Can’t Convince a Trumper

As members of the collective of 65,884,610 voters that voted for Hillary Clinton, we  continue to wonder how 62,979,636 voted for Donald Trump. It is clear to us that the Donald conned them into believing the lies he was telling. Our frustration is that you cannot convince his supporters of this. No amount of knowledge, common sense, or facts will dissuade their rationale for supporting him. I just don’t understand.

Then, being a Mark Twain enthusiast, I came across the meme below. This totally clarified it for me… I will no longer try to have a common sense conversation with a Trumper on this topic.

mark-twain-easier-to-fool

I have no source for this meme to credit.

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America, I Am Concerned…

I am concerned about what we have done to ourselves.

I am concerned because we have elected a billionaire, authoritarian egomaniac and pathological liar to be President of the United States. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, yet he convinced his supporters that he truly cared about them, understood their problems, would “drain the swamp ” (government) of lobbyists and Wall Street elites, and he was the only one that can fix America’s problems (because he is rich and smart).

I am concerned because during his presidential campaign he refused to adhere to historical protocols for presidential candidates. Unlike his predecessors, he refused to release past years of tax returns; he refused to have a medical evaluation done at a valid medical facility to determine his medical condition (he is 70 years old); and he threatened to “lock up” his opponent if he was elected.

I am concerned because he ran the nastiest, most unprofessional presidential campaign in history. His campaign speeches and actions clearly defined him as a racist, xenophobe, narcissist, misogynist and extremely vindictive person.

I am concerned because in the past five weeks we have gotten a preview of exactly what kind of president Donald Trump will be. I believe he did not really understand what the job of being President was about until his first meeting with President Obama. His transition has been like a television show, parading candidates through Trump tower to kneel at the feet of the “Don.” His transition has been extremely disruptive, causing international tension by his uncontrolled actions, loose lips and tweeting. He has caused the stock prices of major American companies to drop due to his vindictive comments and tweets toward those that disagreed with him. He has not been receiving the daily security briefings because he is a “smart guy.” During the time when he should be preparing to be the President, he takes time off to do a “victory tour.” This tour provides him with a venue to get the adulation and worship he so desperately needs and an opportunity to shape the thinking of his supporters by feeding them more lies and false claims.

I am concerned because he has filled his cabinet with Wall Street billionaires and millionaires, “oil and gas industry” friends and ex-military hawks. Most are unqualified for the departments they will lead because prior to their new roles, they fought against what they will now lead.

I am concerned because the House and Senate Republicans have been the “Party of No” for the past eight years of President Obama’s administration, but now they are more than willing to help Trump “make America great again.” They now see the opportunity to implement their agenda to repeal the Affordable Care Act (taking insurance away from over 20 million people), reform Social Security (reducing benefits for the elderly), privatizing Medicare (taking away Medicare so elderly can buy their own insurance in the market, with a voucher to help pay for it), and killing Medicaid, CHIPS, and food stamps for the poor. Of course all these actions come with a tax cut for the wealthy.

I am concerned because all the societal safety nets and protections we have put in place for the American people, thanks to Democrats, are now in jeopardy of being discarded by Trump’s administration and the GOP in the name of corporate profits.

Most of all I am concerned because our election was hijacked and manipulated by Russia and Vladimir Putin to help get Trump elected. This hijacking was known months ago but because of our current state of politics, it was not made public. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Majority Leader of the Senate, threatened to make it a partisan attempt to impact the election if the information was released. The Majority Leader of the Senate chose loyalty to his Republican party over the security of America and this threat to our democracy. He was rewarded by Trump when he picked McConnell’s wife to be Secretary of Transportation in his new administration. Now that this information has been made public, McConnell is suddenly on board with investigation of the hijacking. While this hijacking is now getting a lot of attention, it is not enough. This is serious. We were attacked by Russia to influence the outcome of our democratic elections and undermine our democracy.

We need to do more…NOW!  The world is watching how we respond to this attack.

This Is A Historical Moment For America

The latest breaking news is the Washington Post article about Russia’s interference in the presidential election. They referred to a secret assessment by the CIA where they concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just undermining confidence in the U.S. electoral system.

