So, I came across this on a left-leaning blog: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/11/02/what-is-this-election-missing-empathy-for-trump-voters/?tid=sm_tw
This is actually a relatively good article, because it points to some things that should generate empathy.
Here's a good quote:You could see brows knit up. One woman said I was her first Democratic friend. I met another woman who said, 'I love Rush Limbaugh,' and I said, 'I would love to talk to you about that.' It came out that when she was listening to him she liked that he was defending her against criticisms from liberals.
Your first instinct may well be to feel she's an idiot for not seeing through a nasty blowhard like Limbaugh. And I won't deny that I feel upset about that too - even if you do feel you need to have someone stand up to these mythical angry liberals, I think you should want an honorable person doing it.
Ah, but since I don't think Rush Limbaugh is honorable, well, that helps prove I *am* one of those mythical angry liberals, right? Yet if I'm angry at *her* for liking him, she'll never learn that I haven't got a thing against her. And until she realizes that, she can't realize what a nasty blowhard the man is, telling lies about decent folks, folks like her, who have some different ideas... but not all of those different ideas are *bad*.
But here's a better quote; this is, for me, the money quote:In some of them you sensed loss and a sense of being invisible and unappreciated and insulted. That liberals just think they’re rednecks.
I know a lot of liberals who do feel precisely like that. They do think that Trump supporters are awful people and these liberals let their prejudices fly. But that's not fair to the entirety of Trump supporters.
Oh, there are awful people who support Trump (and if you can't admit that - if you can't even admit that David frickin' Duke is a horrible person - that's a serious problem). But there are good people who've gotten a whole lot of bullcrap thrown at them, until they just don't know the truth any more.
Hah. Bullcrap - I saw a Fox News segment where the host said "but didn't we all learn in kindergarten that 'the solution to pollution is dilution'?" which made me spit-take and then say "no, my kindergarten was not run by corporate lobbyists."
(Some of you, remembering my old siglines, are now laughing. You don't learn about the friendliness (or lack thereof) of Mr. Hand Grenade or the dangers of Acme/Jet-or-Rocket Powered from corporate lobbyists!)
That's such a stupid line. In a great many cases, the solution to pollution is concentration, and safe storage. We don't want to dilute nuclear waste and send it into the environment; nor do we want to dilute mercury, let it get into the water table, and let our seafood build up toxic levels of it. In many more cases, the solution is simply not to make it - the polluting method is just cheaper, but poisons other people in return for extra profits, which isn't a fair trade off.
The point is, there are a lot of really good people out there who've been played for so long they don't have a good basis for the truth. And it's important not to dismiss them along with the people who make money by playing them for fools.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that Hillary Clinton should be Republican-friendly. She should come in, ready to play hardball, because you know they will. And I'm not saying that you should like Republican politicians, or the people who spread the lies that have poisoned our discourse.
But remember there are good, ordinary people, who deserved truth, and courage, and leadership, and have been fed bullcrap, poll tested "certainty," and cunning divisiveness instead. Remember that the goal of those who sow divisiveness is to get "us" to hate "them", so we do think of them as a bunch of rednecks or somesuch - because then, the liars get to continue to lie, pretending that they're standing up against us. To win this game, we need to find something better than hate, and better than divisiveness, and to save our anger for the people who lie, not for those who, upon hearing the lies from five different sources, figure there must be some truth to it.