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    February 2016
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procuressSTrumpet sounds so quaint. I get the image of floozies in bodices where their cups runneth over. There’s a whiff of something overripe about them. They don’t necessarily have hearts of gold. They’re looking out for themselves. Nothing so tasteful as Vermeer’s Procuress but the boob grabbing seems to be a thing.

It’s a silly image. How close is it to reality?

Well, Matthew McWilliams at Vox did what looks like principal components analysis of the typical Trump supporter and most of you will probably not be surprised with the results:

What I found is a trend that has been widely overlooked. A voter’s gender, education, age, ideology, party identification, income, and race simply had no statistical bearing on whether someone supported Trump. Neither, despite predictions to the contrary, did evangelicalism.

Here is what did: authoritarianism, by which I mean Americans’ inclination to authoritarian behavior. When political scientists use the term authoritarianism, we are not talking about dictatorships but about a worldview. People who score high on the authoritarian scale value conformity and order, protect social norms, and are wary of outsiders. And when authoritarians feel threatened, they support aggressive leaders and policies.

Authoritarianism and a hybrid variable that links authoritarianism with a personal fear of terrorism were the only two variables that predicted, with statistical significance, support for Trump.

We’ve been here before. If you’re new to the concept of authoritarianism, stop right here and go read Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians, his online study of the subject. I’m not sure the typical Trump supporter would see themselves as cousins of North Koreans or an Ayatollah but that’s about where they are. Trump has similar qualities of power and strength that the typical authoritarian follower admires.

Conformity is a key personality characteristic of authoritarian followers. The wariness of outsiders has been a constant feature of our culture. We all learned about xenophobia in America in our 11th grade social studies class. It’s an “us vs them” strategy employed by politicians since forever.

There’s something I think the analysis is not yet picking up on and I’m not sure what parameter to chuck into the mix to see if it counts but it has something to do with the inability to assess risk or think critically. I’m not sure this has anything to do with education either since I’ve known plenty of people with PhDs whose ability to think critically can be derailed by a good propaganda campaign. Let’s just say that politicians like Trump and George W. Bush are good at poking at the amygdalas of some people to make them think of how vulnerable and unsafe they are all the time.

There’s reasonable fear that we can think through and prepare for and then there is unreasonable fear that resists thinking through. I think authoritarians are very good at stimulating the latter. But the funny thing is that the scenarios that the authoritarians present to all of us are the same. It’s just that some of us don’t fall for them. That’s the part I’m most curious about.

Well, that’s about as far as I want to delve into the mind of a typical STrumpet today. I think we can all see where the campaign is heading at this point. The Republican primary is set up for “winner take all”, while Democrats have gone with proportional distribution of the vote. We all know from 2008 that this is just a convenient fiction for the Democrats. The Superdelegates will make the final call and pretty soon (In fact, I’m already seeing signs of this), the word will go out to fall in behind Hillary. Im already seeing the ice crack around protecting Obama’s legacy too with Bill Press’s book on Buyer’s Remorse and one of Tom Sullivan’s posts at Digbysblog where he pretty much admits that the Democrats tried the Republican campaign strategy in 2008 (and how did that turn out??). The title of the post is An “existential sense of betrayal”.  Digby herself seems to be stuck thinking that it’s all about racism but some of her co-posters are a little more introspective. That’s encouraging. In any case, Hillary is going to have to start distancing herself from Obama and probably sooner than later if she has to present herself as something new.

Trump will continue to insinuate that Hillary is about to be indicted for something. Not sure how she’s going to deal with it but I suspect that the media, who has had an irrational hatred of her for two decades, is going to have to swallow its pride and start, you know, actually reporting the truth about her. That should be interesting.

I thought 2008 was ugly but I think this campaign year is going to get even uglier. We might even see one candidate completely rid himself of the Mister Nice Guy routine we expect of serious candidates and go after his opposition using language that will make everyone but the most hardened strumpet blush.

37 Responses

  1. Hillary 2016: Get ready to rummmmbbbble!!!

  2. I agree, RD, it’s going to get uglier. Just saw article in WP, where they reported on actual research (wow! it’s still happening!) on twitter posts by gender and supporter for both HC and BS. They found about 1/3 of the sexist slurs “too vile to print” were from BS supporters toward HC. The rest were from right-wingers (more than half of them, and of all sexist language directed toward HC, were from Trump’s supporters). https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/02/24/these-6-charts-show-how-much-sexism-hillary-clinton-faces-on-twitter/

  3. Trollz will be trollz. 😆

  4. While I was finding my Dashie gif, you changed the trollz’ comments.

    Nice one.

    Is it OK if I post pix, and if yes, what size limits do you want to set down?

    • You can post pics. Don’t make them too big. Also remember that the moderation nanny is picky about too many links.

  5. What kind of blog has an editor that changes what people post? I can understand deleting or moderating comments, but to completely change them so that other readers think that the OP has written something that they didn’t?

    What is the point of allowing comments if you will completely re-write them if you don’t like / agree with them?

    We all know that blogs are not real journalism, but really, what’s the point of posting, or even reading, if there is this kind of completely misleading and dishonest editing?

    Delete if you must, but don’t change what someone else says. What the F kind of blog is this? Pravda.WordPress.ru?

  6. Social media sites like twitter will attract trolls the way manure attracts flies. The trolls are always flying around, looking for somewhere to troll. They are often self propelled and sent by nobody at all A candidate Trump will attract more than just the White Grievance Nationalist vote. He will also attract the Burn This Mother Down vote. We will see how large that vote is.
    If the DParty hands the nomination to Clinton the way they handed it to Obama last time, many Sanders supporters will be bitter in the same way that many Clinton supporters were bitter last time. But if Clinton is seen to win the nomination fair and square, with Sanders losing in the end, including losing a floor fight if it gets that far, the Sanders supporters will be resigned to it. Regardless, Sanders will keep campaigning till Convention time so he and his supporters can see just how big or small a movement they end up being. Something will be learned all around.

    Some time ago the Ccrawdad Hhole referred to core Trump supporters as Stormtrumpers. That could be a useful word too, for some of his core supporters..

    An awful lot of what will call itself political analysis will really be political sports analysis . . .who’s doing how, etc. For some policy and meaning analysis I find three other blogs fairly useful in addition to here. They are: Pat Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis, Ian Welsh, Naked Capitalism. SST and NaCap are deeply Clintosceptical or Clintohostile on the practices and policies. But NaCap is troll-low and SST is troll-free, so the analysis is often worth thinking about. Ian Welsh is the frightened observer, wondering just what is going on down here. And trying to make his best guesses.

  7. (cheering wildly)

  8. If anyone can handle the Donald, it’s Hill.The debates will be grand.

  9. Hillary is the only one who can bring the super predators to heel.


  10. 13 seconds is enough to get the context right? gotcha politics is all have now. we might as well have a robot politician that spills out the same exact thing every single time, never changing, never evolving, always consistent. thats what we want? the problem is that we need to travel to the future, get whatever they think its important and then go back to the past and just keep saying the exact same thing over and over and over again. Consistency, uniformity, homogeneity and sameness are all synonyms and they are the enemy of change, evolution and learning!

    • Hey, did you vote for Obama thinking you were actually going to get change, evolution and learning?
      And how did that work out?

      • I did not vote for Obama. My point is that i like some change, learning and evolution in my candidates.

  11. If there’s vanilla in my pantry, I’m making chocolate pudding.

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