Why people support Trump — AND smart ways for us to organize against Trumpism

Read the insightful article at this link:


Some of these 15 reasons are things we have already known. But some of these offer fresh insights that have not been discussed very much. We could make progress organizing against Trump and Trumpism by paying attention to these and devising strategies to reduce or counter those supports.


1. How could we reach out to the public, connect with their basic values and interests, reinforce good values and the broad public interest, educate them about some of the basic facts, and motivate people to pay attention and get engaged with politics at more than a superficial level?

2. How could we promote progressive media to the broader public? How could we tailor some of our progressive media to strategically appeal to people with conservative views? Many conservatives share our distrust of “elites,” including abusive financial elites. People who are “pro-life” should oppose Republicans’ opposition to health care and feeding hungry people. There are many other examples that we could connect with if we would think strategically and write strategically grounded articles, letters to editors, etc.

4. Similarly, we could expose the right-wing’s agenda as the opposite of what Jesus taught and practiced. We need to peel conservative Christians away from what Trump and the Republicans have been promoting. This is true for many issues of public policy. For example, I wrote the article at this link — Christian Reasons to Oppose the Death Penalty — and we could do the same about a great many other issues of public policy.

6. Some people have devised effective ways to help people leave (and get “de-programmed” from) the cults that they have joined. What can we learn from those strategies and methods? How could we adapt them to help people leave the Trump cult?

8. This article’s #8 about polarizing and demonizing political opponents is significant. In the past few months I have written several articles about the dangers of the polarization that #8 in this article refers to. I’ve posted those to the “Race” category and some other categories on my blog, www.parallaxperspectives.org. We could make progress by figuring out how to de-polarize our society and reduce demonization. (Yes, the Left needs that healing too.)

9. How much of the public’s narcissism is grounded in people’s lack of authentic appreciation for their own human dignity and authenticity and meaningfulness of their own lives? When those authentic values are diminished or absent, people look for meaning in hedonism, entertainment, materialism, racial/nationalistic identity, and other narcissistic substitutes. We could diminish Trumpism’s public appeal by reducing the appeal of those substitutes and helping people appreciate their own (and other people’s) inherent and universal value as human beings. Read Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning.

10. I’m happy to see “death anxiety” listed here. The Ernest Becker Foundation (www.ernestbecker.org) has been researching and publicizing this for a number of years. Death anxiety has been proven to push people toward right-wing and authoritarian politics. Republican strategists and other right-wing strategists have known about this for many years, and they have been successfully exploiting it. I produced a TV program about this. Watch the interview and/or read a thorough summary of what we said at this link: http://parallaxperspectives.org/tv-social-and-political-implications-of-death-anxiety

11. This is an interesting insight. While Democrats rationally propose public policy (which is boring), Trump offered his entertaining hucksterism and TV-based diversions from boring public policy. He appealed to people’s lowest levels and prevailed. Fortunately, political progressives have found that it is possible to attract and energize many, many voters by proposing bold, progressive public policies. We need more of this bold progressivism instead of the boring middle-of-the-roadism that the mainstream Democratic Party keeps promoting. The mainstream Democratic Party keeps repelling voters by opposing the progressives that can replace Republicans if only the mainstream Party would stop demanding centrism.

12. Who are the “elites”? This item on the list reminds me of Pol Pot’s dictatorship in Cambodia decades ago when his political ideology claimed to support rural peasants, so he killed the educated elites. An indicator that you were part of the despised educated elite was if you wore eyeglasses, because that meant you could read, so you must by the enemy elite. Pol Pot murdered many people simply because they wore eyeglasses. Republican and right-wing concepts of the “elite” reflect this bias. I read about a public opinion poll that showed Republicans think universities are a negative influence upon our nation. Republicans oppose science and intellectual values. When they do that, they oppose things that actually serve the broad public interest. In contrast, they reject the public interest and serve the actual elites – big business, rich people, the military-industrial complex, etc. We need to reach out to the public, expose their hypocrisy, and help the public see the realities.

13. This should prompt us to figure out good strategies to turn things around.

14. It is not enough to run as a “Democrat,” since many Democrats are merely “Republican-lite.” Voters do respond positively to truly progressive public policies.

The small remaining part of this article is worth reading too. Again, it’s at https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/here-are-15-reasons-why-trumps-supporters-will-never-abandon-him?src=newsletter1095784