President Trump’s Mass Movement

President Trump is building a mass movement – or a cult of personality – based on the alienation that millions of Americans feel toward the economic/political system, as Lawrence Davidson describes.

By Lawrence Davidson

In the Sept. 10 issue of the New York Times, there are two opinion pieces that have to do with Donald Trump and his supporters. One is entitled “The Trump Fever Never Breaks” and the other is “President Trump’s War on Science.” As we will see, the two pieces actually address different aspects of a single evolving phenomenon. However, we will examine each in turn and tie them together as we go.

President Trump speaking at a United Nations meeting on how to reform the organization on Sept. 18, 2017. (Screenshot from Whitehouse.gov)

The piece on Trump fever was written by Katy Tur, a correspondent and anchor for NBC. She covered Trump for “500 days” running up to his election and notes that “his supporters were tired of everything except him. And that is still true.” The sense she got, and obviously still has, is that Trump’s base will never abandon their man no matter how much he lies or fails to deliver on his promises. Even occasional contradictory behavior on his part is not a fatal problem – for instance, Trump’s recent double-dealing with the Democrats over immigration. If Tur is right, Trump’s core supporters will just rationalize it away.

We can estimate how many of these core supporters there might be. As of early September, Trump’s approval rating was 37 percent of the voting public. There are about 200 million Americans who are registered to vote, but on a good day just half – often less – actually show up at the polls. For the sake of argument, lets say the 37 percent is of the 100 million who may actually vote. That puts Trump’s base, the ones Tur is writing about, at roughly 37 million. That is a pretty big number of folks who are so enamored of Donald Trump that, to use his own words, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue [in New York City] and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

Is that really the case? Can that many people collectively suspend rational judgment about a leader more or less permanently? Historically, the answer is certainly yes. And, it is certainly not a uniquely American phenomenon. In any given population you will have a percentage who see themselves as alienated from the main facets of culture. These are people adrift, who no longer feel affinity with the prevailing political structure. They are, in their own eyes, abandoned by society – and deeply resentful of this status.

In the case of the United States this condition can be multiplied out beyond the Trump camp. You can find people who feel abandoned in this way on both the political right and the left, among a multitude of ethnic minorities, and among folks who derive this feeling based on their geographic area and its cultural idiosyncrasies or economic woes. That probably adds up to more than 37 million Americans (the total U.S. population is a little over 323 million). However, 37 million seem to have found in Donald Trump a charismatic mouthpiece for their frustrations. As such, he is more important to them than the U.S. Constitution and the governmental system it has generated. Indeed, his words carry more weight than the rule of law.

In fact, what we are witnessing is the coalescing of a classical type of mass movement of true believers following an adored leader. And, as suggested above, 37 million people constitute a lot of mass.

Irrelevant Science

In their search for a new America, one that allows them a sense of belonging rather than alienation, the zealots making up this incipient mass movement are unconcerned with what underpins traditional America. This unconcern is reflected in the fast and loose way both they, and Trump himself, play with facts. Thus, factual descriptors of reality, in this case science and its investigations, are of little account and, if necessary, can be cast away.

The image of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon, a photograph taken by the first U.S. astronauts to orbit the moon.

This brings us to the second Times editorial – the one about “President Trump’s War on Science.” This piece is the paper’s own editorial and thus unsigned. It represents a rundown of how the Trump administration is systematically dismantling all federally funded scientific programs that could add to the cost of production or otherwise interfere with a multitude of polluting industries. This is being done even though the consequence, as the Times puts it, is that “the future isn’t going to be nearly as promising for ordinary Americans as it should be.”

As an example, we can take the future of citizens of the Appalachian region of the U.S. The editorial describes how the Trump administration stopped a study into “increased rates of birth defects, cancer and other health problems among people living near big surface coal mining operations in Appalachia.” It seems that proving such a correlation would certainly harm the coal industry that Mr. Trump promised to sustain. Do his supporting zealots take any notice? Well, take a look at the picture that accompanies Ms. Tur’s essay. It is a photo of devoutly screaming Trump supporters at a rally in Huntington, West Virginia – not far from where the coal industry “blows the tops off mountains to get at the underlying coal seams.”

It would seem that for those in Trump’s incipient mass movement, interest in health-related science simply does not exist. The reasoned words of a scientific investigation, even one demonstrating the source of a population’s physical illnesses, can be ignored. They can even be scorned if they appear as the product of a despised anti-Trump camp.

Thus, in today’s Appalachia, science simply does not have the same resonance as the words of Trump the propagandist saying he shares the population’s sense of economic betrayal, and will redeem their lives through a “job boom fueled by ‘clean, beautiful coal.’” It matters not at all that science suggests that there is no such thing as economically feasible “clean, beautiful coal.”

True Believers

The 37 percent of the American population who still support President Trump are evolving a consciousness more responsive to political propaganda and socio-economic mysticism than to rational debate or fact-based policy formulation. They no longer care about the latter approaches because they seem to hold no promise for them. These people are neither Republicans nor Democrats – they are instead the true believers of a political evangelist.

