You know, facts are pesky things. When we’ve got a pet agenda or an identity we’ve latched onto or a public figure we’ve idolized or demonized, us humans aren’t particularly fond of letting facts get in the way of our most visceral feelings.
When it comes to Trump Derangement Syndrome, that statement couldn’t be truer.
I’m not the president of the Donald Trump fan club by any means, but I’m a firm believer that there is a sizeable group of folks who could, hypothetically, witness Trump single-handedly rescuing two dozen children from a burning school bus and still find something to complain about.
Having the capacity for nuanced thoughts and opinions is dying out. It’s always been easier to be black-and-white and to shout slogans instead of express ideas.
Well, some of us are working to change that.
In the newest iteration of his brilliant man-on-the-street interview videos, Austen Fletcher, or “Fleccas,” attended the Los Angeles Pride Parade with one simple mission: get anyone at all, just one single person, to admit that President Donald Trump isn’t evil incarnate.
The video, which is a part of Fleccas’ “Trump’s Not That Bad” series, opens with Fleccas asking marchers exactly what “pride” means to them.
“Pride is all about showing your inner-self, saying you love somebody without being judged,” said one dude in a black leather speedo and black costume wings, a sentence I never thought I’d type in my career as a writer.
“It’s about unity, diversity, and having love for your fellow man — whatever they’re into, you know,” said another man. “Just loving each other no matter what,” one girl said. “Pride is all about love. Period … You don’t have to be anything except yourself this weekend,” said a man named Maxton.
Are you feelin’ the love? These must be the happiest, kindest, loving folks on the face of the planet, right? They must not have a hateful bone in their body, right?
Watch what happens when the record scratches and Fleccas drops Trump’s name:
“F*** Donald Trump,” Maxton said. Fleccas then asks a “furry” (someone who gets their jollies dressing up in animal costumes) wearing a rainbow flag, he gets a similar response: “F*** Donald Trump! He can burn in hell! …He can burn in hell for trying to get rid of trans!” This then sparks another response from someone in the crowd, who simply echoes, “F*** Donald Trump!”
In fact, Fleccas could have removed all mystery and just titled his video “Five Solid Minutes Of People Saying ‘F*** Donald Trump.'”
But then, Fleccas goes to work, attempting to see if these folks have more than a one-word vocabulary when it comes to their president.
He asked one man what he’d do if Fleccas told him that there are some things Trump actually has done that are “pretty good.” The man simply responded, “I’m not going to listen to you.” Undeterred, Fleccas provided some examples, but the response doesn’t improve much.
Fleccas even noted that Trump is putting heavy pressure on the governments of nations where homosexuality is illegal, particularly in the Middle East. Without an ounce of regard for their fellow LGBT folks in other countries, the marchers make it clear that Trump’s efforts are not to be lauded under any circumstances.
“Is he fixing all of the problems?” one guy asks, as if “all the problems” are any one man’s to fix. “Well, he’s an idiot,” says another even after learning of Trump’s decriminalization efforts. “He doesn’t understand people. He understands Donald Trump and that’s it, so it’s a personal vendetta.”
Fleccas did have a conversation with one lucid individual, a self-described “gay conservative” man, who described being a man without a country and ostracized by the LGBT community for not following along with their political groupthink.
As NBC News reported earlier in the year, the Trump administration has spearheaded “a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it’s still illegal to be gay”:
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
“It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct,” said a U.S. official involved in organizing the event.
But, of course, that’s one of those pesky “facts” these people don’t want to know. It gets in the way of their Speedo-clad shouting fests.