Assuming this is all true, this is a historical moment like none before in America. The legitimacy of our government and democracy are in question. We have a foreign country that has clearly undermined our electoral system and influenced the outcome of the election toward their favored candidate, which won. The scope and magnitude of this interference by a foreign country nullifies the validity of this election.

The timing of these findings provide one window-of-opportunity to resolve this issue. On December 19, each state will send their Electoral College electors to their state capitol to cast their vote for their candidate. Prior to that date all of the Electoral College electors should be assembled and receive the CIA’s briefing on this interference by Russia. After they have all the facts about this interference and after having a full month preview of Trump’s behavior, they can make a more informed decision on how to vote. Are they going to be true American “patriots” and vote for what’s best for their country or are they going to be a “political party over country” partisan hack and vote for what’s best for their party? I can’t see Trump supporters changing their votes, regardless of the facts, because they only believe what Trump tells them.

Right, wrong, or indifferent, a cloud of doubt has been embedded in the minds of Americans reference the legitimacy of this election. The level of interference by Russia and the widespread use of voter disenfranchisement is more than enough to deem this election illegitimate.

The only fair way to resolve this is to have a re-election using only auditable methods of voting (preferably paper votes) and a resolution for those large number of voters that were unfairly disenfranchised previously.

Donald Trump – Liar-Elect and Master Snake-Oil Salesman

Donald Trump in his true form is a marketer, con-artist and snake-oil salesman. He will say and do anything to make a sale, especially when selling himself. We had a saying where I used to work: “How do you know when a salesman is lying?  When his lips are moving!” Add in a giant ego to the lying and you have Donald Trump.

This all became very obvious during his presidential campaign. During his rallies he refused to follow a script because he likes to just make stuff up as he goes. Once he had his supporters fired up by spewing his typical racist-based campaign rhetoric, his enormous need for adoration kicked in and the snake-oil salesman took over, spouting outrageous lies and convincing his supporters that “only he can fix this, believe me!”

The best example of his outrageous lies was when he claimed, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me!”  Really. What normal person with an ounce of common sense would believe him? None, except we are talking about Trump supporters here. They believe anything he says, regardless of how irrational, offensive and disgraceful it is.

How did this shameful behavior and lying impact him? He was rewarded with the most esteemed job in the world – President of the United States.

That’s right, he was able to convince over 60 million voters that a greedy, pussy grabbing, racist, narcissist, seventy year-old billionaire feels the pains and struggles of the common people and that only he could fix it, because he is just so rich, so smart and so dedicated to “making Trump America great again!”

The greatest CON job of all time.

His fellow Republicans and surrogates defended his lying and behavior as just campaign rhetoric and devices to get elected. Well, fast forward four weeks and guess what? Even though he is now President-Elect, nothing has changed. He is still making false statements. The latest example of this was this tweet:

won-the-popular-voteOf course this tweet created a firestorm of responses since it is a known fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 2.5 million votes.

When the President-Elect of the United States makes an accusation that millions of people voted illegally, he better be prepared to back it up with verifiable proof. Not Donald Trump. He just moves on and puts the burden on his critics to disprove his accusation and his surrogates to defend him.

And how have the Republicans and his surrogates defended him? Not by providing facts to support his accusation, but by rallying behind the extremely stupid excuse and talking point that “facts simply don’t exist anymore.”

Mike Pence (Vice President-elect): “The media and others are taking what Donald Trump says literally. His supporters don’t believe everything he says.”

Paul Ryan (Republican Speaker of the House): “It doesn’t matter to me. He won the election. Who cares what he tweeted…”

Kellyanne Conway (Trump Campaign Manager): Claimed that Trump’s habit of tweeting inaccurate and inflammatory statements and lies was indeed “presidential behavior” simply by the virtue of him being the President-Elect. That’s right, when the President-Elect lies, it doesn’t matter because he is the President-Elect.

So in defense of President-Elect Donald Trump’s pathological lying, the Republicans are trying to normalize lying.

Normalization refers to social processes through which ideas and actions come to be seen as “normal” and “natural” in everyday life. – Wikipedia

Rather than holding him accountable for being so dishonest, even to his own supporters, we all should accept his lies as truths just because he is the President-Elect.

