Trump can be both a con man and a racist
August 24, 2016 1 Comment
“This creates a situation in which the pundits either have to change their self-images and admit they were wrong about Trump all along, or they have to reinterpret Trump’s clearly non-racist actions as racist actions in disguise. Cognitive dissonance happens when people are unwilling or unable to modify their self-image to match the observed facts. In this case, to protect their self-images as wise pundits, they are forced to default to pretzel-like explanations of their reality.”
But now, as he’s in a polling free fall, Trump is attempting to project a softer image. (Adams even calls it “The Softening” — which, I have to say, from a “persuasion standpoint” is pretty devastating rhetoric for a 70-year-old man who is oddly obsessed about the size of his hands. Just sayin’.) Part of that softer image includes an explicit appeal to African-Americans — but one always made in front of Trump’s usual lily white audiences, and one made, as I mentioned before, using gross distortions and stereotypes of the black American experience. Not all blacks live in poverty. (Most don’t.) Not all blacks live in violent neighborhoods. (All neighborhoods are much safer from violent crime than they were 30 years ago.) Not all black teens are unemployed. (Too many are, but Trump’s 58 percent figure is grossly distorted; using his methodology, 50 percent of white teens are also unemployed.)
According to Adams, all this is supposed signal that those who saw Trump as a racist and bigot while watching him during the primaries (and, let us not forget, beyond) came to the wrong conclusion. He isn’t a bigot. If he was acting like a bigot, it’s because he was trying to win the Republican nomination (and, yes, that notion isn’t going to help the Republican brand much).
No one wants to be hypnotized without knowing it, right? So I just have to rethink my notion that Trump would be dangerous — even though Trump has repeatedly demonstrated he absolutely lacks a presidential temperament and would, indeed, be an incredibly dangerous president.
Sorry, Scott. But your persuasion attempts are falling flat. Maybe you need some refresher courses.