Right, and just as fans will forgive a player domestic abuse or animal cruelty if they can throw a good pass, political tribalists will forgive their favored politician as long as they can “win” against the other team.
They aren’t taking a handout. They are just getting some temporary help while they are on hard times. They deserve that help, unlike other people who take handouts.
This seems pretty on-point. At his (dangerous) rallies, you see people with multiple Trump flags on their car, wearing Trump hats and shirts. You don’t see that much for Biden. The Trump following seems more cult-like to me (from the outside).
Yeah, I don’t think you really get how Conservatives think. Not that I’m their advocate, but I have enough conservative friends and family that I think I can state how they think:
“Liberals” mostly consist of Communists, lazy hippies (or whatever the appropriate term for overprivileged dipshits is these days), Politically Correct weenies, and whiney minorities who would rather get hand outs than work for a living. The “Government”, Democrats in particular, means to take advantage of this by pandering to these people for votes so they can stay in power. And that means using taxes to siphon wealth away from decent hard-working Americans to give to poor lazy welfare cases.
Again, this isn’t necessarily my position. But in MAGA world, they do see the country turning into something “un American”. They see a country where police are being “defunded” so criminals and anarchists can burn storefronts. They see activist politicians fighting against businesses (that create jobs) in the name of vague “green initiatives”. And they see a world where “white people” are demonized for things that happened 150 years ago
IOW, the “thing the country is turning into” is the thing MAGA folk are afraid of what Liberals will turn it into. If that makes sense.
Yeah, like Msmith said, most Trumpers don’t see themselves as turning the nation into something un-American. On the contrary, they think liberals are the ones making this nation un-American, and think it’s on them (Trumpers) to restore America back to its good Americanness again.
The vigil never ends - forever and ever those who love freedom and genuine democracy will need to stand watch against those who would destroy it. The Founding Fathers knew it. From time to time it gets forgotten, and then there is much suffering to re-learn the lesson.
Only the young alt right 4chan types were doing it “for the lols” like you’re characterizing. Most of them are just normal conservatives, normal republicans, who have been trained over the years to think that they’re locked in a battle with liberals, who are evil and want to destroy everything good about America, and that Trump is a successful warrior against liberals because he pisses them off so much.
Hierarchy and in-group vs out-group are very big in the conservative mindset. People act like conservatives and liberals are assigned at birth by happenstance, like the same person could just randomly be conservative or liberal, and that’s obviously bullshit. There are certain modes of thinking that make people become conservatives or liberals. If you’re extremely tribal and fear anyone outside your group, you’re far more likely to be conservative. If you feel comfortable with unquestioning obedience in authority and knowing your place in the hierarchy, you’re far more likely to be conservative.
And so conservatives are far more likely to say “okay, this is my leader, I will follow him no matter what. This is my group, I will defend them no matter what. Anyone outside my group is the enemy, I will attack them no matter what”, and Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, facebook memes, chain e-mails, the whole thing has been deliberately constructed to strengthen this attitude for two decades at least.
Now, not all conservatives are bad in every possible way. A lot of them knew on some level that Trump was a bad person, a con artist, pretty much the exact opposite of Jesus, and all that bad stuff. And they resisted him at first. But once he became the leader of their group, the importance of defending their group took over. Their media echo chamber told them over and over that Trump isn’t so bad, the liberals are all making up stuff about him because he’s beating them so badly and they control the lamestream media! and it began to sink in.
So they defended Trump when he did something awful. And then when he did something a little more awful, they thought “well, I already defended him for the last thing, and this isn’t much worse, so I’ll defend him again”, and they repeated this over and over. And now they’re at the 80th thing they’ve had to defend him for, and they know deep down that this is shocking and horrible and wrong, but they have a choice at this point: Do they admit that he was a human sack of shit all this time, and they defended this human sack of shit 79 times? Do they admit that everything they’ve done and said for the last four years is wrong, is evil, and that they were suckers for believing it? Or do they once again double down that 80th time and convince themselves that no, this is right, we have to have faith, we have to stick to our group, we have to fight the enemy, we have to believe that Trump is somehow a righteous leader. And so they talk themselves into doubling down that 80th time.
The more evil, reprehensible, and wrong things they defend them on, the more psychological motivation they have to keep defending him for even worse shit. Because the cost of finally breaking and saying “no, I get it now, he’s an irredeemable pile of human garbage, I’ve been wrong this whole time” just grows and grows the more they dig in because they’ve been throwing their lot in with him and digging themselves in a hole for so long.
There have been plenty of doomsday cults who used some sort of numerology or prophecy to predict the end date of the world come about, and they all sell their worldly possessions and hold religious services and warn the rest of the world about the impending doomsday. What happens when that supposed day comes, and the world doesn’t end? Do they end up saying “wow, holy shit, we were WAY wrong, I’ve invested years of my life and thrown away all my possessions and separated myself from everyone I cared about, and I was a such a sucker”? No, mostly what happens is that the leader says “oh wait, I made an error, doomsday is actually [some future date]” and his cult, relieved, doubles down and says yes, of course, I believe even harder now!
Their entire identity is now tied up in supporting their group, following their leader, and buying into the idea that the entire rest of the world is in on a huge conspiracy to lie to them about everything. The worse Trump gets, and the worse the Republicans get, the more they buy in even harder. The deeper that hole they dig themselves gets. This is exactly the sort of mental process that traps people in a cult. The Republican party of 2020 is basically indistinguishable from a cult.
Most Trump voters are probably no better or no worse off than they were 4 years ago - or they don’t perceive themselves to be.
It’s like someone who chain smokes 2 packs a day and is told by his docs, friends, and family how he’s gonna regret smoking and eventually die from it. If he’s still going at it at 75, he probably figures he’s dyin of old age, not smoking.
The guy who smokes or chews tobacco or eats junk food and starts shitting blood at age 50, on the other hand? Yeah, that guy probably wakes up. But it’s too late many times. Something really has to rock that guy’s foundation before he can change, and it might even be too late to matter at that point.
These are people who spill the milk, blame someone else for leaving the glass out, and insist that water tastes better and the floor needed a good milk rinse anyway.
“Liberals made me vote for Trump” is all you need to know about them.
They don’t understand what they’re doing or how it affects the larger world. They have no thoughts on governance, just spasms of petty defiance interrupted only by occasional breaks to imagine ways to blame the consequences on the other.
I don’t think they’re scared at all. They don’t understand, or at least don’t believe, in the science of polling and they think that the Supreme Court is now going to prevent progressive legislation for the next three decades even while they continue to lose national elections.
The Court cannot save them if popular opinion keeps swinging ever more heavily leftward.
I share this sentiment. There are enough of us to simply win elections and legislate Republicans out of existence, IF we can get fair districting and fair elections.
However, Republicans choose their justices expressly for the purpose of nullifying actual votes of actual humans. So even if we win all the elections and pass overwhelming bipartisan legislation, we still have to get past this undemocratically lifetime-appointed slate of reactionary assholes. This is going to take a while.