2016 May 29 Sunday
Why People Support Trump

A 22 year old Trump supporter living near SF explains to Conor Friedersdorf why he's switched from Libertarian voter to Trump supporter:

For me personally, it's resistance against what San Francisco has been, and what I see the country becoming, in the form of ultra-PC culture. That’s where it's almost impossible to have polite or constructive political discussion. Disagreement gets you labeled fascist, racist, bigoted, etc. It can provoke a reaction so intense that you’re suddenly an unperson to an acquaintance or friend. There is no saying “Hey, I disagree with you,” it's just instant shunning.

This guy makes the point that the election is about whether PC speech control will continue to go up under Hillary or get attacked by a sitting president. I'm much preferring the latter.

In August 2015 Friedersdorf published 30 views of Trump supporters. Lots of different motivations including strong opposition to political correctness. The sense that Trump will fight for his supporters looms large.

“Trump has never lied to me whereas all of the other Republican politicians (like McConnell & Boehner) have. They don’t fight for my side. Nobody fights for my side. Trump fights. Trump wins. I want an Alpha Male who is going to take it to the enemy. I am tired of supporting losers.”

For a long time the Republican base has been tools for the Republican elite. The base (and quite a few independents and Democrats) is sick of that. They want to back a winner who will work for them.

Another recent Friedersdorf piece on Trump is an interview with a gossip columnist who used to deal with Trump extensively back in the 1990s. The interview brings out Trump's extraordinary skill at managing the media and shaping his image. Hillary Clinton and her managers are clearly not in his league.

T.A. Frank has a couple of pieces in Vanity Fair that further explain Trump's appeal: The One Issue That Could Destroy Hillary Clinton (immigration of course) and Why Democrats Are Becoming the Party of the 1 Percent (because the 1% insanely favor open borders).

This has been a fascinating election so far. Populists came along with enough talent to motivate the disgruntled masses. Bernie Sanders has only limited skills at appealing to the dissatisfied. But they are sufficiently dissatisfied that he's made Hillary's job of getting the Democratic nomination much harder (it helps she's got something like negative charisma too). On the Republican side the master persuader is sucking in all the media attention and mobilizing a lot of people who wouldn't even vote normally (given that both parties are against them). So this election has just gone off in directions I did not foresee. Have a look at the links above if you want a better understanding of why this election is so different than normal.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2016 May 29 08:33 PM 

Check it out said at June 3, 2016 3:39 PM:

Saying that Trump would make a good president -as a joke- is not very funny anymore, but actually believing it only shows mental and cultural decay.

Licensed clinical social worker Wendy Terrie Behary, the author of Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed, said, "Narcissists are not necessarily liars, but they are notoriously uncomfortable with the truth." (The article notes that Trump positions himself as a possible savior to the economy despite the fact that four of his companies have declared bankruptcy.)

Sam Vaknin, a mental health expert and author, has studied over 600 hours of Donald Trump footage and made the harsh conclusion that Donald Trump is not simply a classic narcissist — he is, in fact, a "malignant and, probably, psychopathic narcissist."
In an extensive interview with American Thinker, Vaknin explains that he first connected narcissism to the political stage in a 2008 essay where he suggested that then-senator Barack Obama was, in fact, a narcissist, but he also wrote that Obama was intelligent and pro-social, and that while Trump repeatedly to be the former, he is "definitely not the latter," and that he should be considered "much more of a menace than Obama ever was" to the United States.

"Remarkably narcissistic," said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

"He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics," said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. "Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true."

"He’s very easy to diagnose," said psychotherapist Charlotte Prozan. "In the first debate, he talked over people and was domineering. He’ll do anything to demean others, like tell Carly Fiorina he doesn’t like her looks. 'You’re fired!' would certainly come under lack of empathy. And he wants to deport immigrants, but [two of] his wives have been immigrants.

"There is help available, but it doesn’t look like the help people are used to. It’s not insight-oriented psychotherapy, because narcissists already have insight. They’re aware; the problem is, they don’t care. They know how you’d like them to act; the problem is, they’ve got a different set of rules."

Seth W. said at June 7, 2016 2:54 PM:

I don't support Trump, so saying "Why People Support Trump" is a "bit" of an exaggeration. Don't you think?

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