In her editorial Ms. Tur seems to realize that this is the case. She points out that during his campaign Donald Trump could tell the most outrageous lies (Mexico is exporting its rapists to the U.S.), insult war heroes (John McCain) and “gold star” families, insult entire religions (Islam) and esteemed religious leaders (the Pope), make racist remarks about a federal judge, and even insult the entire female half of the human species by bragging about grabbing women by their genitals. He could do all of this and still get elected.

In the 2016 presidential election Donald Trump got approximately 45.9 percent of the votes cast. Today he hasn’t got that sort of support. However, the core base, that approving 37 percent, is still there. And it is mutating into a mass movement of zealots who are devoted to and unquestioning of their leader. How President Trump wants to use, or manipulate, this following is still not clear. But what is clear is that this is a phenomenon with dangerous precedents and it needs close watching.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism. He blogs at www.tothepointanalyses.com.

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49 comments for “President Trump’s Mass Movement

  1. Joe Tedesky
    September 18, 2017 at 11:47 am

    This analyzing of the Trump, and his supporters, is important I will agree, but in a properly run society you need leaders who at least make a good attempt to appease the populace in a satisfactory way, and you need a populace who hasn’t been lied to so often that there is no other way out but to elect a Donald Trump President. We didn’t get to Donald because other politicians such as Hillary Clinton didn’t lie to us, or secretly cajole with foreign investors to sell off American assets under the cover of humanitarian aid. No, the people have spoke, not all the people, but enough of the people showed up frustrated and mad as hell enough to the point that out of their longtime disappointment with the American political landscape they elected Donald J Trump as President of these United States.

    Democrates should quit wasting time making accuses for Hillary’s loss, and get down to fixing their broken Wall St front, and return their party back to the working class American. The Republicans would do themselves good, if they got back to using the high end of their conservative minds, and stopped feeding the beast of bigotry and religious fanaticism just to get a gerrymandered vote. Other than that, we still stand divided, and until some good politicians come along we will stay disunited for the fall. I think what we Americans crave for the most, is a ‘leader’.

    • Bob Van Noy
      September 18, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      Joe, I think that the issues that Lawrence Davidson are describing here are accurate but he speaks as though the Political Parties were actually functional, and that is the major problem. They are not. The System has failed The People, due to an advanced case of corruption. The real question is: Does economic collapse and social chaos have to follow? Or, is there enough political stability remaining to re-structure government in a more realistic, non-Empire seeking, way? Can a new leadership evolve to show America a better direction?

      Thank you Joe and Lawrence Davidson for the thought provoking commentary.

      • Joe Tedesky
        September 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm

        Boy Bob, you got that right. Our system of politics is dysfunctional at best, if not for it needing a complete overall. This is what a country gets when it relies on it’s making up it’s own reality. Like my mother always said, one lie leads to another lie, until the truth finally surfaces to prevail. I mean, hate the truth as much as you like, but like any Act of God the truth will finally not be denied. Lying I would say, and people trying to make things happen under the cover of deceitful promises, is all we voters ever get too pick from. Is it any wonder that some of our anxious and hurting citizens passed up a known liar such as Hillary, to give the Donald a chance?

        As a side note; I think it should be made mandatory that a presidential candidate lay out their cabinet during their parties primaries. Seriously, we should insist upon knowing just exactly who it is will be sitting on each Department Cabinet’s Secretary positions. Just something I had to say.

        I think of Donald Trump being the candidate where when it came time for pulling the voting lever on election day, the voter said, ‘Oh hell why not’.

        Good to hear from you Bob. Joe

  2. Martin
    September 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Ha Ha, the war mongering “bleeding heart liberals” Sawed the wind. Now let them reap the whirl wind.

    • Larry
      September 20, 2017 at 5:11 am

      Martin, there’s truth in your contempt, but it’s not ‘them’ reaping the whirlwind. It’s you and the rest of our country. I hope your morbid fascination with the trashing of America isn’t contagious. Some citizen you are!

  3. spongebob
    September 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    i think it’s time for people to chill out. have a laugh. relax.

    this video seems appropriate right about now…..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUE-NaE1LKs

  4. Luke Lea
    September 18, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    If Trump abandons or proves feckless on his promises for trade and immigration reform, I predict you will see mass defections of his supporters. Maybe he could should someone on Fifth Ave, but if he betrays his supporters on these two core issues I expect they will hand him his head on a platter.

