Here are 8 Tips for Debating Donald Trump Supporters

While I would highly advise against doing it, I do realize that there are quite a lot of people out there who still actively engage in debating Donald Trump supporters. To those folks, I applaud your persistence. As for myself, I gave up trying to reason with Trump folks months ago. I have a rule that you don’t try to use rational, factual arguments with people who aren’t rational. To be on “Team Donald,” you have to be irrational to the point of willful ignorance if not outright mental instability.

But because I like to try to help out when I can, I thought I’d give a few tips for those of you out there who will undoubtedly engage with those who supported Trump for president.

1. Don’t get emotional: When you’re dealing with angry people who are driven by irrational fear, paranoia and Trump mythologies, the last thing you want to do is get emotional. Remember, you’re a lot smarter than they are.

2. It’s pointless to use facts: For most people who support Donald Trump, the only “facts” they believe are the words that come out of his mouth. It’s absolutely pointless to use fact checkers; math; history; video footage (even if it’s of Donald Trump himself saying something); news articles that quote Trump directly; or anything that debunks the endless stream of drivel that spills out of his mouth – they’re not going to believe any of it.

3. Since you can’t use facts, ask them for theirs: Since people who are fueled by propaganda and lies are impervious to being fact checked (see #2), a tactic I typically use is asking them to provide sources to back up their claims. Be sure you specifically ask for credible, non-conservative sources. Otherwise you’re going to end up with a Breitbart-level article that “proves” something by quoting someone connected to Trump’s campaign. I’ve found it’s easy for anyone to spout off talking points, but it’s a whole heck of a lot more difficult for them to actually back up (with credible evidence) the  nonsense that they believe.

4. Make up fake Trump quotes: Since the vast majority of Trump supporters aren’t exactly rocket scientists, what I like to do is make up a quote or two, implying it’s something he’s said on a policy issues, just to see if they’ll defend it. Then I push them on this “quote,” often with them defending it feverishly – only to finally tell them I made it all up. Then I laugh at the fact that they just realized (though they’ll never admit it) that they’re a mindless sheep who’ll support anything he says.

5. Find quotes from Adolf Hitler – then tell them that they’re from Trump: Nothing is funnier than finding quotes from one of the worst monsters who’s ever lived, passing them off as Trump quotes to one of his supporters, then watching them frantically try to defend themselves after you reveal that they’re actually Hitler quotes – and they just agreed with all of them.

6. Inquire about specifics related to his policies: While Donald Trump says a lot of stuff – he’s almost never specific about any of it. His entire campaign was built off infomercial-style rhetoric rather than actual policies. Sure, Trump supporters can regurgitate rhetoric with the best of them, but you won’t find very many who know anything specific about how he plans to accomplish any of his lofty promises. And that’s because, for practically every policy promise he’s made, he hasn’t given any.

7. Ask them how it feels to support someone who said POWs aren’t war heroes: Let’s be honest, Donald Trump literally said that he doesn’t view war POWs as “heroes” because he likes people who don’t get captured. These folks will dance around all the other vile things Trump has said, but watch them try to defend someone who flat-out said war POWs aren’t American heroes because they were captured.

8. Ask them what would it take for them not to support Trump: I good way to twist these folks around is not to ask them why they support him, but to ask them what he would have to do for them to not support him. Then, when they list a few things (if they list anything at all), ask them if they really, truly believe what they listed (trust me, it will probably be something really dumb) is worse than mocking a man with disabilities, calling women fat pigs, bragging about sexual assault or belittling a war veteran and American hero.

There are more, but I think if you get through these eight you’ll be doing alright.

Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what you think or if you got any responses from these.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Lady_Hiroko

    lol. The same can be said of Hilary and Sanders supporters. They all believe in the headlines and soundbites. I put facts, they twist them. I tell them what he really said–the ENTIRETY of it and they stick their fingers in screaming “la la la” between insults and personal attacks. Everyone does what Trump does, nobody blinks and eye but if Trump did it, everyone loses their flipping minds. So don’t go sitting there like it’s only Trump supporters. It’s everyone. This article is stupid and I regret reading it and I regret commenting it. But I’m allergic to stupidity which is this article. So it compels me to say something.

