Please Stop Giving Trump Supporters a Stupidity Pass

Ignorance is not a compelling argument.

A friend recently offered a theory that I hear all too often from seemingly reasonable adults right now: Trump supporters are somehow victims of the partisan media/Religious Right Church alternate reality that they’ve been raised in and are still captives of. They’re surrounded by fake news and false stories, and so they aren’t bad people—they just aren’t seeing what we are seeing. We need to be more understanding.

I’m sorry but this isn’t an acceptable justification. It may have been in a pre-Internet era, but today there simply isn’t a reasonable excuse for being so sheltered from facts and so truth-deprived that you can’t see the level of malevolence of this President and you can’t discern how reckless and dangerous this Administration is.

People aren’t being asked to dig beneath some complex, brilliantly crafted ruse perpetrated by the Conservative media and religious conglomerates working in concert. If you can simply read the President’s own Twitter feed and not be fully disgusted to the point of vomiting—you aren’t a reasonable human being or you are willingly choosing to engage in wild intellectual/theological gymnastics in order to avoid a reality that makes you uncomfortable, and to justify some really vile stuff that no one is even attempting to conceal.

We’re all seemingly striving to be adults here, and being an adult means we’re responsible for ferreting out what is real and what isn’t, and for making good decisions with the available information. This is what we demand from our children isn’t it? We only let their ignorance be an excuse for so long, and then we remove that option because we expect them to be smarter than that at some point. If grown men and women aren’t willing or able to sift information and choose wisely because of their media choices or their circle of friends or their mental effort, the net result is the same: they are enabling and protecting reprehensible behavior that places people in great danger.

If FoxNews creates your reality, you’re going to be hateful toward lots of people. You’re going to be afraid of Muslims, “Gays”, people of color, immigrants, refugees—and on and on and on. And if you’ve been on the planet for a few decades, you should have developed the critical thinking not to allow a network that brokers in fantasy and fiction more than the SYFY channel to be your baseline for truth. That’s a you problem.

If The Religious Right defines for you what it means to be a Christian—your Christianity is going to look nothing like the actual teachings of Christ. It’s going to be an angry, violent thing devoid of compassion and gentleness—and that isn’t your preacher’s fault and it isn’t Franklin Graham’s fault and it isn’t the Devil’s fault. As a thinking Christian who supposedly reads the words of Jesus and reflects on them regularly—you should see through this sham in a hot minute and soundly reject it.

If the brazen, unapologetic racism and xenophobia and misogyny on display right now is too subtle for your sensibilities, and if nazis marching through towns with torches and pedophile politicians fall beneath your radar—you either have your head in the sand or it isn’t on straight to begin with, and either is a problem.

Many of my white Evangelical friends supporting Trump aren’t as much stupid or unaware, as they are cowardly. They held their noses last November, voted in anger or haste or error—and then quickly got out of the politics business, choosing to escape the consequences of their decision on other people. So FoxNews and the Evangelical Church have become convenient places of sanctuary for people with privilege wanting to hide from the results of their vote. Again, they aren’t ignorant of reality—they just are opting out of it altogether. If it is stupidity, the affliction is highly selective, extremely localized, and very convenient.

It’s time we stopped giving adult human beings the benefit of the doubt, simply because we think they’re not smart enough not to be fooled by religious shysters, fake news peddlers, and political snake oil salesmen. If that is true, then they’re also not smart or mentally available enough to be presented with objective data or compelling argument and to filter them responsibility. They are practically speaking, unreachable with rational measures.

I’m tired of having to treat people like children, when they aren’t capable or willing to see what even a child can see, what my children can see. They know hatred and bullying without needing to read a think piece or do online research or unpack layers of religion and history.

I’m over justifying bigotry and racism and the horrible stuff happening in the country, and giving people who perpetuate it a pass because they supposedly don’t realize they’re supporting a monster,—when most of the watching world seems to get it. 

In a time when information is available at our fingertips and when conversation and study and exploration are limitless, I’ve through excusing adult men and women for not being able to make a decision that is based in reality, simply because they’re in some hateful, self-righteous, nationalistic bubble. That’s their fault, not ours. I don’t hate these people but I’m also not going to coddle them and encourage their ignorance anymore because lots of people are damaged when that happens.

