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Donald Trump’s Path To Victory

Donald Trump - Andy Borowitz

If Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, it will now be largely thanks to the army of sanctimonious, virtue-signalling left-wing commentators who are unwilling to (or incapable of) grappling with the roots of his appeal

Donald Trump’s path to victory in November leads directly through sanctimonious, fatuous, hectoring, intellectually snobbish attitudes like that shown in the image above, currently being widely circulated on social media.

Writer Andy Borowitz, wringing his hands about the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, pompously warns us:

Stopping Trump is a short-term solution. The long-term solution – and it will be more difficult – is fixing the educational system that has created so many people ignorant enough to vote for Trump.

One does not have to be a supporter of Donald Trump to realise that this is exactly the kind of morally certain, unfoundedly intellectually superior leftist bilge which could yet deliver the presidency to the unstable, egotistical reality-TV star.

It is the kind of toxic mindset which endlessly repeats to itself that the only reason someone might disagree with the pro-Identity Politics, pro-illegal immigration status quo is through a mental defect of some kind.

If Andy Borowitz were capable of extricating his head from his own posterior for a few short seconds, he might note that the median annual income of a Trump supporter is around $72,000 while that of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters is just $61,000 – a whole $11,000 more. In other words, Donald Trump supporters are so ignorant and uneducated that somehow they manage to out-earn the highly “enlightened” supporters of the two remaining Democratic Party candidates.

And yet the myth persists of the Trump voter as a knuckle-dragging, uncultured simpleton who has been led astray by Evil Right Wing lies and propaganda, while even the most air-headed of Clinton or Sanders supporters is preposterously transformed into a high-minded philosopher, imbued with deep wisdom and knowledge. What dangerous nonsense.

More odious still is the implication that Trump supporters need to be “re-educated” – that their political views and priorities are somehow invalid, and that rather than openly debating and examining those views in the marketplace of ideas, the holders of Trumpian views should be quietly taken aside and indoctrinated with “good” left-wing ideas.

It is the easiest thing in the world to make a snap judgement that those people who hold differing views do so out of either ignorance or malevolence. This is an emotional comfort blanket which the American (and British) Left cling to ever-more tightly, but which now increasingly threatens to suffocate them. Assume your opponent is stupid and the best you can hope to achieve is a loud shouting match. Actually take the time to understand your opponent’s arguments and put yourself in their place, and real political dialogue becomes possible.

People support the candidacy of Donald Trump for many reasons. Some are highly disaffected conservatives or anti-establishment types nursing a “let it burn” attitude toward Washington D.C. in general. Some are dispirited social conservatives who sense that they have lost the culture war and see in Trump someone who may not share their values, but who will nonetheless give their un-magnanimous liberal foes a good kicking.

Yes, some are racist and some are Islamophobic – though this critique of Trump supporters by the New Republic is little better than Borowitz’s own fatuous take. Others simply hold the position that people who are illegally present in the United States should not be conferred with the comfort and security of American residency or citizenship. Some are very wealthy and others are very poor. And crucially, Trump supporters are drawn from every level of educational attainment.

It may be technically possible to fix the educational system so as to stop producing people likely to support Donald Trump, as Borowitz wants, but it would mean the creation of a nationwide network of leftist madrassahs, places where conservative thought and academic freedom were utterly banished, which would hardly be conducive to liberal democracy.

If Andy Borowitz really wants to fix a festering national trend, he should worry less about an educational system which sometimes has the temerity to produce Donald Trump supporters, and more about the growing inability of American citizens to handle exposure to contrary ideas without resorting either to unbearable condescension or shrill demands for the offending speech to be banished.

For as long as Democrats and assorted anti-Trump forces assume that conservatives and others who disagree with them do so merely through lack of education, they will continue to underestimate their opponents – in this case, with potentially disastrous consequences.

 

Donald Trump Hosts Nevada Caucus Night Watch Party In Las Vegas

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7 responses

  1. Pingback: Pathologising Donald Trump Supporters Will Not Diminish His Appeal « Semi-Partisan Politics

  2. Pingback: Who Is To Blame For Donald Trump? « Semi-Partisan Politics

  3. Another danger for Clinton is that Trump will be able to dominate the news cycles. He’s had nothing but press for the past two or three days leading up to his meeting with Ryan. He’s got great press after the meeting. And, with the polls, people are starting to think that Trump might could win.

    What we forget to do is look at the race from the average person’s perspective (which is your point), and being seen as a winner and being able to deliver does more for his campaign and chances of winning than any policy paper or plan that he has.

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  4. I agree that the left can be condescending, smug, sarcastic, and snarky, especially when referring to the right. It is almost a fad or trend. It is as if many on the left just assume anything coming out of the right is going to be reactionary, emotionally-driven, fact-shorn drivel. Unfortunately, there is a lot of crap coming out of the right and the left.

    It seems to me that Trump’s 16 Republican opponents and the stop Trump folks have also badly underestimated him and his supporters. I heard one of Trump’s speech in West Virginia where he said that they were going to increase coal jobs if he were elected president. That’s a crowd pleasing line in West Virginia, but it isn’t true. Unfortunately, when you are desperate as an industry dies around you, you will cling to any hope that is thrown to you. It also creates a tendency to use confirmation bias in the audience.

    Trump’s real genius, though, is in manipulating his audience through the availability heuristic — making a judgment based on the most easily accessible memory. His message discipline of Low-Energy Jeb! Lil’ Marco, and Lyin’ Ted ensured that most of us would think of those “nicknames” when we thought of those candidates. It couldn’t help but frame our thoughts of them.

    I’m hoping that in the general election, the Dems will be able to rally the base with scare tactics of a Trump presidency, lure a few Republicans over to Clinton, and blunt the effectiveness of Trump’s attack strategy. There’s a lot of time between now and November. There’s a lot of hate to be spewed and lies to be told. In the infamous words of Dan Quayle, “We’ll find out.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a fascinating point about the availability heuristic. Not one I had heard before, but now you’ve mentioned it it makes perfect sense.

      Interesting too about Trump’s false promises to coal country. We saw something similar with Rick Santorum in the last election cycle, where he was going round telling people that he would bring all the lost manufacturing jobs back with a sweep of his arm. I took to calling Santorum the “Pied Piper of Pennsylvania” – desperate people were putting their trust in the man and his message, even though he was leading them straight off a cliff.

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      • I’ve been fascinated by politics since I was a teenager. And once I became aware of it, the lies and manipulations. Why do people fall for these blatant promises? Luckily, now that I’m nearing retirement age, I’ve hit upon using psychology to explain these things. So, now I write a blog: the Psy of Life: CalicoJack Explains Life & Everything Using Psychology & Snark. It is a bit profane and has a liberal bias. But, you might enjoy it. https://thepsyoflifeblog.wordpress.com/

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