I wonder what all the countries of this world are learning about our new President-Elect. I would tend to guess they are saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing, has a terrible temperament, is very vindictive, and not honorable because he lies about everything.

So much drama and he doesn’t even take charge for another month.

*Note: Even more lies have surfaced since I started writing this post. If I tried to keep pace with his lies I would never finish this post…

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Trump and Republicans Do Not Deserve Our Support

After a very unconventional and offensive campaign, the 2016 election is over. Donald Trump is the President Elect and Republicans have won the majority in both the House and Senate. The Republicans and their supporters, including some media, are now saying everyone should come together to give Trump an opportunity to unite the American people and “make America great again.”

Why should congressional Democrats and Independents “come together” to support Trump and their Republican agenda? When Barrack Obama was elected President in 2008, the congressional Republicans began an unprecedented level of obstruction to the point of sabotaging his presidency and this country. For eight years they have used the filibuster a record-setting number of times to block bills and did absolutely nothing to cooperate with the President and the Democrats. This was their strategy and they made it known publicly. The needs of America, the needs of the American people, and the needs of our military veterans were snubbed just to deprive President Obama of a political victory.

Republicans have done everything to not only obstruct the President but to erase everything he has accomplished, including the unsuccessful, endless votes (60+) to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) which provided healthcare insurance coverage to 22 million uninsured Americans.

The majority of American voters spoke clearly in making Barack Obama President of the United States for eight years. He won the popular vote and the Electoral College votes – twice.

The majority of American voters spoke again in this election by voting for Hillary Clinton with an estimated margin of 2 million more votes than Donald Trump, thus winning the popular vote.

However, Trump did win the Electoral College vote, thus winning the presidency and now his supporters seem to think that he has a “mandate” from the people. Wrong.

dear-conservativesShould we reward the unscrupulous and extreme partisan behavior of the Republicans over the last eight years by giving Donald Trump and these same congressional Republicans our support? Hell no!

 

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Trump – I Know More About ISIS…Believe Me!

As I sat watching a news show yesterday discussing Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric, they showed the video of Donald Trump, during one of his rallies, making the following outrageous statement:

“I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.”

I am sure most people with even a minuscule level of common sense reacted the same way I did when I saw/heard it: “Oh my God, I can’t believe he said that!” Not only that he said he knows more, but he actually said “believe me.”

This statement from a man who has no real military experience, who was actually a draft dodger during the Vietnam War with five draft deferments. However, he does boast of going to a military-style boarding school as a boy.

Of course he contradicted himself at a later rally where he said that “as president he would give his top generals thirty days to present him with a plan to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group.” So, he is going to give the generals, which he knows more about ISIS than they, thirty days to come up with a plan? He just can’t keep up with all the lies he tells.

Why would Trump make this kind of absurd statement? Why would his supporters believe him?

The Dunning-Kruger Effect.

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. –Wikipedia

In the case of Donald Trump, he suffers from imagined superiority. He truly believes he knows more than anyone else and is more than willing to tell everyone. He knows his followers won’t question him, they will believe what they are told and will do whatever they are told to do. Typical sheep mentality.

In the case of some Trump supporters, they suffer from incompetence, but they are too incompetent to understand they are incompetent. Thus, they will believe anything Trump tells them.

Beyond the Dunning-Kruger Effect, I believe most Trump supporters also lack the intellectual curiosity to learn more. Their knowledge and opinions, if they have one, are solely based on what they see on television, social media and/or hear at a rally, from a friend, neighbor, or relative without ever seeing the big picture for themselves. They either lack the intellectual curiosity to find out for themselves, or they have become intellectually lazy.

Intellectual curiosity means you want to know more than the basics or sound-bites. It is the desire to invest some time and energy into learning more about the real issues and facts. Basically, it is the desire to learn more.

Now that Trump has been elected, his supporters may have an opportunity to understand how incompetent they were in believing everything he said he was going to accomplish. Once Trump learns that the government is not run like a company and actually learns the details of the policies he wants to repeal or change, he will be walking back all those lies (or as Newt Gingrich refers to as “campaign devices to win the election”).

Both Trump and his supporters may wish they had more intellectual curiosity before we got to this point.