The following is an imagined scenario:
Since President Trump and his supporters are obvious “racists,” leftists might fantasize the need for a horde of deprogrammers to conduct “Deplorable Interventions” to set Trump supporters straight. To them, “deplorables” are what’s wrong with America. Yes, they’re the advantaged, homophobic, capitalistic, gun-loving, God-fearing patriots who need to get out of the way for America to be transformed into the democratic socialist republic it must become! But doing interventions may prove to be more of a challenge than they think!
Deprogrammer: We’ve brought you here for your own good. We want to free you from your irrational, cult-like support for Trump. It will involve a certain amount of retraining and…
Patriot: I don’t need retraining. God, family, and country give me all the solid foundation I need.
Deprogrammer: Yes, of course, there is God! As a Christian, how can you support Trump? Aren’t you to love your neighbor, not cut them off from government support?
Patriot: Of course, and, like Trump, I care enough to encourage every citizen to become less dependent on government and more self-sufficient and successful. I want them to find their own God-given skills and use them to pursue their own American dream. And like Trump, I want them to keep most of the reward for their efforts.
Deprogrammer: Spare me the tired talking points. You know far too many Americans will never experience financial success.
Patriot: You will find that I have my own opinions. We don’t need talking points. We know that you don’t have to be rich to be successful or satisfied. That’s the trouble with the left. The left actually believes people can’t be successful on their own without government help. Trump believes in America and ALL its people—no matter what their race, gender, age, politics, or sexual orientation. He knows that small business is the engine that keeps America growing and prosperous. All you need is to find a need and fill it. When you do something better, faster, or in a new way, the American Dream will still work for anyone willing to work hard to make it happen. Even you!
Deprogrammer: We’re not here to talk about me, but you. You know very well that the “American Dream” is an illusion most never achieve.
Patriot: You spend too much time in Washington. Most Americans earn their success the old-fashioned way—hard work. They make their own luck and take advantage of setbacks to turn them into opportunities. They aren’t victims; they’re survivors that find a way to make enough to take care of their families and their future. They even know how to have some fun along the way! They finally have a president who is looking out for them. Their hope for the future isn’t based on the special interest hustlers who populate Washington. Their optimism is earned from overcoming obstacles themselves and their belief that they can do that over and over again.
Deprogrammer: Easily said by a white man born to a life of advantage. You’ve never experienced the hardships of slavery or the hardship of immigration. Your successful because you won the lottery—rewards whites never truly deserved.
Patriot: Yes, I was born white, and my ancestors weren’t slaves, but they didn’t have it easy either. My ancestors came here with next to nothing but worked their dreams. As for me, I started my own company from nothing and work long hours to make it successful. Too many on the left look for excuses to justify living as victims. They play the blame game while others get busy working to achieve their own success.
Deprogrammer: Most blacks…
Patriot: Don’t start. Most black Americans living today know nothing of slavery or the racism of the past. As a child, I lived in the racist south. Today, is nothing like that! When black immigrants come to America today, they don’t seem to experience racism to the same degree or let it stop them. They’ve come for the opportunity and want to keep more of the rewards for their hard work. They don’t demonstrate; they get busy making their dreams a reality. More citizens should follow their example.
Deprogrammer: So you have no guilt! You think reparations for slavery is but a talking point used by black victims. How heartless can you be?
Patriot: I have sympathy for those who actually were slaves, but not for generations of many black Americans who have allowed themselves to become dependent on government entitlements. They’re trapping themselves on a modern-day plantation that has limited their potential!
Deprogrammer: I suppose you have no sympathy for the LGBT demands for equality.
Patriot: They don’t want or need sympathy. They deserve the same rights as any American, no matter what the race, gender, sexual preference. But they deserve no more special treatment from government than any other group. Calling Trump and Republicans racists or homophobes doesn’t allow us to come together to confront those who truly are. Trump and his supporters no more condone white nationalists than Obama supporters affirm Antifa’s actions. We should all shame extremists and stand together in support of freedom and opportunity for all citizens.
Deprogrammer: Government programs support the needy, and yet you see no justification for them!
Patriot: I believe the needy are best handled by family, friends, charities, and local governments. Let them be connected to services that fit their unique situation. That face-to-face contact helps create caring communities. It also helps weed out those conning the system. Americans are there to help, but that’s best handled locally.
Deprogrammer: You get Social Security. Isn’t that an entitlement?
Patriot: Social Security is not welfare; Americans pay into it. Unfortunately, politicians just used those funds instead of setting that money aside to pay for what they owe us seniors. Now they want Medicare for all; it will destroy an already underfunded benefit. Besides, you miss the point. The goal of government should be to get people off entitlements and into self-sufficiency, not trap them into dependence. But then again, the left requires dependence to get votes.
