Oprah, now a correspondent for 60 Minutes, revisited a focus group from a year ago to talk to some Trump supporters and “Liberals” and learn how they felt about the situation now.
It was interesting to say the least.
Charles D. Hayes had this response (with which I am in full agreement):
The Sixty Minutes piece tonight night with Oprah Winfrey is a wake-up call to the effect that those of us who think are still surrounded by people who don’t. The totality of the Trump support in the focus group was dependent on misinformation and the mindsets of these people show that they are impenetrable by factual information.
While I believe we will take back the House in November, we still have enough ignorant people in this country to sink the ship of state.
Watching the daily ineptitude, the toddler tweets and the failure to stand up to Russia, you get the feeling that this self-evident incompetence and treasonous behavior is blatantly obvious for everyone to see, but too many don’t see it at all. They see only what they want to see.
to which I replied (for once relatively briefly)
“The totality of the Trump support in the focus group was dependent on misinformation and the mindsets of these people show that they are impenetrable by factual information.”
The main thrust of my activity in online comments for a long time has been about how their attitudes toward ‘liberals’—in fact their very beliefs about who and what ‘the liberals’ are—is based on decades of misinformation, or to call it what it is, propaganda. The question is, what, if anything, can we do about it?
So far, according to the best scientific assessments I’ve found, the answer is nothing, at least not with the hard core. Not much reason to hope there.
The hope lies in those who are what Lakoff calls ‘biconceptuals.’ As others have mentioned, it comes down to being ‘more vocal’ which means getting our message out there more often and more effectively and not continuing our repeated mistakes: trying to negate the opposing misinformation, and trying to win arguments with reason or logic.
and Charles followed up with this later on:
The Sixty Minutes piece with Oprah Winfrey last night shows clearly that many of the Trump supporters simply cannot be reached via the communication methodology we call reason.
Virtually everything these people believe is a bald-faced lie, starting with the absurd notion that Trump cares about them. To believe that Trump cares about anyone but himself requires a deranged sense of perception.
Everything these Trump supporters say can be destroyed factually in seconds. The assumptions that comprise these people’s worldview are so tragically mistaken that’s it’s hard to believe that anyone believes such nonsense.
One thing we can do without talking to these folks, is to keep pointing out what rational conservatives (they do exist and they are speaking out) are saying about the damage Trump is doing to this country and hope that some of it sinks in, followed by the biggest ground game we’ve ever played for a November election.
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To which I responded:
I just tried to watch it. Had to stop. The 2 fat guys (no body shaming intended LOL, I’m packing a few extra these days, but simply since I don’t know the names) were so full of BS and so angry because of what they wrongly believed and didn’t understand. When the big guy said he hated Liberals because of their divisive tactics and behavior, rather than articulating any position they have, I recalled just about every RWNJ I’d ever run into online who whinged about mean, condescending, smug ‘liberals’ as if their perception of an individual’s behavior to them negated the validity of the positions they hold. It’s a feint, a diversion from actually comparing validity of either side’s positions. Which is something they are genetically adverse to.
I’ve found repeatedly that simply trying to discuss the relative validity of positions is viewed in itself as an attack on them. A personal one. And they claim you are the ones with the fixed ideas not willing to hear other view points, simply by wanting to discuss and compare them. Which is exactly what they’re doing in claiming that and stopping discussion.
Last night I had a guy go ballistic about how I, like “all liberals” was a “self-aggrandizing cultural elitist who resorts to moral subjugation of different points of view.” Um, isn’t that just whining about having to debate whose ideas are superior? Didn’t you just do that to everyone in the thread who voiced an opinion different from yours? Aren’t you actually complaining about your fear of losing such an argument? Talk about projection… ‘moral subjugation’ indeed. (The big irony was that I had studiously avoided debating our respective views on the current topic, food stamps, directly with him, I’d never even mentioned my position, and was in a conversation with someone else about morality and how the 2 sides have different ideas of what that means…)
So when the big guy in the clip got all emotional about the inheritance tax, showed no understanding of how it works, why it exists, misrepresenting it utterly and wouldn’t even hear any explanation, and even though it’s been around since the New Deal seemed to think it’s representative of “liberals” and of course in the process demonstrated exactly what he’d said he hated liberals for, being divisive, bullying and unwilling to listen to others…I’d had enough.