Sooner or later we adults all have to own our supposed stupidity–and choose to be wiser.


44 thoughts on “Please Stop Giving Trump Supporters a Stupidity Pass

  1. I’m a Conservative, I voted for Trump, and I will vote for him again. I don’t get my news from FOX. I read the NY Times and for in-depth research I go to Please read article on ‘income inequality’ to get a Conservative perspective. I also read black Conservative Economists, Thomas Sowell, & Walter Williams. Give them a try, they are even tempered have much gravitas from their long lives and intellectual endeavors. I also love what black , x-addict, x-welfare recipient , conservative Star Parker is working on. Center for Urban Renewal & Education.

  2. I’ve noticed that the “cover” given to Christians involves jerking their emotions into high gear. Whenever I talk to these folks about choices made, the response is an emotional one: I had to vote for “x” because we need to be saved from “y”. This becomes the most compelling important thing in their religious lives. I had experience with this when I became divorced and a single parent in the 1980’s. At that time, the GOP wanted to revamp welfare and used scary language about single parents, questioning morals and declaring that my child would bring immorality to anyone who was heedless enough to play with him. Imagine then, how my eyes were opened when I got my church’s monthly newsletter asking parents to send their children to youth group to help protect them morally from children like my son. After the outrage and tears, I contacted my pastor and asked if I was welcome at our church. He apologized and it was a good lesson for him in the power of language, but I didn’t feel comfortable there and found another church. It’s helpful, I think, to teach people how language and emotions are used by political operators to create pictures of danger that one must vote against. Telling folks that they are responsible for the president won’t get you where you want to go unless they are encouraged to, taught to, connect the emotional dots.

  3. How do you Trump-haters and now haters of Trump-supporters who call yourselves Christians justify your support of the unjust extermination of life in the womb? (Especially when it disproportionately targets black babies).

    I’ll speak for myself. No, I didn’t vote for Trump because of stupidity. It’s because I preferred his policies to those of crooked-Hillary. What’s so bad about that and so hard to understand about that?

    • The fact that you use “crooked Hillary” shows you drank the Kool-Aid and simply regurgitate the Fox News talking points here. No Catholic with any understanding of or respect for their faith tradition would sanction the assaults on the poor being perpetrated with this tax “reform” bill, but I know that’s not something you’re able or willing to admit because the whole facade would crumble.

      By the way, tell me what the over/under is on Trump Administration members being charged with felonies it will take for you to admit you got duped and supported the “crooked ones”…

      Actually I know that number. It would need to be me more than all of them. You’re than committed to the lie.

      You sold your soul, Joe. I know you don’t see that.

      • John, thank you for your response to Joe Catholic. I completely agree with you, the narrative that he starts out with seems that he bought the Fox News sound bites thoroughly. I am a gay man, happily married to another gay man, and I am Roman Catholic. However, I am not a fundamentalist Catholic, which is probably obvious by the fact that I am still Catholic. I struggle with my fellow Catholic sisters and brothers who love to try and be so “faithful” to the teaching of the church and the magisterium, and yet, when a tax plan comes along that goes against every principle in the 2000 year (plus) history of the Catholic Church regarding taking care of the poor, etc., that part gets forgotten. This tax plan is a scam, and if anyone cannot see that, they are not reading very deeply. Not that long ago, a majority of Catholics were Democrat, and primarily so because it seemed at the time that many leaders who identified as Catholic, understood that the gospel is feeding the poor, taking care of the sick, visiting those in prison, and taking care of the least among us. As an insider, and being Catholic, I feel that I can criticize my church. I believe what has happened is that many people have come into the church, and have brought with them their evangelical backgrounds, and are trying to make the church into an Evangelical Catholic institution. In my opinion, this is destroying the church.

        Thanks for all of your writing, it means so much to me and my spouse!

        Happy and blessed new year!!

    • What gives you the right to judge others? Whatever decisions a person makes in this life is between them and God come judgement day.

      It is not your place to to force others to follow your beliefs. This is a supposed to be a free country built on the separation of church and state.

      I think you need to go back and read the bible and rediscover what Christianity is supposed to be about instead of the false and hypocritical “Christianity” perpetrated by our so-called leaders today.

    • You are not pro-life, but simply pro-birth.
      Pro-life is from conception till death. Catholism isn’t just about abortion and ignoring the other 98 to 99% of Catholic teaching. You are a phony!
      Sick and tired of your BS.

      • Well said, so many Catholics are pro-birth, but when a baby comes into the world that was born to someone disadvantaged, all of a sudden, they are against entitlements or taking care of them. Pro-life is not just in the womb, it’ after birth, and till death. I’m also shocked at how many Catholics are also proud gun carrying, pro-death penalty. Makes me sick!

    • Joe,

      I’ll repeat this, to which you responded before by falsely accusing me of supporting abortion, while completely ignoring my main point:

      You would like abortion to be very rare, perhaps only to save the life of the mother? So would I. But how do we get there? Supporting Donald Trump mainly because of this, despite the serious risks his presidency poses for the world, smacks of “The end justifies the means”, surely not a Catholic value.

      But I don’t even believe he will achieve the end you wish for. Appointing pro-life Supreme Court judges is unlikely to change the law. Although SCOTUS isn’t bound by stare decisis, they’re rather conservative (small “c”) and are unlikely to reverse a decision just because the composition of the court changed.

      Second, even if they do overthrow Roe v. Wade, that probably won’t reduce the number of abortions (See In particular, it won’t stop the rich from getting abortions, by going abroad if need be; and there will surely be “back-street” abortions and self-induced ones: both very dangerous, of course.

      Some pastors understand that changing the law won’t change people’s hearts, and instead preach that we need to pray and work for revival. This is good, but we also need to focus on why women turn to abortion. Some 80% of abortions are of African-Americans. And why is this? Because the bias in the criminal justice system means that a huge proportion of marriageable black men are in prison. A woman who gets pregnant, but doesn’t have a partner, is much more likely to seek an abortion.

  4. Something I believe we need to draw more attention to is that this feigned ignorance and innocent misunderstanding and the phony self-righteous outrage and indignation at things CLEARLY false, fake, outright deliberate lies and slanderous personal attacks spread just for the purpose of an appearance of justified anger, hatred, and outrage. When someone insists on “misunderstanding” what they read or hear, so as to malign someone or something, often with the defense “so in other words,” to insist to someone their own words meant something other than they said, it is not a matter of marginal illiteracy. When a few words have been excised from something someone said, so as to be twisted into a meaning of something ugly that never existed, when fake propaganda that has been widely debunked repeatedly, is still used in hateful, even cruel attacks, there is no “innocent ignorance” involved.

    But also, that this is NOT a new phenomenon that has arisen in most the conservative religious right in response to the attempt to grab political power. This attitude and behavior has always been there among the conservative religious community, a streak of mean that speaks in the language of lies and slanders, that has run from the lowliest church member in the pews to the high level leadership. Of course this is not a charge that “all” people within that community has this kind of attitude and behavior, but anyone that has been much active within the church and community knows it is there, have seen it, and even explain to newcomers that is just how it is, so just ignore it. Let it roll off, don’t let it upset them. They have enabled it. And they know, too, speaking out about it will result in it directed at them, and they will be labeled trouble makers. And if one hurt by it, even driven out of church by it, speaks out, they hate the church and trying to destroy it.

  5. I do not watch Fox News. I am a Catholic. I support President Trump and find this article highly offensive. Why do you liberals think you are right? We are all entitled to our own opinions and shut up and show some respect!!

    • And yet, here you are. Shut up? Great debate tactic especially following right after “we are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs. Respect is earned. Contempt invites contempt.

    • Hm.. why do they think they’re right.. why do YOU think you’re right? You think that because you’re offended means you’re right? The fact you’re offended, honestly, likely makes you part of the problem. You say everyone is “entitled” to their own opinions, but the fact your response then becomes “shut up and show respect” instead of “here’s some articles with what I think is valid justification for my feelings and beliefs, please read and consider them” – and by extension yourself failing to “shut up and show some respect” – really shines a light on what a hypocrite you are. It says a lot about you, and it says nothing good. Maybe consider what you say BEFORE you say it next time if you want others to take you seriously.

