man who doesn’t care about anyone but himself.”
“Because in the end, people can change their minds if given the right reasons for it. Donald Trump is the wrong man for the wrong reasons, and they should be given all the information to make the better choice the next time. Which means that we all have to stop hating one another for the wrong reasons and start taking back our power to change the system.”
She makes sense, doesn’t she?