  5. Luke Lea
    September 18, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    should = shoot

    • September 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Speak, spoke, spoken, and the loss of the past participle of irregular verbs in “American” English. Fear no grammar

  6. Annie
    September 18, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Oh, God, another anti-Trump rant, and one that also attacks his base as nothing more then zealots. I’m surprised he didn’t call them a bunch of deplorables. He tries to soften his attack by saying they feel alienated. We had the same issues of denial of climate change under multiple presidencies and people’s unwillingness to accept it’s reality, as well as a government who refuses to really deal with this issue in a way that would be truly meaningful. A handful of presidents instituted meaningful reform to save the environment, and Nixon was one of them. I don’t think Obama’s legacy on the environment is anything to write home about, and even when there is genuine concern, and a meaningful desire for reform I don’t think the American government would implement those policies, since we are tied to the oil industry, and corporate America who has more to say then any president or legislative branch of government.

  7. Annie
    September 18, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I hope someone writes an article about Trump tweeting a GIF of himself hitting Hillary in the head with a gulf ball. Now that really says something about Trump. Not only do I think that was the height of supidity, but will further reaffirm her position that everyone was, is, out to get her. Truly crazy!

    • September 18, 2017 at 11:12 pm

      Trump’s base hates Hillary with a vengeance. They do not listen, read, or watch the comedians, pundits, politicians, and media personalities who will be aghast at how terrible Trump is for such a thing.

      No, they will love that he tweeted this GIF.

      This is part of the reality of why his base isn’t deserting him as the mainstream media has a ongoing party in an echo chamber laughing over and crying to each other how horrid Trump is. They can’t comprehend that the more they do this, the more Trump is loved by his base.

  8. mike k
    September 18, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    The zapping Hill with a golf ball spoof sure has given the sore loser Dems something to blow up into an impeachable. It was a bad joke. But please, it was just a joke! The gotcha hungry pols are really scraping the barrel to turn this into a cause celebre.

    • Annie
      September 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Mike, that was such a stupid thing for him to do. He keeps giving them ammunition, and puts the focus on stupid stuff, instead of what is truly important, which may be his intent. Now they can use this to say he hates women, and on and on. It also deflects from important issues, like getting rid of the Iran deal. I didn’t support Trump in this election, but I hate all the crazy stuff about getting rid of him, a coup really, and the Russians helped him, which I don’t believe for a moment. I really can’t stand either party. Neither one is progressive enough for me, they don’t even come close.

      • NYPaul
        September 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm

        Annie:……Of course it was, “such a stupid thing for him to do.” You and I can make “bad jokes” about this stuff but not The President of The United States. Tone deaf doesn’t begin to describe this idiocy. This isn’t a situation where you’re for Trump, or, anti-Trump. Like it, or, not, The President represents the People of the United States, and, it’s not asking too much to expect him to behave as an adult, and, not as an adolescent brat, ala, “Eddie Haskell.”………………Irritating, childish, embarrassing, and, unnecessary, but, not Life or Death.

        More importantly:

        Last Fall’s election was primarily a referendum, against 4/8 more year’s of Corporate, Neo-Liberal, anti-working class, War Mongering, Hegemony……featuring Hillary Clinton. And, the electorate wasn’t deaf, dumb, and, deceived by Trump, either. Everyone knew he was a defective candidate, even a defective human being. But, among all that clutter, he, at least, said a few things that perked up the publics’ ears. Things like, “why are we sending millions of jobs out of this country?” “Why do we need hundreds and hundreds of military basis all over the world?” “Why can’t we get along with some, so-called, former, “enemies,” like, for instance…….Russia?” “Why can’t we have a fairer tax code, one that helps average people, not just the very well off?”…………………..O.K. He’s probably being somewhat disingenuous here, but, at least he’s saying the words.

        Real issues affecting real people:

        He made another, seemingly crazy, statement in his campaign, “I like uneducated people,” but, I knew what he was trying to say. He was saying, Hillary and her ilk are willing to dismiss millions of downtrodden (mainly white) citizens as, “deplorables.” But, “deplorables” are Americans too, they need our help just as much as anyone else does, say, like inner city blacks do (and, btw, deplorables can vote.) Crazy, isn’t it, how the phony, bleeding heart, Left excuses all the crime, drugs, and violence coming from the black demographic group, but, when the very same forces that have kept them down affect the rural, working class, “uneducated,” white folks, they’re basically considered expendable, and, to be ignored. Things like single parent families, drug addiction, inferior educational opportunities, politicians who take them for granted. All these mitigating forces are the same for both groups, but one, we look on with understanding and empathy, the other, with disgust and rejection……………………………….Score another one for The Donald.

        Finally, I’m sorry I rattled on so long. But, what I’m trying to say is that, of course, we know Donald Trump is horrible in many, many ways. And, yet, with Americans having been so screwed over by politicians of both parties for so long, the, “take a shot,” election of a wingbat like Donald Trump doesn’t seem so crazy after all.

