Donald Trump is a confidence man, a charlatan, an unrepentant liar whose deceits have cost at least a half-million Americans their lives. Why do so many American support him?
I'll defer to Mencken:
"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." Especially when you put hundreds of them in the same place at the same time, give them an easily recognizable uniform (red MAGA hats), and play to their imagined grievances.
Fear and hate are the handmaidens of fascism. Trump's supporters are afraid of everything their silos of mis/disinformation tells them to fear. I know grown men and women whose raison de etre is to hate. How they got this way is easy to trace over the 40 yr. arc from Reagan to Trump.
"This is the great patriot whose father hired a doctor to lie about his being disabled by bone spurs in his feet to get him out of the Vietnam draft five times."
Fake assed "tough guy", orange sus domesticus that would soil himself multiple times if he ever found himself in some serious kinetic "bullshit" (as he is wont to say). I would bet dollars to rat turds that that coward has never even been in a fistfight. As feeble as Joe Biden appears to be, he once said, of Agent Orange, that he would like to "take him behind the gym" (inferring thump on him). Feebleness notwithstanding, I am certain Pal Joey would kick his ass...TODAY! I come from two generations of combat veterans of conflicts that disproportionately killed my people only so they could return stateside, maimed and be treated as citizenless citizens (WWII and Vietnam; grandfather and father, respectively) and have been in all manner of combat in my own life. The fact that this bastard ducked (FIVE TIMES!) and has the grapes to call himself "tough" infuriates me to no end.
Listening to interviews with people attending his rallies it seems as some Americans feel let down by their governments (local, state and federal) and by big business.
They see all the wealth and prosperity around them and wonder why they didn't get their fair share.
They feel surrounded by corruption and self-serving corporations.
They think that an outsider is needed to fix the situation.
Why they believe that Trump is an outsider, someone they can tust and someone that have their best interest in mind is a mystery to me.
Try to get Trump supporters to read this article. Reading something the cult followers don't agree with is next to impossible. From The trenches in rural Arizona, the only way to reach and deprogram the Trump supporters I can see on a mass level is to run television commercials on the western channels and sports channels explaining what a dictatorship is and what it can do. There's a pretty good network of antenna TV that has cheap commercials. At least in the six swing States that needs to be tried. Talking to a trump supporter the other day, he told me that if Trump took away our social security and minimum wage the Trump supporters would vote him out of office? I really don't think they know what a dictator is. Any word with more than two syllables is suspect for them knowing its meaning. I told him that dictators don't go by elections and he said basically that he and his Trump supporters would fight the government? AR-15s versus tanks, attack helicopters, Putin, Saudi Arabia, China... Most days Trump supporters can't even keep their cars running, let alone fight off the globalist autocrats.
Wow, what a swampy through-line this story has! It makes me want to hold my nose. Maybe Americans have lost their sense of smell.
Well, Bobby Azarian thinks it is a neurological issue where Trump supporters have difficulty changing their mind once they have made a choice.
First, Trump got more free advertising than any candidate in my lifetime. He sells. He was a TV star and was in the news long before he became a politician.
Second, some people have a predisposition to his brand of demagogue. IMHO there is something to the Jungian collective racial subconscious. A high percentage of the population wants and probably needs to be led and needs to believe they are part of a movement. He often speaks in codes. His supporters believe that they know what he means. Trump and his base often act as if they have their own signals, and he uses gestures that may/may not be indicative that he is signaling groups like Qanon and other white supremacists.
His slogan, make American great again was Reagan's campaign slogan and was used by Clinton. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_America_Great_Again
Third, there are suckers born every minute. IMHO 80-90% of his followers vote contrary to their own economic and physical health. Blinded by the quest against "the other." Someone who is in a cult might lose their sense of individuality, become obsessed with cult doctrine, cut contact with loved ones, and/or start engaging in unhealthy behaviors voting against their own self interest.
Fourth, he passes himself off as the "hero with a thousand faces," which is an archetype of the dominant myth of western civilization. Ihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces
Trump passes himself off as a superman, even selling trading cards depicting himself as heroic figures. Consider that George Lucas based the framework of the story for the original Star Wars (1977) around Campbell's theories.
Fifth, many of his followers confuse him with other "heroes". . To many where I live, he is the second coming of Fulgencio Batista, Cuban dictator who opposed Fidel Castro. He gestures like caudillos like Francisco Franco and Juan Peron. He poses like Mussolini. According to his first wife, he studied the speeches of Hitler. He supports dictators like Putin, Xi Jinping, Orban, Kim Jong-un. Many of his cult followers confuse him with Jesus Christ. He doesn't discourage them.
Trump's Number One Superpower is so easy to spot:
He says cruel, vicious, sick things about minorities (esp. Blacks) which 6 out of ten majorities (i.e., Whites), only think.
Thanks for this piece.
What struck me was the number of people involved in Trump's crimes who have conveniently hung themselves including Epstein around the moment they could have exposed him further. And how Kennedy's son was the only one who escaped this fate. It smells a bit like Putin and his windows.
My take on Why do many Americans support Trump, is because he is their avatar. Meaning the culture war. The Civil war did not end the confederacy, it just went underground and like a lake of lava, simmered and built up pressure, till the earth above it, gave way and it erupted. That was Trump, who weakened the ground of Democracy and let loose the hounds of hell.
Having been raised in the south and north, I feel I know of what I speak, especially since I lived under the roof of a house owned by my Southern Baptist preacher uncle.
