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Henry Salvia

I think the argument people are trying (and failing) to make when they talk about being "sympathetic" to Trump supporters is that those supporters need to be taken seriously, not simply mocked and then ignored. They are not going anywhere. We need to live with them. Some percentage of them can be reached. But how do you have a rational argument with magical realism? When facts and numbers are irrelevant you have to find another approach, but I haven't seen any offered. My guess is that discussion sounds like a suicide hotline counseler talking someone down off a ledge. Acknowedge they exist, acknowledge some of their fears (like economic stagnation) are real, then try to ease them away from fear and anger.

That's some percentage of them. The others, high on anger, just want to dominate and win. Then you're stuck with the blunt instruments of politics and organization. The side that cares most wins, and the fighting never stops. And so we end up back with mockery and dismissal. Its the Wheel of Life, or at least Fortune.

Chris the cop

The man has no class whatsoever and even for a politician, his answers/policies/remedies, are mind-numbingly vague.

Henry Salvia

The vagueness is a feature, not a bug. That's the magical realism, you just talk about how you "feel". "Mexicans are coming", never mind we're in net emigration to Mexico now. "We just need to kill enough people and ISIS will go away", never mind what actually happens after indiscriminate bombing kills non-combatants, children, and allies. Trump will "force" companies to relocate manufacturing back to the US. Trump supporters consider themselves victims for a host of real(jobs) and imaginary(most everything else) reasons, and Trump is pushing every button they've got.

The "no class" is a feature. Its him "telling it like it is", unvarnished truth unafraid of political correctness. This appeals to people who feel the same way and enjoy hearing it from a leader on-stage. He's their Strong Man who will "shake things up" and "fix Washington" so they won't be victims any more. Trump will stop giving things to THOSE people and help them instead.

How do you reach these people? Some you can, some you can't. It won't be done by a speech from some other Strong Man (or Woman). It will be 1-on-1. The trouble I see is that its hard, and most people aren't equipped to be suicide counselers. If you think things are ugly now, wait. We're not near done dealing with this, and its not going away if/when Trump fails. I imagine a lot of politicians/hustlers are taking notes.

FDChief

The problem I have with being "sympathetic" to the worst of these Trumpeters is it's like trying to "sympathize" with a man-eating tiger; the tiger will eat you no matter how you feel about it, and if you mistake the hunger in its eye for sadness or remorse you'll miss the opportunity to do the only real effective thing you CAN do, which is to kill it quickly and efficiently.

There really IS no compromising with these people simply because they have no interest in compromising with "us" - that is, anyone who isn't them. For them politics and society is a zero-sum game; if "those people" win, in any way, they lose.

I have no idea which of these people are "the worst"...but the longer Trump goes on as he has the worse all of them will get, and the more of the merely angry and frustrated will move on deep into the Dark Side. So the real answer to the Trump phenomenon needs to be less "understanding", IMO, and more plows and salt.

FDChief

Oh...and I should add that the OTHER reason I have little sympathy or understanding for the Trumpenvolk is that there already IS a civilized alternative to Trump's hate and violence; Sanders. All the populism, none of the racism! Except if you're a Trump voter, obviously the racism (sexism, xenophobia...) is a feature, not a bug.

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