        • Annie
          September 18, 2017 at 6:36 pm

          I don’t really disagree with anything you said. I fully understand why so many people who feel disenfranchised voted for Trump, and were willing to take a shot and vote for him. However, lets see if he sticks to what he says, and I’m leery since I don’t think the government, be they democrats or republicans, are all that interested in those “deplorables.” Don’t think for one moment I would have preferred Hillary. I’m very familiar with her political background. I didn’t vote in this last election, and even lost the friendship of a cousin because he told me I had to vote for the lesser of the two evils, and to him that meant Hillary. I told him absolutely not. However, I wish Trump would behave himself, and not provide so much ammunition for the media that already despises him. I just wish we could move on and deal with important issues and not be knee deep in hysteria, and trivia.

          I also agree that the so called liberal, progressive class in this country are removed intellectually and emotionally from the problems faced by the group that Hillary defined as “deplorables.” I also live in New York, and hear many comments made by them which reaffirm what you said.

          • Joe Tedesky
            September 18, 2017 at 10:38 pm

            Annie, NYPaul, mikek, after reading all of your comments I just had to jump in here in agreeance. When it comes to analyzing Trump’s erratic behavior, and his drunk uncle tweets, I wonder if our critism is overlooking his genius. Several, maybe even more than several times I thought that the Donald had finally done himself in with his mouth, and/or his tweets, but to my naive surprise no Trump like the little energizer bunny kept on going. Then I think of Trump’s TV and Business backgrounds, and I then ponder over his knowledge of how he no doubt knows how to reinvent hisself, and do marketing research where most politico pollsters would never do this research quite the way a business analyst would. Just a though, but I feel that to get a grip of what we are dealing with when analyzing our 45th president, we should not overlook his experienced TV media and corporate business past.

          • Skip Scott
            September 19, 2017 at 11:59 am

            Annie-

            “I also agree that the so called liberal, progressive class in this country are removed intellectually and emotionally from the problems faced by the group that Hillary defined as “deplorables.” ”

            I agree wholeheartedly with this. The other thing that pisses me off so much about the so-called liberal, progressive class is how far they are removed from the utter mayhem our foreign policy has created in so many countries, and the plight of all those refugees that are flooding Europe due to our warmongering. These latte sippers are like a bunch of spoiled children. And of course they are sheep-dipped in MSM propaganda. They think because they read it in the Times, or hear it on NPR, it must be true! Just look at the “White Helmets” propaganda film getting an Oscar for Christ’s sake! How so many people can have their heads up their arses is SO depressing.

          • Joe Tedesky
            September 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm

            Boy Skip, you got that right about the now a day liberal. If you engage with one inside of a discussion say over Ukraine, they have no clue to who Victoria Nuland is. Although, these same limousine lefty’s will go on all day ranting of how Putin is a homophobic thug. The left leaning know this, because Rachel & Joy told them so. How much more liberal can you get with you having that pair, as your news source? Kim Jung un is someone for these liberals to laugh at, if you don’t believe ask Seth Rogan and James Franco. There again these pseudo liberals wish we could just blow up N Korea, and then the world would be a happier place. Don’t even bring up Iran and any nuclear proliferation agreement, because Iran is homophobic, and their women need to by the men’s orders wear head scarfs. BTW Skip I’m all for everybody having their equal rights respected, but please dear so called liberals quit trying to make us all feel bad, because we didn’t vote for Hillary, or we won’t admit it. Okay, Skip that’s my say, now take care. Joe

          • Larry
            September 20, 2017 at 5:15 am

            You sure must be psychic to know without a doubt that the Russian influence never happened. You’re a frigging genius, aren’t you?

          • Skip Scott
            September 20, 2017 at 9:24 am

            Larry must be one of the latte sippers I’m referring to. He probably laps up Rachel Maddow daily. Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence!

  9. mike k
    September 18, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Interesting article. Always remember, the American people are incredibly stupid!

  10. irina
    September 18, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    It’s probably better not to look too closely at just exactly ‘what underpins traditional America’.
    The belly of the beast, and all that . . .

  11. September 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    The more MSM gins up the opposing side to Trump (purported liberals), the more Trump supporters get ginned-up by the opposition.

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Jessica, so few words, but so true.

  12. September 18, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    The problem being that wind turbines and solar farms don’t compete with coal even from the environmental and health/safety perspective.

    How much habitat can we sacrifice for energy production?

    How valuable is intermittent power?

    Is doubling our transmission infrastructure even feasible?

    In fact the real alternative to coal will turn out to be nuclear. I say no thanks.

    • September 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      In China wind is cheaper than coal. In USA it is about even. Economies of scale will continue to lower renewable costs. Fossil fuels are dead.

    • Zachary Smith
      September 18, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      I wouldn’t have guessed Big Coal was still hiring propagandists.

      Silly stuff, really.

    • September 18, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      If every roof was made of solar cells we’d have more than enough energy.

