This is a repost of Robert Colgan via Daily kos. He exactly describes how the Trumpite Republican brand has only fear to sell, and only to constantly fearful Americans.
AUTHORITARIANISM appeals to people who feel frightened.
It appeals to people who are fearful of being hurt, fearful of losing something, to people who carry fear with them as a constant emotional state.
It is usually fear based NOT on real and immediate threats, but delusional fear based on imaginary possible threats.
Fear and worry combine to create an irrational state of heightened emotional reactivity in such people—-they are fearful almost all of the time. In fact, they have entered into a fugue of fear that has become for them their normal emotional being.
Authoritarianism is the belief that a strong protector will save fearful people from harm, thus reducing their heightened emotional state of fear.
The protector can be a leader (a strong father figure, usually), a building (fortress, fortified house or bunker), or an array of weapons or weapon-carrying people who relieve fear by taking on the role of safety-insuring guardians.
So, the police, the military,guns, weapons of all kinds and leaders who promise to promote police/military/guns/weapons of all kinds appeal to fearful people.
The concept of Authority (“law” and “order”)appeals to the fearful: it represents stability.Conversely, chaos(disorder) such as rioting makes them more fearful since instability increases fear.
The Republican platform offers little else other than to alleviate fearby touting their party, and ONLY their party, as the law and order party who will guarantee freedom from fear by supporting police/military/guns/weapons of all kinds including nuclear bombs through strong leadership who will “stand up” to anyone who presents as a threat.
It is most interesting that Donald Trump is diagnosed as a person suffering from a mental condition called malignant narcissism, the predominant feature of which is the constant scrutiny of possible threats and response to them.
Trump lives with such fear. His reactions of bullying, name-calling, putting people down, etc are all attempts to make himself feel stronger, less fearful, by dealing with adversarial threats.
Little wonder that he is the perfect person to appeal to those who also live with constant fear.
An instinctive sympatico unites them, draws them to him.
AUTHORITARIANISM does NOT appeal to people who are unafraid. People who don’t carryfear with them as a constant emotion…people who experience fear only when something presents as a genuine threat. These people understand something that the fear-carriers do not: that fear leads to poor decisions, leads to regrettable actions, that acting toward others out of fear invariably has less-than-favorable outcome.
Fearful people support fear-filled leaders like Trump—-and feel kinship to him, based on their shared fear.
The Republican party knows this….and this is the reason they have not attempted to rein-in the words and actions of their current leader——because they know that without that appealing to fear they would never win elections.
If you listen to what they say about the Democrats it is almost entirely the false narrative that the Dems are weak, that they will weaken defenses including police and military, will take away guns, will make America more weaker and more vulnerable.
The Democrats will never win over the fearful voters unless they appear just as strong and upright and protective as the Republicans make themselves out to be.
No better display of this than Trump’s towering behind Hilary Clinton during the debates of 2016.
Had Clinton turned around and slugged him for stalking her—–she’d have won by showing no intimidation to threat. . . . . .
Fear rules USA politics today.
Image and text via Daily Kos.