Opposition Research is Essential (Mostly for White Liberals)

"Oh god.  How can I face my Trump supporting relatives on the HOLIDAYS!"

"It's just so hard to talk to my conservative father-in-law about the election.  It's like banging my head against a wall.  I mean, I have facts, he has bullshit and refuses to even consider anything but the..."

"I'd rather march in a protest in downtown Chicago than try to make the case to my relatives.  Getting pepper-sprayed or tear gassed is vastly preferable than the gut-wrenching horror of talking to my conservative parents."

The Literate Ape hears you and has no fucking sympathy whatsoever.  If you can't be creative and passionate enough to even try to convince those you love, how are you expecting the Left in general is going to be able to make a convincing case to 25% of the country?

Here are a few suggestions that I think might help:

  • Pretend you actually want to understand your Trump Thumping brother's point of view.

I say pretend because we on the Left are far more concerned with being right than we are of persuading anyone outside of the Masscult of Liberal Thought why we are right.  Ask questions, not to trap him into making a mistake in logic (there is no logic here, gang), but to listen and fully comprehend why you non-racist, non-sexist, relatively intelligent sibling voted for who you consider to be the anti-Christ.

  • Don't lecture or label or toss out condescending insults either to your Aunt's person or her candidate.

No one - NO ONE - was ever persuaded by being insulted or having their intelligence questioned. You don't catch a fish by hopping in your boat, paddling out to the middle of the lake, standing up quietly, and barking at the top of your lungs "HEY, YOU FUCKING RACIST, SEXIST, XENOPHOBIC FISH!  GET IN MY BOAT!!"

The Elephant in the room is as burnt and orange as the entree this year...

The Elephant in the room is as burnt and orange as the entree this year...

  • Stop reading Huffpost, Salon, Slate, the NYT, or listening to NPR exclusively.  Go do some opposition research.

Yes.  It's difficult to read an article about why conservative thinking is superior or how #BlackLivesMatter is a reverse racist organization or how New Feminism is just a bunch of dykes but unless you can understand the position of the opposition and how they frame the issues, your pleas and then enraged shouts mean FUCKALL.

"In a sense, I think a large part of Donald Trump's vote consisted of people who felt like saying, “You want racial politics? We’ll give you racial politics!” 

These people are not racist. They’ve got too many other issues to deal with that really matter. Under normal circumstances, white people just don't think very much about race. They have always been the default ethnic group, so they've never had to think about race. But they are now surrounded by a culture obsessed with both race and gender. And they are regularly lectured by the liberal elites who just got spanked at the polls that they should think about it all the time.

Black Lives Matter, but your little White honky life is politically meaningless. Go help your children finish their Black History Month coloring assignment from school and shut up. And don't even think about touching that Peach crayon. If your finger even touches anything lighter than Burnt Sienna we'll cut it off."

If you just read that and your only response is "WTF is this racist horseshit?" then you are part of the problem.  Yes.  It is racist horseshit but until you can see the things we on the Left take for granted, you can't effectively communicate any alternative.

If you missed the point of this election and the subsequent filling of the Oval Office with a cast of assholes the likes that room has NEVER seen, your ability to convince your friends and family that our ideas are the best ideas is URGENT.  It's more important than your protest.  It's more important than your Faceborg manifesto.  It's more important than your hair shirt wailing about how shitty it is that the country elected the least qualified person who ran his campaign like an online bully with a chip on her shoulder.

Now quit whining and go eat Turkey with your family and start the process of converting the Heartland to the ideas of tolerance, inclusion, fairness and justice for all Americans, one spoonful of stuffing at a time.