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A Civil Exchange Of Ideas With a Trump Supporter

Art Cartoon 2088

Single white liberal woman is in search of President Trump supporters to engage with in civil exchange of ideas.

I know I’m a cartoonist, but I’m not trying to be funny. I’m being serious. I want to use this blog to get insights into why Trump supporters think the way they do.

I’m eager to discuss policy issues, but first I want to address the elected elephant in the room: Donald Trump. I don’t understand his appeal and I want to understand it.

Trump started his political career by demanding President Obama produce his birth certificate. Maybe if Trump had mentioned the Birther issue once or twice in 2011, I could understand it. We’re all entitled to an occasional absurd idea, but this was an absurd idea Trump espoused for five years.

When Trump unapologetically conceded that Obama had been born in the United States, the “failing” purveyor of “fake news” New York Times wrote, “The essential question — Why promote a lie? — may be unanswerable. Was it sport? Was it his lifelong quest to court media attention? Was it racism? Was it the cynical start of his eventual campaign for president?”

If the Birther issue was Trump’s only easily provable false claim and you thought he was great on issues important to you, OK, fine, maybe I could understand it. But it wasn’t his only absurd claim.

Of the 382 Trump statements Politifact has reviewed to date they rated 33% as being false, 20% as mostly false, 16% as Pants on Fire, 14% as half true, 12% as mostly true, and 4% as true.

Politifact’s 2013 Lie of the Year was Obama’s statement, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” Trump said Politifact is a “totally left-wing group.”

The “failing” Wall Street Journal  wrote of Trump’s credibility, “If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.”

The first question I have for a Trump supporter is: does this bother you? How do you respond to people who say Trump lies? Do you think he hasn’t lied, that the stories about him lying are “fake news?” Do you think he has lied, but still feel comfortable with him having the nuclear codes?

I’ve thought about what would have happened if things were reversed, if Trump had been the Democratic nominee and Ted Cruz the Republican one, if Trump had supported single payer health insurance and free college tuition? How would I have voted? I might not have voted for Cruz, but after Trump — citing the “should be very respected” National Enquirer — said Cruz’s father might have been involved with Kennedy’s assassination, well, I wouldn’t have wanted Trump near the button.

I have a proposal for Trump supports: for one month we read and listen to news reports and visit the same media sites. I’ll read what I usually read, but if you suggest articles I should read, I’ll read them. You do the same. Then we comment. Civilly, of course.

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