Saturday, June 3, 2017
Seeking peace in Trumpist times
A very short story based on real conversations with friends since the election.
I was talking with a friend right after Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Accord; she’s a big outdoors enthusiast, but also a Trump supporter. So I asked her what she thought.
Me: So what about your boy pulling out of the Paris thing?
Her: He did the right thing. It’s a bad deal, and we get stuck with all the costs. Plus the whole climate change thing is pretty shaky.
Me: Well I don’t know: 100% of the world’s national science academies say climate change is real, is caused by man, and we’re really screwed if we don’t make some drastic changes. Every single nation’s group of scientists, including the US. That doesn’t sound shaky to me. And where’d you get this “we get stuck with all the costs” line?
Her: Everybody says so. Carson Tucker. Judge Jeanine. Sean Hannity. It’s all a big scam by the One World Order to line their pockets and keep America down!
Me: Wait a minute – those are all Fox News people. Fox isn’t a credible source. You can’t seriously believe the shit they say!
Her: Bullshit; they tell it like it is. And besides, I read the same thing on Breitbart news.
Me: Fuck you! Breitbart’s even worse! Look, Fox’s leader (Roger Ailes, RIP) admitted he’s not in the news business; his goal is entertainment and propaganda, and he admitted he doesn’t care about the facts, just twisting people’s opinions! And Breitbart is worse – it comes in far to the right of Fox News on all the non-partisan surveys.
Her: Fuck me? Fuck ME? Fuck YOU, Jon Strebler and fuck your liberal surveys and your “facts”. They’re all fake. Fake news, Jon!
Me: Oh, I figured we’d get there. “Fake news” is just Trump’s way of fighting back against all of HIS lies. He knows the best defense is a good offense, so he does this stupid thing of calling verifiable facts, information that has been carefully vetted, “fake news” – and you guys fall for it. What the hell?
Her: Verified by who? You know how biased the mainstream media is. I don’t trust a thing they say. They’re all lying liberals trying to bring our president down.
Me: I know what you mean about the bias. But the thing is, that doesn’t have anything to do with most of Trump’s lies. I mean, all you have to do is read his own words, watch videos of what comes out of his own mouth. No opinions, no bias, no libtarding – just the dude’s own words! I’ll give you an example: “If I run for president, I’ll release my taxes.” Bam – that simple. He said it, not the media. He broke his own word – period. And I can give you a hundred examples; the motherfucker just lies constantly, and there’s no two ways about it. How can you back a guy like that?
Her: I don’t care. America first! He’s our president; why do you have to bring him down? Sure, Trump’s not perfect, but he cares about us and he’s a godly man. He’s trying to do good things to make America great, and I trust that God is guiding him!
Me: Trump’s a godly man? You’re kidding, right? He’s a serial liar, he’s greedy, selfish, he insults people constantly, he disrespects women, he totally lacks humility. What religion would back a person like that?
Her: He IS humble. After meeting the Pope, Trump tweeted how they were both humble. And you know what, the Pope endorsed him before the election last year – said Trump would make a great president!
Me: Oh my god! That was one of Trump’s fake news plants on social media! The Pope hates Trump; don’t you remember their spat a few months earlier? And did you see the Pope’s face during their meeting? It was obvious he didn’t want to be around the guy. But back to that phony story – there’s tons of evidence that Trump and his buddies planted all kinds of bullshit stories on social media during the campaign, all kinds of lies that suckers like you actually took for real news.
Her: Oh – so now I’m a sucker, and we’re into name calling? Nice Jon, real nice. You know, you can be a real dick sometimes, and a big know it all. How do YOU know that story was phony?
Me: Well part of it is just common sense. Popes don’t endorse candidates, and this Pope certainly didn’t like Trump. You can also usually tell from the way a story or a meme is presented, the language of it. You know how there are so many memes that say how this or that ABSOLUTELY DESTROYS this person or that person? There’s tons of those these days from both sides, and that’s a big clue that the thing is biased or just total bullshit. But there’s also Snopes and FactCheck; they’re websites that will tell you if something is legit or BS.
Her: You can’t trust those websites – they’re all run by liberals! They’re part of the liberal mainstream media that Trump says is our enemy. And I trust Trump; he’s draining the swamp and looking out for average Americans like me.
Me: How can you trust someone who’s been proven over and over again to be a liar? The people running those websites – look into them. They’re highly educated in what they’re doing, and they use unbiased techniques to determine if something is legit or not.
Her: Yeah, I know about all those “educated” people. They went to college, where all they got was a liberal brainwashing, and they think they’re so much better than the rest of us. The educated elite – those are the assholes that have gotten this country in such a mess. They’re the ones holding us back; they’re the problem!
Me: I see. So we can’t trust the educated media, we can’t trust scientists because they have a good education, and it sounds like anyone with a college education is the enemy – libtards all!
Her: Basically. All you smart liberals, you don’t have any real world common sense, just ivory tower book learning. And we’re sick of you telling real Americans how things are. Look at the huge mess we’re in because of Obama and all his educated idiots!
