Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Venezualan Anti-Chavista Offers Some Advice on Resisting Trump

So immediately after offering my advice on the best way to disarm Trump and his populism I come across this article:  How to Culture Jam a Populist in Four Easy Steps.

Written by an anti-chavista it attempts to apply lessons learned in that effort to resisting Trump.  They are:

Don't Forget Who The Enemy Is:  Populism can only survive amid polarization. It works through caricature, through the unending vilification of a cartoonish enemy. Pro tip: you’re the enemy. Yes, you, with the Starbucks cup. Trump needs you to be the enemy just like all religions need a demon. As a scapegoat. “But facts!”, you’ll say, missing the point entirely.

Show No Contempt:  Your organizing principle is simple: don’t feed polarization, disarm it.  This means leaving the theater of injured decency behind.  The Venezuelan Opposition struggled for years to get this. It wouldn’t stop pontificating about how stupid it all is. Not only to their international friends, but also to the Chavista electoral base itself.

 Don't Try To Force Him Out:  The people on the other side, and crucially Independents, will rebel against you if you look like you’re losing your mind. Worst of all, you will have proved yourself to be the very thing you’re claiming to be fighting against: an enemy of democracy. And all the while you’re just giving the Populist and his followers enough rhetorical fuel to rightly call you a saboteur, an unpatriotic schemer, for years to come.

Find A Counter-Argument (No, Not The One You Think):  Don’t waste your time trying to prove that this ism is better than that ism. Ditch all the big words. Why? Because, again, the problem is not the message but the messenger. It’s not that Trump supporters are too stupid to see right from wrong, it’s that you’re much more valuable to them as an enemy than as a compatriot.

The problem is tribal. Your challenge is to prove that you belong in the same tribe as them: that you are American in exactly the same way they are.
I don't think this contradicts my earlier advice, but it is a lot more complete while still being succinct.
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