Trump Supporters: Read About Yourselves
n Trump supporters
This complete psychological analysis reveals 14 key traits that explain Trump supporters
Bobby Azarian, Raw Story BOBBY AZARIAN, RAW STORY - COMMENTARY
12 NOV 2018 AT 15:05 ET
Whether we want to or not, for the sake of America, we must try to understand the Donald Trump phenomenon, as it has completely swept the nation and also fiercely divided it. What is most baffling about it all is Trump’s apparent political invincibility. As he himself said even before he won the presidential election, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Unfortunately for the American people, this wild-sounding claim appears to be truer than not, at least for the majority of his supporters, and that is something that should disturb us. It should also motivate us to explore the science underlying such peculiar human behavior, so we can learn from it, and potentially inoculate against it.
In all fairness, we should recognize that lying is sadly not uncommon for politicians on both sides of the political aisle, but the frequency and magnitude of the current president’s lies should have us all wondering why they haven’t destroyed his political career, and instead perhaps strengthened it. Similarly, we should be asking why his inflammatory rhetoric and numerous scandals haven’t sunk him. We are talking about a man who was caught on tape saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.” Politically surviving that video is not normal, or anything close to it, and we can be sure that such a revelation would have been the end of Barack Obama or George Bush had it surfaced weeks before the election.
While dozens of psychologists have analyzed Trump, to explain the man’s political invincibility, it is more important to understand the minds of his staunch supporters. While there have been various popular articles that have illuminated a multitude of reasons for his unwavering support, there appears to be no comprehensive analysis that contains all of them. Since there seems to be a real demand for this information, I have tried to provide that analysis below.
Some of the explanations come from a 2017 review paper published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology by the psychologist and UC Santa Cruz professor Thomas Pettigrew. Others have been put forth as far back as 2016 by myself, a cognitive neuroscience and psychology researcher, in various articles and blog posts for publications like Psychology Today. A number of these were inspired by insights from psychologists like Sheldon Solomon, who laid the groundwork for the influential Terror Management Theory, and David Dunning, who did the same for the Dunning-Kruger effect.
This list will begin with the more benign reasons for Trump’s intransigent support, and as the list goes on, the explanations become increasingly worrisome, and toward the end, border on the pathological. It should be strongly emphasized that not all Trump supporters are racist, mentally vulnerable, or fundamentally bad people. It can be detrimental to society when those with degrees and platforms try to demonize their political opponents or paint them as mentally ill when they are not. That being said, it is just as harmful to pretend that there are not clear psychological and neural factors that underlie much of Trump supporters’ unbridled allegiance.
The psychological phenomena described below mostly pertain to those supporters who would follow Trump off a cliff. These are the people who will stand by his side no matter what scandals come to light, or what sort of evidence for immoral and illegal behavior surfaces.
Practicality Trumps Morality
For some wealthy people, it’s simply a financial matter. Trump offers tax cuts for the rich and wants to do away with government regulation that gets in the way of businessmen making money, even when that regulation exists for the purpose of protecting the environment. Others, like blue-collared workers, like the fact that the president is trying to bring jobs back to America from places like China. Some people who genuinely are not racist (those who are will be discussed later) simply want stronger immigration laws because they know that a country with open borders is not sustainable. These people have put their practical concerns above their moral ones. To them, it does not matter if he’s a vagina-grabber, or if his campaign team colluded with Russia to help him defeat his political opponent. It is unknown whether these people are eternally bound to Trump in the way others are, but we may soon find out if the Mueller investigation is allowed to come to completion.
The Brain’s Attention System Is More Strongly Engaged by Trump
According to a study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple language clearly resonate with some at a visceral level.
America’s Obsession with Entertainment and Celebrities
Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With the Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.
“Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn.”
Some intelligent people who know better are supporting Trump simply to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the political system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and democrats like Hillary Clinton that their support for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington. These people do not have their priorities straight, and perhaps have other issues, like an innate desire to troll others, or a deranged obsession with schadenfreude.