Me: Yeah, I dunno. I mean, the US has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Nobody’s starving, everyone gets an education, has a place to live, a chance to be successful. And our economy – it’s been the world’s strongest for the last 5 years! Things don’t seem too screwed up to me.
Her: Maybe so, Mr. Economics genius, but a lot of us aren’t seeing it. The rich get richer and all the good jobs go to China, and people like me can’t keep up. We’re never gonna be able to pay our house off, and the kids – I don’t think they’ll ever be able to own their own home. Somebody’s gotta do something for regular Americans, and Trump’s doing it!
Me: You mean regular WHITE Americans, right? Trump just wants to turn the clock back to 1960 when every high school dropout could support a family of 4 on a factory job – if he was white, anyway. But those jobs are gone, coal is dying and his pathetic efforts won’t change that. It’s really clear to economists who follow this kind of stuff: We haven’t lost jobs to trade, we’ve lost them to technology, and that clock won’t turn backwards. Besides, how can you think a selfish billionaire like Trump, with his billionaire Cabinet, is going to help the little guy?
Her: You don’t know everything, Jon Strebler, so stop acting like you do! Trump cares about us and he’ll get us a fairer deal with those other countries, get our jobs back. And what’s wrong with kicking out a bunch of illegal Mexicans so white people can have a fair chance anyway? This is America, we speak English, and all those Spanish speakers and Muslims don’t need to be here messing things up for the real Americans.
Me: Yeah, I don’t know everything, but at least I know some basic stuff. The guy is SO ignorant – about government, about economics, about history. He’s always saying something stupid, showing his ignorance. “The unemployment rate is 42%” “We don’t vet people coming into the US” “Judges make the laws” “Frederick Douglass is an up and coming black leader” How can you guys not see what a moron he is? Do you think being a moron is a good thing in a President?
Her: Why do you have to be so negative? And mean? Nobody’s perfect; so Trump makes a few mistakes; so what? He’s trying to make America great again, and what’s wrong with that? But you liberals, you’re always looking for things to attack him on; you’re so unfair.
Me: You know, I’m tired of hearing this “you liberals” bullshit. I’ve never been a liberal; voted for Nixon, voted for Reagan. There are millions and millions of independents who oppose Trump because he’s a lying, dangerous idiot. Colin Powell – who was a top general and Secretary of State under Bush, and is a Republican and certainly not a “libtard” – he said it best: Trump is a “national disgrace and an international pariah!” And he’s not the only one. Millions and millions of Republicans don’t like Trump and have spoken out about it. It’s not a Trump vs. liberals thing; it’s Trump against anyone who has a clue, anyone who wants a president that knows what he’s doing, speaks the truth, and REALLY wants what’s best for America.
Her: I don’t care what you say. I don’t care about your facts or your Colin Powell or any of it. Trump is my guy and Trump is our president, and God bless America!
Me: Well yeah – he is our president, but he didn’t really win the election as far as I’m concerned. At least not fair and square. I’m not a big Hillary fan, but she’s the one who should be in the White House now, not that sneaky, snaky Trump.
Her: Oh no – not the Russia thing! I mean seriously – all of these phony charges, from anonymous sources. Nothing’s been proved, and it’s just a huge witch hunt to keep the president from giving Americans the changes he promised. You liberals should be ashamed of yourself!
Me: I’m telling you: stop with the liberals crap! I’m no frickin liberal, and neither are all of the Republicans who want to know what Trump and his crew have been up to. But look, it’s not just about Russia. First, there was Trump’s campaign with all the fake social media stories that people like you fell for. How many votes do you think he got because of roping in dopes like you early in the campaign, votes he didn’t deserve and wouldn’t have gotten if he and his people hadn’t lied like dogs? Then there was the FBI disaster. 10 days before the election, Hillary was several points ahead and trending upward, all set to lock it up. Comey comes out with his bullshit announcement that we now know was based on fake info (and he knew that at the time!) about Hillary’s email account. Bam! Her numbers start dropping. And the Russians, who even Trump admits were interfering in our election on his behalf all along, they step it up even more. Hillary wins the popular vote, but Trump ekes out a win in the electoral college to become president. It’s just wrong!
Her: Hey, whatever. Trump won and Hillary lost. Waaaah - get over it! Besides, there’s no way to know if those things affected people’s voting or not, and Trump didn’t “eke out” an electoral college vote. He creamed Hillary!
Me: You know, you’re right. We can’t know for sure how much these things affected peoples’ voting. But I think a reasonable, open-minded person would conclude that each of those 3 things helped Trump somewhat; taken together, probably quite a bit. The way Trump won the electoral vote, just a very small number of votes cast the other way would have won key states for Hillary instead of Trump. If those 3 things hadn’t happened, those key states would almost certainly have gone her way and we’d have our first woman president instead of this lying idiot. Either way, it’s my belief that he cheated, and so I don’t consider him to legitimately be our president.
Her: Oh great! So then what are you going to do? Hold a cry-in or something? Don’t be such a weenie. Trump is in and that’s that, and he’s making America great again. Look – I’m done here; gotta run. Tell Lori hi. Love ya.
Me: Love ya too. Drive safely!