    • Us liberals think we’re right because societies run on liberal principles of equality and fairness do better on measures of happiness and freedom, and have more successful economies. But don’t let trivial stuff like that get in the way of voting for someone who panders to your prejudices.

    • No, you aren’t entitled to opinions that are based on ‘feelings’. You are only entitled to opinions that can be backed up by reason, logic, and evidence. Yours can’t, and therefore people are entitled to point out that holding up opinions as facts is a level of false logic that originated in the land of rainbows and unicorns.

    • Here’s a free bit of advice…if I am mad at you because you “think you are right” and then don’t offer rebuttals for why your premise is wrong, you are wrong. Period. Also, telling someone to respect your opinions and then then telling them to shut up is hypocritical…I’m hoping you know this and were caught up in emotion when writing that, at least that can be classified as a poor emotional response instead of carefully-considered reasoning. This is not an opinion thing any more than gravity is an opinion thing…read his Twitter posts, watch his behavior while on the campaign trail last year (let alone his entire life in the public eye), Trump has no respect or consideration for anyone besides himself and other alpha male wannabes and the objective proof is overwhelming. Since we’re both Christians, crack open Matthew 5 (you know, Jesus’ keynote speech) and I defy you to show me even one area in which Trump lines up with Christ’s ideals…those aren’t opinions, those are facts proven by the words from Trump’s own mouth and Twitter account. His entire time in the White House is one gigantic proof that Mr. Pavlovitz is spot on in this article…you can choose whether or not to like his article, but you are woefully wrong to label it as opinion and then try to throw it on the trash heap. The proof is overwhelming.

    • Being Catholic is not a convincing argument for voting for an evil man like Trump. Your Pope can’t even stand him and his positions on global matters.

  6. Amen once again, John. Thank you for your eloquence. And while I’m here, I’m curious to know why my recent comments never appear. I’m on your side, you know. You are definitely the good guy, and I support everything you say. What am I doing wrong??

  7. I agree, but will add to what you have written. The churches teach this to most people who call themselves Christians. In many instances, the church does not teach following Jesus. It teaches people to be saved so they can go to heaven. It appears that your church must be teaching it, but in many cases, churches do not teach that the purpose of the Jesus ministry was to teach us to love.
    Read either the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed. There is not a word about following Jesus, only about believing in what the church teaches. They are pledges of allegiance to the church.
    Go to the home page of most churches on the internet. More of the same.

    • John,

      You’re right. Most church websites prominently include a “Declaration of Faith”, which is nothing of the sort, but actually a “Declaration of Belief”, or perhaps a “Declaration of Dogma”. You’ll also notice that this usually opens with a statement not about God, but about the Bible.

      What this says about such a church is that, if you don’t agree with everything in this list, you’re not very welcome here, you probably can’t ever be a member here, and most likely can’t take any responsible role in ministry here. I found myself attending such a church for a while, even though the pastor actively discouraged me from doing so.

      The church I attend now, Cedar Ridge Community Church (, takes a very different approach. We welcome anyone, whatever their background, denomination, or lack of faith. I hope that we attract people by our love (as Jesus commanded), not by our orthodoxy.

  8. I do not think that because people are Trump supporters that they are stupid. Maybe the ones who come to post here are the 1% or the top 9%. Why else would they keep voting for Republicans.

    They say they hate paying taxes for schools, bureaucracy, for the disabled, the working poor, etc., yet they are fine with paying taxes so the ultra wealthy can pay less. They are fine knowing that the Republicans are doing this because they have been told their money spigot will be turned off if they don’t. They are fine knowing that cuts to the “middle class” will conveniently end sometime after the next elections. They are fine knowing the Republicans purposely left in many loopholes – like the one for golf courses – while they pretend they are simplifying the tax code.

    They are fine throwing more money at the military knowing the military has never completed an audit. The military has “lost track” of over 7 trillion dollars in 2 decades. The military has been engulfed in bribery and corruption charges at the highest level. The money never has trickled down. The actual boots on the ground are chewed up and spit out. One lost hero should be one too many.

    Basic economics says that corporations are not going to hire until there is more demand. How many people are going to buy more knowing that in a few years they will get hit with higher taxes. If they are smart they will save every penny. All those imaginary jobs would have been welcomed during Bush I and Bush II’s terms. Why is it that recessions happen during Republican Presidencies? If America is just so wonderfully magically great because of 10 months of Trump why the necessity of tax cuts for the rich besides the homage to their money god.

