Episode 151 - What The F**K Just Happened? Election Autopsy in The Cracked Podcast Posted November 13, 2016 As difficult and anxiety-inducing as engaging peacefully with a Trump supporter is, it can be done. Bear with me. I inadvertently got into a rather long conversation with a Trumpkin on Twitter last night. I was fuming over accounts of hate crimes and reports of racist graffiti found at schools across the U.S. when a particular image caught my eye, in which something about "n-words not allowed" was written on a poster in the school hallway. It was posted by a black high school student, and I left a supportive comment on it. Beneath it was a comment from a guy saying that Trump was just making "freedom of speech" okay again. Which is an inane comment, but anyway. I assumed the guy was an older gentleman harassing the kid. His profile pic looked a little vague. So I asked him why he was leaving a dismissive comment on a photo posted by a kid who clearly disturbed by it, and why he was following the kid's account. The guy responded with, "Because he goes to my school?" So I realized, "Oh, this is a child..." So I could have just stopped there, but I was in a chatty mood, and rather than saying something snarky, I said that it was unfortunate that he was being dismissive of his peer's feelings. I went on to say that as an adult living in Canada, my heart was breaking to see how scared and worried so many people, especially kids, are in America following the election. I then said I didn't want to attack him, but that I was genuinely curious as to what about the guy appeals to him as a young kid. I was careful not to say black and white statements (i.e. "he's a racist", but rather, "he's said a lot of troubling things about people of different races"). He said his main concerns were illegal immigrants (which I said was indeed a fair point - acknowledging that I was accepting of something that mattered to him) and the loss of trade and labour jobs to immigrants. I directed him to an article about why the narrative about "immigrants taking jobs" isn't true, but he dismissed it as liberal propaganda. So I didn't push it any further. I dropped that, and I said that I was really appreciative that he was being respectful towards me, and that he was engaging me in conversation, and that I really did want to try to understand where he was coming from. Some of his answers were imbued with a little arrogance - not towards me or liberalism, but that brand of teenage arrogance that comes with thinking you know everything, such as when he said "terrorists target the U.S. because we're better than their countries". Again, I let that slide and didn't push it. There were a couple instances when I stumped him, but didn't gloat about it. At the very least I made him aware of a couple things he completely didn't know about, such as that Hillary's bud Byrd, while he was a member of the KKK (when I told him that Trump's endorsement by the KKK was really disturbing, and he said that Hillary has connections to the group as well), left the group in the early '50s, was apologetic about his association with the group until his death, and was acknowledged and awarded for his help in the civil rights movement by the NAACP. All the kid knew was "Hillary was kissing a KKK member in that one photo, so Trump's ties with the group don't matter". We chatted for a good half hour. I tossed in some jokes, some smiley faces. I left saying that if Trump isn't able to unite the country, that at least he (the kid) has a responsibility to stand up for those who can't do it for themselves. I said that even though I don't 100% get his beliefs, I could tell he was a well-meaning young man. And that hopefully my willingness to speak to him gently and to try to understand his viewpoints would encourage him to allow others that right in the future, and see that not all liberals are "eeevil demon feminazis". He replied with "maybe ". I said at the end of the day, everyone just wants to be heard. My closing statements were re-tweeted by another girl. So while I didn't convert him, I would hope that at the very least the respect I showed him (speaking to him like he was an adult) is something he can carry with him as he grows up, and that rather than act defensive should he be engaged in a political conversation someday, he can find a way to listen and try to understand other people's opinions.