I actually think it’s worse than these people knowing that what they are saying isn’t true… or honestly being fooled… These people are simply seeking to join a group and express their frustration and anger. I think some of them do want to feel they are on the right side, but that simply isn’t paramount in their motivations… they just want to belong and be accepted. They suffer from a kind of psychosis.
These people are suffering from serious developmental deficiencies. I think they aren’t capable of perceiving reality as clearly as the average person; likely because they suffer insecurity, prolonged injustice or even outright abuse. When a person becomes resigned to such environments or experience they resolve their cognitive dissonance of being in such a situation by simply conforming their understanding to the notion that there is nothing wrong at all.
This kind of mindset compromises ones ability to understand reality and they develop the habit of conforming reality, as they perceive it, to a narrative which flatters their sense of self and ego. For instance, they are powerless, so they seek excuses to feel anger which has the effect of granting a feeling of power; or, they don’t understand why they feel insecurity so they construct a narrative which others will accept them for so as to allay that insecurity with a sense of belonging, etc.
These people simply don’t have the faculty or will to perceive the world around them with a level of truth to which the rest of us are capable. And even among the rest of us, our ability to perceive–accurately or with a sense of what is most pertinent–varies from person to person.
There is a great BBC documentarian, Louis Theroux, he has an episode of his show which deals with the binding effect of being besieged in the pursuit of a sense of belonging: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK-Wnv3Lxlo
(the following is an editted portion added 12/04/2016, 12/04/16)
This posting has been getting a lot of hits the past couple of days and I am really not satisfied with it… so I thought I’d amend it a bit.
I visited the small town of Stanford, Il in the past year. It reminds me of many of the other small Illinois towns I have visited. It has a main street, a grain elevator, but is in decline. Some of these towns still have some of the old buildings built when the agriculture and grain elevator was enough to bring the dollars necessary to feed a local economy. Since that time the population nationally and globally has grown dramatically. The globalization of the marketplace along with the rise of new industries have served to dwarf the relative importance of our domestic agricultural industry. These communities are shrinking and dying. And all the towns which served as commercial centers for these smaller towns have either had to develop other industrial or commercial activities or suffer the same dwindling demise.
Meantime, while reported unemployment is a supposed 4.6%–of course, not accounting for underemployment– these jobs aren’t being created in these small towns, where much of Trump’s support hails from. And how many of these people still have memories passed down of the life lived in these places before the relative decline of agricultural importance? To such people, life lived in a city–while closer to economic opportunities–likely looms as one of the lessor levels of hell.
So, it is easy to imagine how one would want to reclaim some sense of community… and to voice their anger and frustration at a single go. And it is so much easier to imagine a savior in the person of a single man making promises, than to acknowledge the crisis–in the economy–is a kind of man-made weather pattern beyond any individual’s control.
Especially when, it is our collective idiocy which prevents us from the one single act which would take us the furthest in resolving some of our greatest societal problems. That idiocy being our outrage at the thought of raising taxes… and that tax being a fuel tax.
I have already outlined my thoughts on the importance of say a ~$1.30 raise in fuel tax in another posting, but I will outline once again and address the age old argument against. A fuel tax in conjunction with an infrastructural bill to include a comprehensive revamping of the rail system–to include going to a European high speed rail gauge–would create jobs, streamline our societal footprint, encourage the kind of conservation we began to see when gas soared, deliver a hit to the worst petroleum regimes, prevent another cash grab from the petroleum industry and might lead to a dispersion of manufacturing to minimize transportation costs in favor of manufacturing closer to point of sale markets–which would help spread the profits of such manufacturing and sale to those places where goods are purchased and at the same time hobble the pace of accumulating fortunes which work against the health of the economy. More could be said on this issue…
Here is the petition… http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/responsible-fuel-and
But the tired old response to the posit of a fuel tax increase is that the cost of everything increases along with it. This assumes that prices are fixed to their lowest possible level… that there isn’t huge profits being taken for corporate management, lending and stock dividends. This assumes the whole market is NOT over-capitalized… which it most certainly IS. Vendors seeking to enter the marketplace will need to adjust their take from commercial activity in order to maintain that commercial activity. And while there would be an adjustment period, afterwards, the recognition that a spending working class is the healthiest thing for an economy… and NOT further capital accumulations… the whole lobbying industry will be brought to heel along with their corporate patrons. We would see a sea change in political will on both sides of the aisle.