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Thu Jul 11, 2019, 09:21 PM

Trump supporter tries to turn Toastmaster Table Topic into a pro-Trump statement, gets pounded

by a new Guest Member, a young African American female who responded with grace, alacrity and truth under pressure.

I got talked into joining this club a few months ago. Don't need it. I was a double-ruby-with-distinction hired gun for a nationally ranked debate team, plus theater degree.

'Give back', was the argument from a coworker. Sigh. So, it's been all right. Fun, even. This one guy, though -- doesn't work in the building, lives with his mom, doesn't shower, one crazy eye and gives really dark speeches that let everyone know he's got Serious Problems -- gets to pick the Table Topics for this meeting. I've been friendly with him until now -- he seems to really like me for some reason.

He knows politics is verboten. Nonetheless -- the only questions offered are --

'Why are people so upset by Donald Trump's 4th of July celebration?" Twice for that one. And the kicker:

"You're in an alternate universe where you're a Trump supporter. Talk about why people should have loved Donald Trump's 4th of July celebration."

Three people were chosen. The first was a brand new guest, a young African American Lyft driver. She talked about the concentration camps, and asked why anyone would think it was all right to celebrate while children were being ripped from their parents. Everyone else in the room was nodding, but the Trump supporter took exception.

"We're so different in how we view things, I think that's all mischaracterized, blah blah" -- completely breaching the protocol of Toastmasters. The person running Table Topics isn't supposed to comment on anyone's response, not all all, ever.

The second person is a chemist who works in the building, basically the same response as the first person, eliciting yet another rebuttal from Troubly.

The third question -- the new president of the club took that one, and kind of punted just to get it over with. She was clearly embarrassed that anyone would hijack the meeting that way, but wanted to avoid a full blown confrontation. At the end of the meeting she reminded everyone of the rules concerning controversial political topics.

Troubly followed me out to the elevator. 'I'm Donald Trump's first fan, since the day I read his first book."

"He didn't write that book," I responded.

"He didn't?" Troubly was mystified by this.

I'm a pretty open-minded guy, used to be able to talk to Republicans quite freely before 12/11/2000. It's gotten harder and harder, and now I can't say a goddamned word without starting to immediately lose my temper. The word 'Nazi' just comes out of me, and I get serious fight-or-flight -- so no, not going to freak out at work and lose my job.

But it was a good window. This guy -- has a serious mental illness. If you told me he shot up a mall full of kids with an AR-15 I'd just nod my head. All he did with his rude little tactic was isolate himself and get the rest of us to bond.

It's getting down to the concentrated dark insanity. No one else can go down that road but the totally effing crazy unwashed basement-dwelling lunatics and the Devoted To Evil.

I don't have contact with these people often. But when I do, I get it.

Crazy, Evil, or both. No one else. A razor-sharp line. There is no gray area anymore, and there won't be again until everyone from my generation and my children's generation has passed on.

Sharp. As a razor.

28 replies, 4465 views

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Reply Trump supporter tries to turn Toastmaster Table Topic into a pro-Trump statement, gets pounded (Original post)
byronius Jul 11 OP
genxlib Jul 11 #1
byronius Jul 11 #2
genxlib Jul 11 #3
Demonaut Jul 12 #24
WhiskeyGrinder Jul 11 #4
byronius Jul 12 #5
WhiskeyGrinder Jul 12 #16
byronius Jul 12 #22
WhiskeyGrinder Jul 12 #27
GoneOffShore Jul 12 #6
WhiskeyGrinder Jul 12 #7
azureblue Jul 12 #9
WhiskeyGrinder Jul 12 #11
tazkcmo Jul 12 #12
WhiskeyGrinder Jul 12 #13
tazkcmo Jul 12 #14
WhiskeyGrinder Jul 12 #15
TheBlackAdder Jul 12 #17
WhiskeyGrinder Jul 12 #18
TheBlackAdder Jul 12 #25
PatSeg Jul 12 #8
anarch Jul 12 #20
byronius Jul 12 #23
PatSeg Jul 13 #28
FakeNoose Jul 12 #10
byronius Jul 12 #19
anarch Jul 12 #21
Name removed Jul 12 #26

Response to byronius (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 10:18 PM

1. I would have added...

And the person that did write it for him thinks he is a fucking moron.

Out of curiosity, what is the significance to 12/11/2000? The closest thing I could come up with was Bush V Gore but I think that was 12/12.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 10:33 PM

2. 12/12 was Bush v Gore announced, I think, but the decision was 12/11. I think.

