A Conversation with a Trump Voter
January 23, 2017
Our local paper published my piece on a recent conversation with a Trump voter.
And yes, it’s fiction, but based on fact, much like the Dr. Who quote above
So, I finally got my emotions stabilized enough to chat with my Trump voter friend — let’s call him “Forrest.”
“Forrest, what I can’t understand is, the first thing Trump is going to do is cancel Obamacare. What are you going to do about health insurance?”
“Oh, I never signed up for that Muslim Socialist Obamacare, I’m with the Affordable Care Act — that’s much better insurance that the Republicans passed!”
I explained that the Affordable Care Act was Obamacare, but Forrest demurred, “No, I saw Trump the other day, he said they were going to make our health insurance even better. In fact, huge. And tremendous! I can’t wait to get rid of all the death panels, the FEMA camps, and for the government to stop intruding in my life!”
“So, you’re ready to have your Medicare reduced to a voucher? And the age of eligibility raised?”
“Oh, Mr. Trump would never do that. He wants to make America Great Again.”
“But it’s in the Republican platform!”
He switched course.
“Here’s what I’m mad about, people that say Mr. Trump is ‘illegitimate’ even before he’s sworn in!” he said.
Peeling my jaw off the counter, I blurted, “But, Donald Trump built his political career claiming Mr. Obama was not an American, and therefore ineligible to be president!”
“Oh, I’m sure Mr. Trump was just saying that to win an election, he doesn’t really believe it.”
“But,” says I, “…You told me that yourself! In fact, as recently as August, 41 percent of Republicans didn’t believe Obama was born in the U.S. — and another 31 percent weren’t sure. It’s an astonishing disconnect from reality!”
‘Well, he doesn’t believe it any more.”
“But then, how do you know what he does believe?”
“I do know. He wants to make America Great Again.”
“OK, so, talk me down on this. All of our intelligence agencies say that Russia intervened in our election by spreading fake news and manipulating media, and released information that overwhelmingly favored Donald Trump.”
“A new U.S. intelligence document suggests that Mr. Trump’s associates might have met with Russian sources and discussed arrangements — Russian help in the elections, for Trump’s help in lifting sanctions, applied since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Forrest frowned. “I’m suspicious of any kind of intelligence.”
But what about the Republican’s War on Science? They don’t believe in the proven science of climate change, which we can see right in front of us almost every week! We’ve had three years in a row of new global temperature records! 97 percent of climate scientists agree we’re in trouble!”
“I told you, I’m suspicious of any kind of intelligence!”
I circled around. “But how can Mr. Trump believe the former head of the KGB, someone who murders his opponents and journalists, targets schools and hospitals with his military? Someone who has conducted false-flag terror bombings against his own people? Someone who is supporting far-right Neo-Nazi groups across Europe, and right here in America?”
“Well, maybe we should jail some journalists! That would make them more careful about what they write! Except Fox. I love Fox.”
“I’m sure you’re joking,” I said.
“Right now, Mr. Putin is meddling in elections in Germany and France. A pro-Putin French candidate visited the White House last week.”
Mr. Trump has called NATO, the most successful treaty organization in history that has kept the peace in Europe for 70 years, “obsolete.”
NATO is the only thing keeping Mr. Putin from absorbing Eastern Europe into what he thinks is “Greater Russia.”
“Meanwhile, the first leader that Mr. Trump is going to meet with after he’s sworn in will be Vladimir Putin. What do you think they are going to talk about?”
Forrest thought a moment, “How to Make America Great Again?”
Peter Sinclair of Midland is a videographer specializing in climate change and sustainable solutions. His video series “This is Not Cool” appears on the blog Yale Climate Connections. Sinclair is media director of The Dark Snow Project, an international, crowd funded science and communication initiative, at darksnow.org
Kellyanne Conway, in an interview on Meet the Press, recently declared that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer wasn’t lying when he said that President Donald Trump’s inauguration was the most-attended one in history (it wasn’t). Rather, she said Spicer was sharing “alternative facts.” He wasn’t, he was lying.
Calling something “alternative” is another way of swerving around the truth in order to serve a narrative. It’s a tactic that’s already been used to try and disguise white nationalism as “alternative right,” and will likely be used again to justify more lies and bigotry. Luckily, the Doctor is smarter than that. Hopefully we are too.