Can You Reach Rapprochement With Your Trumpist Neighbors?

As of Thursday morning, more than 68 million Americans had voted for Trump. About 4 million more voted for Biden, but we may be stuck letting the lawyers decide who won the election. 

Once again pollsters and prognosticators of all stripes got it wrong, saying before Nov. 3 that Biden would walk away with the election, promoted by a national repudiation of the vileness of Trump’s reign in the White House.  

That didn’t happen. Nearly half the voters in the country ignored Trump’s lies and general stupidity and tried to return him to four more years. 

At this moment that looks highly unlikely, but it is worth pondering the fact that so many in our nation revere a man who is reprehensible in every way imaginable. I am suspect of the mental acuity of voters who overlook the oily crassness, racist, criminal behavior and damage Trump has caused to this country, dividing it as in no other time in history.



If you look at a national map of who voted for whom, it seems clear Biden swept the major cities (and suburbs) in nearly every state, while Trump’s voters tended to be more rural and fiercely loyal to the President. These are not people who read the New York Times' stinging rebuke of Trump, listing scores of reasons he should not be reelected. In fact they appear to read and watch only right-wing propaganda like Fox News and Breitbart. So we are left to dismiss them as ill-informed rednecks who fear a socialist/Communist rule that is pure Trump fantasy (and misinformation). 

But Trump voters are not all right-wing, gun-toting, white supremacists -- although looking at the crowds at his pre-election rallies, you saw an awful lot of people who matched that description.  These folks have come to deeply distrust Washington (and the media), and assume that much of the reporting on Trump’s failures is “fake news.”  

There is nothing fake about 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day, or the mounting death toll. I heard any number of Trump voters say that Trump was not responsible for the pandemic -- but rewatch last Sunday’s "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," where he carefully outlines what more Trump could have done to save the nation. 

My neighbor is seemingly a nice man. We have always had cordial chats over the back fence. Until one day a few months ago, he hung a Trump flag from his porch. I have not spoken to him since.  I don’t know how to say to him, “Are you kidding? You want to put that asshole back in office?  Have you not been reading the papers for four years?”

I suspect you are in a similar situation with friends and relatives who voted for Trump. You are embarrassed for them and wonder what you might still have in common.  Given the vastness of Trump’s base, this is a problem we all face.  And it is a struggle. 

Having been part of the Great Eastern Establishment Jewish Monied Press, I am well aware of its liberal tilt and general intellectual disregard of the population in the flyover states.  But you have to understand the impression these folks leave when they say things like “He tells it like it is.” And “He gets stuff done.” No, he lies constantly and works only in his own self-interest. 

It takes very little investigation to understand that most of the accomplishments of the Trump administration are, well, bullshit. But be that as it may, can we in any way reconcile ourselves to living in a nation that (thanks to Thump) is profoundly divided? 

What are your strategies for resuming conversations with your Trump-supporting neighbors?

6 comments about "Can You Reach Rapprochement With Your Trumpist Neighbors?".
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  1. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development, November 6, 2020 at 10:48 a.m.

    Plenty of blame to go around, George, but I would start with an education system that leaves far too many people behind, creating a fertile field for a con man like Trump. 

  2. George Simpson from George H. Simpson Communications, November 6, 2020 at 10:53 a.m.

    David: Most of these folks have at least a HS degree and many of them college degrees. I think the problem comes in the echo chamber of only reading what coincides with their prior convictions.  Not sure how you teach intellectual curiosity. 

  3. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development replied, November 6, 2020 at 11:07 a.m.

    I'm sure you're right, but I'm old enought to remember when an academic high school diploma would have meant one had taken at least a semester or two of American Civics. And assuming one stayed awake, one would have the equipment to deal with today's conspiracy-laden environment. Or, in shorter form, as Woody Allen said when confronted with the degree as indicator of intelligence argument, "Hey, Kissinger graduated Harvard..."

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 6, 2020 at 3:50 p.m.

    Not enough people have died. If 5 million did, they may have noticed. Also, they do support communism and authotarianism and live in a socialist government because all government is socialist.

  5. John Grono from GAP Research, November 6, 2020 at 9:55 p.m.

    George, George, George.   Tut, tut, tut.

    I've always enjoyed reading your fact-based opinion pieces, coupled with your entertaining writing style.

    But you, of all people, have strayed from your factual base in this piece, when you state "There is nothing fake about 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day'. 

    Yesterday it was 121,504.

  6. George Simpson from George H. Simpson Communications, November 6, 2020 at 10:01 p.m.

    Right you are. But I wasn't sure it would keep going up (after all "we have rounded the corner"). Even at 10,000  a day it's a national disgrace.

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