Monday, September 19, 2016

A Revealing Dialogue About What Trump Supporters Think is Not Great About America

A friend posted a Statista poll on Facebook. The lead finding was in response to this question: "Compared to 50 years ago, life in America today is ...".  Clinton supporters said "better" by a margin of 59 - 19%; Trump supporters said "worse" by a margin of 81 to 11%.

In the comment thread, I asked "What is it that Trump supporters think is worse today?" My friend, humorously, responded "Apparently everything and it is all Obama's fault?" 

The dialogue that interests me today is what happened next.  A guy I don't know, who uses the "Don't Tread on Me" flag as his profile picture, entered the discussion.  I will call him "Tread".  I have edited the discussion that followed for concision, but not changed Tread's responses.

Tread: it actually isn't ALL Obama's fault. He had help. LOTS of help

Me: To do what, exactly?

Tread: nothing good

Me: But, specifically, what is worse now than in the early '60s? By nearly every measure of social development, with a couple of exceptions, things are much better now, especially for black people, women, handicapped people, gay and lesbian people, immigrants, youth, and educated people. The core Trump constituency - less educated white men - seems to think that making America better for all of those people (the majority of Americans) somehow has made America as a whole worse. Is that what you think?

Tread: and you are blue and I am not. there's no use arguing with you or trying to proove ANY point that is contrary to your view. So now, I stop. ... I do not want to go down the rabbit hole "to do what" 

Buck [another friend who uses "Buck the NRA" as a profile picture]:  I will venture a few guesses for you on what Trump supporters believe was better before:
1) Jobs for those who are uneducated paid a living wage ... 2) Women were more likely to stay home with kids ... 3) Being white was not a liability in any sense. ... 4) More children were born within wedlock and more of those who weren't were put up for adoption into heterosexual married homes.

Tread:  "Family Values" was a thing & so was being raised. Respect for others....and things. Traditions. [Note: the ellipses were in the original.]

Buck: I consider "political correctness" respect for others. That was most definitely NOT a thing in the 1950s.  I consider family values, valuing all families of all shapes sizes, religions, and make-ups. Not judging children on the perceived sins of their parents- in fact not judging others sinners at all.

Tread: "political correctness"... in my opinion, the single largest detriment to the continued existance to this country. It allows an encroachment of values which are opposite to the good order and continued existance of this country. That encroachment will not cease until this country mirrors certain other less desirable locales.

Buck: When I hear you complain about "encroachment", I hear equality. You are unhappy with being required to treat people you look down your nose at as if they are worthy of equal respect.

Tread: if "equal respect" means changing the values this country has held since long before you and I were born, then yes. I live in Christian country. We can coexist peacefully together, untill you try to change the values of this country from that of a Christian view to that of a value set that is directly contrary to the Christian founding principles, then yes, absolutely I find fault in it.


John said...

The phrase "political correctness" is overloaded. There are several uses of this phrase: 1) control of individual speech, 2) control of institutional bias, and 3) control of government bias.

#3 Extension of civil rights is an on-going process for the U.S. and should continue.

#2 Is a bit fraught of late, particularly at colleges, because it is sometimes a debate over discriminatory practices (which should be eliminated) and other times a struggle for power over what an education should comprise.

#1 Seeking to censor individual expression in the name of theoretical uniformity. I consider this the left-wing form of authoritarianism.

I am totally against #1 and welcome #3. I am glad I am not a university level administrator because #2 is a minefield.

CJ said...

That dialogue is pretty representative of what I think is wrong with the attitude of too many people these days, whatever their ideals and politics are. Instead of just trying to lay out a polite and constructive point of view, Tread loads his argument with condescension, condemnation, and overblown negativity aimed at society and the future. At least he's not being disrespectful and I'll give him credit for that - I've seen far worse in that regard during discussions like this.

If you ask me, this is the biggest problem of both the *antagonistic* political correctness (which is usually what I hear rightists complain about) from some leftists and the rightists on the other extreme that hate political correctness and multiculturalism - as they view them - so much. Everything they say and think is so dyed in resentment, disgust, and self-righteousness that it makes constructive debate or common ground on these important cultural issues next to impossible.

Gruntled said...

I was surprised that Tread's first point was that there was no point in offering reasons for his position. "You are blue and I am not" seems to take one's understanding of the world as a matter of identity, rather than reason.