A General Madness

Is there hope for the future? Not unless we relearn what we’re supposed to be fighting for. Until then, we’re just fighting to fight, bleeding to bleed.

“Not true. We know his faults. We just don’t care.
There’s bigger fish to fry, such as saving America from destruction.”

-A Trump Supporter on Twitter-

Honestly, try as I might, I can’t think of a way to deal with this statement, but it’s a statement that so begs addressing that I’m going to break my usual form and write in an informal style (and a bit stream of consciousness, so bear with me). This Tweet was in response to one I made late Thursday evening, where I shared my realization that the majority of Trump supporters I’d been arguing with were not entirely rational. This is not to suggest that all of Trump’s supporters are clinically insane, because I know many who are not, but in just the few hours of arguing on Thursday, I’d crossed wits with Trump supporters which included a 9/11 conspiracy nut, a couple of Chemtrail conspiracy nuts, an autistic teenager, and at least one white nationalist (perhaps two).

I compared this experience to practically every other day I’ve debated Trump supporters, and I realized that many, if not most, of his supporters exhibit a sort of mania when responding to criticisms of Trump. I want to be clear about what I mean, so let me preface this with a little background.  I initially was very excited, as were most Republicans, by Trump’s entry into the primary. I didn’t know much about him, other than he was a celebrity, a businessman, and fantastically wealthy. Other than that, I honestly didn’t know much else, mainly because I don’t generally waste time on celebrities.

Though I don’t watch a lot of television and had never even seen a single episode of the Apprentice, I knew his catch phrase was “You’re fired.” I have to admit, the thought of Trump walking through rows of Washington, DC bureaucrats and saying “You’re fired.” until his voice broke sent a proverbial “thrill up my leg“. I’d have paid good money to watch that. Needless to say, I paid a great deal of attention to him, because, as I said, I was excited about what he brought to the primary.

He told the truth about Islamic radicalism, the truth about illegal immigrants, the truth about sanctuary cities, the truth about a slanted main stream media, and, most importantly of all, the truth about the ridiculous politically correct nonsense that was preventing America from having a frank and honest discussion about these issues. For this alone, he deserves our gratitude. The debates, however, began to reveal something about Trump that was entirely disappointing: the straight talk and directness that I liked about Trump had nothing to do with ideology, he simply is an ill-tempered, entitled, rich lout who thinks he can do or say anything he wants, and people are obligated to let him.

This isn’t something that came all at once, I forgave him initially. The bloom came off of the rose petal by petal, his distemperate statements piling one upon another. I was more than a little disappointed by his unprofessional attacks on Rand Paul’s standing in the polls, but then he took it a step further and insulted Rand’s appearance. He made repeated ridiculous and adolescent personal attacks on Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Carly Fiorina. The breaking point for me, however, was the leftist mainstream media style attacks on Ben Carson.

When Donald Trump attacked Ben Carson for something that happened when he was a boy, much like we saw the mainstream media do to Mitt Romney in regards to a hair cutting incident from fifty years ago, that was the last straw.

“What I do have a problem with is being lied about.”
-Ben Carson-

It wasn’t just Trump’s ridiculous personal behavior that offended me. Trump was able to skate for most of the first three debates, because the moderators hit Trump with just stupid and foolish questions regarding his inflammatory public statements, which walked right into Trump’s narrative about a biased leftist media. It really wasn’t until the fourth debate (Fox Business Nov. 10, 2015) that Trump was forced to answer actually substantive policy questions.

He failed miserably. His answers were vague, rambling, incoherent, when he bothered to try to answer at all. Most of his responses consisted of bragging about who would take his calls then droning on about how America never wins, then he’d sprinkle in “Make America Great Again“, usually multiple times. It never got any better. In all of his rambling answers, there was never any real substance. Every debate, it was the same thing, personal attacks, appeals to his authority, appeals to emotion, and then his slogan. Week after week. Month after month. Coupled with his malicious slander of Ben Carson, I had enough of Trump for a lifetime.