      • Joe Tedesky
        September 19, 2017 at 3:49 pm

        You are right Miranda. I thought that by this time now, that we would be doing DIY’s and purchasing this equipment from Home Depot on their weekend sale, and Trade People galore would be hammering us with quotes to install the damn solar panels and windmills, but there I go again thinking. Joe

  13. R Davis
    September 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Do you get the feeling that Donald Trump was placed in the Presidential Chair as a distraction ?
    And – when necessary – the sacrificial goat.
    In ones wildest imaginings – it it possible that there is a cockamamie plan afoot.
    Yes ….
    To restructure the global power structure.
    Sure – China & South Korea have had it.
    And Israel will be left to rule the world.
    What if Israel is the target ?

    • Zachary Smith
      September 18, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Do you get the feeling that Donald Trump was placed in the Presidential Chair as a distraction ?

      In the country I was living in last November, the election of Trump was a cosmic accident.

  14. Adrian Engler
    September 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Personalizing political issues is traditionally a typical characteristic of the yellow press, but it has become more common in all kinds of media. Neglecting ecological problems in favor of influential economic interest groups is common, and Republicans are traditionally worse in that respect. It is hardly something specific that has to do with Trump’s personality.

    Trump’s current approval ratings are lower than his election results, but they are hardly uniquely low – during some times, Obama had similarly low approval ratings. It is unusual that a president has such low ratings so early in his presidency, but it would be a misinterpretation to pretend that this means that many Trump voters regret how they voted. Hillary Clinton now has even lower approval ratings than Trump, and that is unusual, as well – usually the approval ratings of the candidates who lost the elections went up in the following year, but Hillary Clinton’s went down. One of the most remarkable facts about the election last year was that the candidates of *both* major parties had record-low favorability ratings. Therefore, it should be assumed that a significant part of the people who voted for any of them just saw the cadidate they voted for as the lesser evil.

    “The 37 percent of the American population who still support President Trump are evolving a consciousness more responsive to political propaganda and socio-economic mysticism than to rational debate or fact-based policy formulation.”
    Why should there be such sweeping statements about such a large part of the population? Probably, many of those 37% who support Trump do not support everything Trump says and does, but think that he is better than the plausible alternatives. The Democratic establishment that has focused on evidenceless conspiracy theories like Russiagate, aggressive moves to increase international tensions even more, and personal attacks against Trump instead of concrete policy issues has hardly demonstrated a propensity for “rational debate and fact-based policy formulation”. Bernie Sanders, who has mainly focused on policy issues (though he has not condemned the conspiracy theories and the push for a very aggressive foreign policy by mainstream Democrats) is now, according to some polls, the most popular politician in the US, but since most Democrats have shown the opposite of willingness for “rational debate and fact-based policy formulation”, it should not be too surprising that many people still see Trump as the lesser evil. Some of them may be “zealots” and “true believers”, but many probably aren’t.

    “She points out that during his campaign Donald Trump could […] even insult the entire female half of the human species by bragging about grabbing women by their genitals.”
    The way this is formulated, it sounds as if this was something Trump said during the 2016 presidential campaign, not a tape that was 12 years old and was dug out as an October surprise by Trump’s opponents, and that is at best misleading. The recording certainly did not reflect positively on Trump and it hurt his ratings to some degree, but the idea that this should have decided the elections fits in with the fact that Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion campaign was historically unique in containing hardly any statements about policy issues and mostly positive messages about her personality and negative messages about Trump’s personality (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/8/14848636/hillary-clinton-tv-ads). I think it is not necessarily a bad sign if many people thought that this kind of personal attacks is not what should decide the elections.

    “insult entire religions (Islam)”
    While I agree that some of the statements by Trump can, indeed, be understood as insulting Islam in general, there is also the problem that criticisms of oppressive and violent kinds of Islam (even by ex-Muslims) are often called “Islamophobia”, and those who use the term “Islamophobia” in this way bear a significant part of the responsibility for statements against Islam becoming more popular.

    “insult war heroes (John McCain)”
    Trump’s criticism of John McCain certainly was not the best one. It was probably not McCain’s fault that he was captured during the imperialist war in Vietnam, but it was his fault that since then, he has been one of the most avid supporters of wars of aggression and has contact with armed extremists all over the world. Are Trump’s remarks really worse than using the glowing term “war hero” for someone who has as little respect for human lives as John McCain?

  15. Paolo
    September 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    The crux of this —and so many other— article is that Trump voters are stupid and irrational. It might be, but you will never convince anyone by telling him he’s a stupid ignorant. So the more supposedly deep and intelligent articles like this are written, the better for Trump. You call that being rational?

    How do you define rational? and does rational mean correct, fair, just and so on?

    It might, for example, be perfectly rational that super wealthy people should pay extravagant prices for something, but is it correct, just or fair that a past president should get 400.000$ to give a speech? I think that most anyone would say there is something wrong with it, even if it might be an irrational something.

    Perhaps there is nothing that deeply wrong with being irrational. All revolutions were irrational, yet most governments love the revolutions that led to democracy.

    It might be time for the supposedly rational and intelligent people to understand that what they call rational is actually aristocratic snobbery. I bet Roi Soleil and the french aristocracy thought that the populace was a mob of ignorant and irrational stupids. And they probably were convinced about it even when they layed down on the guillotine.

