Jim Wright (of Stonekettle Station) published this on Twitter today:
Physical therapy this morning, 30 minutes into a treadmill that’s kicking my ass, doctor comes in:
“I see you’re a political writer. What do you think is going to happen when Trump wins? You think there’s going to be violence from these far-left liberals?”
Blood Pressure cuff: BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Note: He’s not my doctor. He’s just the older MD (emeritus, I think) who teaches some supplemental classes on cardio exercise once every few weeks. He’s fine for that. I sat in on his class today and it was fine, I learned some things to make my workout better. So please save the “Get a new Doc, STAT!” advice. Thanks.
This isn’t about that.
He came into the gym area after the class where I was working out under the guidance of an exercise physiologist (the PT staff are excellent, professional, and if the insurance company wants to pay for me to go to the gym 3 times a week with a personal trainer and medical people to monitor my health, well, you know, I’m damned well going to do that). He just really wanted to talk about politics. Wanted my opinion, given my profession. I don’t think there was any malice in it (beyond the malice of the ideology itself, that is).
The interesting part is that he admitted Trump was a terrible person, uncouth, uneducated, crude, rude, obnoxious, ignorant. BUT, (and here’s the important part, so pay attention) the doc was strongly pro-life and even if Trump isn’t (a possibility the doc admitted) Trump STILL appointed the pro-life Justices this guy wants.
And THAT’s what matters to him.
More, the doctor felt like Trump is really sticking it to China which is apparently important to this guy. He feels like foreign nations have been really taking advantage of America and he’s glad to see Trump “doing something about it,” even if he’s not exactly sure what that “something” is. Also, Trump hates the UN and NATO, which is apparently important to this guy, because he thinks those organizations are also taking advantage of America, even if he can’t quite articulate exactly how. But he’s glad to see Trump “standing up” to them. Putting America first.
He thinks Biden is a “socialist.” And too old for the job. And that’s where I laughed and I said, Oh, come ON, Doc. You’ve got to be older than he is! (and the RN and the Exercise Physiologist both tried, unsuccessfully I thought, to stifle their laughter behind their masks). And the doctor admitted he was older than Biden but felt he was in better cognitive health. I shrugged, anything I said at that point would have just been mean.
The doctor also specifically mentioned that Biden was sympathetic to LGBT rights, something he obviously opposed. He mentioned trans people at least twice.
I said I served my country in uniform so that ALL people would have the same rights. He changed the subject.
Now, this guy is a doctor. He’s not stupid. But he comes from a specific culture. He’s older. He’s white. He’s straight. He’s from a traditionally conservative profession (remember, it’s The South). And even though he thinks Trump is a scumbag (he specifically used that word “scumbag”) he’s still a Trump supporter because his idea of America is that culture, white, straight, conservative and he’s absolutely convinced Joe Biden (and by extension, the political party Biden represents) is the enemy of that version of America.
He’s terrified of change.
See, politics aren’t about logic, they’re about perception. And very often they are about fear, fear of the other, fear of some nebulous unnamed dread, and most of all: fear of change.
That’s what conservatism IS, fear of change. By definition.
That’s why conservatives were so utterly terrified of Obama’s campaign slogan. Hope and Change. Change?! Change?! They didn’t even ask what that meant, because any change is automatically terrible. Terrifying. It’s GOT to be communism or fascism or socialism or SOMETHING BAD. Don’t even know what it is, but if it’s change, it’s terrifying.
That’s what drives their entire ideology. That fundamental thing right there, fear of change.
This guy? He’s not unusual. He’s well educated. Reasonably intelligent. Skilled at his profession. But none of that matters when it comes to politics. He knows Trump is a scumbag, his words, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is his perception of the world — and TRUMP, well, that’s where Trump excels. Trump plays to those fears, that fear of change. That idea of conservatism.
That’s why you have to show up.
That’s why you can’t afford to throw your vote away.
That’s why the polls don’t matter.
That’s why any lead by your candidate before the election doesn’t matter.
That’s why logic and reason and rational discourse don’t matter, or don’t matter as much as they should.
Because politics aren’t about any of that.
They are about perception.
This guy is going to show up and he’s going to vote for Trump even though he doesn’t want to.
You’re not voting for a person.
You’re not voting for a political party.
You’re voting for a better world.
You’re voting for a world where change is seen as progress, not something to fear.
You’re voting because if you don’t, then this guy and his fear are what will determine YOUR future.
You want a better nation, be a better citizen.
Show the fuck up.”