This November our nation will face one of the biggest tests of its democracy ever. Donald Trump is a charlatan and aspiring autocrat. He routinely abuses his power to protect and enrich himself. He actively attacks our right to vote, breaks the law, obstructs justice, and works with foreign dictators to damage the cause of liberty and meddle in our domestic affairs. That is a threat not to our preferred politics, but to the freedom, independence and justice on which America was founded. And yet, this election could still be tremendously close, and we all need to work to defeat Trump and elect a unifying president.
When it comes to convincing our neighbors, friends and family to put the health of our country above their partisan interests, our best messenger isn’t a splashy celebrity or national spokesperson; it’s you. Every conversation you have about the crises facing our nation is one which could change a vote and swing an election. You are our best surrogate. So it’s time for all of us to have a lot more conversations.
That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide on how to speak to, and persuade, people who reluctantly support Donald Trump. They all have their reasons, whether it’s a misplaced fear, loyalty, or misconceptions. If we are equipped with the facts and logical responses, we can convince more Americans to put country over party in November, and reject Donald Trump.
These talking points will help outline common arguments for supporting Trump, and then provide a few counterpoints to help set the record straight. But first, a few tips on how to have ‘the (Trump) Talk.’’
TIPS FOR HAVING THE (TRUMP) TALK
⮕ Many Republicans have gone all-in on Trump, and nothing you can say will change their minds. While we certainly want to counter all lies or false narratives, it’s more productive to focus on people who are undecided or who openly acknowledge Trump’s many failings and dangerous behavior.
⮕ Civil discourse is a must, especially since these are conversations with friends, neighbors and even family. Being confrontational is ineffective and counterproductive. Courtesy, respect and empathy are essential to honest dialogue.
⮕ When possible, start by validating the underlying idea or concern. “Low taxes” is an understandable goal, so is a strong national defense and philosophically conservative judges. But is it really what we’re getting?
⮕ Donald Trump has spent 4 years trying to undermine credible journalism and promote partisan disinformation and false narratives. Understand that many people are influenced by a different, partisan media ecosystem, and when possible refer back to credible reporting from outlets with higher journalistic standards.
⮕ For many hesitant Trump supporters, they justify their support by false equivalence. ‘If Biden and Trump are both bad candidates, then why not vote for Trump?’ It’s a tactic to excuse support that they know is wrong, and it leaves them hunting for negative examples to confirm their worst beliefs, while ignoring or downplaying obvious examples of unacceptable and excessively dangerous behavior by Trump himself.