For the record, I do not support Trump. Not even a little bit. I find him to be an insufferable buffoon whose only contribution to society is an unintentionally hysterical Twitter feed, wherein the sheer frequency of his retweets of white supremacist conspiracy theories is reason enough to disqualify him from holding any government position of any kind. I wouldn’t trust him with installing a park bench, much less safeguarding the nuclear codes.
But there’s a narrative that has taken impenetrable shape among the American left at the moment, which is that Trump is the inevitable result of decade after decade of pent-up white rage, spilling out in a toxic morass of racist, homophobic, sexist, nationalist fervor. These people, liberals say, are freaked out about how the United States is becoming a more open, tolerant, and diverse nation, and are shouting and screaming to hold onto their position of power before it’s too late.
This exact narrative, for some reason, has been applied to several entirely unrelated events, from Trump, to GamerGate, to Ghostbusters, for some reason. In every case, it is grossly mistaken. And in the case of Trump, it is downright dangerous.
If the only disagreement that an anti-Trump protestor is able to muster is “you’re so racist!” then they’d better be prepared to look like a complete idiot, because many of the Trump supporters are going to be well-prepared with a library of actual arguments that’ll demolish these antics and relegate the tactic of childish name-calling to the pathetic refuge of the desperate and stupid where it belongs. In fact, they are already doing so. And in many cases, they are winning.
That’s right, people. Trump supporters occasionally have actual arguments. And ignoring this indisputable fact is only going to make them entrench deeper into their chosen camp if all anyone can do in response is to call them a bunch of homophobes.
Now, I must clarify: I do not think Trump is the answer to their prayers. See paragraph 1. But if you want people not to vote for Trump, shouting at them is a stupid thing to do. But if you don’t have a single clue as to what the hell they stand for, that’s all you’ll be able to do, and you shall be destined to fail. Just take a look at all the anti-Trump protests, and how utterly worthless they have been this whole time.
Here’s a tip: If you’re going to accomplish nothing, you might as well do nothing.
A better strategy, as any non-idiot would tell you, is to actually learn what the hell they have to say. Not only is this far more effective in terms of being able to debate the issues, but, as an added bonus, this does not take particularly long.
Here are the major issues concerning Trump supporters, as I see them:
Trump issue #1: We’re getting screwed over by trade deals
People can make fun of Trump manufacturing his clothing line in China all they want, but a single business moving production back to the States isn’t going to do much of anything for the overall problem. A lot of people think that sending manufacturing jobs off to China has decimated the middle class, and, combined with the outrageous expense of college tuition these days, this is a huge concern. Not only are a lot of low-skilled jobs gone, but the high-skilled jobs are often out of reach. Without a path toward economic stability readily available for a wide range of people, we are in for some painful years, and a great deal of social unrest.
Is there a way to get those jobs back? Maybe, maybe not. Some of those are low-skilled jobs that are awful anyway, so maybe we can let those go. But some of the higher-skill manufacturing jobs, the kind that have the potential to pay well, might be the perfect answer for the non-college-educated, working-class people who just want to go into work every day and make a decent living. Failing that, perhaps we could look into alternatives, such as significantly lowering the cost of college education, so more people could participate in the mid-to-high-end job market. We’d also have to improve the pre-college public education system significantly for this to be most effective, which would be helpful on its own.
But this problem will not be solved by just calling people sexist.
Trump argument #2: We’re getting screwed over by immigration
This is a contentious issue, and I’ve seen conflicting pieces of information regarding it. One side says immigrants are taking all the low-end jobs, while the other side says immigrants are taking all the jobs wealthier people don’t want to do anyway. I am inclined to agree with the latter, but again…this is not a convincing argument for those who agree with the former.
I expect the solution would be to improve the economic situation of every country across the globe, but that’s not going to happen within a single election cycle. But those who feel like they are losing out to what they view as a fairly tolerant immigration policy need alternative job prospects, not just pointless rhetoric. Perhaps something like raising the minimum wage would help, because then there’d be no reason for people to get frustrated with immigrants willing to work for lower wages, who are then seen as lowering the wages of everyone around them in doing so.
But this problem will not be solved by just calling people racist.
Trump argument #3: PC culture is destroying America
I hate to side with the man on anything, but Trump is 100% right on this one. Political correctness is not merely, as certain people will tell you, “treating people with respect.” It has become such a pervasive force that certain issues can never be discussed, no matter what, for fear of offending people who will take to the streets and shout about it, or worse.
Europe, for example, is having a severe problem right now with politically motivated crackdowns on “hate speech,” which consist of little more than “perhaps all these people coming from other countries with radically different values compared to ours might be cause for concern.” Speech like this is censored from social media, removed from newspapers, and, in some cases, those who dared say such things are threatened with jail time. Really.
Truth is not hate speech. It never was, and never will be. The battle of ideas needs to be won with better ideas, not with scare tactics and censorship. If you can’t win on the strength of your arguments, you deserve to lose.
And this problem will not be solved by just calling people homophobic.
That said, Trump is not the answer. Anyone who looks to a man who’s infamous for suing anyone who says mean things about him and thinks “this guy is totally going to fight for freedom of speech!” is a sadly mistaken individual.
But if the left continues with the narrative of calling everyone a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, whatever-phobic bigot, those people…who know they have actual reasons for being on that side…are just going to say FUCK YOU.
It happened with Brexit, for exactly the same reasons listed above. Can it happen again, in the United States?
I don’t know. But that’s enough for me.
Start listening, lefties. Before it’s too late.