Stop telling us to “listen” to Trump voters. We have heard enough

By and large, voting has never been easier than it has in this election given the increased opportunity for mail-in voting. If Democrats didn’t turn out despite the most clear and present threat to democracy, then I submit they would not be turned out if you set their beds on fire. No. I don’t believe it was a lack of motivation that had many Democrats sit this one out. It’s time to face the same reality we’ve been dealing with since Nixon. This remains a conservative country at its core.

This was a ridiculously high-turnout race, but the GOP drove up their own turnout more than the Dems drove theirs, and the fact that the Dems generally didn’t do the same kind of canvassing across the board is probably a good reason.

I guess I still don’t get the conviction that there remains a significant untapped Democratic voter block.

I wouldn’t look at it as an untapped voter bloc. I would look at it as just reaching out to everyone who intends to vote for you and making sure they actually do, and that they don’t screw up their registration or anything else. There are tons of people who aren’t super politically engaged but with enough reminders will vote 99% of the time instead of 80%.

I see the calls for listening as reaching out to marginal Trump voters, empathizing with them and making them feel heard so they don’t think they have to vote for a demagogue like Trump, but it’s entirely possible we’re arguing about different things.

I don’t think there is any significant number of untapped Democratic voters. It was a blue tsunami vs. a red tsunami, and the blue one just barely won. I think we just have to hope that Republicans stay home next time. Short of large scale sabotage by Democrats by voting for the moderate candidate in Republican primaries, their isn’t much else the Democrats can do.

And you’re saying the Democrats failed to reach them; Would it be fair to say that Republicans also failed to reach them? If so, perhaps they don’t want to be reached and we should not be blaming Democrats for having failed to do so.

That is my take as well.

Just to be clear, I mean people who know which party they support but aren’t politically engaged enough to vote in every election.

You can lead a horse to water…

Almost all those people voted this year. By percentage we haven’t had this high a turnout in over 100 years. There just isn’t room for the Democrats to grow.

I am not exactly the most tolerant with regard to Trump supporters, but I read an interesting thread on Twitter recently that helped me understand their psychology a bit better and with a bit more empathy (within reason).

Setting aside for a moment whether they’re dumb or smart, one trait most of them share is bad intellectual habits. The most problematic of these is the authoritarian mindset. I’m talking about personal authoritarianism; i.e. I prefer to have deciders in my life to tell me what’s true and what I should do.

Personal authoritarianism is only weakly predictive of personal attitudes toward tyranny and dictatorship. In fact, most of these people believe they’re strongly against those things, but they lack the insight to see that enshrining and empowering authorities is exactly where this leads. More troubling, they’d like everyone to defer to the same authorities, which (concidentally) just happen to be the authorities that they revere in their own lives.

When I talk about changing policies they hold dear, even if they may have a neutral opinion about it, they really get their hackles up if the policy involves following an alternate authority (perhaps science, or a political institution, or someone who doesn’t look like them). And they see their authority figures as being part of an integrated hierarchy, so if you seem to be discrediting even a minor or peripheral authority, it’s seen as an attack on the structure of authority as a whole.

For them, “fact” means information that came from, well, an authoritative source. It centers on receiving information from trusted authorities and friends. They’ve never cultivated much skill of independently acquiring and testing information for veracity. They have absolutely no experience questioning their own authorities (though as described above they have a deathly hatred of competing authority).

As an aside, I’d add that this is distinct from a taste for dictatorship and tyranny. In fact, most of them militate strongly against those concepts, but only as a reaction to authority of the “other”. Dictators and tyrants are dirty brown foreign authorities that want to replace our good white domestic authorities. You never hear these folks use the word “authoritarianism”, not just because it’s an academic 8-syllable word they don’t understand, but because they are so immersed in the concept of white authority that it’s simply invisible and illegible to them. To them it’s indistinct from a normal free society, it’s just the way things ought to be.

This bodes ill for persuasion and reconciliation and it’s a major contributor why people use the term “epistemic closure” with regard to conservatives. We all live in bubbles to some extent, but I am inclined to look outside my bubble and test my own beliefs. Not so with the authoritarian mindset. Their main purpose in acquiring information is to validate authority. They may venture out the bubble occasionally, but only to do some magpie-like gleaning of information that reinforces their own authority structure.

Anyhoo, tl;dr there’s maybe a little value in listening to detect changes in their information bubble. But as far as actually learning anything that could be used for persuasion or reconciliation, forget it. You’re not making any friends unless you actually enter their bubble and submit to their authority structure, which sort of defeats the purpose.

At the store my wife works in, she is required to remind people about wearing masks. A couple days ago, a guy with a trump had was asked to put his mask fully on (he had his nose hanging out), he then removed his mask, leaned over and coughed in her face.

Petulant fucking assholes is right.

She should have had every legal right to stab him in the face with anything sharp she could reach. Listen to them, my ass.

…it really comes down to who should be doing that outreach though.

I look at a guy like Joe Walsh.

Member of the Tea Party. Jokingly implied that Obama was a Muslim. Backed Trump at the beginning with reservations.

But he turned completely around the day that Donald Trump held a rally and they starting yelling “send back Omar Ilhan”. Walsh tried to primary Trump but faced an uphill battle when many GOP state party leaders simply canceled their presidential primaries and caucuses.

People like Joe Walsh are reaching out and listening to Trump voters every single day. He understands, more than probably anybody here, who these people are.

Joe Walsh is listening. And Joe Walsh has flipped some voters. But Joe Walsh, former member of the Tea Party and right wing conservative calls Trump supporters a cult. He is well aware he contributed to the environment that lead to the rise of Trump.

But if a guy like Joe Walsh is struggling to break through to Trump voters, how successful do you think the average Biden supporter is going to have?

There comes a point where you have to cut your losses. People like Joe Walsh and other reasonable never-Trumpers are struggling to reach out, then there isn’t anything that you or I could do to reach them either.

But it isn’t just the futility of trying to convince Trump voters to change their mind. This shit is exhausting and not good for mental health. And looking at where we are right now, with the President openly defying the results of the last election and almost every one of his supporters in agreement, then you have to ask yourself who’s job it is to reach out and listen.

I would suggest that job goes to people like Joe Walsh. He’s made it clear that he offered unequivocal support for Biden (and would have gotten behind Bernie if he had too: country over politics) and that there is no future for the GOP. But he remains a conservative with conservative values that will support a (sane) conservative party in the future. The Dems need to focus elsewhere. Reaching out to and increasing the base. Passing legislation that helps all Americans. Purging the government of the madness that has infected it for the last four years.

I need a cite for this, as Biden got a LOT more popular votes than Obama did.

The number of votes that Biden has amassed has already made history. By Nov. 6, more than 73 million ballots had been counted for Biden, which exceeds the previous record of 69.4 million votes that Obama won in 2008.

But against that was the GOPs massive vote suppression efforts.

Only 67% of registered voters actually voted. IMHO most were democrats and quite a few were prevented from voting by GOP vote suppression efforts vs minorities.

There is some significant fraction of people living in the US who do not follow football. I am one of them. There is absolutely nothing you or anyone can do to get me to watch, follow or discuss football (or NBA, for that matter).

That’s what I’m talking about. Not eligible voters but people who are even interested in participating.

I told her next time to to take his pic and a pic of the trucks license and call 911 and report a assault.