Why Do They (Still) Follow Donald Trump? Fear and Authority

Why Do They (Still) Follow Donald Trump? Fear and Authority

"A recent article has pinpointed the one unique personality trait that predicts whether or not someone will support “the Donald.” In his research, which sampled 1800 voters across the country, Matthew MacWilliams discovered, that a 'single statistically significant variable predicts whether a voter supports Trump—and it’s not race, income or education levels: It’s authoritarianism..'"

Kyle Roberts

"Authoritarians obey. They rally to and follow strong leaders." 

Matthew MacWilliams 

"Evangelicals often are trained, from childhood, to not question religious authority: whether it’s the “inerrancy of Scripture,” the “authority of the pastor(s),” or the unflinching dogma of the church’s (or denomination’s) “statement of faith,”

~ Kyle Roberts

Ernest Becker, in his 1974 book, The Denial of Death, undertakes "the problem of the vital lie". The origin of human fear is "anxiety that springs from the awareness of our frailty, our mortality, our weakness in the face of the existential awareness of our inevitable, eventual death."

"But in a time when many are drawn to Donald Trump’s promise to “make America great again,” because of authoritarianism (and because transferring our fear and anxiety onto authorities seems the only or best solution), it’s a good reminder to choose our heroes carefully."

~ Kyle Roberts 

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Joan, fear and a need for authority are reasons the most religious people follow Trump.

Less religious people have a more rational explanation: they are angry at the Republican establishment for using their votes to win elections and then doing almost nothing in return.

It's exploitation at its political and non-violent best.

Unresolved conflicts, ancient quarrels, leadership by authoritarian personalities, beliefs that might makes right, fear of cultural, societal, and climatic change, leaves a fog that permeates not only the individual but the culture. It creates an opportunity for a loud-mouth, aggressive, dominating, control freak to step in and take advantage of the chaos.  

These conditions create the kind of atmosphere for which Rahm Emanuel looked. 

We need a person with a vision that includes all citizens, a leader who inspires courage, not fear, and a Congress that will stand with the elected leaders. 

Can Barnie do all that? Even if he has Elizabeth Warren as his running mate? 

...and a Congress that will stand with the elected leaders.

Joan, it's easy to forget that the members of Congress -- many of whom like presidents are corrupted by money -- are also elected leaders.

When I hear candidates for president say what they will do without asking Congress, I remember my unhappy experiences with tyrants.

Yes, of course, We elect members of Congress and what I mean to say is that we have to work to elect Congressional members with vision, who can inspire others, who have courage, and who work for the people.  Do you think it will happen in our lifetime without bloodshed? 

Joan, I hope you can settle for Congresscritters without vision, without ability to inspire, without courage, but who will support a Democratic president.

With sweatshed, we might get them.

I hope the billionaires won't hire assassins.

That is my concern. Individuals who advocate for people power seem to get a bullet for their outspoken support of equality of opportunity for all. The Kennedys and MLK, Jr. come immediately to mind.

MLK, Jr.

Soon after his death, a discouraged-sounding man told me he doubted that life has purpose. I replied that MLK gave his life purpose. The man seemed to cheer up.


I'll have to check but I think his name is on Noam Chomsky's list of war criminal presidents.

I suspect you are correct, Tom, although I would like to believe the fairytale of Camelot. I don't think JFK was shot because he and his family had shady associations. Could his assassination have been because he was a Keynesian?

The Myth of JFK as Supply Side Tax Cutter Kennedy was a Keynesian, ...

Joan, in Chomsky's How The World Works is the following:
"I think, legally speaking, there is a very solid case for impeaching every American president since the Second World War. They've all been either outright war criminals or involved in serious war crimes."


Who got the benefits? Who paid the costs?

Tom, I like your statement to the discouraged-sounding man:

"MLK gave his life purpose."

It's not much about religion, both Cruz and Rubio play the religion card much better, and a lot of Trump's support is from not-particularly-religious types. In contrast to C & R,  he's a multiply married philanderer with no history of religious involvement

I see Trump and Sanders as two sides of the same coin. They both tap into deep (justified) dissatisfaction with the political establishment, they both play the outsider card, they both play on the 'elites', and they play on an emotional appeal for a 'great' America that never really was (if you doubt, look at Sanders ad with the Paul Simon 'America'). Neither one has a real roadmap to actually accomplish these ephemeral goals. But people do respond to the 'we've had enough and we're not going to take it anymore' message, which is what they're selling.

They both

1. tap into deep (justified) dissatisfaction with the political establishment,

2. play on the outsider card,

3. play on the 'elites',

4. play on an emotional appeal for a 'great' America that never really was.

I agree! therefore, what strategy works for us? 

1. tell the truth about why there is a growing gap between rich and poor, 

2. the wealthy buy the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches, 

3. unions, organizations, and appeals to reason cannot match the money of the wealthy, 

4. many voters vote against their personal self-interests, 

5. the USA and the nations of the world face economic collapse if we do not change,

6. climate change is real, even if the cause is not yet proven,

7. the religions of the world maintain and perpetuate wars, i.e. Israel & Palestine, 




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