    Stop crying about the fact that you are right and they are wrong, come up with new ideas instead. And, by the way, remember that if they are really so stupid and irrational, it means there is a great big problem with schools and education in general.

  16. CitizenOne
    September 18, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    We have been misled. The reasons that Trump won were buried in the disinformation accusing Russia of hacking the election.

    We forgot to remember that:

    The Electronic Voting System can be and probably was hacked. There is no paper trail or any form of acknowledgement that you voted for who you voted for.

    The voter intimidation laws disenfranchised voters. United States Citizens were turned away at the polls.

    The Media provided an estimated three billion dollars in free advertising for Trump in an attempt to extort the money pile they saw in Super PAC funds enabled by the SCOTUS decisions which rolled back 100 years of campaign finance reforms.

    Gerrymandering by the Republicans slammed, crammed and jammed democrats into districts where their votes would be discounted and the Republican votes would be exaggerated.

    Nobody in the Main Stream Press is questioning any of this.

    Instead they have concocted a giant rouse to distract us all away from the real reasons Corporate America conspires to steal elections and present us with a Big Lie that it was the Russians who were responsible for the election result.

    How convenient. How comforting it must be that they can swing our opinions to some foreign devil. We are just as manipulated as the tinpot dictators who manipulated their respective populations in our recent history who excused their sorry asses and their corrupt elections by blaming some foreign government for the results and have rallied their populations to blame some entity which is not within their control so they thereby let themselves off the hook.

    Why cannot we see that such a massive campaign to blame some foreign nation for the results of the election is just more evidence that there is a massive coverup designed to hide the real reasons the election was hacked.

    The election was hacked by our own media and their desire to reap huge profits from a rigged system which allowed the hacks and gave the media the opportunity to rake in the cash, Now they are engaged in a massive propaganda attempt to blame some foreign nation for the results.

    Until the media investigates all of the domestic reasons for the election and instead incriminates foreign nations we will live under a blanket of propaganda and lies.

    The search for fake news begins and ends at the doorstep of the main stream media, They had the motive and the opportunity to create the clash of Trump vs. the Republicans they erected in order to get all the money.

    This is what happens when the Supreme Court eliminates all campaign finance reforms back to the turn of the last century. We enter the new age of the Robber Barron’s. We enter the new age of a media which covers up their money grab by blaming some foreign nation for all that happened.

    We will not come out of this intact unless we reject all of the lies of the media and turn instead inwards to examine all of the internal reasons we had the results we had.

  17. zendeviant
    September 19, 2017 at 3:45 am

    Call them “plain thinking” folk, if you will, but there are enough americans who see the MSM, govt, corporations as systemic liars. The numbers on either side of ten started a new phase of overt absurdity. The whole system is a runaway train. Trump voters are intent on derailing the train and getting it to stop (and stop mowing down poor americans). I think anyone invested in a corrupt system is going to try to keep it running–as long as the checks keep coming. The closer one is to the top of the (crumbling) pyramid, the more likely that one will perpetuate and continue the lies that seem to support it.

    But a man with half an eye can read the writing on the wall. America is dead in the water, a sinking ship of state. Choked to death on her own lies. The truly rational (can I count myself among them?) are looking past the end of america towards a new beginning. The sooner we kill the televison, the sooner we can envision a future that doesn’t look like “mad max” or some predictable zombie movie. Hunker down when the “lock and load” crowd comes around, and when they’re out of ammo and canned goods, we can get to tending the garden.

    I doubt Mr Davidson can see it all from where he sits. I pray for a gentle awakening, a non-violent revolution–or a head shot.

    Peace.

  18. Michael Kenny
    September 19, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I wouldn’t agree with Katy Tur. Trump’s core supporters will never abandon their ideas but that’s point. It’s not they who are Trump’s supporters, it is he who is their champion of the moment. If he fails to deliver or, more likely in the present circumstances, when they finally accept that he isn’t going to deliver, they’ll start looking for another champion. Until they find one, they’ll just stay at home and not vote, as they did before Trump came along. Trump’s core supporters are essentially working class and lower middle class. That means they are at the lower end of the education ladder. Their anger is like a milk pot boiling over. After simmering away for a long time, it suddenly surges up without any clear reason why it surged at that moment rather than at any other. They want a “quick fix” and they look for a “providential” leader, a deus ex machina, if you will, who will deliver what they want more or less on the double. When the quick fix doesn’t happen, they very quickly become discouraged and just go back to grumbling.
    Don’t be fooled by Bannon and the “alt-right” people. They’re a small group of middle class extremists who saw Trump’s “populist” agenda simply as a means of putting into the White House a fairly brainless glory hound whom they believed they could manipulate in pursuit of their own agenda. They paid lip service to walls, immigration bans, white nationalism and all the rest but they believe essentially in US global hegemony, Make American Number One, not America First. That’s why they spend so much time talking about Europe and, in particular, the EU and why they have spent so much time wailing and lamenting about Trump “breaking his promise” to capitulate to Putin In Ukraine. In the US-dominated world according to Breitbart, the EU has to be destroyed and Putin was the instrument chosen to do that. They too will stick to that agenda and will look for another champion. In the interim, they’re perfectly capable of running a kamikaze campaign against Republicans in 2018. The classic Leninist tactic: destroy so as to rebuild anew.

