Look, I’ve been there. And I still don’t have all the answers; Chávez is dead, but chavismo lives on. But I do know that before trying to convince Trump supporters that he is a hypocrite who must be impeached, that the news is not actually fake, that your statistical charts and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are in dire need of their attention, before you try to persuade them that they are being racist, or worse, ignorant by believing in Trump, you should ask yourself: Will this help convince them that I am not their enemy? Because what can really win them over is not to prove that you are right. It is to show them you care. Only then will they believe what you say.
Sheer outrage at the president’s scandals is pointless. When directed at Trump, your anger gives him rhetorical ammunition to point toward his besiegers (“We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me)”) or to bolster his claims to be fighting for his base (“Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer — it’s actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!”). But worse still is directing your anger at his supporters. Then you’re doing the same thing Trump is: believing your side is all right and the opposite side is all wrong. Rejecting your common humanity and sense of country, you’re playing into the polarization game instead of defeating it.