Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Appeal to Anger and Fear

Donald Trump's appeal is being studied.  A lot.
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Not specifically because of or for Donald Trump, but to see what this says about Americans who support him - and how to win those voters over.  And the answer isn't great.
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The good news, the GREAT news, is that the intense Donald Trump supporters - while loud and maybe even strong enough to get him through a few Republican primaries where there are multiple candidates, don't seem to be a majority of even Republican voters.  I say this not because they are bad, or evil, or stupid people, but because they are angry and scared.
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There have been a few studies on Trump supporters.  What they have found is..
I’ve written previously about the Trumpites (or Trumpeteers, if you prefer) and how they’re defined as much by their authoritarianism as their ethno-nationalism. But while those characteristics are certainly present among the people Osnos spoke to for his report, another trait jumps out, too. And it’s one that helps explain why the Republican Party establishment is so out of touch, and so incapable of defeating Trump in a zero-sum battle for influence over the party’s activist base.The trait is a lack of belief. Not in God or country, both of which Trump supporters rather enjoy, but rather in the fundamental legitimacy of American society’s most powerful and entrenched institutions; the government, the banks, the media, the academy, etc. Because aside from one extremely notable exception (which we’ll talk about in a bit), there’s not a single major institution of American political life that these folks wouldn’t like to see Trump conquer — the Republican Party itself very much included.
This is not surprising.  The Republicans since at least Ronald Reagan have over and over stated that "the government is the problem".  Starting with Fox News launch, the TV says the same thing, over and over.
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The exception, noted above, is the Military.  This is why it is great that the fanatical faction is a small part of the population (less than 30% of those following one of the two major parties).
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It is great we keep the military out of politics.  But it is horrible when the Military is the ONLY part of government that is supported.

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