Professor Bandy X, a Yale Psychiatry professor, recently shared in an interview with Raw Story why exactly Donald Trump supporters display overly enthusiastic support for a president who has on more than one occasion, lied to and betrayed them.
Lee explains how Trump communicates on a purely emotional level, saying:
“This grandiose omnipotence that he displays seems appealing to his emotionally-needy followers. No matter what the world says, he fights back against criticisms, continues to lie in the face of truth, and above all, is still president. What matters is that he is winning, not whether he is honest or law-biding. This may seem puzzling to the rest of us, but when you are overcome with feelings of powerlessness, this type of cartoonish, exaggerated force is often more important than true ability. This is the more primitive morality, as we call it, of ‘might make you right,’ which in normal development you grow out of by age five.”
Lee continues on to say that usually “strongman types” of personalities are attracted to those who are normal folks under stress — especially during periods of socioeconomic unrest. These particular people look to Trump for help without comprehending that he is just telling them exactly what they want to hear.
Lee also notes how Trump’s behavioral pattern is more so that of a follower than a leader — which is why he suddenly shrinks before “more successful strongmen, such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, or Rodrigo Duterte,” and also why when he senses “those who will never go along with his pathological methods—that is, healthy people,” he will immediately drop them.
“That is why we see him desperately clinging to an ever narrower base with increasingly fringe ideas,” she says. This can be seen when Trump supports Neo-Nazis and other groups that share both violent and hateful conspiracy theories.
Trump also displaces qualities in himself that he cannot tolerate onto others — the psychological term is coined “projection.” This can be seen on the president’s Twitter account as well as at his rallies. So when Trump “calls legitimate news ‘fake’ and news agencies ‘the enemy of the people,’ he is unconsciously telling us that he himself is ‘fake news’ and ‘the enemy of the people.”
But the scariest part of all? Lee predicts that as we move forward, Trump will only continue to pull any and all attention away from helpless groups as well as minorities “in order to distract from his billionaire cabinet, tax breaks for the rich, and trade wars that hurt his base the most.”
“There will likely be no limit to the violence he is capable of, since destroying the world would be nothing compared to the shame and humiliation he might suffer,” she says.
Whether you are a Trump supporter or not, Lee’s observations are a reminder on how words are important and even more importantly — those in power reveal their intentions behind each word chosen.
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