    Personally, I’d take someone who openly says they hate me over a traitor and pathological liar and a puppet who thinks everything should be free while the middle class pays for it (because “out of sight and out of mind”). Sanders may have been Mayor. But that’s completely different than what a president does. A country is just a giant business and we need someone who can run a business.

    • Brian Wedekind

      Lady, and I’m sure you’re no lady, lol. Everything you spewed is hypocritical ignorance. The article simply proves the fact that trump supporters are willing to blindly follow this man off a cliff. They would back up ANYTHING that he said without having any knowledge of the actual issue. If you ask a trump supporter why they support him, they have NO good reasons why. They just say that he’ll make america great again. So then we ask, HOW will he make america great again, and they don’t know or they bring up the “wall” The wall will NEVER, EVER happen. The funding would never get approved and it is a logistical impossibility. Not to mention the millions of dollars it would take to maintain it. On top of all these reasons, it wouldn’t stop illegal immigration or drug trafficking. Sanders doesn’t want to tax the middle class. He wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% who control 50% of the money in the U.S. These taxes would pay for all of the programs that he would like to implement. These wealthy people wouldn’t be harmed at all by the taxes but they are so greedy that paying a little extra tax on their millions of dollars would infuriate them. Lastly, you would really want a president who openly says he hates anyone who isn’t white? He hates all gay people. He makes fun of people with physical disabilies. This is who you would want to be our commander in chief? All of this fails even to mention that he’s been a failure at everything he has ever done. He inherited his money and has bankrupted every company he founded. He’s a pathological liar who will say anything he thinks his idiotic supporters want to hear. He’s changed his stance on almost every issue to try to soften up and get more “middle” votes. If you think George w. Bush messed up our country, imagine if this moron got control. He has absolutely zero chance of winning the general election but the long term solution is to try to change the way people like you think. Your thinking is insane. Please educate yourself and wake up. #dumptrump!!!

      • Lady_Hiroko

        LMAO!!!! Sounds like a typical Hillary and Sanders voter.I’m more of a lady than you’ll ever be. No dear, YOU educate and wake up. You blindly believe every negative thing about Trump. You hate him because someone told you to hate him. Don’t bother denying it. Trump has a better chance than Sanders. Hillary will just buy her way in. As for having “no good reason”. Actually the primary reason is getting rid of the garbage that’s currently in. You guys complain about the garbage in the White House yet you keep putting the same garbage in! We need someone fresh and new. Not someone who has years of experience in playing the system. Trump may suck. But it’s better than being dead or enslaved to the likes of ISIS. Hahahaha! Keep dreaming your sweet dreams if it helps you sleep at night. Thanks for the laughs.

      • Brian Wedekind

        Just like a trump supporter. Foolish, foolish people. I’m not mad at you, i feel sorry for you. You’re misled and brainwashed. Vote fo him if you wish but we ALL know what the outcome will be.

      • don

        I’d feel sorry for them, but they are not only screwing themselves, they are screwing the rest of the country. To hell with tRumpettes.

      • George Nestico

        LOL Stupidity just can’t avoid you lol your priceless, everything I believe about trump comes right out of his own mouth, I don’t need the media to believe what the dump says, smh and you hate stupidity??? spoken like a true trump supporter

      • Josh Laddin

        those that don’t know, don’t know they don’t know… sheesh.. make no mistake, us all being divided is EXACTLY what the 1% want.. love trump or hate trump, it doesnt matter anymore…. we are all fucked. “Hate him because someone told me to hate him” ?! are you for real?? I can give you 100 reasons why the mere sight of his fat orange face, makes me sick. However, I choose to remain quiet as there’s no point in debating someone that, Im assuming is christian and will believe ANYTHING by fox news or any other right wing media outlet.. Oh, and I voted for Sanders…. You think when trumps fucks us all, it will be all of us except for you, Lady Hiroko?

      • don


      • lakegirl1935

        I only wish trump voters would google what a gaslighter Donald IS.

