The Magical Power Of Donald Trump

To understand the attractive power of demagogues like Donald Trump one need only understand some rudimentary human psychology. Demagogues attack their potential followers directly through their base ego and the potent tribal impulse that flows out of it. The negative offset of the tribal impulse is to fear and hate those unlike one’s self.

Thus these types, so temped by the xenophobic message of demagogues, are folks that in many ways have already convinced themselves that those “others” are somehow taking advance of them and therefore need to be punished. The target subject can either overtly or covertly conclude such a notion.

Moreover the ego absolutely hates to be wrong. What it believes becomes a blinding religion among demagogic followers. Thus the more one tries to explain to the true believer in rational and factual terms why they are wrong about their hero the more infuriated they become.

To reinforce this hostile reaction among his followers, the demagogue is sure to play upon his admirer’s inherent feelings of inferiority. Thus you will hear a Trump message to his devotees something like this: “Those elites out there think you are stupid. They think they are better than you. They are laughing at you.” And so, indeed, when one tries to point out the fallacies of the demagogue, one is playing right into his ego controlling message — and making it seem like you, too, must think that you are better than they.

In fact so emotionally attached does the true believer become to his hero that as Trump is quick to brag. “I could shoot someone in the middle of Time Square and my followers wouldn’t care.” Thus not only is Trump able to tie up his devotees in unresponsive knots vs. reality, more importantly he is able to push though policies that screw the daylights out of his adoring fans in ways that are totally beyond their rationally insulated comprehension — very scary stuff.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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