The more I try to figure out this situation, the less hope I have for this country.
Ok, I made it thru. LOL
At the end the guy who talked about not wanting to be defined by Mitch McConnell/Paul Ryan on their side, and suggested not everyone on the other side wanted to be defined by Schumer/Pelosi was onto something. But got it so wrong. As they always do. LOL. He’d have been more accurate if he’d said we don’t want to be defined by Antifa and BLM, and SJW’s excesses as they are falsely shown on Fox, nor as the Commie Totalitarian Statists as we are defined by the Kochs, Neo-Birchers and the Liberatarian/Randians and also propagated on Fox and Limbaugh et al. But it keyed on what I’m talking about, (endlessly, I know! LOL)
I’d like to hear what he thinks Schumer/Pelosi represent. I don’t consider them lefties that’s for sure, barely liberal, basically moderate, center-right on some things, center-left on others, willing to be bipartisan, actively trying to…all of which are fine and good. But I’m aware that the RW media machine frames them as the enemy just as they demonized Obama for 8 years. This guy’s statement betrayed how strongly that is embedded in their minds. The good news is he had an inkling of understanding that the divisions are based on unfounded linking of ALL individuals on one side or the other with a demonized stereotype. But the vast balance of this is on the Right’s demonization of the phantom menace they call “The Left” carried out deliberately for 50 years with billions of $ behind a vast messaging network to accomplish its goals.
I’d have liked to have heard fuller answers from all of the conservatives on this panel on what exactly they thought Liberals were all about. Beyond that one short sound bite of “they’re divisive” which tells us nothing. Anyone who holds a viewpoint different from your own is going to feel divisive when they defend it or express it against yours.
I admit to having a somewhat homogenized view of conservatives, but since I don’t watch the MSM I like to think it is based on 1000s of personal one on one interactions with them online. But like so many conservatives who make their judgments, or have them validated, of “you libtards,” based on how they are treated online, I also realize that has its pitfalls as well. Confirmation bias for one. Hence my asking them repeated what they think of “us.” As I’ve mentioned in other threads of yours Charles D. Hayes I rarely get an answer other than validation of your conclusion that “Virtually everything these people believe is a bald-faced lie”
Once again I apologize for going on and on. Writing online is how I parse all this crap in my overcrowded mind. LOL. Doing it offline works, but having some feedback as to whether I’m nuts is nice.
and then I looked up inheritance and estate taxes to make sure I had it right. I learned some things.
On my long comment in Frederick Lee’s comment (accidentally posted there instead of top level, sorry) when critiquing the guy who got all teared up about the inheritance tax he couldn’t understand and totally misunderstood, and then got all huffy when someone tried to explain it to him…I noted it had been around since the New Deal at least. A quick wikipedia read was enlightening. It’s been around since the Roman Empire. Hardly a newly created Liberal Democrat idea to ‘force’ hard working guys like fat ass loudmouth bully to give all their scrimped savings accumulated by self-denial of movie nights to the government to redistribute to the lazy moochers.
In this age of instant access to information, there is no excuse for someone to hold onto lies they’ve swallowed whole except that they want to believe them.
In the US it dates from 1797 for the first implementation.
and it was supported by Adam Smith of all people, so much for it being a socialist redistribution scheme:
“Free market supporters of the tax, including Adam Smith and the founding fathers would argue that people should be able to get to the top of the market through earning wealth, based on meritocratic competition, not through unearned, inherited handouts, which were central to the aristocratic systems they were opposed to. Smith wrote:
‘A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fulness (sic) of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural.'”