I have a young relative whose mind has been taken over by Trumpism who keeps texting me his Trumpist beliefs and I don't know what to do. For a long while his texts on political matters were relatively infrequent and I paid little attention, but over the past couple months they've increased in frequency, so I have on occasion engaged with some of the things he's said, but for the most part he ignores what I say and just keeps sending more stuff. I think he's just browsing around Trump-supporting websites and Facebook and Twitter pages and posting stuff he finds to me.
He doesn't seem interested in discussion, so I thought I could make it stop by asking him to only send claims, links and videos he's interested in discussing, but that hasn't worked.
Here's a text he sent an hour or two ago. Any thoughts?
quote:Becareful is you visit NYC. Armed Robery was just decriminized.
Can you explain why Pelosi appointed sargent at arms was told by pelosi to withhold capitol security communications leading up to jan 6th 2021. Why when President Trump offered national gaited to Washington it was refused. Why captital police ushered protestors into the capital while holding the door open for the protestors.
Do i need to send you video of this. It's been available online for over a year of you have not seen it on your curated news channels.
Paleosi premeditated and fabricated the issue in the capital building.
The fact Antifa were in the capital building yielding MAGA hats. In a crowd it only takes a few agitators to insight a riot.
The great scam. Just another leg of the Democrats atrocities.
I just need to vent a little. It hasn't proved possible to have a rational conversation. I've tried to let the conversation wind down, but it hasn't worked. I tried engaging with him by noting where evidence was lacking, but that seemed to irritate him.
Today I posted these two images showing how covid hotspots tend to occur where vaccination rates are lower:
I also sent a couple graphs and some links. It went like this, in part:
quote:Relative: What you sent me, does it show the millions of unvaxxed infected illegal aliens being distributed across the country, and the result of a failed border policy by a abysmal administration?
Me: I'm not sure if you're referring to the graphs or the maps, but none of them are related to illegal aliens.
Relative: It definitely relates to the millions of undocumented illegal border crossings in 2021, And the relocation of this people inland.
I was just speechless. It's sad to see so much hate in a young man, not to mention lack of comprehension.
Thanks for the responses. Yeah, the toxicity is what gets to me. No approach I've tried so far could be said to have worked, but the advice about talking about other things is something I've tried, and I think it has worked least worst. One mistake I avoid at all costs: do not challenge his delusions.
He draws upon a bottomless pool of conspiracy theory videos (why are they always videos?). If I respond to one asking a question, his response is another video. He thinks that if he said it or a video said it that it's true, and any questioning is answered like this:
quote:When in fact, it's all true. ... I AM RIGHT, I WAS RIGHT.
But explanations and evidence? Nuh-uh. Not a whit.
Anyway, our conversation was me being completely incredulous and him being a paranoid nut job until it was time for bed, then we hugged and he told me he loved me (like a switch was flipped)...
Yeah, sometimes he can change like a flipped switch.
Sometimes I wonder if there are two types of conspiracy theory believers, or only one type. If there's two types then one type actually believes the conspiracy theories, while the other type knows they're total bullshit but acting like they believe them serves their purposes.
My initial response was that it would be impossible to find a chunk of DNA in SARS-Cov-2 because it is an RNA virus and contains no DNA, but what I think the headline was really trying to say is that the genomic sequence of a certain strand of Moderna DNA (it doesn't matter which half you choose since the two strands are complementary and therefore equivalent) that SARS-CoV-2 contains the same sequence of 19 nucleotides. The actual paper, more a scientific op-ed piece, can be found here: MSH3 Homology and Potential Recombination Link to SARS-CoV-2 Furin Cleavage Site. The sledding in this one was too tough for me, and I'm not sure everything I just said is correct.
I found I couldn't take the combination of hate, anger, arrogance, conceit and bullying anymore and have blocked my relative from phone calls and texts. He has my email address. I don't think he has a laptop or desktop. It's possible he gets all his information through his phone, though of course if he has an Internet/Bluetooth capable TV he can watch things there.
It's only texts. We used to text only occasionally to coordinate visits and vacations, but starting last summer he began texting about right wing conspiracy topics. Most of the texts take the form of a link to a video, usually YouTube, accompanied by some conspiracy theory laden comments, for example that covid is an invention of Democratic politicians seeking an excuse to take away our freedoms, or for another example, that there was massive mail-in ballot fraud in 2020.
Our particular family circle likes him as a person, he's fun to be around, and he remains pleasant even when discussing conspiracy theory topics, but he's so stubborn and determined about them that no one wants to discuss these topics with him, and that's what he often wants to discuss, steering conversations in that direction. My daughter didn't want him at her wedding, and my daughter-in-law won't have him to her house. Because he's offered several times to come down with his gun to protect us when armageddon strikes, he's no longer welcome here, either.
Here's another text he sent a little while back to give you a little more flavor of how his opinions are affecting his life:
quote:My boss would say. <name-redacted> tone it down. Your always right but you are making the engineers look bad and that isn't good. Well guess what. I'm not wrong very often.
My relative interprets this as his boss endorsing his opinions while trying to prevent hurting the engineers' egos. I interpret this as the boss trying to tell him he's becoming perceived as one of those people who doesn't play well with others and to take it down a notch. Hopefully he did.
He believes I have my head in the sand and will be sorry when his predictions come to pass. My responses are purely fact checking. I don't express my own opinions because I just almost never discuss politics with friends or family, but since his "facts" that I find questionable are almost always right-wing positions, he's classified me as a liberal. He's the only one in the family who's become impossible to avoid discussing politics with because of these texts, and so now he's blocked.