I entered this social experiment with absolutely no planning, expectations, or clearly defined goal. I randomly got the idea in my head to try and “be a Trump supporter for a day” to understand their point of view and how we are… well, where we are. I am a notoriously careless person, have extreme ADD, and I’m shocked I’ve made it this far in my project, let alone life.
What I’m doing right now is staging a bunch of reasons for me to point at when you all hate this Medium blargh post.
THE STATE OF POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
At this moment, best I can tell, there’s three main types of people involved in politics. Maybe 4. Lets do 4.
- Extreme Trump Supporters
- Moderates that tolerate Trump but don’t care much either way
- Extreme Trump Haters
- People that don’t like politics
If you fall in to the 4th category, this shit is probably going to be really boring to read. Then again, I do huff gas and get drunk in this story, so maybe not. Personally though, I fall into the 3rd category. I don’t like Trump at all, and it’s mind boggling to me that this guy is in charge of the free world as I write this.
— Couldn’t have said it better myself, frand.. —
THE IDEA FOR THIS SOCIAL EXPERIMENT
..is not even original. I lifted it from a technique Steve Jobs used during meetings when people would dig their heels in and flatly disagree, no matter how many conversations they had. He would ask them, for the next day, to advocate and argue IN FAVOR of his idea. If they still disagreed after a day, at least they might gain some perspective on why it’s a valid idea. In reality, Steve was just manipulating the shit out of people with psychological tricks — but then again, in Steve’s defense: Apple.
I was going to do a “cut over” the next morning, but then I apparently got distracted by something or who knows, really. Mid Saturday I realized if I didn’t start it that night, it wasn’t going to happen. Also, I had zero plans of chartering into weird psychological territories during the work week, so I picked 6:54 PM PST Saturday, and converted to #MAGA4ADAY on June 10 2017.
As it settled in to my brain that I committed a full day to a very poorly thought out adventure, I tried to just let it flow. At first I just played with the idea of being and over-the-top caricature of a hick-like Trump supporter, but then I would be giving up any reasonable expectation of learning something new. Still, it did not stop me from trying.
Yes. I huffed gasoline and followed [at]PrisonPlanet. Things were in full swing now. No turning back. No quitting now.
Things were funny for a little bit. Less than an hour in, though, the gasoline wore off and a darkness overtook my Twitter account. I had followed about 50 accounts that were suggested to me after following “PrisonPlanet”. Breitbart, Fox News, and white supremacist groups now dominated my world.
The flood of tweets from the President were insane enough by themselves, but now I had other way worse accounts that were signal boosting some pretty nasty stuff. I’d seen most of it already through natural Twitter use, but never in this kind of volume. The wall of garbage was upon me in full force.
REALIZATIONS BOOZE YAHTZEE SHAME FAKENEWS
It took almost no time for me to realize simply scrolling through my timeline for clarity was a hopeless endeavor. Turning this whole thing into a joke wasn’t even a fun idea after an hour because of how dark the timeline got.
So, I did what anyone in infosec would do. I decided to get really fucking drunk.
I then met up with some friends to play my first ever game of Yahtzee and try to rethink my approach. I explained the #MAGA4ADAY thing to them and was immediately asked to leave the house. (They were joking, sort of.) It’s worth noting I did wear a hat of shame. But, I got two Yahtzee’s on my first game, so SUCK IT! I’VE HEARD THATS AWESOME IN YAHTZEE! #MAGA!
I still did not win the game in the end though, so there’s that. Fuck Yahtzee.
This is basically me wearing the hat, the only difference is that I’m the opposite sex and race. Also my hat was blue and does not exist.
CAN’T YOU SEE THAT I’M ESSENTIALLY BARBARA FUCKING WALTERS?
While being FAKE-NEWS-HAT shamed, I put together a small, industry standard ANGTFD list for the people I wanted to talk to. The list was pretty simple and to the point. I mostly based the criteria on my time crunch of 24 hours, which was a recklessly short amount of time to conduct any real scientific study, but I’m not a fucking scientist. So go ahead and fuck right off with your criticism of my study’s merit.
Sorry, I’m yelling again.. Anyways.
Ain’t nobody got time for:
- People that are just trolling me instead of real conversation.
- People that don’t live in the United States
- People that already agree with me on everything
- Actually thats pretty much the only criteria. Be in the USA, and have a real conversation with me about this topic we disagree on.
You might start asking yourself things like “but what about Americans out of country, or people overseas temporarily? Their voice matters!” To that I say: This isn’t fucking rocket science, go do the same thing I did and get off my nuts, goddamn. I’m getting worked up, who got dat spray paint? How about some shots? Maybe some mouthwash to get this party started??
