Just at the Winter Solstice, a horrifying article appeared in Slate describing Trump voters’ attitudes toward Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood had discovered that more people voting for Trump supported Planned Parenthood than didn’t, so conducted some focus groups of their own to examine what this might mean for them. (I was unable to verify the results reported in the article on the Planned Parenthood website, and did not call them for verification.)
Their focus groups consisted of Trump supporters who also supported Planned Parenthood. Although the results are horrifying, they are not entirely surprising, at least to me. I had considered most voters to be voting emotionally, and it seems that that is just what they were doing. What came through from the recordings of these focus groups is that these people decided whom to vote for out of ignorance – ignorance of the facts about both major candidates, so all they had to go on was their feelings. They were then vulnerable to whatever misinformation came their way. This deplorable state of affairs led them to make suppositions that were vastly misleading, such as thinking that Trump would not really forward a religious-right agenda. They were easily led by emotional rhetoric and posturing, and now they will pay the price.
“It’s far from certain that these people, or others like them, will turn on Trump when and if he goes after reproductive rights. If the reality of his plans didn’t penetrate during the campaign, there’s no reason to think the reality of his policies will penetrate afterward, at least for those who aren’t directly and immediately impacted.”
This illustrates how impoverished our electorate is, particularly in the area of critical thinking skills. I believe these voters applied this method of reasoning (or not) to other issues besides women’s health, and that they simply went with their emotional take on things, not bothering to really look into the issues at all. To be fair, it is difficult today to find time to do this, because of the inordinate pressure of jobs with overwhelming demands, family needs, commute times, and so forth. This situation may be part of the plan, also, to keep people poor and ignorant so they will be grateful for whatever crumbs the wealthy throw them. I am afraid that most people won’t be bothered to push back or take action of any kind if, as the journalist pointed out, they “aren’t directly and immediately impacted.”
Trump & Co. are relying on this ignorance and complacency to further their plans in every area, not just women’s health. I really hope that those who can see what’s at stake take action soon, because waiting four years is just too long. By then, this new oppression will be entrenched, and very difficult to undo. The thought of the effects on our environment are simply unthinkable. Do all you can to fight back, now.
Copyright © 2017 Teresa Chupp. All rights reserved.