And then that happened…
Posted May 6, 2016on:
Last Tuesday was quite a day. Morning broke with Trump implicating Ted Cruz’s father in the Kennedy assassination. It seems Trump unearthed information from where the Warren Commission never thought to look – the front page of The National Enquirer.
We then witnessed Ted Cruz perform an auto-splenectomy on live television. During a fifteen minute conniption fit, he sputtered and spewed. Spleenless, he found it too difficult to go on and he quit the race, but not before almost sending his wife, Heidi, to the mat for a nine-count. Not once, but twice.
Then we saw John Kasich and his electroshock coiffure quit. Usually when someone bows out in front of their supporters, there are cries and whimpering of, “No, don’t, oh, no, no.” Sadly, for Kasich there were crickets – mute crickets – mute crickets wrapped in sound-dampeners. It was almost as if people were thinking, “Well this took long enough!”
Left standing was Trump in all his orange-hued glory. The Grand Old Party suddenly became the “Party of Trump” or “PoT”. How did the Republicans go to PoT? What went wrong?
There is the craziness of the “Trump nihilism” of: Burn it all down! Burn it to hell because I don’t have an 85 inch teevee, an Uzi, and ringside WWE season tickets.
We are hearing about the things the Trumpeters believe. For instance, 40% believe Obama is hiding something about his past. Fifty-two percent believe vaccines cause autism. As expected, 29% believe global warming is a myth. As any good mainlining Fox News junkies would, a full 50% believe Hillary knew about the Benghazi attack beforehand and chose to do nothing. Finally, and I find this ghastly, 21% of Trump supporters believe the Newtown massacre was faked.
Let that last one sink in for a moment. One-fifth of Trump diehards believe twenty beautiful first graders are forever taken and hidden from their aggrieved and inconsolable families as part of a grand scheme to increase gun control.
We have heard from everyone and their dog that Trump’s ascension leaves the Republican Party in an identity crisis. Such long-suffering punditry has the same erudite insightfulness as predicting the sun to set in the west.
But then I ran upon a chart. It didn’t get much play, but it’s a chart, in my opinion, explaining Trump’s one-third of the Republican Party. Here it is:
When asked, “Is discrimination against whites as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities,” sixty-eight percent of Tea Partiers and sixty-four percent of all Republicans say, “I agree with that statement.” Neither Independents nor Democrats join in this bizzarity.
For a pollster, this is a “worldview” question. It suggests how respondents view their place in the world. It is how Trump supporters view their world. It also explains a large part of the PoT primary.
Instead of a typical political message of helping others, Trump’s success is grounded in a promise of “hurting them” – “hurting the others” whoever “they” might be. Accordingly, anger and fear are self-confirming emotions never leading to self-awareness or discovery. Trump is undeniably the quintessential leader for such followers. Racism, like water, always finds its own level.
What’s on your mind today?
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