Few things are more frustrating than talking politics with a Trump supporter. They live in a fact free zone secure in the comforts of their prejudices and misinformed opinions. Lately they are in the third recycling of the word “socialism” as a catchall bogeyman. While they feel secure in their ignorance it is your moral obligation to attempt to educate them. You will have plenty of opportunities between now and the 2020 election but beware; their attention span is short so you will have to use your words economically. Come along and I’ll give you a few “jabs” to utilize.
There is a tremendous amount of socialism in the American system and it has been there for generations. Socialism, in its most basic form, is simply people banding together to collectively solve a problem. It is really not that different from a sense of community or society. The Police and Fire Departments are probably the most common and universally supported forms of American socialism at the local level. When one of your right wing misinformed or under informed friends rants against the evil threat of socialism tell them that means they must be anti-police and hate the fire department. That is guaranteed to stop them in their tracks.
As a warning: while public education is another great local example I wouldn’t use it. Public education is actually a right wing target because it enables people to think critically and that ability is a threat to the manipulators of the right wing masses. (By the way, your friend doesn’t even realize that they are being manipulated. They actually think they are and often describe themselves as a, “Free thinker”.)
While it came along (in a more permanent form) a little later in America’s development, the military is definitely a form of socialism. We have banded together as a society to procure material and personnel to maintain the most formidable military machine in the history of mankind. I have to suppress laughter when I hear a retired member of the military rail against socialism. During their working years they earned their pay and now receive their retirement income from the largest socialist organization in America – the Department of Defense. Good luck getting some hardened Marine to admit to that! Yet no Trump supporter will tell you they are anti-military.
Now we get to the right wing “self-made” business person. They will spend hours telling you about how they did it all on their own despite the big bad government getting in their way every step along the way. And that is especially true of the federal government. To hear them tell it if those people in Washington would just get out of their way and stop interfering with them they would be able to make millions more. Back in the 1950’s, primarily led by then Republican President Dwight Eisenhower and Tennessee Democratic Senator Al Gore, Sr.; the federal government built something called the Interstate Highway System. While all of America benefited tremendously, small towns benefited the most. They were no longer isolated. The phrase, “You can’t get there from here” almost became obsolete. Goods and customers traveled via the Interstate Highway System most efficiently and less expensively than ever before.
I only provided a few examples; you won’t be able to keep that conversation going for long without the subject being changed in desperation by the other person. Don’t expect a white flag of surrender or even an acknowledgement that you may be correct and have them thinking. Like their hero Agent Orange (a/k/a Donald Trump) they will never admit that they are anything but an all knowing genius. You have to hope that at some point they reflect and reconsider their position. It’s the old tale: you can lead a horse to water but….
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