Saturday, July 30, 2016


WHO SUPPORTS TRUMP?  What's made Trump's is puzzling in that his support seems to cross demographic lines — education, income, age, even religiosity — that usually demarcate candidates. 

It turns out that there is a strong tendency for his supporters to possess an “authoritarian personality structure.”  What is authoritarianism?   People who score high in authoritarianism, when they feel threatened, look for strong leaders who promise to take whatever action necessary to protect them from outsiders and prevent the changes they fear, and  even in America, they will favor un-democratic, anti-constitutional measures.  To put it simply, they have fascist tendencies.

Trump embodies classic authoritarian leadership:  He is simplistic, seemingly powerful and punitive.  He is the strongman that authoritarians year for, particularly in times of crisis.  Trump pictures an America taken over by rapists, cop killers, domestic terrorists, and reellng frome conomic disaster.  It is a country where white people have been humiliated at home (authoritarians tend to  be rascists) and by countries that are their enemy (authoritarians tend to like extremist policies linked to nationalism).

Authoritarians tend to have irrational fears that make them easy prey for Donald Trump.  Look at the chart below.  The chances of being killed or harmed by a terrorist are about the same as being struck by lightening.  But authoritarians think they pose a high risk.  Similarly, they feel threatened by the government of Iran but have little fear of a car accident.

It turns out that the best single predictor of support for Trump is those who have fascist tendencies, although those with only a high school education runs a close second.