It's not class. It's not education. Here's the REAL defining characteristic of Trump supporters.
No surprise here. Trump basically is running as a Strong Man, a Leader, a candidate who contemptuously declines to even share with the rest of us the "how" of the pie-in-the-sky promises he makes. And how dare somebody question his wisdom, his qualifications, his character!
No, Trump isn't Hitler. He's not going to round people up and put them in camps- or, at least, kill them once he gets them there.
British historian Andrew Roberts is spot on: Donald Trump is Mussolini.
Not since Huey Long have Americans been so directly confronted with the threat which overcame Italy and Germany in the 'Thirties. The temptation to yield responsibility in times which make us feel overwhelmed to a Leader is a strong one. And ultimately, that's Trump's appeal. Surely it isn't the wisdom of the non-solutions he offers to our nation's problems.
Trump's personal style and even his rhetoric are reminiscent of Il Duce- the bombast, the contempt for what he perceives as weakness, the nostalgic and grandiose appeal to past greatness- and the absence of specifics. The more one compares Trump and Mussolini, the more alike they seem: Trust me. I'll take care of everything. But presume to question me, and heaven help you.
Sociologist Matthew MacWilliams asked 1.800 voters from all over the political spectrum questions designed to elicit patterns between the personality of supporters and the candidates they supported. He a mild correlation among Republicans between exceptionally strong fear of terrorism and support for one particular candidate (I'm told it was Cruz). But one correlation jumped right out at him.
In addition to the typical battery of demographic, horse race, thermometer-scale and policy questions, my poll asked a set of four simple survey questions that political scientists have employed since 1992 to measure inclination toward authoritarianism. These questions pertain to child-rearing: whether it is more important for the voter to have a child who is respectful or independent; obedient or self-reliant; well-behaved or considerate; and well-mannered or curious. Respondents who pick the first option in each of these questions are strongly authoritarian.
Based on these questions, Trump was the only candidate—Republican or Democrat—whose support among authoritarians was statistically significant.
MacWilliams explains the characteristics of authoritarians:
While (the causes of authoritarianism) are still debated, the political behavior of authoritarians is not. Authoritarians obey. They rally to and follow strong leaders. And they respond aggressively to outsiders, especially when they feel threatened. From pledging to “make America great again” by building a wall on the border to promising to close mosques and ban Muslims from visiting the United States, Trump is playing directly to authoritarian inclinations.
More than usual is at stake in Iowa tonight. According to the polls, Iowans are about to anoint Il Duce.
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