The Fear-Factor: Conservatives Are More Sensitive to Threat
Science has unequivocally shown that the conservative brain has an exaggerated fear response when faced with stimuli that may be perceived as threatening. A 2008 study in the journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. A brain-imaging study published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala — a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 fMRI study found that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies. Specifically, the brains of self-identified conservatives generated more activity overall in response to the disturbing images.
These brain responses are automatic, and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues his fear mongering by constantly portraying Muslims and Hispanic immigrants as imminent dangers, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch. Fear keeps his followers energized and focused on safety. And when you think you’ve found your protector, you become less concerned with offensive and divisive remarks.
The Power of Mortality Reminders and Perceived Existential Threat
A well-supported theory from social psychology, known as Terror Management Theory, explains why Trump’s fear mongering is doubly effective. The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitably of one’s death creates existential terror and anxiety that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews — like religions, political ideologies, and national identities — that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.
Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic identity, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have confirmed this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.
Not only do death reminders increase nationalism, they influence actual voting habits in favor of more conservative presidential candidates. And more disturbingly, in a study with American students, scientists found that making mortality salient increased support for extreme military interventions by American forces that could kill thousands of civilians overseas. Interestingly, the effect was present only in conservatives, which can likely be attributed to their heightened fear response.
By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump creates a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric. Liberals and Independents who have been puzzled over why Trump hasn’t lost supporters after such highly offensive comments need look no further than Terror Management Theory.
The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Humans Often Overestimate Their Political Expertise
Some support Donald Trump do so out of ignorance — basically they are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it’s ever been, they simply take his word for it.
The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed, which creates a double burden.
Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an op-ed for Politico, “The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task — and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.” These people cannot be reached because they mistakenly believe they are the ones who should be reaching others.
Relative Deprivation — A Misguided Sense of Entitlement
Relative deprivation refers to the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes they are entitled. It is the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.
Common explanations for Trump’s popularity among non-bigoted voters involve economics. There is no doubt that some Trump supporters are simply angry that American jobs are being lost to Mexico and China, which is certainly understandable, although these loyalists often ignore the fact that some of these careers are actually being lost due to the accelerating pace of automation.
These Trump supporters are experiencing relative deprivation, and are common among the swing states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This kind of deprivation is specifically referred to as “relative,” as opposed to “absolute,” because the feeling is often based on a skewed perception of what one is entitled to.
Lack of Exposure to Dissimilar Others
Intergroup contact refers to contact with members of groups that are outside one’s own, which has been experimentally shown to reduce prejudice. As such, it’s important to note that there is growing evidence that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. For example, a 2016 study found that “…the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters’ physical distance from the Mexican border. These racial biases might be more implicit than explicit, the latter which is addressed in #12.
Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Target the Mentally Vulnerable
While the conspiracy theory crowd — who predominantly support Donald Trump and crackpot allies like Alex Jones and the shadowy QAnon — may appear to just be an odd quirk of modern society, the truth is that many of them suffer from psychological illnesses that involve paranoia and delusions, such as schizophrenia, or are at least vulnerable to them, like those with schizotypy personalities.
The link between schizotypy and belief in conspiracy theories is well-established, and a recent study published in the journal Psychiatry Research has demonstrated that it is still very prevalent in the population. The researchers found that those who were more likely to believe in outlandish conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the U.S. government created the AIDs epidemic, consistently scored high on measures of “odd beliefs and magical thinking.” One feature of magical thinking is a tendency to make connections between things that are actually unrelated in reality.
Donald Trump and his media allies target these people directly. All one has to do is visit alt-right websites and discussion boards to see the evidence for such manipulation.