      • don

        They probably think it has something to do with fracking our way to freeedommmm

    • Carol Lynn

      A country is just a giant business and we need someone who can run a business.

      A country is NOT a giant business. A business exists to enrich a small group of people; a government exists, in the words of the Constitution, ‘To form a more perfect Union’; ‘To establish Justice’; ‘To insure domestic Tranquility’; ‘To provide for the common defense’; ‘To promote the general Welfare’; and ‘To secure the Blessings of Liberty.’ for everyone who lives there.

      Look at Wisconsin and Michigan, states that elected a ‘successful businessman’ to be governor. Are they doing better by ANY metric than states run by more progressive politicians? No, they are not. Republican economic strategies have already been proven, in the field, to NOT WORK they way they are touted to.

      Besides, Trump does NOT know how to run a successful business. He has had FOUR bankruptcies, mostly screwing over his investors. Just remember that YOU, as a taxpaying citizen, will be the next ‘investor’ that he screws over.

    • George Nestico

      SMH FREE!!!! 5,000 plus dead 150,000 plus wounded 87% of which will have a life time of health issues 37% have lost limbs and 23 veterans commit suicide everyday, all based on a a lie,we are now into 15 years of wars in two countries, every single T-Pub Senator and Congressman, every single one of them voted against or would not bring to the floor 11 bills that would have benefited the Veteran 11 bills in seven years, they cut food stamps to over million military families 13% of which have loved ones in the battle field, This country just fell short of being destroyed, and you know what that president was a businessman, he also ran the Texas rangers( a baseball team) into the ground, Bill Clinton wasn’t a business man nor was Eisenhower and certainly not Obama, this country has never prospered under a republican since Eisenhower never, have never balanced a budget and they all have all broke each others record for the highest deficits this country has ever seen, they have done more harm to the Veteran than the wars they fought in and YOUR BUSINESSMAN thinks men captured in war are worthless, this from the BUSINESSMAN who when called upon went and hid under the bed and dodged the draft, the SAME BUSINESSMAN who is now talking about putting TROOPS yet into another country, So when you say free are you referring to the 35 billion of Tax payer dollars that go to the Oil companies, or are you talking about the 960,000 of tax payer dollars that go to Wal-Mart ,That’s just one store Multiply that by every single Wal- Mart in this country, then you have all the fast food chains reaping the same Taxpayer money, are you talking about the four Bankruptcies the DUMP claimed and we the Tax payer had to pay for, or are you referring to the 78,000 tax deduction that Romney gets for his dancing pony, I Know ! your referring to the 30 trillion dollars that the 1% have stored in the offshore banks that they pay no taxes on, that we taxpayers have to make up for so when you say free I’m confused Food stamps and housing assistance is a ink spot in the Ocean compared to the zillions given away to the 1% You see Social security is something we Americans pay for it’s not free, Medicare is also another program we pay for that’s not free, 67 % of all foreclosures were due to medical bills, People fight and die for this country and by doing so People like the DUMP, Koch Brothers, and all the other 1% reap the rewards that those Brave men and women gave their lives for When Obama said they didn’t build that he was right they didn’t !!! that 18 year old who lost his life defending this country he ‘s the one who built that, the 20 year old who had a child born as he was away fighting and lost his life will never see that child and that child will never see his mother / father they built that, people gave of their life so these people could prosper and they pay them back by moving jobs out of the country, they live a lavish lifestyle on the Backs of our Brave men and women and they pay them back by refusing to give free health care and free education, instead they re-write history books and have the Ignorant believe they have their best interest in mind, when insurance companies are racking hundreds of billions in profit, we have deductibles for health insurance really? as high as 15,000 WTF is that and then they only cover 80% of anything over your deductible, so as the people who will have to fight the wars that the 1% so dearly love, you think that Health care and Education should be a no no SMH the thing is it wouldn’t be free we would be footing our own bill we’d be out of the mouth of the shark, we are in this mess in this country because of Businessmen who continue to suck the life out of hard working Americans, China owns more property here in America than America, SMH you may be allergic to stupidity but stupidity isn’t allergic to you.

