This morning, our conservative relative in Arizona (the same one who posted the picture shown in my thread of 1/31) posted yet another Facebook entry that was complementary to Trump.
I normally do not respond, but today I left this comment:
"After the events of January 6, NO ONE should still support this man.
Which got me to thinking ...
I wonder if there is an organization that can get people out of the Trump cult.
As Schmidt has mentioned, you're never going to convince them with facts. If they believed in facts, they would not be Trump fans to begin with.
The article above is worth reading in its entirety, but here are a few key points:
So, how do we get those caught up in the cult of Trump to leave it?
Daryl Davis has played the blues for over 30 years, including with the likes of Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. He’s also spent 30 years talking to Klansmen, over 200 of whom have quit the KKK as a result of their conversations, handing over their robes to Davis—who is black. “When two enemies are talking, they’re not fighting,” Davis told NPR in 2017. “I didn’t convert anybody,” he explained. “They saw the light and converted themselves.”
As psychologists Rod and Linda Dubrow-Marshall write in The Conversation, it’s extremely difficult for people to admit they are wrong, and it’s crucial for them to arrive at that realization on their own. (1)
Javier Corrales, a political science professor at Amherst College and expert on the Chavez regime, has written that one lesson from Venezuela’s experience is for the opposition to avoid fragmentation within the broader electorate and, when possible, polarization. When it comes to Trump, he told me that rather than pursuing impeachment, which could backfire by polarizing institutions and the general environment even more, “the opposition needs to focus on strengthening institutions of checks and balances, and embracing and defending policies that produce majoritarian consensus rather than just cater to the base. The more defections they can get from voters that would otherwise side with the illiberal president, the better. If the opposition can get the other side to split, they win.” (2)
Testimonials from former cult members can be particularly helpful in fueling disillusionment, she says. (3)
Power said that conflict transformation in the United States would likely involve local, grassroots community development in the areas that Trump likes to hold rallies. “I don’t mean that progressives should go to these communities and start knocking on doors,” she explained, “that would be the worst thing that could happen to exacerbate tensions. I mean that there should be a focus on real community development in these areas.” (4)
Trumpism is not primarily a story of globalism’s dispossessed, but rather one of identity politics. But there is reality, and there is perception, and the truth is that Trump voters perceive themselves as victims who have been culturally dislocated, disdained, and in danger of being left behind. (5)
Important work to overcome divides is done at the grassroots level—through NGOs, religious initiatives, social service programs, schools, at the workplace, etc.,” she said, adding, “Civil society organizations that cut across identity borders can promote reconciliation and reduce conflict.” (6)
“When the cultic behavior is on a national scale, [breaking it up] is going to take a national movement,” Lalich says. Such an approach promises no immediate gratification. But it also might be the only way to move forward, rather than continue a dangerous downward spiral. Andrés Miguel Rondón, a Venezuelan economist who fled to Spain, wrote this of his own country’s experience of being caught up in an authoritarian’s fraudulent promises: “[W]hat can really win them over is not to prove that you are right. It is to show that you care. Only then will they believe what you say.” (7)
I put numbers next to some of the paragraphs listed above to show you what concrete steps we can take to achieve our goal of returning to normal political dialogue.
(1) Several of the folks who participated in the riots have come to the realization that Trump lied to the. That includes the lady who flew in on our private jet, and Jake Agneli, both of whom have admitted they duped by Trump. As more of the rioters express that same view (including some of the 200+ that were arrested) that's an important first step.
(2) Having Merrick Garland is an important first step here, and so is the purging of Trump officials from various organizations, such as the Pentagon and the Post Office, but also in the courts
(3) More than 30,00 Republican voters reportedly quit the GOP in the weeks following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Tens of thousands of voters have become former Republicans.
(4) Barack Obama got his start in politics by being a community organizer. If the Democrats can beef up those programs, that would help a lot
(5) The reason so many people switched from being Obama supporters to Trump supporters is that they felt left behind. Adding LOTS of "green deal" jobs would help tilt the field the right way.
(6) There are a million ways that these programs can be expanded - as long as you can find the right programs and the right leaders
(7) The hardest one of all If you know someone who is a Trump supporter, try to reconnect with them once the virus had died down. Don't criticize them for supporting Trump, but find some areas where you can both agree.
None of these solutions will happen overnight - so be patient.
The chaos of January 6, and the impeachment trial, will have real political consequences in 2022.
Even people in northwestern Georgia are not going to be dumb enough to vote for Marjorie Taylor Greene twice, and it's possible that a few people (Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Any Biggs, Paul Gosar etal.) will face criminal penalties due to some of their actions immediately prior to January 6.
At that point, we can all say this: