The short answer is “You Can’t.” These followers of Trump (about 40% of the nation) are members of a cult. They are wallowing in conspiracy theories, faithfully devoted to a despicable President, and willing to bring our democracy to its knees with no idea what to do next. The next time they rush the Capitol, they will come with guns blazing.
I know about cults. I was born into one: the Roman Catholic Church. You know, the people who taught me that eating meat on Friday would send you to Hell. All religions qualify as cults, to varying degrees. The Catholic Church has moderated quite a bit since the Middle Ages.
Cults are everywhere you look. Some examples:
- Mega-churches that preach the Prosperity Gospel.
- The anti-abortion crowd
- right-wing anti-gay people
- Professional Wrestling
- Ultra-conservatives who want to return to our white supremacy roots
Then there’s the Trump Cult, born of a totally phony NBC reality television show, The Apprentice starring Donald Trump. The Trump cult members happily overlook Trump’s lack of character, incessant lying, utter stupidity, and dismal record as a business failure. He’s their leader and they will follow him off a cliff if asked. Which they did yesterday when they staged a mob attack on the US Capitol Building.
Of all the images of yesterday’s insurrection in Washington, DC, this one of Adam Johnson blithely scurrying out of the Capitol Rotunda with a lectern is my favorite. Turns out that Adam is 36 years old, married with 5 children, and lives in Parrish, Florida. Apparently he has a rap sheet with drug and alcohol citations.
How do we know this? These Trumpers foolishly posted photographs of their Capitol Invasion on social media. People in Parrish, Florida identified this idiot as soon as this photograph appeared. If Adam Johnson makes it home, he can expect a visit from the FBI. They will no doubt make an example of him, with charges of sedition, theft of government property, criminal trespass, and so on.
So comes the suggestion, posed by some pundits, that we need to to listen to these Trump cultists, understand what their grievances are, and maybe come to an understanding. FAT CHANCE.
The typical Trump supporter is powered by conspiracy theories, in most cases the conspiracies promulgated by the shadowy group QAnon. Trump has re-tweeted QAnon conspiracies often last year. Here’s a photograph of a typical QAnon adherent.
Let’s unpack this lady’s countenance and message. She’s “woke” which means that she’s now cognizant that the government is run by lizard people (re: my last blog post). “Q” refers to the QAnon group, who have made a raft of predictions that have fallen flat. The line about “Pedophilia” is a code word to evoke sympathy for a cause we all believe in – fighting child abuse, giving QAnon a smidgen of respectability. Last, but not least, is the reference to “Pizzagate is Real.”
Pizzagate is a conspiracy theory that appeared in 2016, during the Presidential campaign. The claim was that Hillary Clinton ran a child pedophilia operation out of the basement of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C. (the Comet Ping Pong restaurant has no basement). On December 4th, 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch showed up with an AR-15, fired three shots, and demanded to see the basement where the pedophilia ring was in operation. Welch was arrested and sentenced to four years in the slammer.
As ridiculous as this conspiracy theory is, QAnon supporters still believe that it’s true, including recently pardoned felon General Mike Flynn. If you explain to any Trump/QAnon supporter that this Pizzagate conspiracy is ridiculous and thoroughly debunked, they’ll angrily respond with “Fake News” or you’re an “Enemy of the People.”
Can a normal person communicate with a member of a cult? The answer is usually “No,” for anytime a cult member encounters speech that contradicts the cult’s dogma, they go into a brain freeze and refuse to listen. Their replies are usually automated, like “Fake News” or “Stupid Liberal.”
So, the answer to the question “Can You Reason With A Trump Supporter?” is simply “Hell, No!”
In fact, after yesterday’s attempt to overthrow the Government, I think the proper answer to any Trump Supporter is to use your best Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation and say “Fuck You, Asshole!“
Adam Christian Johnson, the guy pictured above carrying a lectern out of the US Capitol last Wednesday, was booked into Pinellas County, Florida jail shortly after 9 p.m., Friday, January 8th. Adam’s home is about 40 miles from me. (we’re practically neighbors!)
The FBI has entered a single felony charge, but expect more to come. Here’s his mug shot.