Tom Nichols, a conservative professor at the Naval War College in Rhode Island, said many of President Donald Trump’s supporters were beyond the reach of logic and reason.
Nichols, a national security affairs professor who also taught at the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies, shared an anecdote on Twitter about two Trump supporters confronting him after a lecture Tuesday at Harvard University.
During the talk, I had said (in response to a question) that Helsinki was not going to move the needle on Trump's base support, not least because the Trump base is willfully ignorant and refuses to hear anything they don't like about the summit or about Russia at all. /2# p #3_21 # ad skipped = true #
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) July 25, 2018# p #4_21 # ad skipped = true #
The women, who were immigrants from India and a post-Soviet region, asked to debate Nichols afterward, and asked if he had called them “willfully evil” — and he said they sputtered after he corrected them and said they were “willfully ignorant.”
“Both did the standard Trump thing: talking at me in a fusillade of words punctuated with questions that they would not let me answer,” Nichols said. “This is a compulsion with Trumpers: they must – *must* – constantly explain to you why they *had* to vote for Trump.”
The women listed “phantom Trump successes” and insisted Trump was taking jobs away from foreign workers and giving them back to Americans, and Nichols tried to correct them.
“Look, what you believe to be true is false,” he told them. “The things you think are facts are not facts. We can’t go further here.”
The women rapidly insisted their beliefs were true, and they demanded Nichols accept their views as valid.
“You should respect my view and not call me ignorant,” one of them said, according to Nichols. “That’s not reasonable.”
Nichols told the woman she was not a reasonable person, and he said their views on Trump were simply not compatible with reality.
“Well, he’s not as bad as Obamanation,” the woman replied, referring to the former president. “That’s what he was, an abomination.”
Nichols rolled his eyes as the woman walked away, and the other woman explained she had voted for President Barack Obama but could not support Hillary Clinton — who she accused of various alleged crimes.
“These two people will never, ever change their minds,” Nichols said. “They are not accessible to reason. They demand agreement and respect, even when they don’t give it and are themselves unreasonable. This is the cohort that neither the GOP post-Trump nor Dems will ever reach.”
He said the women were unwilling to accept Nichols’ opposing viewpoint and instead only wanted to bash Obama and Clinton, and he said they would never change their minds.
“These types of Trumpers are just lost,” he said. “They’re not going to climb down, change their minds, listen to new information. Trump really could shoot them on Fifth Avenue. There’s no point in discussion, because they don’t *discuss*, they *preach*.”
“No rational or fact-based politics will reach these folks,” Nichols added. “I hate to say that, because I believe in the power of reason and facts. But they’re gone. Some of them are nice people, but dumb. Some of them are just bad people. But rationality isn’t going to change much here.”
No rational or fact-based politics will reach these folks. I hate to say that, because I believe in the power of reason and facts. But they're gone. Some of them are nice people, but dumb. Some of them are just bad people. But rationality isn't going to change much here. /14x# p #19_21 # ad skipped = true #
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) July 25, 2018# p #20_21 # ad skipped = true #