Racism is not the only thing that has been festering, but the acceptance of women owning their own lives and bodies, gays gettng married, transpersons gaining rights, acceptance, medical care and even elected, terrified and thus motivated the poor suffering low T males on the right
For these so called men, unless they have power, are in total control of not only their women, but society as well, they feel less than a man a woe man. Has anyone besides me noticed that there is no female corollary to the "woundful slur" of emasculate and effeminate?
Why do you think Viagra is such a profit maker, not because their is a biological reason that some males can't get an erection, it is all psychological. Human males don't go through musth like elephants, or other animals do during the rut or mating season, and women don't have to go through estrace , like other animals do, to seek sex.
Human males who suffer from arrested development, just can't get it up, unless they are dominant and the partner is submissive. The words Top and Bottom have significance in the straight world as well as the gay world.
Self validating women, black's who submit to white male domination are rewarded and the same who don't are perceived as sexual threats, and gay males, especially those that are macho and don't act like "pansies" not only confound and confuse the psyche of this poor woe men, On the one hand, they evoke disgust, for acting like a woman, regardless of outward behavior, by having sex with a male.
It was an idyllic world for males, when blacks and women "knew their place, were submissive and LGBT wee in the closet, Black assertiveness and masculinity, women's independence and self validation, and the public presence of gays and Drag Queens did not pose a threat, or evoke in this phobes, a sexual attraction.
There was a niteclub in San Francisco called Finoccio's, it was a favorite tourist attraction, and attracted, especially man a "straight, especially those who suppressed their same sex attraction.
A Stanford study involved volunteers who defined themselves as very homophobic, and males who were acceptive of gays. They wired electrodes to their private parts and showed them homosexual erotic, the more homophibic they were, the more the needle went off the charts.
They hate change, they hate rules, and they hate us. There he is---all their grievances come to life. The con-man gets up there and tells them just what they want to hear. Trump can wave his magic wand and take them back to their childhood when they ruled the world. It's not their fault, and he's got the solutions. Thom did a great job of pointing out he has NONE.
This faction, this cult, is not coping with the demographic change. Their white world without a climate crisis is not coming back.
Emotional. Childish. Selfish.
So true, Thom. The cultastrophe that is Trumpism ironically reinforces the notion that people as a whole are trusting, which I interpret further as "good".
It's a perverse animal which subverts its species better tendencies for the sole purpose of self exhalation - to the detriment of the entire species existence.
I hope the fever among the herd of Trump break now, rather than in a time following his ascension to executioner in chief. I wish this for the sake of the duped - they don't know what they're fighting for - only whom.
It's because people know something is very wrong as Biden spends hundreds of billions on weapons and militarism, yet there is austerity for health care, education and housing here in America. People know the system is hopelessly corrupted and as interest rates skyrocket to keep the wealthy protected without a word from Biden those of us adversely affected wonder who is going to protect us? In 2016 Bernie Sanders he was the anti-Clinton, anti-establishment candidate who was looking out for us, although your cowardly assessment was that they were "identical" presidential candidates. Trump was the anti-establishment candidate who was looking out for himself but convinced a base that felt left behind that he was looking out for them. If Democrats had integrity and you and so many others were not doing contortions to make excuses for their lies, militarism, and terrible judgment it is likely Trump wouldn't a have ascended. In fact, Democrats and Clinton's campaign helped him to do so! And if the Democratic Party wouldn't have tipped the scales against Sanders, it is likely you would have never seen Trump as president because so many independents and conservatives agreed with Bernie's approach. Biden's deceits and militarism has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, millions if you count his insane rants favoring the invasion of Iraq, but those are the lives of poor black and brown people overseas and they don't really matter to Biden liberals. So you can back the guy whose innate racism has him publicly doubting the loss of Palestinian life while he hugs the Trump of Tel Aviv Netanyahu. It's the cancerous hypocrisy, violence and militarism that allows a Trump to ascend to power, and you Thom are now part of the problem not the solution.
There’s definitely a cult mentality following amongst tRump’s base. What’s unforgivable are his enablers, the spineless Republicans in Congress, with the exception of Liz Cheney and a few others most of whom paid a price for their integrity, the spineless have bowed to their master out of fear of his wrath and threats of his cult base.
The part I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around is the far-right evangelical Christian haters. The biggest hypocrite bunch of all time. Based on tRumps lack of morals and virtue, he’s not a poster child of the ideal Christian. (I wish spell check would stop the capitalization. These haters aren’t worthy of the big C.). I think the far-right evangelical Christian haters, with their barely hidden racism, fear of a vengeful God, hate for anyone other than their view of an Aryan Christianity, without sin, made for easy taking by the Republican makeover of the 1960’s through 1980’s with an ever growing political powerhouse of a movement since Jimmy Falwell and Billy Graham got the ear of Richard Nixon. TRump is an ends to their means, but definitely not their savior.
Also indirectly avoiding tRump but taking full advantage of the moment is Koch and the like. They’ve never bought into the carnival barker, investing their time and money with Congress and down ballot races. Similar with the “thank you for letting us pick your judges” Federalist Society. Similar with the Heritage Foundation. They see tRump as one of many means to an end, expendable. They’re playing the long game. And that’s where it gets really scary. Scarier than tRump. They have a chosen one, or maybe more than one. And that’s where the unholy allegiance between the far-right evangelical Christian haters and this dark side of Conservatism merge. That chosen one, groomed for the long game, might by circumstance and fate have emerged early - James Michael Johnson.