Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Donald Trump's Cult of Personality: What is Wrong with Trump's Supporters?

An internet comments section come to life. That is the best (and increasingly frequent) summation of Donald Trump's candidacy. I've seen it now from several sources, and it's becoming more common, because it fits so well. If you don't know what that means, it means that Trump is pure id. He will make his "point" forcefully, whether or not it makes any sense. He'll answer a question with non-sequiturs, with irrelevant, exaggerated, boasts. He goes off on tangents, sometimes several at once, embedding parentheticals inside parentheticals. All the while bulldozing everyone else in the discussion and declaring himself the victor, even if he said nothing of substance.

I'm watching Morning Joe right now, and The Donald is on the phone. For some reason, this show (and most others) is willing to have Trump appear via phone call at any moment to discuss anything, at length. But today, they're discussing Trump's over-the-top immigration comments about Muslims. His comments have drawn the ire of many prominent Republicans, and have stomped on virtually every other political story of the moment.

Trump is pulling his usual schtick, filibustering the hosts (most of which are very friendly to him), using his familiar third-grader vocabulary and argument style. When they ask him a pointed question, he regales them with tales of his standing room only crowds, his place in the polls, the weakness of his opposition, and little else. He declares himself "right," while offering very, very little of substance.

In short, he's doing what he always done. But he's terrible. No other candidate could get away with it for this long. The problem is, as I see it, moving from Trump to his supporters. What is wrong with your average Trump supporter? What are you seeing here? He's a blowhard bully, an egotistical asshat, still spewing obnoxious vaguaries, still absent any real-world specifics.  He is a complete paradox: a cult of personality, where the personality is to most rational people, simply vile. When will the spell be broken?

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