  19. aquadraht
    September 19, 2017 at 10:22 am

    I stumbled a bit over the reasoning with the “37% approval ratings”. When I am observing approval polls, the first striking thing is a split of the pollsters into “anti Trump” and “pro Trump” pollsters. IBD/TIPP, Pew, Reuters/Ipsos, and CNN are more or less in the “anti Trump” camp, while Rasmussen, Economist/YouGov, GWU, and Marist are more “pro Trump”. The variance is striking and fäirly consistent with a mean of 5% and extremes of 10% between the polling companies. The 37% are in the upper “anti Trump” trend or in the lowest of “pro Trump trend, while extremes go down to 34 and up to 45. All values taken from realclearpolitics.com during the last 3 weeks.

    As I haven’t inquired into the methodologies of the different institutes, I am not telling that the one or the other of them is biased or “wrong”. But the conclusion of Prof. Davidson that the 37 figure is comparable to the 45.9 electoral outcome figure is obviously fallacious. If the Rasmussen figures of 45% approval are “true”, there wouldn’t be any significant drop in support.

    In other words, there is a lot of uncertaincy whether there are 37% approvers of Trump’s presidential performance, or even less, or rather much more. Even more important is that the approval rate does not tell very much about the reasons of disapproval. An Alt-right follower may be unhappy about Bannon’s firing, but that will not make her or him a Clinton or whoever democrat candidate. And those hating the “Washington Swamp” will not fall in love with it only because Trump’s failure to fight it. Also, those despising warmongering will not start to love neocons only because Trump failed to reign in into their machinations.

    It may well be the case that the 37-39% roughly denoting the mean approval from the polls of the different “camps” reflect the actual opinion in the US. It is in no way predictive for any electoral outcome. The four congressional elections since Trump’s presidency all resulted in Republican victories. We have to wait for the midterm elections to tell how the opinions about the big parties developped. And to know about Trump’s approval in the electorate, we have to wait for 2020, unless Trump is unseated by which means ever.

  20. Drew Hunkins
    September 19, 2017 at 10:31 am

    “insult war heroes (John McCain)”

    McCain is a warmongering sociopath. While he was in Vietnam his captors had psychiatrists and other professionals interview him repeatedly. One thing they found disturbing was the equanimity and detachment in which he carried out his bombing runs. He shrugged off the killing of innocents as if he were simply raking up dead autumn leaves.

  21. ToivoS
    September 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Trump supporters do not have a monopoly on rejecting scientific evidence. He probably won the vast majority of those who deny the fact of global warming and that excess CO2 is bad. However, probably a large majority of people of all political persuasions accept one form of pseudoscience or another. What about the anti-vaxers? Or those who believe that organic foods are healthier than those grown using modern technology. Or those who believe that GMOs are dangerous to human health? The irrational fear of many chemicals present in the environment IF they are produced by man but not if they are natural products. How widespread is the fear that electromagnetic fields produced by high voltage electric transmission lines or cell phone towers cause cancer? Nuclear energy certainly has its problems but the belief that high energy emissions from radioactive isotopes is a major source of cancer is not.

    The deplorable mass of Trump supporters are not the only ones who entertain pseudoscience.

  22. George Hoffman
    September 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    It’s the Stockholm Syndrome on a mass scale.

  23. Louise
    September 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    We seem to have forgotten a very important point here: Both major parties offered
    us a candidate with high disapproval ratings.
    This election year showed that people were totally upset with the status quo and
    the “establishment”. Thus the “lesser of two evils” was Trump.
    Since the result of the election came out, the anti-Trump propaganda became so
    irrationally shrill, that it lead to a defensive reaction.Hence the 37% strong support.

    The most important problem for the less politically involved part of our population
    is that it believes that the POTUS has extraordinary powers, which is an illusion.
    Let’s say that Trump was honestly looking for less regime changes. The Shadow
    Government would never permit him to follow his inclination- as we have heard
    today at the UN. And this is just one example, yet probably 40-50% of the voters
    don’t see that. Just my opinion.

    • D.H. Fabian
      September 19, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Well, that’s the right track, but the story is more complicated, seen in the statistics. Both candidates were opposed by much of their own voting bases for some of the same reasons. As a result, roughly half of all voters rejected BOTH, and either voted third party or withheld their votes. In the end, Clinton got the most votes, but Trump got the most electoral votes, so that’s what we have to deal with. And Russia still have nothing to do with any of it.