You got it, though. The day polarization really started to slide in.

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Response to byronius (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 10:42 PM

3. Yeah, that was a dark day

It was especially difficult for me because I live in Palm Beach County and voted on the infamous butterfly ballot. The Bush V Gore thing was a travesty but the real tragedy is it should have never come to that. Just an effective way of actually figuring out what the voters wanted would have put Gore up by thousands.

Hard to believe it has been nearly 20 years.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 10:44 PM

24. I agree

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Response to byronius (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 10:46 PM

4. I have a problem with pathologizing political beliefs.

A person can cling to their delusions about Trump as a president without having an actual "serious mental illness." If they truly have a serious mental illness, they need help.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 09:29 AM

5. Point taken.

But meet the man and you'll understand.

Anxiety, depression -- irrelevant here. But after all that's happened, the images, the words, the events -- anyone who still supports this man is at least a sociopath or in some mode a psychopath.

If forty percent of your nation supports the debasement and destruction of your nation, if they can stand up and with clear eyes argue for the incarceration and torture of other human beings in all defiance of long-established norms and in the face of all evidence that their behavior is self-destructive and genocidal-- that is sociopathic behavior.

Treatment is impossible in this instance. This kind of mental illness is an existential threat to the human race. But it's still mental illness, not political ideology. Whatever ideology Republicans possessed has evaporated.

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Response to byronius (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 07:38 PM

16. That forty percent believes that 60 percent of the nation supports the debasement and destruction

of the nation and argues for the incarceration and torture of other human beings in all defiance of long-established norms and in the face of all evidence that their behavior is self-destructive and genocidal. Now what?

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #16)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 10:19 PM

22. Since I'm reading Plutarch, my response would be to look to the Roman civil wars.

A formerly stable empire wracked by internal conflict descends into chaos and becomes preyed upon by former subject states.

Standard issue human-conflict resolution scenario.

I will say this -- there is no compromise here. I personally cannot compromise with torture, murder, cruelty, theft, plutocracy, environmental rapine, purposeful ignorance and DoubleSpeak America.

We're going to have to take the pain. It may not end well. It shouldn't have to happen.

But this is the cost of sociopathic behavior. When people cheer on the torture of children for 'reasons', I feel free to call that insanity. We can quibble over definitions, but I think that behavior should be recognized as a clear and present danger to any stable social order, characterized and classified as Bad, penalized, studied, and treated as a public health emergency.

Troubly (the Trump supporter) is a particularly striking example of a fearful, damaged, early hominid throwback. He's excited by Donald Trump and does not consider any human suffering as acceptable evidence for a contrary opinion. He scared everybody before this particular meeting and now he scares us all far more. It's a diverse environment of intelligent people, and he's a large white male with tics and clear signs of instability inside and out. I'm a large white male, so perhaps I was less frightened of him than the others, and he clearly wanted to bond with me -- conservatives always assume I'm one of them, it's a problem for me.

But from now on I'm treating this guy as a Serious Threat, and I'm going to make that clear on a constant basis. I don't want to discuss anything with him. I want him incarcerated or deported off my planet. Definitions of mental illness aside -- and I do appreciate your point, truly I do, both my aunts are psychotherapists and I've been through extensive therapy myself -- he's a freaking nightmare of a human being who should not be part of any civilization that wants to survive.

Existential threats. They are The End, and I'm not going quietly. I call him insane because there is no logic or footing to his reality, and thus he is both dangerous and insidiously powerful in a liberal democracy concerned with parsing definitions and hoping people have arcs.

He will not have an arc. He and his fellows will End Us. I have kids. I'm fucking angry and scared. Maybe cut me some slack?

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Response to byronius (Reply #22)


Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 09:41 AM

6. Would you not agree that any cultist has serious mental problems?

At the moment those in religious cults, i.e. End Days folks, Pat Robertson fans, et al. have hitched their wagons to the star of Individual1 and his cult.
So, I would posit, that they do have a serious mental illness.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 09:53 AM

7. No. Simply holding unusual beliefs is not an indication of mental illness.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 03:40 PM

9. I think it is

the huge majority of the time, unusual beliefs, like flat earth, holocaust deniers, Rump nuts, People obsessed with HRC, are divorced from reality and live in their own self reinforcing world. Like cultists.

