Thursday, January 21, 2016

What Do Hitler and Big Daddy Donald Have In Common?

UPDATE:  Read also the Washington Post, The gospel according to Donald Trump, and hear Trump discuss "Two Corinthians" and other gospel favorites "according to Trump."
"So you say you want a daddy for your president?

Okay, so maybe you didn’t say it, but on a subliminal level, you may have felt it, especially if you’re a Republican primary voter leaning toward Donald Trump.

Such is the finding of a recent national poll unveiled in the current issue of Politico Magazine. The survey’s author, political consultant Matthew MacWilliams, found that Trump supporters tend to be primarily 'authoritarians.'

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since 'authority' sums up the content of both Trump’s persona and his campaign. How many times have you heard him say, 'Believe me,' usually following some sweeping promise that has virtually no basis in reality?
But Big Daddy’s the boss. What he says goes. Case closed.

For many Republicans, this trope apparently offers comfort. Fathers, after all, are brave, strong and filled with correctitude. They lay down the law; you follow it. Easy peasy. So much for Republican allegiance to independence and self-sufficiency. When it comes to government authority, the only difference between a daddy state and a mommy state is the number of bullets in the magazine.

The problems Trump cites, whether China’s currency manipulation or illegal immigration, are real enough. It’s his build-it and ban-’em solutions that are overbroad and draconian.

Doesn’t matter.

What voters hear when Trump speaks is validation of their anger, resentment, fear and loathing. This folie à deux between demagogue and populace (the leader and the led) is nothing new, but a substantial percentage of GOP voters are managing to overlook Trump’s parallels to history’s other authoritarian figures. They, too, invariably appealed to nationalistic, nativist pride and made enemies of 'the others.' . .

So exactly what does it mean to be 'authoritarian' in MacWilliams’s parlance? In a word, it means you obey — and that you value obedience.

Authoritarians also are attracted to strong leaders and react strongly to outsiders when they feel threatened. These qualities aren’t necessarily an indictment of either Trump or his supporters. It is natural to want to protect one’s home (land) when intruders are reportedly about. And who in her right mind wants a weak leader? Been there, haven’t we?

Trouble is in the details, or, in Trump’s case, the lack thereof. His plans and policies are amateurish to pretend-ish, certainly as compared with those of someone such as Jeb Bush, who has offered detailed plans for tackling complicated issues. Not that voters are going to read them. . .

Today’s voters are so mad they can’t see — or think — straight. They want simple solutions and simplistic slogans. With Trump, they get both, as well as a furious father figure, who, snapping off his belt for a good whuppin’, will build a wall, bomb the hell out of ’em, and bravely defend 'Merry Christmas.'"

Read the Washington Post, Who are Trump’s supporters in America? Authoritarians.