View Single Post
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-04-2020, 09:13 PM
saltwn's Avatar
saltwn saltwn is offline
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Esto perpetua
Posts: 84,301
Thanks: 56,270
Thanked 26,561 Times in 19,045 Posts
Send a message via AIM to saltwn Send a message via MSN to saltwn Send a message via Yahoo to saltwn
Default Re: Why Trump Supporters Canít Admit Who He Really Is

continues here:

Quote:
Still, in the minds of Trumpís supporters lingers the belief that a Biden presidency would usher in a reign of terror. Many of them simply have to believe that. Justifying their fealty to a man who is so obviously a moral wreck requires them to turn Joe Biden and the Democratic Party into an existential threat. The narrative is set; the actual identity of the nominee is almost incidental.
Quote:
A powerful tribal identity bonds the president to his supporters. As Amy Chua, the author of Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations, has argued, the tribal instinct is not just to belong, but also to exclude and to attack. ďWhen groups feel threatened,Ē Chua writes, ďthey retreat into tribalism. They close ranks and become more insular, more defensive, more punitive, more us-versus-them.Ē
Quote:
That works both ways. Fear strengthens tribalistic instincts, and tribalistic instincts amplify fear. Nothing bonds a group more tightly than a common enemy that is perceived as a mortal threat. In the presence of such an enemy, members of tribal groups look outward rather than inward, at others and never at themselves or their own kind.
Quote:
The danger of this mindsetóin which the means, however unethical, justify the ends of survivalóis obvious. And so in this case, Trump supporters will tolerate everything he does, from making hush-money payments to porn stars and engaging in sexually predatory behavior, to inviting Americaís adversaries to intervene in our elections, to pressuring American allies to dig up dirt on the presidentís opponent, to cozying up to some of the worst dictators in the world, to peddling crazed conspiracy theories, to mishandling a pandemic at the cost of untold lives, to countless other ethical and governing transgressions. Trump is given carte blanche by his supporters because they perceive him as their protector, transforming his ruthlessness from a vice into a virtue.
Quote:
In my experience, if Trump supporters are asked to turn their gaze away from their perceived opponents, and instead to focus and reflect on him and on his failures, they respond in a couple of consistent ways. Many shift the topic immediately back to Democrats, because offering a vigorous moral defense of Donald Trump isnít an easy task. Itís like asking people to stare directly into the sun; they might do it for an instant, but then they look away. But if you do succeed in keeping the topic on Trump, they often twist themselves into knots in order to defend him, and in some cases they simply deny reality.
Quote:
ďMotivation conditions cognition,Ē Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing writer at The Atlantic, wisely told me. Very few Trump supporters I know are able to offer an honest appraisal of the man. To do so creates too much cognitive dissonance.

That they are defending a person who is fundamentally malicious, even if he makes judicial appointments of which they approve, is too painful for them to admit. They are similarly unable to admit they are defending an ethic that is at odds with what they have long championed. They have accepted, excused, and applauded Trumpís behavior and tactics, allowing his ends to justify his means. In important respects, this is antithetical to a virtue ethic. So once again, itís easier for them to look away or engage in self-deception; to convince themselves that Donald Trump is not who he so clearly is.
__________________
Reply With Quote