The False Reasoning & Narratives re Racism and Approval Ratings

"His latest approval rating sits at 40 percent, which is down three percentage points from two weeks ago..."

(55% of those polled disapproved of his performance....)

49% of Americans believe Trump to be a racist.

44% of Americans do not believe Trump to be a racist.

----Quinipiac Poll

The Quinnipiac poll also broke it down further:

Out of the white respondents, 44 per cent said the US president is a racist while 52 per cent said he is not. Five per cent remained undecided.

When juxtaposed the figures tell a rather chilling story and appear to paint a grim picture re why racism persists here...

More than half of the White population of America do not believe Trump is a racist...Thus denying their own racism.

A significant. number of white people who don't approve, don't support, or did not vote for Trump remain in denial of his racism, and by extrapolation and extension, are in denial of their own racism.

In other words,  the narratives limit the racism and bigotry to Trump and his supporters when the facts and numbers suggest that racism and bigotry remain at fairly high levels amongst white people who are NOT part of Trump's 'base''....

There is a significant percentage of the White population who are being obscured and covered in their racism and bigotry because they are able to hypocritically and disingenuously point their accusatory fingers at "the base" of Trump's support re racism while floating the false and erroneous assumption that those whites who do NOT support Trump are also NOT racists...

The false reasoning, upon which such implied assumptions and false narratives are predicated, looks like this:in the form of a syllogism:

Trump is a racist.

Those who support Trump are racists.

I do not support Trump.


I am not a racist.

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Comment by koshersalaami on July 5, 2018 at 8:01am

The syllogism doesn’t work because it contains a faulty syllogistic formula. If you start with a statement, If A then B, the only altered version of this statement that is true by definition is the contrapositive, which is If not B then not A. We cannot assume the converse - If B then A - or the inverse - If not A then not B - are true. This syllogism relies on the inverse. If “If support Trump, then racist” is our starting statement, “If not support Trump, then not racist” is the inverse. That’s just an expansion on what exactly the fallacy is. 

Racism denial is basically epidemic here. However, racism denial contains both a disadvantage and an advantage over overt acknowledged racism. The disadvantage is that it is not admitted. The advantage is that denial contains the implicit assumption that racism is a bad thing, so if you get someone to see that they are in some way participating in racism they have to change by their own standard. No one wants to think of themself as a hypocrite. That’s where I think the biggest gains against racism can be made in America. That’s really what the Confederacy implosion was all about - a mass realization that glorification of the Confederacy equals glorification of racism, that all those Confederate battle flags are not really about states’ rights and never were. 

We’re seeing this phenomenon in sexism in the “me too” movement. A manifestation of sexism that is extremely widespread is now being delegitimized in a very widespread and public way. 

These phenomena may contain the roots of a strategem: focus on a manifestation and go after it hard. I don’t know what the next successfully targeted manifestation will be. That may depend on the next two elections. 

By the way, an additional point on Trump and racism, forwarded to me by a friend:

The reason for the Democratic Presidential loss in 2016 was not support for Trump. Trump didn’t turn out greater numbers than Romney did. The reason is that Democratic voters stayed home. This was entirely self-inflicted. In other words, the election of Trump wasn’t about an increase in racism or even a backlash (except for the Republican primaries, where it presumably was). It was about apathy and I think also about the failure on the part of non-Republicans to understand just what kind of threat Trump represented. 

Comment by Ron Powell on July 5, 2018 at 8:17am

"The syllogism doesn’t work because it contains a faulty syllogistic formula. If you start with a statement,"

That's my point! There are a significant number of white people who think this way... Their thinking is false and erroneous because their formula for reaching the false conclusion is faulty and false...

It's also the way in which demagogues sell their snake oil....

They know that their are people who will buy it because it sounds good or resonates, not because of any valid or correct, or  logical argument or case to be made...

These are the folks who are hopelessly intractable and cannot be dissuaded no matter how rational, logical. valid, or correct your argument or case is.

My point is that there are people who do not support Trump who cannot be dissuaded from their racism....

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on July 5, 2018 at 8:41am

I think we've known long-since that your point's true, that a great many whites who do not vote for abject racists themselves nevertheless harbor racial animus, act on it in numbers of ways (even if not at the polling booth), and that their racism is not susceptible to anything like well-intended persuasion. 

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on July 5, 2018 at 8:44am

99.9999999% of the people who say "I'm not a racist" (for what ever reason), follow it with a "but", which is usually followed by either a racist statement or a glaring example of white privilege (which is the same damn thing).

What needs to be done is for us to own our own prejudicial shit by calling OURSELVES on our own racism(and yeah, I'm as guilty of it as the next person and I'm trying to own my own shit, too) just as we routinely call out the racism of the people we disagree with politically, culturally and/or socioeconomically.

What we need is a lot less denial and a lot more of open discussions like this one:

Comment by koshersalaami on July 5, 2018 at 8:55am


I know that’s your point. I was just adding a technical explanation of the fallacy you observed. 

Comment by Jayne Walsh Defrancesco on July 5, 2018 at 7:16pm

I believe there are many voters who refuse to acknowledge their racism and will not recognize that POTUS 45 is leading our country as a White man while the same voters feared President Obama being Black would automatically result in favorable legislation for Black Americans and negatively impact Whites. 

Comment by koshersalaami on July 5, 2018 at 9:15pm

Leading us straight to another fallacy, though this one isn’t in logic:

The fallacy of the Zero Sum Game, which economies aren’t. 

Comment by Ron Powell on July 6, 2018 at 12:03am

@Jayne; Thanks for the contribution. You are, of course, quite right...

Comment by Ron Powell on July 6, 2018 at 12:07am

@Kosh; "The fallacy of the Zero Sum Game, which economies aren’t.."

The "I win you lose mentality" maintained  by most adherents of free market capitalism may be fallacious, but it is, indeed, how the economy is or has been viewed by people who should know better.

Economic policy makers have politicized and weaponized the economy in ways that make it seem impossible to reconcile egalitarian democracy and free market capitalism.... 

The current condition of wealth and income disparity is unconscionable, yet those who make economic policy and law continue to exacerbate the situation by enacting measures that cannot have the effect of the greatest good for the greatest number...

The recent tax reform measure is a rock solid example of the zero-sum mentality put into economic policy and law....

Super rich (white) people win. Every body else loses....

The current occupant of the Oval Office is a principal advocate of this approach to economics and government.

Add the latent racism of white people, which is easily exploited and manipulated, to that mix and what you get is racial animosity in domestic and immigration policy manifested at the borders and trade policy and practice that can do nothing but hurt the people who put him in office...

The problem isn't my take on the matter. The problem is exactly as JayneD expresses it in her comment. Too many white people have been duped into believing that if black people 'win' white people 'lose' which is why they'd rather have a racist in the White House than anyone who is perceived as an egalitarian who would advocate regulation of the economy for the benefit of everyone not just rich white folks...

Comment by Ron Powell on July 6, 2018 at 4:35am

@JW; These are the people who believe that their racism isn't noticed and because they haven't been exposed or "called out" they can escape the consequences of being identified as hypocrites....


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