Last week’s Indiana Daily Student column, “OPINION: What you need to remember next time you talk to a Trump supporter,” embodies why the United States is so polarized.
There is no sentiment more condescending and ignorant than accusing the other side of being stupid, with this column going so far as to claim the almost 63 million Americans that voted for President Donald Trump as suffering from Stockholm syndrome. The column plainly states “Trump supporters have a case of Stockholm syndrome.” If you think the only fathomable reason people support Trump is that they are suffering from Stockholm syndrome, then you have never actually met a Trump supporter.
Charitably, the author concedes the possibility of misguided Trump support based on his economic policies. A great economy with low unemployment and exceptional GDP growth seem to make this a defensible position. If you dismiss Trump voters as idiots who are tricked into believing we have a good economy, you’re ignoring not only economic statistics, but other glaring successes of his administration such as bipartisan criminal justice reform, foreign policy victories and the transformation of the federal judiciary with judges, including three to the Supreme Court, who respect the Constitution. Dismissing fans of Trump’s economy as not understanding or not caring reduces them to either dumb or malevolent.
While robust debate should be encouraged in our democracy, debate should, in fact, “bring up every statistic and every article” to rationalize your position, and encouraging the opposite assuredly dooms the American experiment. This piece seems to upbraid Trump supporters for repeating lies, while simultaneously telling those fighting lies to not even bother with a factual basis for their arguments.
Of course Trump is divisive. Nobody disputes this, just as few dispute he is incredibly uncouth and often unpresidential. Believe it or not, it is possible for both of the following sentiments to be true: Trump is not an outstanding embodiment of morality and class, and Trump has implemented policies that have greatly improved the U.S. over the past four years.
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