How To Change The Mind Of A Trump Supporter In 13 Easy Steps
Gregory Lusted
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I believe this coffee-spewing article is a jab by a Clinton backer at fellow Clinton supporters who haven’t yet considered possible reasons why their friends might support Trump (however unreasonable they might ultimately find these reasons to be). I’m concerned that discussing the race — even with those you know well — in a confrontational way without attempting to understand the other could be counterproductive. After all, for those of us adamantly committed to help her win this November, the goal is to bring as many of our peers as we can on board (Within reason, of course. You probably still need to support your family, and it’s probably a good idea to talk about subjects other than the election from time to time, even if you’re a flaming, partisan political junkie like me).

Rather than arguing about why a blanket immigration ban from Middle Eastern countries, deporting all undocumented immigrants, and building a 30-foot wall across the entire US-Mexican border would be bigoted and deeply discriminatory, we could approach our fellow citizens in other ways.

It’s important to understand who Trump supporters are in the first place. Relative to Republican primary voters, they tended be working class individuals without college degrees. It’s not hard to extrapolate from this that economic anxiety is often a factor in a Trump vote.

Knowing about the above phenomenon could enable one to modify his or her approach. Perhaps talking about the plans of both candidates to address the issue of income inequality (or rather, the plans of one candidate to address the issue of income inequality) would be a better way to get across, for example.So, while most of us presumably know our friends pretty well, if there happen to be any friends of ours whose socioeconomic statuses we’re not familiar with, it might be helpful to try to find out what they are. Having an understanding of those we strongly disagree with is key to building bridges, instead of walls (pun partially intended).

Obviously, I could be wrong, and this article might instead be a full-on swing at Clinton voters the author perceives to view Trump supporters with disdain. While I would be less receptive to this subtext behind the article, I don’t think it would necessarily be undeserved — empathy, not confrontation, is more likely to set one on the path towards convincing others, and I believe that we Clinton supporters could do a better job of connecting with those on the other side of the aisle, even if the people intending to vote for Trump aren’t willing to reach out to us first.