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I’m done trying to understand Trump supporters. Why don’t they try to understand me?

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I’m done trying to understand Trump supporters. Why don’t they try to understand me?

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This is for Rose.

She is a nice lady who wrote me a nice email in which she spoke about the need to try to understand Donald Trump’s supporters. As Rose put it, “We need to not close ourselves off to how the other side thinks.” It’s a sentiment I hear a lot from progressives, and it bespeaks a great generosity of spirit.

But I couldn’t disagree more.

Don’t get me wrong. Thinking people will always try to see past their own ideological blind spots, to put themselves into the shoes of those they disagree with. That’s an admirable trait. In normal times it’s a trait I would applaud with enthusiasm.

But these are not normal times. Indeed, sometimes, I wonder if we appreciate just how abnormal — how fraught with danger — they really are. Under Trump, American laws, news media and mores are under assault, to say nothing of American democracy itself.

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