Pin the Adjective on the Trump Voter

Charles M. Blow, Exit Polls Point to the Power of White Patriarchy: Some people who have historically been oppressed will stand with their oppressors.

Alex Pareene, What If Democrats’ Message Just Doesn’t Matter? Florida voters backed a $15 minimum wage. So did Joe Biden—and he lost the state. There are important lessons here for the party.

A good many pundits—and I don’t necessarily mean the two folks I just cited—have been busy searching Roget’s Thesaurus for searingly pejorative nouns and adjectives to describe the Trump voters. And, let’s just say up front: generally speaking, the Trump voters richly merit every single pejorative epithet that Mr. Roget ever located. And, if it makes you feel good, or at least less bad, to compile a comprehensive list of appropriate descriptions, then please feel free to do so.

Having got that off our chests, let’s consider a few other basic points.

One is that you do not solve a problem, or even understand a problem, just by naming the problem.

A second key point is that you do not persuade people by lobbing nasty ad hominem remarks in their direction. And that is true, most especially, where the nasty ad hominem remarks are most justified.

Mr. Pareene, I think, gets to the heart of the matter when he writes—in prose that I find quaint and cogent at the same time—“That Democrats cannot translate robust [public] support for their central policies into consistent electoral victories suggests that something is amiss in the democratic accountability feedback loop.”

This seems to mean that a very large proportion of our fellow citizens are doing a poor job distinguishing fiction from reality.

The implicit suggestion is that we need to be doing something different to help them penetrate the gaslighting. This might, for example, imply the need for a new social media strategy.

Having come to their senses and recovered from the gaslighting, a goodish number of them will probably still be assholes. See Mr. Blow’s article for example: the white patriarchs and their supporters will still be the white patriarchs and their supporters. And so be it. Others, however, might be susceptible to redemption if they could clear the fog from their noggins.