Recently, I wrote a post titled How to Communicate Facts in the Age of Trump which offered some helpful advice on communication, as well as insight into the psyche and motivations of conservatives.

As a data-gathering expedition, I decided to test my own advice and engage some Trump defenders on Facebook. Here’s what I found:

  • If they’re commenting just to be mean, they won’t respond to your request for more communication.

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  • They like to change the topic of conversation.

    The Trump defender in this case is referring to Bernie Sanders:

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In this example, the Trump administration’s ties to Russia turned into a Breitbart-inspired referral to Soros:

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  • They can sometimes seem very reasonable and even moderate their stance in response to questioning.

    In response to the Mike Pence AOL email hack:

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Until you visit their Facebook page and find this:

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  • Much of the time they just don’t get it.

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To recap, I learned:

  • If they’re commenting just to be mean, they won’t respond to your request for more communication.

  • They like to change the topic of conversation. (This is a YUGE-ly used strategy to put you on the defensive.)

  • They can sometimes seem very reasonable and even moderate their stance in response to questioning. (Until you find a Confederate flag on their Facebook page.)

  •  Much of the time they just don’t get it.

It was seriously difficult to stick to my 4 suggestions for communication, listed in this previous blog post. But I learned some very valuable information by engaging Trump supporters in Facebook discussion. If you try to engage (which I suggest because we have to keep the facts from becoming lost in the shuffle), DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE REDIRECTED. As stated above, this is a strategy used by Trump supporters that is meant to put you on the defensive.

In the (not quite) words of that Star Wars guy at the end of A New Hope: “Stay on Topic. Stay on Topic.” And may the force be with you as you continue on in this new resistance.

Have you tried to engage in discussion with a Trump supporter? How did it go?

Do you have any strategies that worked? That didn’t?

Please like and comment below.

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