Recently, a Facebook friend I don’t know personally and probably only friended because we both play the same game, posted a meme full of misinformation about the chump, er, Donald Trump. It ended with the phrase, “Correct me if I’m wrong,” so I decided to do just that.
The first line of these meme claimed that Trump “never said don’t get an abortion, he said pay for it yourself.” Well, no, he didn’t. First of all, since the Hyde Amendment of 1976, no federal funding can go to pay for abortions. Not that I expect Trump to know anything about the laws of our country, but still, if you’re going to make a meme supporting him, get your fucking facts straight. Furthermore, Trump actually said there should be “some form of punishment” for women who got abortions, although he later walked that back after receiving backlash. He also said he’d leave the issue up to the states, meaning a state could make abortion completely illegal if it wanted. So no, he didn’t just say “pay for it yourself.”
As for the line about refugees, Trump’s recent travel ban affected many people who had already been properly vetted, including some who already had green cards. And the United States has never funded anyone entering the country without proper documentation. We are going to fund a wall that will cost $20 billion dollars, and anyone who wants to enter without documentation is just going to go around it. Talk about unfunding things that should never have been funded in the first place.
So, I pointed out the factual errors in this post, because hey, it said, “Correct me if I’m wrong.” The poster came back with, “Well, you are going to think I’m wrong and I think you’re wrong.”
She didn’t get it. We might have different opinions on things like abortion and refugees, but the things her hero Trump did and did not say are verifiable facts, not opinions. She can think whatever she wants about them, but she can’t change what he actually said. That’s not an alternative fact.
The next day, a Trump supporter took issue with this meme that I posted:
Now, I’m all for a good intellectual debate, based in reason, logic, and actual facts. If he wanted to provide some evidence that Trump, in fact, isn’t one of the most enthusiastic liars in the history of politics (and that’s really saying something, if you think about it), I would be happy to consider it. But instead, he decided to start railing that “liberals hate America.” I pointed out to him that I consider myself an independent, and my extreme objections to Trump as president have more to do with his being a morally bankrupt individual than his political affiliation. I mean, the way I look at it, this guy is so corrupt he makes other politicians look honest (which, clearly, they’re not, being politicians and all). If he was a democrat who said and did all the same things he has, I would still say #notmypresident.
So then this loyal Trump supporter then said it was unfair for people to make fun of Trump for being orange. I asked him how he felt about Trump calling women he didn’t deem attractive “pigs” or “dogs.” Also, did he think it was okay for Trump to mock a disabled reporter, but not okay for anyone to mock Trump’s orangeness, and if so, why?
He never answered, instead getting into arguments with two of my friends about sexism and spelling, telling one friend she shouldn’t criticize his grammar because some people has dyslexia and other learning disorders. I asked him, at that point, how he felt about our Secretary of Education saying she wasn’t sure if children with disabilities deserve an equal education, since that seems to concern him. He then responded that “Liberals hate America and promote violence.” I asked the same question again several times, and not once did he attempt to answer it. Eventually, he accused everyone else on the thread, including me, of ganging up on him and being mean, even claiming we made him cry.
Even though I never called him any names (which is more than I can say for him), I issued this apology: I’m sorry I made you cry by asking a logical, direct question and then asking for a logical, direct answers. I thought we non-Trump supporters were supposed to be the fragile snowflakes here. My bad.”
The conversation finally died at that point, but I was disappointed I never got the intellectual, reason-based debate I would have liked to have about the issues. I guess I should take these words from Thomas Paine seriously:
Or this political argument meme:
Or this one about how to win an argument on Facebook:
W. T. Fallon is the author of Fail to the Chief, a political satire in which the presidential election is carried out via reality show, which is almost as bizarre and far-fetched as our current reality.