This 2016 Presidential election is by far the most heated (and entertaining) election of my lifetime.
People on both the Democrat and Republican side feel very strongly about their candidates, and the attacks on each side are vicious.
What has been most surprising to me has been the way in which people who don't like Donald Trump make their argument.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course, but it seems like the people who are so strongly opposed to Donald Trump have a really tough time defending their position with facts.
Rather than giving supporting evidence or an explanation as to why they feel so strongly about their position, almost 100% of their energy goes into attacking whoever dares to confront them and suggest having an actual discussion or debate.
I have no problem if someone has an opinion different than mine, but if you're going to bring your opinion out into the open in a public forum, please be able to provide some sort of evidence to support your position!
Shouting "Racist!" "Sexist!" "Unqualified!" "Hateful!" proves nothing, other than that you've bought into the (false) narrative that the mainstream media or your friends have fed to you.
If you're old enough to be able to vote, then you're old enough to be able to debate the issues.
My experiences with in-person Anti-Trumpers
I've been to several Donald Trump rallies over the past year and have encountered protesters at all but one event. It's amusing to watch, but revealing to experience. And kind of sad, too.
My first observation is that many of these protesters go to great lengths to hide their identities. Bandanas, face masks, holding signs in front of their faces... They seem to want to avoid being identified for some reason.
Many refuse to talk, as well. I've approached many a protester who's holding a sign, whether it's "Release your tax returns!" or "Trump = Hitler" or any of the other typical Anti-Trump signs, and tried to start a conversation.
I'm genuinely interested in debating with these people, maybe coming to a better understanding of why they feel the way they do, and maybe helping them to understand what I see differently about Donald Trump. Even if neither one of us changes our mind, I think by having a brief, civilized discussion about whatever the issue is could make people realize that even though we disagree about some things, at the end of the day we're all wanting pretty much the same thing. And who knows, maybe an opinion might change in the process.
Usually the protesters keep their mouths shut, or continue to scream the same annoying chants over and over again.
"Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Donald Trump Has Got To Go!"
Sometimes there is one person in the group of protesters who appears to be the official spokesperson. Usually they are wildly misinformed about what their position is, but at least they're willing to talk.
No, Donald Trump has never said anything about shipping blacks back to Africa.
No, Donald Trump is not against immigrants.
No, he has not gone bankrupt 4 times.
And no, his tax returns won't contain any bombshells that disqualify him from being the President.
These are all topics that can be talked about though, so if someone is at least willing to have a discussion, I can respect them for that.
Many protesters accuse Donald Trump and Donald Trump supporters of being racists, bigots, intolerant, and violent...
...yet these same protesters are the ones who will scream "F**K YOU!" in your face if you're wearing a MAGA hat or a Trump shirt, will rip the Trump sign out of your hand and tear it up, and in some cases get violent and attack you or your property if you have a different opinion from them.
My experience with online Anti-Trumpers
Online discussion boards (such as this one) and comment sections of blogs and YouTube are an interesting place for political debate.
What I've found is that whenever the topic of Donald Trump comes up, there is an immediate reaction from many people to respond with comments like "He'll destroy the country, he's a hateful racist with no experience whatsoever" or "He's the next Hitler, I'm moving to Canada if he's elected"
And with great reliability, these people respond very similarly when confronted.
Usually it goes something like this:
Anti-Trumper: "Donald Trump is a terrible racist who hates Mexicans!"
Trump Supporter: "He wants to stop illegal immigration, when has he said that he hates Mexicans?"
Anti-Trumper: "You've got to be kidding me."
Trump Supporter: "No, really... When and where has he ever said that he hates Mexicans? What evidence do you have that he's a racist?"
Anti-Trumper: "If you can't plainly see that he's a racist and hates Mexicans, you must be a retarded racist too."
Trump Supporter: "Okay, but can you give a quote? post a video? give an example of when he's said that he hates Mexicans or thinks one race is superior to another?"
Anti-Trumper: "I don't have to give any examples. I don't have to back up my opinion. Clearly you're a moron because you don't get it. I'm not going to waste my time or my energy telling you how Donald Trump is a racist who hates Mexicans, I have better things to do. You must be a loser who has nothing better to do than make demands for someone to back up their opinion, you're probably a racist who hates Mexicans too. Blah blah blah, blah blah blah"
I've seen it on this site many times, exactly like this. The person accusing Trump (and me, because I support him) of being an ignorant racist who hates (insert minority here) refuses to provide one quote or one specific example of why or how Donald Trump is a racist (or a business failure, or incompetent, or Hitler, or whatever other insult they can think up), instead they respond in 3 or 4 one thousand character responses about how they have better things to do and don't have to explain why Trump is (insert accusation here).
I've gone so far as to help them out by giving an example of what they could say to defend their position (usually a one sentence quote is all it takes).
Usually the response is another long winded "How dare you ask me for evidence to support my claim, you racist loser!" followed by me being blocked by the user. So typical.
Only ONCE on this site has someone given a specific example to back up her position. And when she did, I let her know how I understood the cited incident and why I felt differently about it, but thanked her for the civilized debate and let her know that I respected her for making up her mind based on actual facts and being willing to actually engage in a conversation. I understood her position, maybe she understood why I felt differently about it, and we could agree to disagree...
My point here, and really, all that I want, is for people who make sweeping accusations about someone or a group of people to be willing to back up their accusations with some sort of facts!
I don't care if you feel differently about something, I don't care if we disagree 100%... but please! If you're going to attack someone and accuse them of something in a public forum, either in person or online, at least have the courtesy to provide a shred of evidence to support your position!
That is all.