    • Michael Lindholm

      No, the government is a public entity. It is NOT a private business, and we have zero business putting businessmen in charge of it, since they only seek to further enrich themselves.

    • lakegirl1935

      Well we DO KNOW the lies about Hillary not true. Is she perfect …no, however she is 100 times better than Donald, at least she cares about the common persons life, one can tell from DONALDS cabinet, the swamp is now in charge

    • David a

      Humm….Country business? Read what happened in Italy in 1939-45. Their slogan was “make Italy great again.”

      • don

        Or what happened in the USA from 1923-33, for that matter. Of course, history’s lessons are utterly wasted on the ‘right’ wing.

    • don

      Hoo boy…yeah, run the country like a business! Worked for Hoover! MAGA!!!1!

  • Nancy B

    Don’t be silly, Allen. Attempting to debate cultists is futile. You need professional de-programmers to get through to them.

  • Catmama Kelley

    Every bit of this sounds like it’s right off Hillary’s PR desk. These written scandal propaganda schemes are hilarious. Robots go away already. Just a few more months and this will be over.

    • DownriverDem

      It sure will be over cat woman, but not in a good way. Are you rich or just duped? If it’s about abortion to you, then what? You better be rich and not need Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid (seniors use it after spending down) or the ACA. You best not care about breathing clear air either. Are you rich or just duped?

    • don

      Do you care at all about women’s welfare? Have you even the slightest idea what tRump and the right have in store for family planning and access to reproductive health by the poor and middle class? Or do you just not give a damn?

  • David a

    Trump was hired by the Koch Brothers.They are now billionaires using past Democratic policies. They have now changed the rules and want to be libertarians. They own the Heritage foundation, The tea party, The Senate, The Congress and several other right wing organizations expressly to change the voting laws, campaign laws, Banking laws etc. Don’t waste you time with Trump, He will quit, leaving us with an even worst leader, Pence…The Koch brothers in one way or another, hand picked Trump’s cabinet….

    • DownriverDem

      The comments by duped repubs here is disgusting. If they aren’t rich, they sure have been duped. Drain the swamp, my ass.

      • don

        It is my humble opinion that you have to be really rich, or really bloody dumb to vote right-wing…

    • don

      Ironically the Koch patriarch made his initial millions selling drilling equipment to Stalin in the ’30s, of course illegally. Kinda like the Bushes helping to fund Adolf, good business is where you find it eh?

    • Carpe Vagenda

      Actually, the Koch brothers own Cruz and Pence. An equally bad but less famous guy named Mercer owns Trump.

    • EtherealEphemeralEntity

      Hm.. if I took this to be true, the Koch Brothers wanting to be libertarians actually makes some sense to me. I think that after this election, people will start looking outside the two party box..

  • sleepd

    How ’bout sitting down and just listening to them? No debating, no arguing, no lecturing them about how wrong they are, uneducated, bigoted, etc. etc. Hearing something that challenges your views isn’t a bad thing.

    Also, keep in mind that they will vote in the next election regardless of how you treat them. Maybe kindness instead of condescension will open up some minds instead of creating enemies who use their vote to say “fuck you”.
    And unless you are willing to move to a state where your vote will make a difference, all you are doing is adding fuel to the flame.

    • EtherealEphemeralEntity

      I’m realizing this more and more every day..
      I think part of this whole issue is the fact that both sides have kind of been brainwashed to some extent and are either lashing out at each other or ignoring or not taking the other side seriously. While politics has come a long way from people simply being able to discuss issues, find common ground, and then work towards a system that makes everyone happy, I believe going back to that discussion is more important than ever. You can’t ignore that Trump supporters helped him win the electoral college Sure, he didn’t win the popular vote, but that does not mean that he is not popular. The right and the left reaching out to each other is crucial to stop these partisan shenanigans.

  • This Big Every Day!

    Arguing with Trump supporters is like playing
    chess with a pigeon. No matter how good you are at chess, the pigeon
    will just knock the pieces over, shit on the board, and strut around
    like it’s victorious.

  • Jack Hammer

    You know damn well none of you will get past step one.