I have a 3 year old daughter. The other night my wife and I were trying to put her to bed when all hell broke loose. There was screaming and crying and an endless procession of pointless requests. She had no idea what she wanted but kept demanding things anyway. No matter what our response to these demands – positive or negative – the result was more screaming and crying. Finally, we just had to walk away. We said goodnight and left her there shrieking at the bedroom door. Fifteen minutes later, when it was all quiet, I walked in her room and found her asleep on the floor, collapsed in a pile of tears, snot and cheap, shiny toys. That’s when it dawned on me: Damn, it’s like dealing with those Trump people.
I know a surprising number of people who are honestly considering voting for Donald Trump for President. And every attempted discussion with them always ends the same way: the logic circuits in my brain start to overload and I just have to walk away (usually while they are mid-rant.) See, just like a toddler who is seriously over-due for a nap, there is nothing, NOTHING, you can do or say to make them happy.
Toddlers and Trump supporters either cannot or will not accept logic. So explaining to them that using a different toothbrush is not going to make bedtime go away has roughly the same effect as saying: spending trillions of dollars on a border wall is not going to fix the economy. They don’t care about facts like “you’re going to trip if you keep running around with your pajamas around your ankles” or “your candidate’s tax proposal is not only unfeasible but would also have negative consequences for you personally”. They get mad if you disagree with them but they’ll be just as angry if you try being nice. They don’t want to hear suggestions. They refuse to discuss options. Any attempt at reason will be quickly met with more yelling. They are simply angry and they just want to scream at someone for a while.
Also, much like their juice box stained, poopy pants doppelgangers, they have no idea really why they are angry. And even if they do have some notion what the temper tantrum is about, they can’t explain it to you. Trump folks just have this vague sense that something is wrong. They believe that somebody somewhere has cheated them out of something. There is a feeling in them that stuff should just be better – who knows what “better” means but whatever we have now… that ain’t it. Ironically, the Trump guys I know – naturally they are all guys – actually have it pretty good. Most of them have a decent job and a house in the suburbs; but still, they feel they are owed. They deserve more.
But of course, that’s how most shysters and con-men operate, by exploiting that nebulous dissatisfaction. Every pyramid scheme sales pitch begins with some variation of the question: “Don’t you think you deserve a better life?” Every huckster who tries to get you to sign up for a time-share condo is going to say that “you deserve more from your vacation.” And that’s all Trump is: a guy who sells time-shares to Joe the Plumber and sports cars to your dad during his mid-life crisis. Look at his whole “brand” – it’s all faux-chic resorts, casinos, golf courses, “premium” vodka and steaks – all things tailored to the middle-class white guy who thinks he deserves the finer things in life.
Cranky children think they need stuff too – more cookies, another stuffed animal – when in actuality they are very well taken care of, but they are clueless to this fact. This is mainly because they have such limited experience and no understanding of the larger world around them. So they will kick and scream and demand things that make no sense when all they really need is to get some sleep. Sadly, unlike toddlers, most Trump supporters are able to vote. If only there was a way to get them all to take nap on Election Day.