The election of Donald Trump and the subsequent discourse demonstrates a radical redrawing of political lines.
Previously, I think we could have drawn political divide the following way:
|Socially progressive (pro LGBT+ rights, minority rights, pro abortion rights)||Socially conservative. ‘Traditional values’, pro-life|
|Believes climate change||Climate change deniers|
|More athiestic||More religious (Christian)|
|Rationality based reasoning||Values based reasoning|
|Suspicious of ‘corporate America’||Corporate America an example of American values|
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, I’ve noticed a radical divergence from this model – where people who I’d previously put on the left of the spectrum, now appear to either support or apologise (defend) for Donald Trump.
On the other hand – the pro-trump community takes pride in being a pro-LGBT community.
The Skeptic Community
The skeptic community is one that is typically atheistic, rational, and tends to be liberal leaning. What we see now is members of the skeptic community supporting or apologising for Trump primarily out of a reaction to the SJW community, or because they believe that Hillary is worse than Trump.
This tends to be justified with ‘science isn’t the most important thing’
Conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, (full disclosure: I don’t follow Alex Jones, so my research for this section is just a few google searches I’ve made now) haven’t ever been particularly supportive of any government.
Now have a look at this video of Alex Jones talking about Donald Trump:
Alex Jones appears to like Donald Trump – because he’s an anti-establishment politician, I guess.
It’s an interesting pivot – from always being critical of those in power, to now supporting the current government.
Trump supporters aren’t just idiot rednecks.
It’s clear to me that Trump supporters, or Trump apologists aren’t just idiots who couldn’t see through his lies. There are clearly quite a few Trump supporters or apologists who are capable of reasoned debate.
I think the difference between a rational person who opposes Trump, and a rational person who supports Trump (over Hillary) comes down to values. Note I stop short of saying ‘I don’t think all Trump supporters are hateful’, because I think that that is the essence of it.
I think rational Trump supporters don’t mind watching the world burn.
Perhaps this is a reflection of my own privilege. I think the world has been becoming a better place. People are more educated, people are more informed (or perhaps not?), we have more freedom over our careers, we are healthier and living longer, we’re more comfortable. Climate change is concerning, but we appear to be making progress.
But of course, I say that as an educated, middle class white man, who works in IT. I can see my career progressing. If I a working class man in the manufacturing industry, not knowing whether I was going to have a job next year – I might not share my optimism.
It’s my optimism that has me dispelling the idea that Hillary Clinton would be awful. Sure, Hillary Clinton might be the status quo, but the status quo has been serving us OK.
I get the argument that Trump might shake up the political establishment, and cause more radical change, but I don’t think things are so desperately bad that they warrant electing someone with such hateful and alarming rhetoric.
I can accept the argument that the disenfranchisement of white lower or middle class voters caused the election of Donald Trump, but that doesn’t make it right or a good result.
Sure, the election of Donald Trump shows that there are issues societal disenfranchisement, but the election of Donald Trump is not the right solution.
On ‘Trump is a reaction to social justice warriors’
I agree that the left has a problem with letting SJWs run unchecked. In my opinion, a lot of what is labelled as SJWry is people finding reasons to hate others, in the guise of social justice.
However, there are extremists on all ends of political spectrums, I don’t think SJWs are a problem with left itself. I do think think that the left needs to take bigger efforts to shut it down.
I don’t buy the argument that ‘feminism is redundant’ for example. Glass ceilings still exist, our dating culture can be improved, and certainly in the US, several states make it difficult to get abortions. I make a distinction between feminism that is aimed at improving our dating culture, getting consent being added to the sexual health curriculum, and feminism that is aimed at shaming men for the way they sit on a bus.
However, I don’t buy the argument that SJWs are so bad, that you’d elect someone who thinks we should bomb terrorists’ families, or questions why we can’t use nukes. Instead I would suggest viewing SJWs as a concerning bubble, which should be addressed isolation, just as we address anti-vaxxers or 9/11 conspiracy theorists. That is – address them for sure, but don’t throw out your whole political ideology to do so.