  24. D.H. Fabian
    September 19, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Our liberal bourgeoisie have tried to portray the poor as a collection of ignorant right wing yahoos for some time now — white trash, in other words. These are the same people who tried sell Hillary Clinton, with her long record of support for the right wing agenda, as a bold progressive. The same people who, finding it incomprehensible that that so many of us oppose the Clinton right wing agenda, then inexplicably howled that “Russia stole the election!” The same people who are now trying to build support for launching WWlll.

    No, the masses of poor do not support Trump. They do not support the Clinton Dems either, for many of the same reasons. Trump’s support comes solidly from the white working class.

  25. Bill Cash
    September 19, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    In an interview with Jane Mayer, she said that Trump met with Steve Bannon on Wednesday and Robert Mercer on Thursday of the week Bannon left the White House. I believe they made a deal and agreed that Bannon would be more useful outside the White House. Bannon and Mercer have both pledged their loyalty to Trump. It’s reported that Bannon still talks regularly with Trump.

    Trump’s actions without Bannon are just a bunch of uncoordinated acts without purpose. Bannon gives them purpose. He wants Trump to create chaos, even some chaos that he will criticize in Breitbart. It gives cover for what’s really happening, the destruction of the government by all the trump appointees. Bannon also wants to go back to the days of nation states. In his UN speech Trump said we will take care of us and you take care of you. Bannon doesn’t like international agreements and trump is out to destroy them. He doesn’t like the UN but, basically told them, if they operate how he wants them to, he will give them support. This is all pure.

    Trump’s supporters will stay with him, no matter what he does. They hate the democrats, liberals and what they see as elites but, of course, there’s nothing more elite than Trump and his group around him. His supporters are blind to it. If you read The Family by Jeff Sharlett and One Nation Under God by Kevin Kruse, you find out how he easily flim flams the evangelicals. They believe God is responsible for everything and if he’s rich, it’s because God made him rich. It doesn’t matter that he lies, cheats and steals, he’s a favorite of God’s. If they get sick and die because of lack of care, it’s because God wanted it that way. Nothing is trump’s fault.

  26. Robbi Gomes
    September 21, 2017 at 6:00 am

    I am a Trump supporter! I am not frustrated; I certainly don’t adore the man. However, I do not support this anti Russia hysteria. I do not support Antifa punks who think they are above the law. what I do support is the Trumps devotion to the American working class and the middles class. I am happy that he wants to keep radical Islamic muslims out of our country. They will only bring us conflict and misery.
    Mostly though, I am ecstatic that Trump is opposed to international trade deals like Nafta, TTIP, TPP all of them are great for corporations who want to exploit cheap labor so they can get richer. (Talk about a global footprint! How many cargo ships burn fuel to bring us the same products we used to produce in the States?) Additionally, we taxpayers must fork over more or the national debt must rise to dangerous levels due to these exploitative deals.
    As for “nation building” ––a failure that is just dragged out as an excuse to invade third world countries–– Trump has my support for wanting to give up this insane, arrogant concept.
    As for myself, I am not and I do find Trump to be a white supremist, racist, mysoginst or any other label the fake media insists on placing on Trump and his “deplorables”.
    Am I a republican? No! do I want social change with more equality and a better social net for all citizens? Yes!
    So I don’t think I fit your description of Trump’s followers. In fact I think you could have made the same description of Obama’s fawning fans.

  27. Robbi Gomes
    September 21, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Edited copy of above comment, sorry!

    I am a Trump supporter! I am not frustrated; I certainly don’t adore the man. However, I do not support this anti Russia hysteria. I do not support Antifa punks who think they are above the law. What I do support is Trumps devotion to the American working class and the middles class. I am happy that he wants to keep radical Islamic Muslims out of our country. They will only bring us conflict and misery.
    Mostly though, I am ecstatic that Trump is opposed to international trade deals like NAFTA, TTIP, TPP all of them are great for corporations who want to exploit cheap labor so they can get richer while American workers lose their jobs and we taxpayers have to eventually support them. (Talk about a global footprint! How many cargo ships burn millions and millions of barrels of fuel to bring us the same products we used to produce in the States?) Additionally, we taxpayers must fork over more or the national debt must rise to dangerous levels due to these exploitative deals.
    As for “nation building” ––a failure that is just dragged out as an excuse to invade third world countries–– Trump has my support for wanting to give up this insane, arrogant concept.
    As for myself, I am not and I do find Trump to be a white supremist, racist, misogynist or any other label the fake media insists on placing on Trump and his “deplorables.”
    Am I a republican? No! Do I want social change with more equality and a better social net for all citizens? Yes!
    So I don’t think I fit your description of Trump’s followers. In fact, I think you could have made the same description of Obama’s fawning fans while he put all U.S. citizens (via the NSA) under surveillance and made drone bombing his favorite pastime while the world began hating us again like in the Vietnam days.

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