Not only because he was and remains a distemperate jerk, but because he had gone more than six months into the presidential primary season without even a glimmer of a conservative ideology. How could a man go six months and not bother to learn anything about any position, worse, repeatedly come down on the wrong side practically every time? It was obvious to me that Trump was not only not “the guy“, he was exactly the opposite of “the guy“. What shocked me most, however, was that so many people remained (and remain) loyal to him.

“Jeb doesn’t really believe I’m unhinged.
He said that very simply because he has failed in this campaign.
It’s been a total disaster; nobody cares, and,
frankly, I’m the most solid person up here.
I’ve built a tremendous company,
and all I want to do is make America great again.
I don’t want our country to be taken away from us,
and that’s what’s happening.
The policies that we’ve suffered under other presidents
have been a disaster for our country.
We want to make America great again.
And Jeb, in all fairness, he doesn’t believe that.”

-Donald J. Trump-

The first time I tried to discuss Trump’s policies with a devoted Trump supporter was late November. By now, I could barely stand to listen to Trump’s answers in debates, and his campaign speeches were so much rambling nonsense to me. He’d finally (after literally every other candidate had done so) started to put up some semblance of a political platform, but even then, I had to refer to third party websites to find most of his political statements. Even today, Trump’s campaign websites is incomprehensibly light on policy details.

I asked a pretty vocal conservative, one who we’d had previous experience debating leftists on Twitter, why Trump’s foreign trade policy was identical to Bernie Sander’s (both candidates are vocal proponents of tariffs and harsh trade stances with China and Mexico)? What was her response? She called me a leftist, a traitor, and blocked me. All of her friends, also “conservatives”, attacked not only my patriotism, but my intelligence, my sanity, called me a socialist, then blocked me.

That’s been basically the pattern for practically every debate I’ve had with Trump supporters for months. No matter whether I came at them soft or aggressive, any questioning at all of Trump was met with open hostility, vicious denial, angry deflection, gross defamation, and then a block. I’ve changed tactics, tried moderating my points, but week after week, it’s been the same response.

The worst thing is, of course, I could link a video of Trump specifically saying that he held a particular position (for Universal Healthcare or for the United States Bureau of Land Management holding what should be state lands), and Trump supporters would deny that Trump ever made these statements, even when presented with video evidence of Trump making exactly those statements! That’s not just simple ideological disagreement. That’s straight up insanity!

The very few that would not instantly block me when presented with evidence that Trump openly supported leftist big government policies would either rationalize his position or, worse, point to a later statement from Trump, where he espoused exactly the opposite political position. In case after case, it was irrelevant to his supporters that Trump’s initial gut reaction to every political problem was “the government should take care of that“. If I tried to move on to another topic to try to demonstrate that this was a pattern with Trump, the supporter devolved into shrieking denial, deflection, defamation, and then a block.

Every. Single. Time.

“Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter”
-Lewis Carroll-

All of this finally brings me back to the tweet above (yeah, try being in my head for an hour). After months of changing my methods and moderating points, I’ve finally been able to get to the point where Trump supporters (#Trumpkins) actually admit that they know that Trump is “wrong on the issues“, though they are unwilling to discuss the sheer number of issues he’s wrong on, but, regardless, they “don’t care“.

I have to ask, is this the mentality that second time Obama voters used to rationalize their vote? They knew he was wrong on the issues and his policies hadn’t worked, but they were going to vote for him anyways, because… he wasn’t the other guy? Is that where we are in America? Is the devil that we know the only requirement we have for the highest political office in the land? Are we seriously somehow missing the point that we’re still voting for a devil?

This is not the plan the Founding Fathers provided for us. America suffers from a general madness, where two sides have imagined themselves into intractable foes, tearing relentlessly at the other, without any thought of the future. The sides have abandoned all pretense of ideals or philosophy and wield bitter knives of slogans and gibbering rhetoric.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”
He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
Genesis 4:9

Is there hope for the future? Not unless we relearn what we’re supposed to be fighting for. Until then, we’re just fighting to fight, bleeding to bleed.

Please watch and reflect on this video: “Paths of Hate” by Damian Nenow.

Pray for our future, because we simply cannot go on like this. We just can’t.

Liberty is For The Win!


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