As a millennial Donald Trump supporter, especially one attending college in the United States, chances are you will be required to defend your support of Trump. Given that the current distribution of political views on US college campuses is overwhelmingly left-leaning, defending your support is certainty rather than a matter of chance.
According to the University of California at Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute, data shows that 50.3% of professors identified as liberal, 12.4% identified as far left-leaning, and only 37.7% all other ranges of the political spectrum, where the lowest rate was 0.4%, which identified as far-right.
The sourced data was collected between 2008 and 2011, at the time this article is being written (2016) events have unfolded in the last two years which would lead to a prediction that the data has remained constant or has shifted further towards the left. The question some fellow millennial Trump supporters might be asking is how to defend and show support of the person they believe should be the next president of the United States.
After being berated and called every generic insult in the liberal millennials playbook, I have spent considerable time thinking about this and have come up with some key strategies which have had good results. To keep things focused, I will outline one key situation and strategy.
The most common argument liberal millennials have is that Trump is a racist because he has nationalistic immigration policy proposals.
Earlier in the election I tried the simple approach. I simply retorted with ‘Mexico isn’t a race, it’s a nation comprised of various ethnic groups.’ This failed because I went on the defensive and opened a platform for arguing trivialities. Moreover, I used a similar response if the person I was talking with brought up reform of Islamic immigration to the US. I figured stating the obvious—that Islam is a set of beliefs and laws would resonate.
It didn’t. In both cases, the other person became more steadfast in their position. Why?
I think the resistance manifested because the other person felt as if they were being corrected instead of being motivated to think about the issue. After many nonproductive conversations, I believe I’ve figured out how to make progress.
I started asking people why they think Trump is a racist. Additionally, I started asking people why we should allow and support mass Islamic immigration to the U.S. and how will it benefit America overall. Once I started asking why, people opened up and made a case for their side. Even if their argument was based on feelings and emotions, and crystallized in the form of virtue signaling, a productive conversation had been started.
Once a productive dialog has been established, I would use analogies to break down the misuse of the word racist, bigot, and xenophobe which are often thrown at Trump and Trump supporters without thought.
One powerful analogy to explain the need for immigration reform is the analogy of the home and family. Next time you are called a bigot, racist, or xenophobe by a leftist, ask them if they would allow strangers into their home, give them food, live for free, allow them to assault or kill their roommates or family members, rape their girlfriend, wife, mothers, or sisters; all while complaining that the free food is unfit for consumption, the free shelter is inadequate, and the rules are not of the kind they want to follow. In most cases this analogy at the least invokes thought into a new perspective on the issue, and in the best case it creates a 180-degree flip in thinking.
Ultimately, the goal is to ask questions. Ask people why they say and believe the accusations they make. Encourage self-reflection and thought through inquisition. Patience and having a thick skin work wonders when talking to people in an election cycle as heated as the current one.
In another piece, I want to discuss how to have productive conversation about conservative or right-leaning issues within our country.
Stay strong; stay patriotic.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.