Do Trump supporters have any self-esteem at all?
Zombie-like hordes uncritically supporting candidates who don't deserve to be taken seriously are nothing new to us in Iowa. The Ron Paul crowd buzzed and muttered around the Iowa Caucuses for quite a while. They're gone now; Rand, Ron's son and political heir, is in marginally greater contact with reality than dear old dad, and apparently not nearly as adept at inspiring puzzling fanaticism.
That's particularly the case because now Donald Trump is on the scene.
The Trump phenomenon isn't that hard to understand on one level. People are angry and frustrated and feel lied to and taken advantage of. Here's a guy who says what they're thinking (and told to be ashamed that they're thinking it)- and not only getting away with it, but prospering.
Never mind that he's lying to them and taking advantage of them even more than those other politicians. Never mind that he's the biggest hypocrite and phony to achieve this degree of political prominence since Huey Long. Never mind that he's ignorant when it comes to policy matters and doesn't especially want to learn. Never mind that he's utterly unqualified to be president and can't be taken out in public without embarrassing everybody, his manners being those of an ill-bred third grader.
He's validating his supporters, and they appreciate it.
But he's also patronizing them. As I mentioned before, his "shooting on Fifth Avenue" statement was nothing more or less than a declaration that he thinks that his supporters are mindless boobs who will follow him no matter what outrageous thing he says or does or how thoroughly and in how many ways he exhibits his unfitness to be president.
If I were a Trump supporter, I'd be mad. I'd be insulted. No, I'd be outraged. A candidate who could not only take my support for granted so presumptuously but effectively label me a mindless zombie would be a candidate whom, I assure you, I would not be casting my vote.
But the Trump virus seems to attack the centers of the brain where self-esteem resides- the very nerve center his validation of his supporters' prejudices first stimulates. His supporters seem hell-bent on proving him right- proving that they are mindless boobs who will support him no matter what outrageous thing he says or does.
But that doesn't change the fact that even if they can't get angry at Trump on their own behalf, his disgraceful treatment of them gives the rest of us- the uninfected- reason to be angry on their behalf.
Just one more reason- as if we needed any more- that old Gerbil Head has to be kicked to the side of the political road just as quickly as it can be arranged.
Photo By DonkeyHotey via http://public-domain.pictures/