Reframing "You Bought It" to "Stand Together"

By Stephen, 11 April, 2017
Robert Reich wrote Update for Trump Voters, which I believe is in the style of "basket of deplorables" — the kind of messaging that reinforces team boundaries, so that wavering Trump voters might stick with him because the only other option is a team that is actively insulting them. My blog is almost all Reich's words, rewritten from a theme of "you bought it" to "stand together." I don't want to turn down the outrage or anger,
just turn down the snark. Also, as recommended by Nonviolent Communication, it (at least hints at) actions that people can take today, rather than being angry about what they did in the past.

My rewrite of "You Bought It" follows:

Did you support Trump? Politicians of many stripes often try to turn ordinary people against each other. We built this country together, but now politicians purposefully divide us. I don't want America divided:

8. He said Clinton was in the pockets of Goldman Sachs, and would do whatever they said. Then he put half a dozen Goldman Sachs executives in positions of power in his administration. Politicians of many stripes have their pockets full, let's clean house together. Stand against corruption, and we'll stand with you.

1. Trump said he wouldn’t bomb Syria. Then he bombed Syria. Stand against his lies, we'll stand with you.

2. He said Mexico would pay for the Wall, now he has asked Congress to spend our tax money on it. Stand up, we'll stand with you.

3. He said he’d clean the Washington swamp. Then he brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs, and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history, to make laws that will enrich their businesses. Stand against corruption, we'll stand with you.

4. He said he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “wonderful.” Turns out he didn't have a plan past getting elected. Stand against manipulation by politicians — we are all being manipulated — we'll stand with you.

5. He said he’d release his tax returns. He hasn’t, and says he never will. Stand against lies, we'll stand with you.

7. He said he’d divest himself from his financial empire, to avoid any conflicts of interest. He remains heavily involved in his businesses, makes money off of foreign dignitaries staying at his Washington hotel, gets China to give the Trump brand trademark and copyright rights, manipulates the stock market on a daily basis, and has more conflicts of interest than can even be counted. Stand against politicians who get rich instead of serving the country, no matter which party they are in. Stand against corruption, let's do it together.

9. He said he knew more about strategy and terrorism than the generals did. Then he green lighted a disastrous raid in Yemen- even though his generals said it would be a terrible idea. This raid resulted in the deaths of a Navy SEAL, an 8-year old American girl, and numerous civilians. The actual target of the raid escaped, and no useful intel was gained. Stand against chicken-hawks who love war but didn't serve. Stand against politicians who think they are smarter than the generals. We'll stand with you.

10. He called Barack Obama “the vacationer-in-Chief” and accused him of playing more rounds of golf than Tiger Woods. He promised to never be the kind of president who took cushy vacations on the taxpayer’s dime, not when there was so much important work to be done. He has by now spent more taxpayer money on vacations than Obama did in the first 3 years of his presidency. Not to mention all the money taxpayers are spending protecting his family, including his two sons who travel all over the world on Trump business. Stand against hypocrisy and corruption. We'll stand with you.

Inviting people to stand together can be done with just as much fire — we don't have to be cozy and "nice," but welcoming his voters to join us is how we unravel Trump's odd coalition. "Singing to the choir" messages tend to go viral — so it is particularly important for leaders with big followings to teach progressives how to do outreach better, rather than feed us "sugar candy" articles to collect more likes. The next step to improve the framing might be petitions that liberals and conservatives alike can sign, for example, agreeing that tax money shouldn't be spent on the Wall, whether or not they agree about the Wall aside from that. Break down the divisions, rather that mockingly pointing out the obvious, and people will quickly be able to see the Trump administration with clearer eyes.