Deprogrammer: Let’s start with a truth you’ll find hard to deny. Republicans are no more fiscally responsible than the Democrats.
Patriot: Touché! I can’t say the GOP lives up to the values they claim to support. Spending gets votes. Then again, leftists are far worse than the Republicans. It’s a question of the lesser of two evils…or shall we say two spenders! Sure, I’d like President Trump to show more fiscal restraint, but your candidates’ promises would cost trillions!
Deprogrammer: So even with our exploding national debt, you condone those who are already rich getting the biggest tax break?
Patriot: The bottom 50% essentially pay no income tax. You can’t get a tax break when you pay nothing. Americans want the rich to pay more, but the top 1% of wage earners already pay over 37% of the total income tax bill. Obviously, any cut would give them the biggest break. Besides, Trump is right. By letting the rich keep more, they invest more, start more businesses, create economic growth which means more jobs. Trump will be riding the results of such policies to victory in 2020. Americans vote their pocketbook, and this economy is leaving more in their pocket!
Deprogrammer: Shouldn’t healthcare for all be a right? Most developed countries have universal healthcare. Why not America?
Patriot: And citizens in those developed countries pay for it. In Scandinavia, the middle class pays 50% in taxes to pay for such benefits. There are not enough rich to pay the bill for those who want free Cadillac care. If Americans knew the wait times they would experience and the high taxes that would be required to fund the left’s “medicare for all” promises, none of your candidates would have a chance.
Deprogrammer: Talk about promises! Trump promised to build his border wall but his border wall isn’t done. Americans know it’s a waste of money and it’s immoral.
Patriot: Protecting one’s border is not immoral. Some critical sections have been improved, and new areas are being started. Walls have proved to be effective in decreasing illegal border crossings. Let’s just take the decision out of Washington. Provide funds to Homeland Security to construct walls where the border guards suggest it would be most effective. Let the professionals identify where drones would be enough. We should also end sanctuary status, deport illegal immigrants who’ve committed major crimes, and bring sanity to our immigration policy. Immigrants are, have been, and will continue to be a national treasure. Illegal immigrants break our laws and lower the income for many low-skill Americans. Immigrants need to pursue entry legally.
Deprogrammer: It’s not just illegal immigrants that your kind targets. Trump wants to limit all Muslim immigrants!
Patriot: There are many responsible, peace loving Muslims in America. There are countries like Egypt and Indonesia who have huge Muslim communities, and their immigrants are treated no different than others. Trump has limited immigrants from countries that have produced terrorists. No plan will ever be perfectly fair, but Trump’s focus is on being anti-terrorist, not anti-Muslim, is a justifiable start.
Deprogrammer: I suppose that is why so many conservatives support the Second Amendment and love their guns? They need to protect themselves from all those illegals.
Patriot: Changing the Second Amendment won’t happen in America. The NRA is there because Americans value the right to bear arms to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. Guns don’t murder; people do. There are examples where armed Americans have shot mass murderers before they could kill more. Mass shooters love gun-free-zones. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, because no one has guns.
Deprogrammer: I suppose you have no trouble with Trump’s increased military spending and keeping some of our troops in Afghanistan?
Patriot: Do I support a strong military? You bet. But I think we’re overcommitted and agree with Trump’s desire to bring more of our young men and women home and let countries and allies carry more of the burden. Propping up tyrants never works. Have special forces positioned where they can intervene to protect our citizens when threatened or attacked, but we don’t need to remain the only world’s policeman.
Deprogrammer: You don’t like any progressive change in America do you?
Patriot: Every improvement is the result of change. Not all changes are an improvement. The Constitution and our existing political system has served us well. If you want to change the Constitution, take on the challenge of convincing the Americans you need to change it. Unfortunately, in today’s polarized political climate, Democrats seem only interested in blaming, name-calling, and impeaching Trump. That’s a recipe for defeat in 2020.
Deprogrammer: I still don’t see how you can justify voting again for Trump?
Patriot: I’ve covered that. I value my safety and that of my family. We all need and appreciate responsible police, a strong technologically advanced military, a fair legal system, the belief in hard work, the right to pursue happiness, not the right to have it at the expense of your neighbors. We fight for equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. As a patriotic American, I’m proud to reward President Trump’s accomplishments by giving him four more years to do even more.
Deprogrammer: I fear my intervention has failed.
Patriot: Then you may want to join us deplorables in our commitment to never vote for any candidate who wants to make America socialist. Join us in promising never to kneel during our National Anthem and to stand proudly for what our flag represents. Join us in honoring and supporting our police and military who keep us safe. But can I be frank? I have a feeling your days as a programmer are coming to an end. Thankfully, you live in Trump’s economy where there are a lot more jobs for you to consider for your next career.
Editor's note: This column has been lengthened to merge a two-part series.