Trump Taps into the Nation’s Collective Narcissism
Collective narcissism is an unrealistic shared belief in the greatness of one’s national group. It often occurs when a group who believes it represents the ‘true identity’ of a nation — the ‘ingroup,’ in this case White Americans — perceives itself as being disadvantaged compared to outgroups who are getting ahead of them ‘unrightfully.’ This psychological phenomenon is related to relative deprivation (#6).
A study published last year in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found a direct link between national collective narcissism and support for Donald Trump. This correlation was discovered by researchers at the University of Warsaw, who surveyed over 400 American
Are you still watching the NFL
Something different from normal political discussions. How many people are still watching the NFL this season. Last year I boycotted watching the NFL, only watching one game. I have to admit, I kind of had withdrawal symptoms last year, but not so this year. This year I haven’t watched a single game and haven’t missed it one bit. College football has been big for me this year and on Sundays so far NASCAR has kept my interest. How about you all? I haven’t heard much about the kneeler this year, I just quit watching after the nonsense last year. I’m just curious as to how many non watchers there still are from last season?
Do you think Democrats will be willing to work woth President ???
No way in hell!!!!!..They are NOT gonna work with him at all..All they are gonna do is do unnecessary investigations,wasting taxpayers money and time!!!!.....Not to mention Resisting and Obstructing to no end!!!..Probably waaay worse then before!!!These Rdical Democrats in charge will give absolutely no credit to President no matter how much he will agree to work with them!!!!.....But people are not stupid,we all know what is going on...And Democrats will pay in 2 years when President Trump will win his second term and and we THE PEOPLE will take the House back!!!But for now we have to survive dark times in America!!!!
A great victory for Airizona
Arizona has a new senator replacing the retired republican Jeff Flake, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema will be representing Arizona in the senate! She is the first woman to represent the state and the first democratic senator from Arizona in 30years.
Hillary Announces She’ll Run again in 2020
Analysis | The top 15 Democratic presidential candidates for 2020, ranked
Washington Post - 2 days ago
Hillary Clinton will run for president again in 2020, former adviser says
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hillary clinton will be the nominee in 2020 from www.washingtonexaminer.com
2 hours ago · Hillary Clinton will run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, according to a former adviser and a top Democrat in New York. ... "You can expect her to run for president once again. ... The duo also said potential Democratic presidential candidates
Malibu Burning: 5, 10, $15Million dollar mansions burning in Malibu
Malibu burning: Cher, Lady Gaga, Kardashians fear for homes, Caitlyn Jenner’s home destroyed
10 NOV 2018
Caitlyn Jenner on the Jimmy Kimmel show when she still supported Trump/Screenshot
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Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga were among thousands fleeing their homes on Friday as a fast-moving wildfire engulfed Malibu and nearby celebrity neighborhoods.
Kardashian, who on Thursday evacuated the home she shares in nearby Calabasas with Kanye West, tweeted on Friday that she “heard the flames have hit our property… but now are more contained and have stopped.”
The entire 12,000-strong population of Malibu, which stretches 27 miles (43.5 km) along the Pacific Ocean in Southern California and up into the Santa Monica mountains, was placed under mandatory evacuation on Friday as the Woolsey fire exploded overnight.
The City of Malibu’s Twitter account said the fire was burning out of control.
Malibu and Calabasas are home to hundreds of celebrities and entertainment executives attracted by its ocean views, rolling hills and large, isolated estates. Current and former residents include Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Judd Apatow and Britney Spears.
Celebrity website TMZ reported that the Malibu home of Caitlyn Jenner, America’s best-known transgender activist, was destroyed by the flames on Friday. Her publicist could not confirm the status of her house, but told Reuters that Jenner was safe.
Residents posted pleas on social media for help evacuating horses and other large animals, while long lines of traffic clogged the only coastal highway in and out of Malibu.
Cher, who said she had lived in Malibu since 1972, tweeted that the wildfire was coming close to her home, although she said she was not on the property.
“Friends houses have burned. I can’t bear the thought of there being no Malibu,” the singer posted.
