After the Trump White House careened through another terrible week, Washington, DC insiders wonder how long Trump can survive. The answer is: as long as he holds his base. Trump and his voters are locked in a deadly embrace: his base desperately wants to believe he will address their grievances and Trump is willing to lie to keep their support.
Trump has inherited a faithful base that goes back to the days of slavery and has been extended by right wing extremist organizations such as the John Birch Society. The main thing his base wants is whites have a privileged place in society. It doesn’t matter whether one is rich or poor. And a large subgroup of his base wants Protestants to have a privileged place in society. This is exactly how things were many years ago. Much of the politics of the Democratic party is about ending privilege for whites and changing society in ways that extend human rights but winds up antagonizing Evangelicals. While there are more moderate Republicans who generally want less government or lower taxes it is hard for them to vote for Democrats who generally want to expand government and put in place costly social programs. Trump’s lies are a continuation of the way the extreme right wing has approached politics for many years. Of course the downside of making up facts is that eventually reality has a way of asserting itself. Calling climate change a hoax does nothing to prevent the global temperature from reaching levels that makes life for humans in most places pretty much impossible.
Yep, and as the saying goes, “you can’t fix stupid.”
Last time we had a leader like Trump 60,000,000 people died. Untold lives were wounded. Outside the population practically starved. So we have a long way to go before his base deserts him. To this day we have groups in America who hold onto the legacy of a foreign leader named Hitler. Hope that helps you out in a search for the answer of when the base will desert Trump.
Yes, Hitler continues to be idolized by many Murkins and more Murkins idolize Saint Ron today then when he was POTUS three decades ago. During their campaigns, Obama and Clinton both compared themselves to and praised Saint Ron more than they did any other POTUS. Without Ron’s wrecking crew there would be no POTUS Trump today. Very warped indeed, but very real,
When I lived in Germany during the 70s I was surprised at how many Germans continued to idolize Hitler, Their only qualm with him was that he didn’t win WWII.
Even the many many members of Trump’s base who will end up living (more succinctly squatting) beneath bridges as a result of his reign or terror will continue to blame Clinton, Obama, everybody and everything, except Trump for their plight. Like Trump, most of his supporters have never taken responsibility for anything during their entire lives and always blame everything on somebody else. If they denounce Trump they would consider it tantamount to blaming themselves for Trump’s misdeeds and might feel compelled to take responsibility for that. NOT GONNA HAPPEN.
Lets hope Trump’s infrastructure plan includes lots of bridge work so his fans will at least have enough bridges to take shelter beneath after Trump and his band of pirates get through with them.
“The US Economy is at Full Employment…”
Well, with unemployment at about 4.6%, it pretty much is. Trouble is, a large portion of that “employment” won’t earn you a pot to piss in…
yes we have not much extra money, but the piss pots are so cheap. So much cheap crap is available for us to buy when we can pay down the credit and debit cards a bit. Some of us can sort of remember how the unemployment rate used to be calculated 50 years ago. Now with the various adjustments and improvements in how the employment rate calculations are made our great society has almost full employment. Wow, what an amazing achievement: full employment, rising property values and profits, low inadequate wages despite the rising cost of living yet all this without us forcing on them inflationary demands for better pay. The glory and grandeur of our current Lords. The happiness keeps trickling on down.
I address the topic of Bob Burnett’s column by pointing out that Bob Altemeyer wrote a short, interesting and very readable ebook in 2006 based on his 40 years of research on authoritarian personalities. It provides an explanation for the loyalty of Trump’s followers, describes them and how it is almost impossible to change their minds. It explains the dynamics of how 25% of the population is always ready to vote for a dictator. That is half way to a majority and, as we have seen, under the “right” kind of crisis enough of the rest of us can provide sufficient votes to put one into power. The ebook is entitled The Authoritarians and Altemeyer has it available for free download from https://theauthoritarians.org.
The figures don’t reflect reality.
Trump has applied an anti-intellectualism bias to keep his working class base loyal. They don’t need to study facts or learn science. They prefer to feel that Trump’s alternative facts are right because they want to believe they are and that’s more than enough for them! When Trump dismisses science, he becomes their champion who rejects an educated world outside their usual boundaries. Ever wonder how is it that a hard core denier can ignore all the scientific evidence? The answer is simple. They literally avoid learning any facts that won’t support their position.
Trump says climate change is a hoax! How is it possible that he could believe that given all the facts? Simple, he just never reads about rising temperatures or rising seas and dismisses any data that he couldn’t avoid learning about, out of hand. A melting ice cap to a denier is because of some ill defined nonsense like the sun is warming or we are in a natural cycle. Ask for his proof or for the denier to explain this stuff and you will get peevishness and hostility as a response.