IT’S GOING DOWN IN THE DMs
Mentioned in the beginning of this blargh post, I’ve hilariously oversimplified our politics to 3 types: Supporters, Moderates, and Haters. At first I had a pretty hard time finding Extreme Trump Supporters that would actually speak with me, so I chatted with some Moderates on Twitter to start. Below is the sobering reality and summarization of multiple conversations I had with moderate, well thought-out, even-tempered people.
Everyone mentioned these things:
- People voted for Trump or 3rd party largely because: “Not Hillary”
- All mentioned negative materials found in dumps/emails. Attribution opinion is split between Russian hacking groups and intentionally leaked-from-within scenarios.
- SJW culture is out of control and forced political correctness played a large role during this election.
- Obamacare sucks and it needs to get fixed (but conceded Trump/Republicans are mostly fucking this up so far.)
- All mentioned Syria, Qatar, and Russia with references to the previous administration’s (read Democrats) handling of foreign issues as being a factor in supporting/voting for a change.
- All agree there were Russian influences being conducted on our 2016 elections. None went as far as to say Putin or Russian government was directly involved.
- All mentioned mainstream media is not truthful and have a bone to pick with Trump.
- Over-regulation is stifling the economy. Trump is following through with his plans to deregulate and is currently helping the economy.
- Things nobody mentioned: China/US relations, Mexico, Border Wall, 5-Eyes Alliances, UN, NATO, climate change, and some other topics.
Regarding things nobody mentioned: I probably could have just asked about those issues, but letting the conversation flow naturally seemed to result in more authentic answers. Also I didn’t make up a questions list like an adult, because I’m an animal.
ITS GOING DOWN IN THE SS7s
For really die hard Extreme Trump Supporters, I actually had to make calls and talk to people. This was largely due to almost everyone I know on Twitter who’s a “big Trump fan” is not actually from the USA. The second reason is I know a lot of trolls. And so, we dive right in to the Extreme Trump Supporters I spoke with..
Every one of them mentioned:
- They specifically voted based on: “Not Hillary”.
- The hacking/email dumps played a large role in “Exposing Hillary” and changing their mind, but conceded Trump likely has just as damning of dirt.
- They would have voted for Bernie Sanders if he was allowed to run. All mentioned the appearance of a suppression effort by the Democrats to bury his voice.
- They all hate SJW/Political Correctness.
- They all really, really want the wall built. Mexicans are stealing federal benefits, and terrorists are flooding over the borders. The wall needs to be built yesterday.
- They are appalled by Trump’s handling of Obamacare and are extremely worried about their future. (Every Extreme Trump Supporter I talked to is on multiple forms of government assistance, including ACA.)
- None were well versed on the foreign affairs except for a generalized “stop giving money to other countries”.
- None cared about climate change policies, regulations, or even the economy in general other than “make it better”.
- None cared about attribution of the dumps/emails, just that they existed.
For the last 3 items, I actually asked about these topics and these were the responses I got. I’m also serious about multiple people flipping from Hillary/Sanders to Trump. Multiple. People.
HOLY GOD NOW WHAT?
Well, basically we’re fucked. None of this article changes the fact that the Trump administration is in office, and none of it will help course correct our ship. I have my opinions on the answers given, but does my opinion even really matter? Well I don’t care if it matters! I’ve made it this far, I’m going to share my opinions anyways!
I think the main take aways are pretty fucking pathetic:
- A guy got voted in to office because American people are so tired of political fuckery that he won by simply being “Not Hillary”.
- Democrats have a lot of work to do to repair their reputation. Additionally, if they’re going to continue playing ball in the shadows, Democrats need to take OPSEC and computer security way more seriously.
- People need to stop trying to force everyone to be nice to each other. It sucks that people say mean things, but silencing dissenting voices is only having a polarizing effect. The ‘SJW factor’ was a big factor in Trump’s win. How about getting people to be *genuinely* cool to each other? That’d be neat.
- There’s merit to some of the things brought up by Trump supporters. The media is totally hammering Trump, sometimes unfairly. I doubt many people would even challenge this. Personally I find it funny, and he totally asked for it by declaring war on the media and reporters. That doesn’t excuse misleading reporting, though.
MY FELLOW AMERICANS
My advice for ALL of my fellow Americans, on any political side?
Keep being smart and reading the things you Retweet & Share with a skeptical eye. Have fun sharing the ridiculous articles we get daily about either side, but be sure they’re based in fact. Try to be less shitty to each other. PC/SJW culture really is tiring and if we naturally progress to being less shitty, we can get rid of the people that police and scrutinize every fucking word we write or say. But most importantly, remember…
..THIS GUY RUNS OUR COUNTRY.
@notdan on twitter.