    If our President is the face of the wealthy they deserve nothing. How much does it take to have a life? How do you respect a liar, a bully, a person that can see no further than his nose? He is ugly inside and out. I will borrow a line from him – “look at that face”. What does he see in the mirror that tells him he can lie and bully and always, always leave someone else holding the bag for his poor judgement and inadequacies.

    Politics is nasty and dirty. Neither side are angels. Why do we need labels? Can we not work together to do what is right and good for the American people?

    It is heartbreaking to me that people actually think that Democrats are so evil that voting for someone like Moore even if he was guilty is a better choice – a man who also thinks that being gay should be illegal. It is mind boggling to me that people cannot see each person’s worth as a human being – as an American.

    Calling yourself pro-life costs you nothing – absolutely nothing. You actually are only pro-birth and want to act like you have the moral high ground so that later you can easily wash your hands and your conscience of whatever happens to that child. It is cheap theater and a political prop. No woman is ever going to be forced to have an abortion. What good is it to legislate a female womb without also legislating a male penis? I have only heard of one virgin birth.

    Like I said there is so much I do not understand.

  9. You are exactly the problem with the left. People don’t agree with me so they are just stupid. I’m brilliant and all of my conclusions on the world are the only way. Evangelical christians who don’t believe as I do are cowards? Because they are tired of arguing with me? Trump may be straightforward and callous at times but if you r super intellect will recall this nation was founded to get away from oppression, and the left seem to think that is where they need to lead us. So Trump is the answer to fight back to the elitest(you). You people created Trump. You and the whole political system that rules this country. You people are total hypocrites. You create rasism and pronounce anyone who doesn’t agree must be hateful or a nazi. Its a pathetic agument. Its wrong to be patriotic to your country? Go live in Iraq. Believe me there is nothing christian about your little misguided rants. Should we bow in your pressence?

    • Nope…nope, nope, nope. Mr. Pavlovitz lets Trump’s own words do the talking, the proof is ironclad, Trump’s brand of Christianity is a sham. If you don’t like it, hold Trump’s words up to the Bible and see how much lines up…”blessed are the meek”, “blessed are the kind-hearted”, pretty much go down the line of Matthew 5 through Matthew 7 (all Jesus’ own words) and the verdict is clear. If your belief is that Trump’s only problems are being straightforward and calloused, then you have a very warped sense of what a Christian should support…mocking handicapped people, going after parents of a slain Gold Star recipient because of their religious beliefs, repeated grotesque comments about women, etc…don’t blame this on the left any more than I blame thunder on Thor’s hammer, he is the candidate that the right supported and you own that. Period. We didn’t vote for him in the primary, we didn’t vote for him last November; that man is a monster and you own it. At least be a man and call it for what it is…Trump is a terrible president and a horrible person and you helped put him in office. Don’t take my word for it, just read his Twitter feeds and watch his actions…and if you defend that nonsense, then you are guilty as well.

  10. And if you’ve been on the planet for a few decades, you should have developed the critical thinking not to allow a network that brokers in fantasy and fiction more than the SYFY channel to be your baseline for truth. That’s a you problem.

    Unfortunately, most of the left is led along by the media as has itself not developed any critical thinking skills. If you can’t see what Clinton was doing with her position as Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation, you are blind. The fact that the left was stunned by her defeat gives some semblance of the blindness of the left on the whole. I try to get my news from a wide variety of sources and the major networks were leaning far left of what I was seeing in real life, especially where past elections were considered.

    • Do tell. What exactly was Clinton doing as Secretary of State or at the Clinton Foundation that you find objectionable? What are your sources?

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  12. You sir, just articulated all the things I’ve been saying and thinking but in a more concise and precise manner about this incompetent/unfit President that we now have. Truly, it is mind boggling how anyone can continue supporting him. His own Secretary of State Rex’s Tillerson and NSA Adviser H.R.,McMaster, folks within his close circle, have described him as “moron” and “idiot” respectively.

