Trump Supporters and Convincing Them-Are We On Our Way to Becoming a Banana Republic? 4

Replace “banana” with “personality” and you get the idea. Sometimes you wonder if they can be convinced. Sometimes you wonder if they subsist on their idea of a charismatic and industrious personality that will save them in the end. Perhaps you say that it’s a matter of “coverage.” That if enough well-written articles confront their collective consciousness they will be convinced of the innumerable errors of their ways. More media coverage won’t dismantle their beliefs. Which isn’t meant to suggest that media coverage should cease. No. I’m in favor of superficial indicators that democracy is chugging happily along.

But back to Trump’s supporters. They have an appeal to authority that has existed in U.S. politics since Lincoln (the almighty log builder), but now it exists alongside the ever-stirring froth of social media and brilliantly shining celebrities.

I don’t think they can be convinced. They are the cult of his personality,  and when he fails to immediately deliver, they rely on smaller authority figures to somehow justify his existence, and when the littler figures fail to hold up their end of an abuser’s bargain, Trump supporters recline in the comfort of constantly churning tweets and facebook posts. What happens when Trump ultimately stays true to himself? Will he become one of those “littler figures” that is used to prop up another “charismatic” tent pole?

Donald T. is merely a faux-marble step on the stairway that will lead to 2020. He’s opened up the box. Now we have to look inside.

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4 thoughts on “Trump Supporters and Convincing Them-Are We On Our Way to Becoming a Banana Republic?

    • dsprague85

      Sometimes I wonder if it is something other than poor intelligence that motivates them. Either they are highly business minded without an ethical compass, or they are more inclined to conspiracy theories and living in a reality they can cherrypick to their liking.

      But even that is a simplistic observation. Remember he promised everything to everyone. So the contexts of his supporters and thus their motivations will be different (imo).

  • lesocialcritique

    This cult of personality has dissolved the last few months into little more than “While the liberals did it!” because they know they have nothing left. Apart from the fact their opposition to things like NAFTA and other internationalized trade mechanisms show that they don’t know economics, so does their obliviousness to the fact they’re ignoring sunk costs by continuing to make excuses for the orange one. It’s disgusting to watch, I don’t trust people who side with a leader on every issue that’s ever discussed. But the difference between those who side with progressive leaders and those who side with conservative leaders is that progressive movements are based on a desire to improve lives. Trump’s campaign has thrived on the desire of millions of Americans to punish those they deem worthy of punishment. For some that’s illegal immigrants, for others, it’s minorities, for others still it’s poor people, or liberals, or ‘establishment’ politicians. Trump’s a guy who’s gotten to where he is by cutting every corner he could and never ever admitting to anything. Many of the people who voted for him are those who wish they could do the same but either lack the intelligence or social connections to emulate him, so they live vicariously through his politics. Since people don’t want to admit subconscious dynamics such as this, we won’t be seeing his base turn on him anytime soon, regardless of how many times he fails.

    • dsprague85

      I used to think that they could be dissuaded, but there’s a psychological cocktail there I haven’t been able to completely decipher–some combination of nostalgia/low self-esteem motivated racism with authoritarianism as the convenient road to achieving those dreams.

      There’s been a long indoctrination of racist themes that has stood the test of time and placed its foot in Trump’s mouth–are the racist themes secondary or primary to the embittered psychology of Trump supporters? Does it matter? Their mindsets bend with the breeze.