A short post about a short conversation with a Republican friend. I had not spoken with this Republican friend since the election period, and decided to call her after the failure of the ACA repeal — and really after two months of non-stop Trump nonsense.
The conversation was quick, but depressingly illuminating. Rough condensed version below:
Me: So, after all these years, the whole repeal Obamacare effort fell apart in days? They couldn't even bring a bill to the floor?
Her: Yeah . . . what they proposed was no better than even Obamacare, right?
Me: Well, it was a lot worse. 24 million people would have lost coverage. And . . .
Her: Hmm . . .
Me: But I mean, aren't you finding Trump to be crazy? Tweeting that Obama wiretapped his apartment?
Her: Yeah, it wasn’t quite what he said. But they found there was some stuff that went on.
Me: No, they didn't. One Republican guy on the committee just started making up stuff. But none of it was on point, and he has been taking it back. That was crazy too.
Her: Hmm . . .
Me: What about all the general stuff? Trump hasn't even appointed hundreds of necessary government positions?
Her: Right. The Democrats are blocking him. What do they call it? Filibuster?
Me: No . . that might be for the Supreme Court. But these are separate . . .
Her: The whole country is so screwed up now. Both sides are crazy. I can’t be bothered to follow it.
The effect was a brick wall. Everything was sort of smudged, and half-way. Things were sort of in-the-middle, and certainly nothing interesting or unique was happening under a Trump administration.
What was amazing was how effective the Fox News and like propaganda was. Each point had been defused into at least a disagreement. A quick effort to engage and I find myself in an effective quagmire of misinformation. Just enough to smooth over and let someone sleep walk. Every topic would require a return to square one, and a reeducation.
It’s frightening really. I mean we are not going to see an example more cartoonish, more exaggerated than Trump. But the Trump voter responds with “hmmm . . . . not really . . . . <yawn>.”
I’d prefer to think of Trump voters as shallow, but there is actually a deeper-current dysfunction at work here. The concept of “willful blindness” really applies. Trump scares the hell out of me, but not nearly as much as the average Republican voter.
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For a good, Sunday week-in-review, deep dive, please try my “Dispatches From the Enemy Side.” It has links to some of the week’s smartest articles and opinion pieces. Give it a shot. This week’s post is linked here. Thanks.