Wednesday, November 8, 2017

No Facts Allowed

There's no way to know, of course, but I wonder how much information Trump supporters are not getting about just how badly he's doing as president. And is that lack of information because of the propaganda they limit themselves to, or do they manage to filter what they hear to forget the parts that cause them cognitive dissonance?

I say this because of two (anecdotal) bits I've recently heard or read.

One was from a podcaster, who traveled around Wisconsin checking out its outsider artists and environment builders. While visiting the Wisconsin Concrete Park in the northern part of the state, he stayed at a lodge whose owner was a strong Trump supporter. She also hated Wall Street bankers. When he asked her what she thought about Trump's appointment of multiple Goldman Sachs bankers to his cabinet and administration, she said, "No, he didn't." (Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything, Concrete and Respect episode.)

The other is from a recent Politico story from central Pennsylvania called Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway. It's yet another story about white Trump voters in left-behind America, revealing that their "economic anxiety" looks an awful lot like racism.

But it includes this, where the writer quotes a catering company owner named Joey Del Signore:

"It’s not like he [Trump] sleeps in till noon and goes golfing every weekend, like the last president did..." I stopped him, informing him that yes, Barack Obama liked to golf, but Trump in fact does golf a lot, too — more, in fact.

Del Signore was surprised to hear this.
Del Signore thinks Trump is "probably the most diligent, hardest-working president we’ve ever had in our lifetimes." Not surprisingly, Del Signore reports he watches Fox News 99 percent of the time.

As the Politico writer puts it, Trump supporters in Johnstown are
energized by his bombast and his animus more than any actual accomplishments. For them, it’s evidently not what he’s doing so much as it is the people he’s fighting. Trump is simply and unceasingly angry on their behalf, battling the people who vex them the worst...
They clearly aren't energized by any facts about Trump's accomplishments (other than appointing Neil Gorsuch with help from cheating Mitch McConnell, though that's not mentioned in the story specifically).

Yet they think he "does what he says," all evidence to the contrary. Which, I guess, fits with thinking Barack Obama was lazy and slept until noon.

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