How To Defuse A Rabid Anti-Trumper

"Just for fun, I've un-hypnotized several rabid anti-Trumpers lately," Dilbert creator Scott Adams explains, noting that it takes less than ten minutes, requires nothing but conversation, and you can probably pull it off just by reading how he did it. Here's how...

When you encounter a rabid anti-Trumper, ask her what are the biggest concerns of a potential Trump presidency. 

If “Supreme Court nominee” is one of the top objections, discontinue your persuasion for ethical reasons. This person has put some thought into the decision and has a legitimate opinion that is at least partly based on reason. I don’t recommend changing that person’s mind.

But if a person’s main objections to Trump include any the following four reasons, I would consider it ethical to apply persuasion.

Objection 1: Trump is a loose cannon who might offend other countries and maybe even start a nuclear war.


Objection 2: Trump is terrible at business because he has several bankruptcies.


Objection 3: Trump is a racist.


Objection 4: Trump is anti-women and anti-LGBT

If any of those four objections are behind an anti-Trumper’s opinion, you have ethical license to persuade, so long as you are sticking to facts and adding context. I’ll show you how to do that with each objection.

Objection 1: Trump is a loose cannon who might offend other countries and maybe even start a nuclear war.

Persuasion: Trump has five decades of acting rational in business dealings, and getting along with people all over the world, including China and Russia. By now you would have heard stories of Trump being a loose cannon in his business dealings if such a thing had happened. We are hearing no stories of that nature. And people don’t suddenly change character at age 70. (That last sentence is the important one.)

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Objection 2: Trump is terrible at business, as proven by his several bankruptcies.

Persuasion: Ask how many bankruptcies Trump has had. Most people say between 5-10. Then ask how many entities Trump has his name on. The answer is about 500. Then ask if that is a good performance for an entrepreneur who is often trying things in new fields.

(Asking questions in that fashion is good persuasion technique. It removes the adversarial frame and gives the person a sense of coming to a new conclusion without pressure.)

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Objection 3: Trump is a racist.

Persuasion: Trump has never mentioned race beyond pointing how how many African-Americans and Latinos support him. Ask your anti-Trumper to offer evidence otherwise. Then point out…

Mexico is a country, not a race.

Islam is open to all races.

If the topic of Judge Curiel comes up, point out that all human beings are biased by their life experiences. Ask anti-Trumpers if they think Curiel would be comfortable at his next family gathering if his verdict favors Trump. (Notice the question form of persuasion again.)

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Objection 3.1: But Trump wants to discriminate based on religion!

Persuasion: Clarify to the subject of your persuasion that Trump only wants to discriminate against non-citizens. That is literally the job description of a president. 

For context, point out that Islam is unique among religions in that it includes an order from God that Muslims should overthrow any government that is not compatible with Islam. Moderate Muslims around the world ignore that part of the religion, but refugees are coming from places where it is considered mandatory.

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Objection 4: Trump is anti-women and anti-LGBT


Trump is the only candidate calling out Islam for its followers’ views on women and the LGBT community.

Trump wants women to have the right to own guns to protect themselves. 

Trump is the only candidate concerned about crimes against women that are perpetrated by illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Trump has a long business record of promoting women to executive positions in his company. He was doing it years before it was fashionable.

The women in his personal life – including his ex-wives – seem to like him. 

Trump is offensive in the way he has talked about women. But keep in mind that Trump has offended nearly everyone at some point. 

The way to know your persuasion is working is that your subject will change the topic instead of addressing your point.

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