Lady Gaga posted a video on her Instagram account saying she had evacuated her Malibu home on Friday, and showing images of dark billowing smoke overhead.
Movie director Guillermo del Toro tweeted that he had abandoned his vast “Bleak House” museum collection of fantasy and horror memorabilia.
“Bleak House and the collection may be endangered but the gift of life remains,” tweeted del Toro, director of Oscar best picture winner “The Shape of Water.”
The Malibu area is also home to dozens of filming locations. One of them, the Western Town at Paramount Ranch where television series “Westworld” is filmed, was destroyed, according to the Santa Monica Mountains Twitter account.
The mansion used to shoot “The Bachelor” TV series was “in grave danger,” ABC television executive Robert Mills posted on Twitter.
Alyssa Milano, a leading force in the #MeToo social movement against sexual harassment, asked for help getting five horses out of the area and said she had taken her “kids, dogs, computer and my Doc Marten boots.”
Rainn Wilson, former star of “The Office,” singer Melissa Etheridge, and Roma Downey, the wife of “The Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett, all said they had scrambled to evacuate at short notice.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Sandra Maler
Democrats shameless display
This election season has exposed the shameless behavior of Democratic candidates screwing up the democratic process - by insisting that every vote counts and that every vote BE counted.
This behavior undermines the carefully managed voting process that ensures that the chosen candidates win their elections. All the gerrymandering, voter registration purges, delays in processing voter registrations, lost or delayed mail-in ballots, circular filing of provisional ballots, and all the other tricks of the trade, all down the drain.
Next thing you know, the American people will be deciding who gets elected, the first step to eventual ruin.
Just wait, it is right around the corner in USA
Scotland makes LGBT indoctrination mandatory for kids
Supporters of requirement call it a world's first
Published: 13 hours ago
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Schools in Scotland soon will be required to teach students LGBT history to prevent “homophobia and transphobia” and to encourage exploration of their gender identity.
That’s according to the London Guardian, which says Scotland has become the first nation in the world to embed teaching about gender options in its regular school curriculum.
The move comes after lawmakers “accepted in full the recommendations of a working group led by the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign,” the report said.
“There will be no exemptions or opt-outs to the policy, which will embed LGBTI inclusive education across the curriculum and across subjects and which the Scottish government believes is a world first,” the report said.
Those advocating for mandates regarding alternative sexual lifestyles were cheered.
“This is a monumental victory for our campaign, and a historic moment for our country,” Jordan Daly of TIE told the newspaper.
In 1988, Scotland banned local authorities from promotion of homosexuality. While the ban was removed some time ago, it took until now for the formal promotions to be mandated.
“This implement of LGBTI inclusive education across all state schools is a world first. In a time of global uncertainty, this sends a strong and clear message to LGBTI young people that they are valued here in Scotland,” Daly said.
TIE said in the report it did a study and found nine in 10 LGBTI Scots “experience homophobia at school.”
“The investigation also found there was little understanding in schools about prejudice against people with variations of sex characteristics and intersex bodies,” the report said.
Three years ago, former Labor leader Kezia Dugdale promoted Scotland as having “the gayest parliament in the world.”
Four members at that time were LGBT, the report said.
In light of the new requirement, John Swinney, the deputy first minister, said Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for “LGBTI equality.”
“I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI-inclusive education embedded within the curriculum,” he said.
Until 1980, homosexuality was a crime in the country.
Are you interested?
There is a darned good chance that Americans will finally get a look at Trumps tax returns. Do you have an interest in what we will learn from their being made public? I absolutely do, if they show that all is as Trump claims; that he is as wealthy as he claims, is paying his share of tax and is not profiting from the presidency I will feel better about the decisions he makes. On the other hand if they show he is evading taxes, lying about his wealth and making decisions to enrich himself at the expense of the nation he will need to be held accountable. In either event the American people deserve to know if their president is honest or a crook. I think Americans look forward to learning the truth.
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