I’ve been trying to figure out the Trump voter for a long time now. How is it that nearly half of all voters in the 2016 Presidential election voted for a misogynistic, racist, pathological liar, the rest of us would not vote for Head Dog Catcher? How is it possible that nearly half of the voting public overlooked the mocking of the disabled reporter, the bigotry, the lack of any actual policies, the unpaid contractors and shady business practices, the Access Hollywood tape…I could go on all day. We all wonder… And then there is the rabid vehemence, the arrogance, the enthusiasm with which they embrace all their ludicrous ideas.
Why would we want to understand them, anyway? I’ll tell you why. First, there are A LOT of them. Nearly half of the voters voted for the someone often equated to an arrogant, idiotic clown-child. And now he is our President. Second, they are engaged and enraged as evidenced by the ongoing shouts to “lock HRC/Obama/Pelosi up” and the recent uptick in incidents of racism, assault and vandalism. Third, they aren’t interested in any consensus or compromise. They don’t want to hear anything from any left-leaning, lying, corrupt “libtard.” They don’t trust mainstream media, Democrats or anyone who isn’t on the Crazy Train. They absorb irrational, bizarre ideas from their insular right-wing media sources with circular logic that spins them into some ungrounded, reality-free, propaganda-filled frenzy tornado of arrogant idiocy. All this adds up to unending and continued division, eventually leading to civil unrest, and more hopeless disunion with no end in sight. Our country is bi-polar. Without winning at least some of them over, how will we ever get anything done?
What I can safely say is that not ALL Trump voters are stupid. Among voters, 43% of people with a college degree voted for Trump. Not ALL Trump voters are racists, pathologically selfish or uncaring, bad people (although there is plenty of evidence of an abundance of Deplorables). Trump got a higher percentage of African-American votes than Romney in 2012, and 29% of Latino votes. Not ALL Trump voters are totally insane with no grasp of actual reality, either. That isn’t even statistically possible. They must have families, hopes and dreams, human-type feelings, just like the rest of us. Still, to many of us, Trump voters remain a vague enigma, some combination of idiot, racist and back-woods nut-ball (with a hat).
Instead, the conclusion that I came to is that there are a lot of types of Trump voters. To understand them, we must identify what is motivating them, what makes them tick. To understand Trump voters, I have broken them into 10 categories (and they aren’t all bad) as follows:
- Ignorant people and Red-necks who live in a bubble, and Dummies
- Greedy Bastards
- Right-to-life Christians and closet homosexuals masquerading as heterosexual Right-to-life Christians
- Nut-balls/Crazies/Paranoids and Conspiracy Theorists
- Uninformed voters and Lemmings
- Racists, Xenophobes, etc., and Self-haters
- Change-resistant old people
- Republican Party loyalists
- Cult members enjoying the hysteria and Bad human beings
- Power-hungry evil-doers, Psychopaths and Narcissists
Most Trump voters will fall into more than one category. For example, I have a relative (NOT my step-mother) who is a 1/5/7, while I have another relative (NOT my brother-in-law) who is more of a 1/4/6. I suspect a few people who work at the White House to be 2/4/10s. A lot of Trump voters just over-looked all of Candidate Trump’s many character flaws and unscrupulous business practices because they fall into category 8, Republican Party loyalists and category 5, Uninformed voters and lemmings. Many Trump voters, I suspect, are just category 5, uninformed voters and lemmings who believed every insane, negative thing that was said about HRC, MSM, President Obama, the end of the world, etc.
In addition, many Trump voters seem to suffer from the so-called Dunning-Kruger Effect (category 1). An example of Dunning-Kruger would be when Donald Trump said publicly that he knows more about ISIS than “all the Generals,” he was suffering from the Dunning-Kruger Effect. He didn’t even know what he didn’t know. He thought, in his ignorance, that he knew everything, already. All of this makes it difficult to verbally engage with Trump voters to try to reason with them. There is no evidence or train of thought that they will listen to. Also, confirmation bias, believing what confirms what we already believe, is rampant. Add in some hysteria, some vague feeling of being slighted by progress and a big old playground bully, some hats, and there you have it: we have arrived.
Next: One of us is very, very wrong (and I don’t think it’s me).