NYTimes GUEST ESSAY

Trump True Believers Have Their Reasons

Thomas B. Edsall Mr. Edsall contributes a weekly column from Washington, D.C.,
on politics, demographics and inequality.
October 6, 2021

My summary of Thomas B. Edsall's editorial

The typical Trump voter is afraid of losing their societal dominance. Following an authoritarian leader, who appears invested in maintaining earlier social conventions in which members of an identifiable group were dominant, makes potential losers believe they have a defender. Within five years native born "white" people will be less than 50% of this nation's population and 60% of all college students are now female, which increases female leadership and earning potential. Fear of losing dominance has led some "white" persons to identify with authoritarian leaders who promote white nationalism, racism, nativism, homophobia, and submissive female roles.

The typical Trump voter is anti-intellectual and anti-feminist which may be a result of the fact that almost 40% of all Americans now has a college degree. The college experience changes people. In college facts are taught and the understanding thereof is tested for but in my opinion it is the socialization that occurs that has transformed society. Multicultural college campuses expose young people to the fact that sexually-attractive persons from all races and nationalities are more alike than different. Most college graduates are liberal Democrats. But the real reason economically and socially unsuccessful people support authoritarianism is they hate being preached to and "fact-checked" by economically successful college graduates with liberal values they equate with femininity.

The typical Trump voter uses charges of "immorality" to justify their opposition to progressive laws and candidates. The danger in this justification is that moral conviction is the factor people are most likely to use to justify war, vigilantism, torture, genocide and murder. Violence is generally triggered by what mentally normal angry fanatics consider immoral violations of their religious or political beliefs. Fundamentalist religious leaders and weak politicians will say and do anything to activate moral outrage as a way to remain in power. The danger is further exacerbated by the fact that many of their followers are well-armed.

...John Bradley 10/12/2021