Sunday, August 07, 2016

Talking to Trumpers

So I tried to engage with a bunch of Trump supporters at one of the wingnut websites I occasionally frequent [sorry no link]. Kind of thought of it as a civic duty. Unfortunately all I have to report back is basically what I knew going in. These people are:
  • stupid: the kind of stupid people who think they are smart, bringing to mind this classic scene.
  • racist: not the virulent kind, more the whiny kind who think blacks are getting special advantages and the decks are stacked against white men
  • assholes: in all manner of ways, but most striking to me was when I pointed out that Trump had a habit of stiffing the contractors who did work for him, they replied that “the work must have been substandard”. In other words, in a fight between a rich and powerful guy and a lesser power, automatically back the rich guy. This may be due to something basic in the core of the authoritarian psyche, but it is incomprehensible to me.
  • convinced that there is something called “the left” that includes everybody from Hillary to Stalin, that is deliberately evil and devoted to “destroying our liberties”, and basically is in league with Satan.
This last point of course means that whatever Trump՚s flaws, he appears to be the better alternative to them. So pointing out Trump՚s near-total ignorance, his vile personality, his fraudulent background, and his absurd and destructive proposals means nothing. They claim to be conservatives but are willing to take the risk of vast destruction of our existing system of governance, simply out of hatred for someone who exemplifies the existing system.

These people are lost to sanity, and all we can do is hope that they aren՚t a very big or influential group come November.

[addendum: I don't think I did a very good job of doing what needs to be done -- that is, getting some kind of sense of what these people are really about. That is (a) hard to do on the internet as opposed to f2f and (b) probably better accomplished by people with more empathic skills than me. Here's George Saunders, who normally writes fiction about the broken people of the modern world, giving it a go.]


Gabriel Martindale said...

I have recently been reading a large amount of Moldbug. I had already arrived at fairly similar views, having come at it from a fairly similar trajectory. I had heard of Moldbug here or there and I thought that I should get round to reading him. Anyway, I found the experience enjoyable, but one of the more perplexing things was this recurring character who really, really didn't seem to understand a blessed word of what was being written. So I decided to check if this chap had his own extant blog and ... bingo.

Anyway on Trump.

1) I'm personally not sure that I want him to win or not. On the one hand, this election certainly is a fork in the road. If Hillary wins, America will have the demographics of Brazil, plus more Muslims. That will be just dandy for the Anglo-Jewish elite (I'm Jewish btw, live in Jerusalem), but it will certainly not be for most and it will be quite hellish for some. Trump at least allows the possibility of avoiding this pointless destruction. On the other hand, the U.S. financial system will fall apart at some point, it's just possible that this will be in the next four years and I want Hillary, which is to say the system, to carry the can for it.

2) Obviously Trump voters are, generally speaking, the third dumbest group in American society. (The dumbest group happens to be the group Hillary used to crush Sanders and the second dumbest is the one she plans on replacing the first's labour with). One possible explanation is that Trumpian ideas are so obviously wrong that only stupid people can believe them, and progressive ideas are so true that clever people will believe them, but then you would need to explain Enoch Powell. The other explanation is that in a world where all the important organs of education are dominated by a particular ideology, most intelligent people will adhere to that ideology. A few people with +2SD IQs and a certain personality will believe something else, but even most of them will pretend to believe it so they can get sex and money. The test is whether most of the adherents believe or profess to believe in something that is unambiguously false, which they do, so case closed.

3) The value of Trump is that he is red-pilling a large amount of people. Some of them are his supporters who are being exposed to a world of ideas that you thought you had banished. Others are his most virulent opponents who are starting to wonder whether democracy is so great given if it can get him to a whisker of the Presidency (and, really, all it would take is some big ISIS event 2 weeks prior to the election a couple of days after Hillary/Obama gave another speech about how integral Muslims are to America).

Anyway, I'm mildly curious, since I think you are Jewish, to know what you think of this

Of course, in America the media situation is very different to Europe (I was born in the UK). If Jews were not so important in the U.S. and if a large proportion of them did not make a hypocritical semi-exception to their universalist views when it comes to Israel, the situation would be much the same. The second condition may not hold for all that long. For me, the cognitive dissonance between my belief that the media lied more than it told the truth about Israel and my belief that it told the truth more than it lied about everything else (which is, in fact, what most UK Jews believe) was really what got the ball rolling for me,

Anonymous said...

There are also, at least based on what I see on the internet, a lot of people who are tired of the PC propaganda and lies, at least in part coming directly from Hillary and the current leadership. And Trump is portrayed as an antithesis to that.
You have Hillary supporters, who are often spoiled celebrities shouting from their gated communities and 5-star hotels about how terrible every Trump supporter is. Perfect example, fresh from yesterday. I guess Will Smith doesn't mind and all the human rights violations in UAE and other Muslim communities, as long as he's "having fun" in his own little safe space. Things like this just add fuel to the Trump/anti-PC fire and produce more tribal energy, feelings of injustice and anger.

You cannot have a full picture if you ignore these issues.

It's a similar situation in Europe, with the pro-immigration propaganda. The leaders never speak candidly. If they did they'd say "we want more immigrants to sustain the pensions and the whole debt-based economy". Instead they force the fake humanitarian crap down your throat and try to convince you that your national/ethnic identity is pretty much worthless.

For the record, I think Trump is a terrible choice, at least based on the stupid stuff he said. But I'm not convinced that him being president would be worse than Hillary and I can see why people would vote for him.
The real tragedy is that you're essentially left with only these two.

Anonymous said...

You really are just evil, aren't you?

mtraven said...

This sounds about right.

mtraven said...

Re evil, I do my best.