Fundamentalism’s Grasp of “Truth”
The crux of the Republican agenda is to appropriate not only the followers of dogmatic, authoritarian religions but to act like one. Their followers follow suit. That they realized some decades ago and what we see today is the result. To resist is to see that equation transparently. The Republican Party appeals to fundamentalists because it acts like a fundamentalist religion. This does not mean it admits no other positions than its own (who holds an opinion that they don’t think is true?) but rather because it refuses to question its own arguments on the basis of the thorough review of evidence. It is the incapacity to reflect on the argument and revise positions: there is only correctness and opposition (i.e., everything not correct is opposed).
So how do you counter that? First, you might have to start with the fact that people’s impressions, assumptions, and values may not be moveable. Religion is not only like addiction, it is like being born and socialized into an addiction. This makes it three times as hard to intervene because intervention must begin with the addict’s desire to change. Again, think about how Trump supporters and Republican leadership behaves and ask if they are willing even to engage these ideas or their opponents. This is an argument we can’t win because it’s not an argument.
Next, after the opposition realizes that you are talking to a wall they need to think about how to inspire their opposition to oppose. In America that means voting. If we ever win our job is to do better by them than they would ever do by us—and to keep their power to the margins.