I wrote the short essay below in January of 2017. When finished, I saved the file and kept it to myself. Posting these types of writings to sites like Facebook has always been a tenuous decision for me, and I've discovered I typically regret airing my views after the fact, if for no other reason than you get a handful of people who already agree with you cheering for you, which isn't really the point. Of course, there's often the very common, one person disagrees with you in the comments section and instead of being able to then have a progressive, healthy back and forth with them, those who agree with you go on the attack and any possible healthy conversation falls apart. I've unfortunately been one of the attackers before, and I find the impulse maddening, though very difficult to ignore at times.
Anyway, the reason I'm placing this now and not back dating this post to when the article was actually written, is to highlight the difference in my tone a little less than two years ago, as opposed to today. Frankly, like most of those who have stayed engaged in this madness, I'm currently exhausted. My patience is thin. I'm losing the will to try and reason with people, though it is just as/if not more important today than yesterday. I'm self-policing a bit, trying to remember that at the end of the day, I do believe most of these people that continue to support this absurd cabal of a White House administration have been duped, as opposed to being purely evil. The evil is there, yes, but most of the minions are just knuckleheads that need reprogramming.
So...along those lines...
The Trump Constituent Consistency Calamity
Recently read a book for work titled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. One of the chapters dealt with the consistency principle. The general idea of the consistency principle is, for whatever reason human beings naturally crave consistency. Therefore, it is often human nature to stand by a belief despite all signs pointing to that belief being incorrect, out of date, completely insane, or even detrimental to one’s own health.
This is what we are witnessing in regards to Donald Trump’s supporters. However, we also witnessed this in the primaries. Despite all the warning signs the HRC was a tenuous candidate, and that people who didn’t like her were large in number and had some legitimate complaints, her supporters simply doubled-down. - I’m not here to argue the popular vote win or the electoral college…the end result is the reality we are dealing with, and proves thru the science of “this is actually happening” that HRC’s candidacy was indeed tenuous - We saw the same thing with the conservative Christian community making every excuse possible for supporting a man who has cheerfully, gleefully, lived outside the generally excepted rules and regulations of Christian Dogma.
I don’t bring this up to throw stones at Hillary supporters, or Trump supporters but to denote commonality.
There is going to be a large portion of people who voted for Trump that are going to continue their support despite all signs pointing to the fact that he is screwing them. That is obvious. Understanding why they are doing so is important in combating this issue. It’s not because everyone who supports Trump is inherently evil or stupid. For many, it’s because they felt disenfranchised (whether incorrect or not…it’s how they felt), and chose to hear what they wanted to hear, to believe what they wanted to believe, and now in the aftermath it is human nature to resist admitting being incorrect.
I have noticed Trump supporters continuing to attack HRC. Why waste the time? The election is over and she lost. Why waste the time? Because for many, at the end of the day, dislike for her was the only reason they voted for Trump. In light of everything he is doing/trying to do that sucks, they have to double down on why they voted for him, clinging to their disdain for HRC.
The divisiveness within the general population only appears to be increasing post-election, which was likely expected by many. The problem with this is it only leads to the continual screwing over of the general population. The most recent statistical information I could find showed that 84% of this country’s populace is financially ranked “Lower-Middle Class or below”. 84%! FYI - It has been this way for a long time, whether government was dominated by Republicans or Democrats.
Donald Trump has no interest in changing this. Please note, I’m not arguing that HRC did. I do think there are still politicians that want to do right by the American people. It’s just hard for us to figure out who they are. However, what is easy to figure out is Donald Trump does not have the little guy at heart. There are absolutely zero examples that he does.
What else is easy to figure out, is that just blowing up the system is not the answer. The answer is the American people not taking for granted their right to be engaged in their own well being. We have the right to vote. We have the right to protest. History shows that when the American people get off their ass and insist on change from its government, it has been successful. We got lazy. Not everyone, but enough of us got so lazy we allowed our politicians to run amuck and the system to become dangerously polluted. It’s our job to police them, but instead we fight with each other, succumbing to the propaganda that allows those who would do us harm to continue their actions unnoticed.
Thus, I would beg of my fellow man, my fellow 84 percenter, just stop. Stop screaming at one another long enough to realize we are all getting screwed. The levels of which some in the 84% have it better or worse than others in the 84% are minuscule in comparison to how badly we are all getting screwed over as a whole. Yes, I said minuscule, and not without an acute awareness to racial and gender inequality in this country. I don’t deny those issues or the desperate need to combat them, but that’s how much larger I think the grand screwing of us all is compared to the very distinct levels of privilege some members of the 84% have over others. It’s that bad. I know it’s easy for me to say…but it’s not without considerate thought or empathy for those whom I know I have privilege over. For example - the estimated 20 million who will lose health care if/when the ACA is repealed - that 20 million is of all creeds and colors. The refusal to raise minimum wage? That screws all creeds and colors. Refusing to deal with the science of the declining health of our planet? Hahaha says the money hoarding corporate sociopath, that screws everyone!
If we change things at the top, it will filter down. AKA if we policed and selected our leadership better, which requires personal accountability of each citizen, I believe extremely frightening realities like the relationship between cops and the African American community would naturally improve. I may be wrong. This may be Pollyannish of me, but I believe it to be true. Better leadership would do everything they could to mend these wounds, not hijack the issue for political benefit. They would reason with those who don’t understand these issues are real, not call them deplorable.
To those Donald Trump supporters that are not the least common racist bigoted wildly misinformed denominator, I would specifically beg of you: Don’t double-down. If your heart or mind calls into question the choice you made, change your position. You can do it quietly, without having to throw yourself at the feet of anyone. Just please don’t continue the fight for the sake of fighting. To those on the other side, fighting the oppressive nature of Trump and his ilk, I would ask that you remember it’s easier to get people up onto your wagon by extending them a hand. Telling them their stupid for not getting on will just make them hate your wagon.
We are all the 84%, the poor fighting in the arena, bloodying ourselves for the amusement and benefit of the elite.
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