If I cannot convince you, then what?
You may have noticed that I have been unusually silent here at Irregular Times. We have been writing since 1994 and in the 23 years since, I have written every day. But over the last two weeks, I have been silent. I have been unable to think of any information I could provide that would change a person’s mind. I have been unable to think of any citation to any source that could convince someone who believes in a serial sexual predator as president to change their mind. I have no idea how to counter lies with knowledge when my target is people who have no respect for knowledge. Yes, if you are a Trump supporter I am talking about you.
I have been struggling these past few weeks to find a purchase upon which I could stand against individuals who have no respect for veracity. What could I possibly say that could make a difference to such people? How could I possibly convince people who believe in Trump that they are wrong?
I have come to the conclusion that I cannot. Faced with that conclusion, I have spent long moments staring at my keyboard, unable to write a word for Irregular Times. Irregular Times was created on the basis of the belief that presentation of information could change the way people saw the world and thereby could help to change the world in some small way. So what use is my writing now? What use could it possibly have?
Those two questions are not the same. I have realized that I need to change my focus. Trying to convince people who do not believe in truth is hopeless. If you are a Trump supporter, you are lost to my former cause, at least until you recognize the error of your support for a lying bigot on your own. I cannot possibly shatter the shell of bullshit that you have shellacked and dried upon yourself and over yourself until you are absolutely impermeable to facts. I just can’t reach you. The last year has taught me that. You’ll have to work your way out of that shithole on your own.
So I’m not talking to you anymore. I’m talking to people who recognize the difference between a truth and falsehood. I’m talking to people who can work through their own cognitive dissonance to find an authentic solution. I’m talking to people who believe in the future that is not based on hate. I’m talking to the strivers. I’m talking to the activists. I’m talking to the hopers. I’m talking to people who can dream beyond their fears and can see a better possibility.
Donald Trump and his sheeplike minions create the appearance of a majority through their a amplified bleats, but it is so important for me to remember that they are a small minority. A minority in power, but a minority nonetheless.
I’m going to try to start writing again now. And my voice is directed at people who are feeling as hopeless as I have been feeling. People who have been feeling as mute as I have been feeling. I want to encourage them. I want to remind them that we are a majority. I want to share stories of people standing up and not trying to convince the Trumpists of the world but trying to overcome them.
So I’m not speaking to the Trumpists any more. I’m speaking to the people who remember what truth looks like and my message is that we can get past this, we can get through this, we can get over this — as long as we keep speaking the truth to one another, as long as we keep organizing, and as long as we keep up the struggle to resist.