A friend of mine recently asked “Does anyone know a Trump supporter who has changed their mind about him?” Good question. Although the Democratic National Committee seems to think that such a potential voter exists, I am skeptical.
But if they do exist the challenge is to somehow overcome the fact that over the last 40 years the conservative movement has successfully discredited all the institutional sources of information (the media, government administrators, universities, and scientific research) and created its own media ecosystem. In this post truth environment, the New York Times is no more reliable than Infowars, Anthony Fauci is no more informed than Dr. Phil, the conclusions of intelligence agencies are no more trustworthy than the President’s hunches.
I can think of only two things to do about this in the short term (as for the long term, as they say, “I got nothin’).
The first is to focus on turnout instead of a tiny group of persuadables (which will have the happy effect of moving the party to embrace somewhat more Progressive politics without embracing the Bernie Sander’s program) and the second is to put before persuadables the most raw information possible—information that does not come from all of the perfectly legitimate sources that they nonetheless believe are part of deep state conspiracies.
This is personal for me, as it is for most of you, I suspect. Perhaps you too have written countless emails or texts—some of which you may have sent, most of which you either wrote and didn’t send or wrote in your head– to family members or others close to you that support Trump and Trump Republicans. It is almost impossible to write anything that bridges the gap between their sources of information and yours.
If you are like me you keep thinking that surely reasonable persuadables, if they sat down and read or watched the President speak for himself, would recoil in horror, or at least have doubts.
For what it is worth, here are my choices for a communique. Maybe we should send something that simply provides links with a minimal statement like “as the election approaches, please consider:”
Internet (Video) Archive. A seemingly comprehensive video collection of speeches, rallies, news conferences, and interviews.
The Rev for written transcripts.
Trump Twitter Archive In all its gruesome detail.
Politifact for fact checks that a) aren’t associated with the Washington Post (although it is excellent) and b) involve mostly Trump’s words, with some context and reporting to examine the degree to which he is uttering a falsehood.
This leaves out much that we are all bursting to say about corruption, attacks on the separation of powers, destructive and dangerous environmental rollbacks, and much else, but surely it demonstrates that he is unfit for office and that nothing he says can be trusted.
Health Warning: Do not make it a habit to consult these sources yourself. You already know this stuff and it will make you sick to your stomach and interfere with creative Covid coping. I speak from experience.