Thursday, 14 May 2020 15:28

LETTER: To my Trump-supporting family ...

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To the editor:

This letter is intended for my family members who support Donald Trump, but this could just as easily apply to most Trump supporters.


Firstly, I want to explain why I’m writing this letter. The discussions we have at family events and on the telephone are one-sided. Your support to Donald Trump is unquestioned. But I largely keep my mouth shut about Trump with you. You know that I don’t support this president and I won’t bother to speak up because I know that the discussion will go nowhere. An honest conversation just will not happen. To you, Trump is undoubtedly the greatest president there ever was and ever will be. You’ve said as much. I try my best not to be frustrated by the things you say, but it never works. The things you say and the things that you accept of this president are disturbing. Many are even downright lies. This letter is an attempt to explain my concerns.

Secondly, I want to be open about my politics. In the 2012 presidential election, I voted for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama. However, I have never been a registered Republican. I even skipped the 2016 Presidential election entirely. A huge mistake. For several years I considered myself a libertarian, but have always been a registered independent. Many of my opinions have changed. Though I remain a registered independent, because of Trump I was very close to becoming a registered Democrat. I cannot stand what he is doing to our country. I think he is a dangerous president and that he needs to be voted out. Now, on to my letter.

Be skeptical. You believe everything that this president says. If he says that something is a hoax, you accept it hook, line, and sinker. If he says it didn’t happen, well, it didn’t happen. You accept everything of this president, yet this courtesy was not given to the previous president. You think that CNN, MSNBC, ABC and other media outlets lie and make up facts to trick people. If they have an agenda to push, don’t you think that FOX does too? Remember when you and FOX bashed Obama for lacking transparency? I do. Yet now when Trump actively blocks testimony, you have a double standard. You think that not only should he block testimony, but that he is right in doing so; he is the president after all. But what if Obama blocked testimony and documents about Benghazi? I’m sure you would be furious, and rightly so. We can’t let our principles become compromised when our guy is in office. Please be skeptical of the things this president says and does.

Research facts professionally. You have the right to hold your beliefs; however, you should analyze the evidence as if your life depended on the facts. In your daily life, you have to operate on a correct set of facts. From your schooling to your job to your checkbook, the facts matter. If you get the facts wrong, you could ruin your life. Treat politics no differently. The stakes are high; our nation depends on it. In your daily life, you gather evidence from all angles and often go to a trusted source. Can you say that you’ve been as stringent in your political life? Almost certainly not.  Likely, you haven’t gone to the source or gathered multiple data points. And you likely haven’t sought out material that you disagree with. Until you have done these things, you should be wary of your own views. And until others have done the same, you should be wary of theirs too. You are probably wondering how this relates to Trump. Easy. Trump has been accused of a lot. From Russia to Ukraine, the documents are available. You can read these. If you don’t trust the media or politicians, trust yourself to analyze these documents. You are a person capable of independent thought. Don’t let your political independence become captured by a news anchor or by this president. Their talking points don’t have to become your talking points. Don’t let them dictate the narrative.

Be aware of your own bias. When you buy into Trump or wear his paraphernalia, be suspect of your own bias. This type of behavior indicates strong fervency. When you buy into a candidate so much, you likely aren’t seeing the facts clearly. Instead, you are building up a political identity into one figure. When this figure is attacked, you feel attacked. You’ve built up a large structure into this figure block by block. In doing so, you become resistant to change because this identity structure that you’ve invested so much time and energy into might otherwise collapse. Take one foundational block out, and it crumbles. You don’t want to see it go to waste. Recognize that when you’ve become politically vested, you likely aren’t seeing things clearly.

All in all, I hope this letter describes my frustrations. These are some of the things that I think prevent us from having an honest discussion. And by no means is this letter all inclusive. I’ve tried to make it as general as possible. I believe that you have become politically captured. I believe that Trump is a danger to our country. Yet you think he is the greatest President of your lifetime. Something has gone wrong with America’s dialogue. I am asking you to reconsider your viewpoints. It may be hard for you to accept right now, but I am asking you to stop supporting this President; our nation depends on it.

-Alex Auman

 

Last modified on Thursday, 14 May 2020 16:48