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Response to azureblue (Reply #9)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 05:04 PM

11. Well, you're wrong.

Simply living in one's own self-reinforcing world does not mean someone is mentally ill. Someone in a cult could more accurately (although not necessarily always correctly) be described as being brainwashed. Being brainwashed does not mean you're mentally ill.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 05:46 PM

12. An alternate reality

Is not a belief system. True Flat Earthers deny factual evidence to the contrary. They deny reality. That isn't a belief, it's a delusion.

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #12)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 06:09 PM

13. Denialism is also not a mental illness.

It can be a symptom of mental illness. But it is not a mental illness in itself. And assuming people who embrace denialism are mentally ill is a dangerous slope, imo.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #13)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 06:17 PM

14. Sure.

I'm no doctor so if my child lived in an alternate reality I'd take them to a mental health professional and tell them, "My child is ill. He thinks the Earth is flat and declares all evidence to the contrary fake news". I don't know that the child is delusional but he's sure showing symptoms.

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 07:37 PM

15. If that's the only symptom -- no family history of mental illness, no indication of either sudden or

gradual onset, no hallucinations, etc. -- there's not much your doctor is going to do, especially if you're literally talking about flat-earth beliefs in a child.

You might find this article interesting: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/03/denialism-what-drives-people-to-reject-the-truth

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #13)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 07:58 PM

17. Denialism is associated with mental disorders. Ex. Trump's narcicissim denies flaws in his person.

.

Examples of denial

Death is a common occasion for denial. When someone learns of the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, at first he or she may not be able to accept the reality of this loss. The initial denial protects that person from the emotional shock and intense grief that often accompanies news of death. Chronic or terminal illnesses also encourage denial. People with such illnesses may think, "It's not so bad; I'll get over it," and refuse to make any lifestyle changes.

Denial can also apply to internal thoughts and feelings. For instance, some children are taught that anger is wrong in any situation. As adults, if these individuals experience feelings of anger, they are likely to deny their feelings to others. Cultural standards and expectations can encourage denial of subjective experience. Men who belong to cultures with extreme notions of masculinity may view fear as a sign of weakness and deny internal feelings of fear. The Chinese culture is thought to discourage the acknowledgment of mental illness, resulting in individuals denying their psychological symptoms and often developing physical symptoms instead.

Certain personality disorders tend to be characterized by denial more than others. For example, those with narcissistic personality disorder deny information that suggests they are not perfect. Antisocial behavior is characterized by denial of the harm done to others (such as with sexual offenders or substance abusers).

Denial can also be exhibited on a large scale— among groups, cultures, or even nations. Lucy Bregman gives an example of national denial of imminent mortality in the 1950s: school children participated in drills in which they hid under desks in preparation for atomic attacks. Another example of large-scale denial is the recent assertion by some that the World War II Holocaust never occurred.



http://www.minddisorders.com/Del-Fi/Denial.html

.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #17)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 08:11 PM

18. Right. But on its own, it isn't necessarily an indicator of mental illness.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #18)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 10:58 PM

25. If someone repeatedly denies the truth, there probably is a DSM-IV issue afoot.

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Response to byronius (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 10:30 AM

8. I used to be able to talk to republicans

easily as well. I welcomed debate with people who had different opinions and outlooks, but I can't debate with people who advocate hate and mindlessly support a vulgar dictator wannabe. There is not an inch of common ground to be found there.

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Response to PatSeg (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 09:03 PM

20. I'm still able to talk to them.


"Fuck you!", I say.

I have to admit it's not much of a conversation, but like you say, what would be the point?


I've taken to just stating as a basic assumption that they support genocide. That seems to irritate them for some reason, but I mean, it seems beyond debate to me as well.

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Response to anarch (Reply #20)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 10:31 PM

23. +1

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Response to anarch (Reply #20)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 08:23 AM

28. Yeah, that is about as

conversational I could get.

It is like going back in time to 1930s Germany and trying to carry on a debate with a Nazi. These people are brainwashed and seem incapable of independent thought.

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Response to byronius (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 03:49 PM

10. Do people in this club get to veto any topics?

I would have a problem with this one. I think I'd want to get up and leave.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 08:51 PM

19. It happened so fast, and the new President of the club was taken aback. It just happened.

The old President of the club thought it was fine to discuss. I know he doesn't like Troubly, so I think he was giving him rope to hang himself.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 09:05 PM

21. yeah, I would have gotten up and left...

once again, these people just don't seem to give a shit about the rules. to hell with them!

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Response to byronius (Original post)

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