  13. I don’t always agree with Elizabeth Warren but she is spot on when she said Trump years are like dog years. How are we all going to survive what will feel like 21 more years of this circus clown? Every single day he has to draw attention to himself at least once if not numerous times. We can only hope that he will grow tired of performing his continuous circus acts at least once in a while just to give everyone a mental health day. He certainly needs one – or maybe a permanent time out. His parents sure did a bang up job.

  14. I agreed with all of this before I even read it, but I still felt inspired. Well done, John, with this perfectly worded, true message.

  15. So what to do with all of these hateful conservatives that don’t believe in the Jesus you or I do?

    Should we isolate them? Ridicule them? Send them to re-education camps?

    They should know better, right? They have the same access to all of our subjective militant left-wing sources of information that the rest of us do. The fact that they reject the “truth” of our politics is damning of them. They should be ashamed, and I think Jesus would want to shame them. We should do the job for Him, right Pastor John?

    Or maybe… we should love our neighbor as ourselves, even if they are vile conservatives.

    After all, look at all of the sinful behavior you evidently excuse as gesture of love towards others. What makes the sin of conservatism different for you, sir?

  16. Now that the Republican tax plan is done—next comes their assault on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They have hated these programs that help “the least of these” ever since they were signed into law.

    I know that most of the visitors to John’s blog are old people—-and a number are in poor health by virtue of being old. I wonder what the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical arguments will be against those Jesus called “the least of these.” They will no doubt appeal to their real god—MONEY.

    • The Christians the GOP call themselves are certainly the worst hypocrites in government! The tax law proves it! Their hatred of protests of any kind proves it! They deny climate change & will protect the land in their own ways and yet: open oil fields in the Atlantic & Alaska, cut large portions of National Monuments for the purpose of mining, etc., etc. Intend on making large cuts to Medicare, Social Security, etc. so they can pay for the tax plan for the 1%. The list goes on & on! I think that Jesus says in Math 25:34-40 to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc.; to be generous to the poor in Prov 19:17; support your brother if he becomes poor in Lev. 25:35, 36, etc. So, there’s no appeal to the god of money if you’re a true Christian – only a soulful prayer of how can I help my brother who has less than me and thereby give the glory to the one who supplies it?

  17. Trump supporters are stupid, Hillary supporters are brilliant!
    Republicans are nazi’s , Democrats are perfect.
    The Right are all wrong and bigots and hate gays…they support the wrong God, have no comapssion and watch the wrong news channel.
    The Left loves everyone, supports the right God, watches the correct and true news, and would never be cruel or hateful towards anyone…all people matter!!! (except for any Republican, Conservative or Trump Supporter)

    Have I summed up this blog correctly?
    I am so glad to have finally found out all the answers, and to KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I have been so stupid for so many years….
    I never ASSUMED I was always right, or that I was perfect….I also never sat back and told those that do not believe what I do that they are stupid, and hateful.
    Must be nice to have all the answers, and to never be wrong….hating all Conservatives, and Republicans and any Stupid trump supporter…
    All that hate and anger is good for the soul, makes you feel great I am sure to be so angry and filled with so much hate.
    There is no box that Republicans, or Democrats neatly fit in, and I would bet if you shoved them all together in a box even though they all said they agreed with the same politics……GASP!!!! You would probably still within the same beliefs have disagrements.
    Sadly, there are always two sides to every story, one side is always wrong and one is always right.
    I don’t get the privlidge of being all knowing and all seeing and telling those who do not believe as I do that they are wrong….
    And no one here on earth is all knowing and all seeing and privledged to have that right over anybody.
    There is nothing wrong in standing up for what you believe in, but when it becomes to the point where it makes you so hateful and angry…you might just need to take a step back…and remember NO ONE is ever ALWAYS right!

    • I totally agree with your point of view, although the same can be said of conservative’s attitudes towards liberals.

      We all have to put our differences aside and stop this ‘us vs them’ thinking. This is what the establishment wants and they comes from both sides of the fence.

      The distracts us while they loot this country of everything that makes or made it great.

      We all have to realize that politicians no longer work for “We the People”, they work for the oligarchs who pay them huge bribes.

      We must stand together as one and take our democracy back from these criminals, both Republican and Democrat instead of fighting amongst ourselves like they want us to! As long as we hate each other, they win.

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