To my Trump-supporting friends

Nov. 2020

Here's my take on current American politics. This is purely my interpretation of what I see; I don't listen to pundits, and I'm not a member of a political party.

Let's start with the Republican party. Pretty simple: it represents the interests of billionaires, especially those in environment-damaging industries like fossil fuel. The key policies it pushes are:

  • Make no effort to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Expand fossil fuel extraction.
  • Remove government regulation of pollution.
  • Reduce tax rates for the ultra-rich.
  • Eliminate government "safety net" programs like social security and nationalized health insurance.
  • Weaken or eliminate labor unions.
  • Discourage voting by poor people and racial minorities.

Each of these policies is good for oil billionaires, and very bad for the rest of us. The policies irreparably damage the environment, and are slowly turning the Earth into an uninhabitable wasteland. They radically increase the wealth gap in the U.S., turning us into a nation of haves and have-nots.

So the billionaires needed to figure out how to get us to support policies that are bad for us. To do this, they took over the Republican party, and developed (over the last ~30 years) a set of strategies, implemented through Fox News and radio talk shows, and more recently through social media:

  • Demonize the opposition: portray Democrats as immoral, unpatriotic, lazy, and stupid.
  • No middle ground: disagree with Democrats on every single issue, even if it means taking absurd positions.
  • Lies: tell them in such huge quantities that no one has time to refute them all. And when a lie is refuted (like Obama's birthplace), don't retract it; tell a bigger lie.
  • Attack the (real, not Fox News) news media. Claim that the NY Times doesn't fact-check, etc.
  • Shout, and don't listen to anyone who might disagree with you.
  • Encourage anger and emotion, discourage logic. Destroy followers' ability to tell true from false.
  • Create bogeymen (like Mexicans, Antifa, and BLM). Claim that they're criminals and terrorists.
  • Encourage racism.
  • Promote phony patriotism. Hide behind the flag.
  • Attack science; characterize it as a left-leaning belief system on a par with religion.
  • Create distractions; e.g. attack Hunter Biden but ignore the COVID explosion. Encourage bizarre conspiracy theories.

The strategies use brainwashing techniques to create an army of "followers" who blindly support the billionaire's goals, and who are conditioned to believe lies and conspiracy theories, to not question or think for themselves, and to not listen to other voices.

The billionaires didn't invent these strategies. They've been used by fascists throughout history, such as Hitler. (Trump studied Hitler's speeches, and he's a fan of Nazi sympathizer Henry Ford).

These strategies have been amazingly successful. They "converted" enough people to get Trump elected in 2016, in spite of his obvious corruption, racism, misogyny and narcissism, and the absurdity of his platform (like The Wall). More disturbingly, the same people voted for him in 2020, in spite of the incompetence and criminality of his administration:

  • Disastrous climate change non-action.
  • Failure to deal with COVID, 300K+ unnecessary deaths.
  • Repeated attempts to personally profit from his office.
  • Non-stop lying.
  • Alienation of allies, weakening of US world position.
  • Russian election meddling.
  • Ukraine blackmail for election meddling.
  • Politicization of the judicial branch.
  • Alliance with violent White Supremacist and fascist groups and encouraging violence.
  • Contempt for American democracy, e.g. his refusal to concede the 2020 election.

And on and on. Even with all this, 70 million people voted for his re-election. I find this absolutely appalling, and I'm really worried about the future of democracy in the U.S.

So, yeah, I don't like the Republican party. They're like Voldemort's Army from Harry Potter. They represent the worst aspects of human nature: greed, intolerance, ignorance, and hatred. They're evil.

What about the Democratic party? I'm not wild about them either. They represent corporate interests too. They're disorganized and muddled. But unlike the Republicans:

  • They don't demonize their opponents.
  • They don't brainwash their supporters.
  • They care about everyone, even poor people and immigrants.
  • They're willing to negotiate and compromise.

What you can do

I'm not saying that you - my Trump-supporting friends - are bad people. You've been taken in by right-wing propaganda. Most Germans in the 1930 were taken in by Hitler. Were they bad people? Not initially. But the bad parts of their nature - we all have them - were fed by Hitler's propaganda, and grew like malignant tumors.

That's what is happening to you. But you can undo it. To do so, look inside yourself and see what the oil billionaires have done to you. Figure out where your anger is coming from. Engage with non-Republicans (like me) and actually listen to them. Stop watching Fox News, and replace it with fact-based news (like the NY Times, or Vox).

I hope you at least read and think about what I've written. I don't expect you to agree with it; you've been conditioned to not even listen to it. I'm happy to expand on these points, and to give you supporting documents. I'm not interested, however, in debunking Fox News lies or Qanon make-believe BS. You need to learn how to do that yourself.

Why I believe what I believe

A million reasons, but let's start with climate change. Through my work, I personally know a lot of climate scientists. They're smart and ethical, and they're unanimous in saying that climate change is real, that it's caused primarily by human carbon emissions, and that it's responsible for an environmental catastrophe that's already well underway and will get much worse.

But the Republicans deny all this. Fox News repeatedly trots out a guy who claims to be a climate scientist but is actually an oil company shill. They cover climate-change protests in a completely negative way.

Why would anyone do this? Why would anyone knowingly damage the Earth, which is their own home, and home to their descendants? Well, follow the money. Continued burning of carbon will keep the oil billionaires (like the Koch brothers) obscenely rich for another decade or two. They sold their souls to the devil and created the conspiracy I've outlined here. See also this article in the New Yorker.

A NYT Op-Ed about the hate in the right wing.

Copyright 2024 © David P. Anderson