Over the past month or so as it became ever more obvious that Donald Trump will get the Republican Presidential nomination, more and more people have published articles about how to sway his supporters. These articles often claim that Bernie Sanders’ ideologies will pull away his voters or that only Hillary Clinton has the gravitas to his challenge him head-on or that we must start publishing more and more of Trump’s faults. And every one of these articles misunderstands the situation: you cannot sway Trump’s supporters.
As a recent Samantha Bee Full Frontal episode showed, Trump’s supporters are firmly and blindly in his pocket. Even well educated supporters brush off his racist language, his impossible plans, and his spotty business record. They have fallen prey to the cult of personality surrounding him: an energetic, aggressive aura of confidence and can-do attitude.
Unfortunately, when someone is brainwashed into a cult of personality, it’s extremely difficult to get them out of it. Any criticism is viewed as an attack against the person and objective facts are either flat out denied or twisted to be seen as an unfair attack. As Samantha Bee asked, “How do you fact-check bluster?” Well, you can’t.
People are not voting for Trump after a careful consideration of his platform (which doesn’t really exist). They didn’t weigh him against the other 47 Republican candidates and decide his foreign policy experience is weak but his economic program is sound. No, they heard his call to make America great again, they saw how he humiliated his opponents, and they dove in whole-heartedly. They made an emotional, not logical choice, which is heavily invested in their personal sense of self. Until Trump actually becomes President and brutally betrays them, they’re not going to change their minds.
But there is one way to avoid a Trump Presidency: vote Democrat. We all have our personal preferences, but either one would do a decent job as President. Both want increased minimum wage. Both want increased Wall Street regulations. Both want student loan reform. Both believe in and will work to combat climate change. Neither one has ever goaded their supporters to beat or kill a person. Neither one has called an entire group of people racists and criminals. Neither one wants to register people and shut down their places of worship. While one may not be your ideal choice, I repeat: either Democratic nominee will be a decent President.
The absolutely only way to make sure Trump’s supporters don’t jeer and spit him into the White House is if you go and cancel out their votes. Bring a friend with you so that the two of you know that for every one Trump supporter, there are two Democrat voters. Remind people on social media. Take the day off of work and drive friends and coworkers to the polling station. Remind them that the Economist Intelligence Unit recently declared Trumps Presidency one of the top 10 global risks (Yep, he’s right up there with ISIS!). Shut him down.
And then, after a Democrat is in office, we can go about doing the hard work of reuniting our country. We can, as one writer suggested, return dignity to Trump’s supporters by increasing domestic manufacturing jobs. We can further subsidize community colleges so working class Americans can actually afford an education. We can collaborate with mosques to further Muslim outreach and stop the bigotry. We can send Presidential aides around the country on speaking tours so that people will finally realize they like the Affordable Care Act. All of that is fine and indeed necessarily, but those are also things that will take years accomplish – and even then, they won’t change everyone’s opinions.
We don’t have years. We have less than eight months until Americans head to the polls to elect the person who can either precipitate a global catastrophe or keep balancing the budget. And the absolute only way we can prevent the former is if each and every one of us votes Democrat. Then and only then will the racists, bigots, and naive creatures supporting Trump tuck their tails between their legs and go back to being subtly racist and bigoted.
So stop putting your faith in decency. Stop putting your faith in ideologies or dreams or compassion. Take control of your destiny, put your faith in yourself, and vote this motherfucker out.