He who doesn’t want to know…usually doesn’t!
Trump’s base is composed of two types. One is an anti-intellectualism lower and near middle class who is defiant about their choosing not to know. They are the people who don’t need to do research because they can tell that they know all that they need to know! For these people Trump is their champion. These people will say if you believe in global warming then you are against Trump and they immediately write you off!
The other type in Trump’s base is better educated but cynical and desensitized by political economics where rhetoric cancels out empathy and a lack of ethics is called pragmatism. They are greedy and selfish and believe that everybody would be the same way if only they could make as much money.
Money versus empathy. Money versus fighting climate change. Money versus social justice. You get the picture. This better educated group simply doesn’t care. They don’t know the science of climate change because they actually know climate change is real but in the face of making so much money (like from fossil fuels etc) … they simply don’t care so why should they learn facts they don’t want to know?
Thus Trump has a semi permanent know nothing group and the other a do nothing group. Both groups, of course, feel that other people want to take advantage of them. These people will display a vindictive hostility when their alternative facts are questioned or challenged in a debate.
When the uniformed and the greedy follow a leader who has little empathy… they always get worse over time. It doesn’t take long for these two groups to become more dangerous because they instinctively realize that other people don’t want people like them to be in charge.
At least here their thinking is based on an accurate assessment of reality, they perceive quite correctly that most people do not want them to be in charge. And they tend to believe almost without question or doubt what so ever what they believe which makes it very difficult for others to work with them in a democracy.
Most of Trump’s solid support comes from supporters of the Tea Party Movement. In https://theauthoritarians.org/comment-on-the-tea-party-movement Altmeyer makes most of the same points as you have made concerning their thinking, his “Comment on the Tea Party Movement” provides some interesting thoughts and explanation of the dynamics underlying the movement.
I cannot tell from this article whether the author WANTS Trump to be successful at his legislative agenda–gutting healthcare and tax cuts (that benefit the rich–the AHCA is a two-fer) and infrastructure improvement–presumably coming at the expense of almost anything except the military budget. OR if he wants it blocked. If it’s instituted we all lose. And maybe his ideologue base will discover that belatedly. I doubt it. If it’s blocked, well, we dodge a bullet. But frankly Trump has done plenty of damage for his ideologue base to support. He’s harmed the EPA and many other agencies. His base regards all of this as victory.
I still think we have to keep creating linkages to people we do not understand. That is seek first to understand, not to be understood. It’s bitterly frustrating work. But there are some things about the system that has disenfranchised Trump ideologues as surely as the man that shot Steve Scalise.
The real power will be in citizens coming together and demanding that legilslators work our agenda, a mission dissed by R’s & D’s alike.
Wise Owl: “You can’t fix stupid” That’s true, but it is a useless concept here as it is true across the board in politics. I remember Obamabots who refused to see the evil there. Where were the marches against what happened in LIbya? In Syria? Our support fir the Saudis? How many were disgusted by Hillary’s gloating over the death of Gadaffi, and spoke out? The banksters in the cabinet and the White House? The support of Monsanto and its efforts to destroy quality food and control our food supply? How about drone killings,extended surveillance of us, prosecution of whistleblowers? Etc, etc, etc…
When Trump’s supporters are demonized does that make things better, or easier to fix a mess? It only demonstrates the incredible success of the divide and conquer strategy of the power structure and of course the CIA. You know them, the group that the left is suddenly believing and turning to as savior from the big bad Russians. You know them too. The ones with all the oil and gas that should be ours
It’s all a fool’s game, either we come together or we perish together.
1974 - “All the President’s Men”
2017 - “All the President’s Friends”
What legislation has he actually had passed by Congress?
IMHO, Trump will not give up the fight, including impeachment, while counting on his 1/3 of the population base all the way to civil war.
You seem to ignore the one element that was central to Trumps campaign and to American politics generally: Racism.
I’m not sure what you mean. Racism is part of all of us, as is tribalism. Mostly we think “our” group is better than "other "groups. That fact has been used by politicians and the power elite for centuries. It is one of the most powerful tools in the divide and conquer strategy.
I find that some posters here feel superior to Trump supporters because “they” are racists. I have three friends who had nothing good to say about Trump during the campaign. None is remotely a racist. One was almost apoplectic that Trump would “have his finger on the button.” I tried to talk them into 3rd Party votes but they all voted for Trump. Why? Because they despised Hillary. So did I but I voted for Jill Stein
Judging people as part of a group rather than as individuals and believing your group is better than “that” group is part of the definition of racism. Instead of name calling, which gets us nowhere, solves nothing, and further divides us, we should be talking to anyone who will listen about the things that used to bind us together as Americans, such as the rule of law and the abuses of power, corporate and political.