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Thursday: Nice Girls (don’t do Trump)

A Thursday rock pick-me-up:


Hell may have just frozen over. I’m posting something from Fox News.

Voters’ Mood Sours: 56% Say Trump Tearing Country Apart

That shift is not, as is often the case, tied to the economy. Positive views on the economy are higher than in more than a decade: 36 percent say it is in either “excellent” (6 percent) or “good” (30 percent) shape. The last time conditions were rated this positively was August 2004.

The same isn’t true for Trump. His job ratings are increasingly negative — and 56 percent feel Trump’s “tearing the country apart,” versus 33 percent who say he’s “drawing the country together.”

Dang, it’s always that stubborn 33%. Who are these people??

We have the answer. It’s from Bob Altemeyer at the University of Manitoba who spent 40 years doing research on what drives people to support dictators and put obedience to authority above the inner voice of conscience. He wrote a spookily prescient piece about Trump and his supporters in July 2016. It’s a fascinating read. Here are some of the highlights about what a typical Trump supporter might be like:

They are highly ethnocentric, highly inclined to see the world as their in-group versus everyone else. Because they are so committed to their in-group, they are very zealous in its cause. They will trust their leaders no matter what they say, and distrust whomever the leader says to distrust.

They are highly fearful of a dangerous world. Their parents taught them, more than parents usually do, that the world is dangerous. They may also be genetically predisposed to experience stronger fear than people skilled at “keeping their heads while others are losing theirs.”

They are highly self-righteous. They believe they are the “good people” and this unlocks a lot of hostile impulses against those they consider bad.

They are aggressive. Given the chance to attack someone with the approval of an authority, they will lower the boom.

They are highly prejudiced against racial and ethnic minorities, non-heterosexuals, and women in general.

They will support their authorities, and even help them, persecute almost any identifiable group in the country.

Their beliefs are a mass of contradictions. They have highly compartmentalized minds, in which opposite beliefs live independent lives in separate boxes. As a result, their thinking is full of double-standards.

They reason poorly. If they like the conclusion of an argument, they don’t pay much attention to whether the evidence is valid or the argument is consistent. They especially have trouble realizing a conclusion is invalid.

They are highly dogmatic. Because they have mainly gotten their beliefs from the authorities in their lives, rather than think things out for themselves, they have no real defense when facts or events indicate they are wrong. So they just dig in their heels and refuse to change.

They are very dependent on social reinforcement of their beliefs. They think they are right because almost everyone they know and listen to tells them they are. That happens because they screen out sources that will suggest that they are wrong.

Because they severely limit their exposure to different people and ideas, they vastly overestimate the extent to which other people agree with them. And thinking they are “the moral majority” supports their attacks on the “evil minorities” they see in the country.

They believe strongly in group cohesiveness, and being loyal. They are highly energized when surrounded by a crowd of fellow-believers because it makes them feel powerful and supports their belief that “all the good people” agree with them.

They are easily duped by manipulators who pretend to espouse their causes when all the con-artists really want is personal gain.

They are largely blind to themselves. They have little self-understanding and insight into why they think and do what they do. They are heavily into denial.

Altemeyer correctly predicts that it is extremely difficult to change their minds. Challenging their authority figure will only make them dig in their heels.

Go read the whole thing. Then find some xanax.

14 Responses

  1. I would assert that this fellow is dead on accurate. Goudy lives in this ugly crack of society. Add to that people disgusted with Mitch McConnell’s blockade of anything Obama or democratic and you create a faction looking for ANYTHING off of status quo

    The republicans created this abomination … pissing around creating a tea party … and government by finger pointing (Chafitz quit because he did not have the talent to lead … only to accuse others) and roots found in a party of separatism designed by Karl Rove and fertilized by Roger Ailes

    In his January op ed to the Post Garrison Kealor laid all of this out … as well as the responsibility of those of us who disagree

    • Hey, long time, no see. You don’t call, you don’t write.
      Are you a proctologist yet?

  2. Reminds me of that Dietrich Bohnhoeffer quote you frontpaged a while ago. Something like “stupidity is more dangerous than malice.” A focus group of people who voted for trump was shown on MSNBC last night and one of them said that he was not even professional let alone presidential. He is not fit for this job and never will be a charming dictator. To that extent, the danger is lessened and the 60+% can have a larger say and oust him from office. But right now they need the support of the party machinery that brought him in and the propaganda shop Fox.

  3. Sounds like Progressives with their Trump hate and support of Antifa.

    • Yeah, I support Antifa. You got a problem with that??

    • Who cares about those fringe groups with manufactured labels.You and your ilk are ruining this beautiful country with your stupidity. We hate trump for his corruption, incompetence, and plain stupidity and for what he is doing to this beautiful country. He and his cronies are such frauds that it is on you that you can’t tell the difference.

      • Are you able to see Democrat corruption and do you dislike Democrat corruption also?

        • Democrats are not in charge of all three branches of government.
          Republicans are.
          The control the horizontal and the vertical.

          Ooooooo, Constance, have we struck a nerve? Did Bob Altemeyer describe you too well in unflattering terms?

          It sure sounds like it.

        • Once again:

        • I have not seen anything like what is going on now. The brazenness of trump is only matched by the cowardice and complicity of GOP congress. One simple example, Hillary was raked over coals by Gowdy/ Chafetz for some inane emails. What trump is doing in terms of corruption and national security is orders of magnitude worse, his D.C. Hotel, Mara Lago, his golf properties bleading secret service on and on… homework for you- read about what Carl Icahn tried to do with trump…that is corruption at its highest. Nothing like this has happened in either the republican or democrat administrations of the past. Republicans have started wars to benefit their cronies but all of them seem honorable compared to the buffoon we have now.

  4. Mike Luckovich toon revives an old statement, with a twist: 😈

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