Political pundits on both the left and the right are tripping over themselves trying to explain the incredible rise of Donald Trump, and his appeal across all demographics. Trump wins older voters and younger ones. He wins men and women. He wins the highly educated, and as he so famously quipped, ‘the poorly educated’. That remark in particular makes me laugh, because like most average Americans, I understood perfectly what he meant. The liberal media has tried desperately to make hay out the comment, to no avail. Trump wasn’t calling his supporters stupid – he was calling them ‘working class’, and since working class people tend not be pansy asses who get offended over everything, they took his meaning and ignored his word choice.
Breitbart, which I consider one of the best news sources out there, offers a number of explanations for the Trump juggernaut: economics, corruption, security, without prioritizing any one issue in particular. Pat Caddell writes,
…. when Trump says, “Nobody owns me; I’m paying for this campaign,” he is addressing the “unspoken” issue of corruption in American politics, which, along with the economy and national security, is one of the top three issues for voters.
“You’ve got 70-some percent of the American people who believe flat out that both political parties have failed economically and that we need a different approach,” Caddell said. “We have had this pantomime – this kabuki theater of politics for too long, and now people are worried. And they’ve been worried, but now they’ve decided to do something about it.”
Ironically, left-leaning magazine Vox gets closer to the heart of the issue in a long article, well worth reading, that explores the connection between what political scientists and other academics call ‘authoritarianism’ and the rise of Trump. The bog standard dictionary definition of authoritarianism is:
Vox uses a more subtle definition, casting authoritarianism as not a political preference, but rather as a psychological profile, ‘… that is characterized by a desire for order and a fear of outsiders. 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.’ Naturally, the entire article refuses to consider whether those fears are, in fact, justified, and attempts to cast Trump supporters as people who hate gay marriage, Black people and the poor. One can easily imagine Vox chastising Armenians for being afraid of the Ottomans. That worked out well, didn’t it?
The really key part of the Vox article, and the reason Trump is likely going to win the election, is that a significant number of non-authoritarians will choose an authoritarian leader if they are ‘activated’.
People do not support extreme policies and strongman leaders just out of an affirmative desire for authoritarianism, but rather as a response to experiencing certain kinds of threats.
Gee, now what could that threat possibly be?
Measuring a person’s degree of authoritarianism is actually quite difficult to do, as people are often reluctant to openly express their fears, for a variety of reasons. Clever researchers came up with a way to measure authoritarianism by casting the desire for control as a parenting decision. Here are the four questions researchers asked when measuring authoritarianism:
Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: independence or respect for elders?
Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: obedience or self-reliance?
Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: to be considerate or to be well-behaved?
Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: curiosity or good manners?
In each case, I am non-authoritarian. I value independence, self-reliance, being considerate and curiosity over the other choices. This doesn’t mean I think respect for elders, obedience, being well-behaved or having good manners are bad things – it just means I think they are secondary to the first set of attributes. My father lost his leg in a mining accident, and very often curious children will ask him about it. The actual story is interesting, but my Dad likes to spin all kinds of implausible tales like he was attacked by a shark or he battled zombies or he got a papercut and it got infected. Is it rude for children to ask how he lost his leg? Maybe, but their curiosity, for both of us, is more compelling. And Dad thinks telling them he got hurt at work will frighten them and make them anxious over their own fathers.
When I was a child, and my parents were part of a zealous, violent religious order, authoritarianism ruled my life. I would have been slapped across the face had I dared ask an elderly man how he lost a leg, and the slightest fidget in church would have earned me a bruising pinch. As an adult, I wholly reject authoritarianism.
Until I don’t.
I am one of the ‘activated’ authoritarians Vox is writing about, and I suspect we are legion.
Let’s stop for a moment and consider some other words to describe strong leaders who will protect us in the face of threats. There are two that come immediately to mind:
Authoritarianism is just a fancy word for patriarchy. So naturally the left despises it. But guess what? The safest place for women and children to be is in a nuclear family. Mom and Dad and biological children. Women living with their husbands are the least likely to experience not just domestic violence, but any kind of violence, and the same goes for children living with their biological parents.
When a real, actual threat arises, normal people understand, instinctively and intuitively, that patriarchy is the best form of protection for everyone. And they turn to a strong, uncompromising, unambiguous leader, like Donald Trump. The left adores casting Trump supporters as ‘driven by fear’, but absolutely refuses to address whether than fear might just be rational.
I carried out an experiment on Twitter yesterday, tweeting out the following:
And, just as I predicted, I was deluged by peaceful Muslims threatening to kill me, wishing me dead, calling me all manner of misogynist slurs and making sexually explicit comments. The shocking lack of literacy on display made some comments hard to parse, but it was clear the peaceful ones weren’t all that interested in peace.
Vox acts completely shocked that 75% of GOP voters support banning Muslims from the US, and few people who score high on the authoritarianism scales think building mosques in the US is a good idea.
Because racism, right? Except Islam isn’t a race, it’s an ideology, and one that is at grave odds with our own values. The percentage of Muslims worldwide, and in the US, who would prefer to live under Sharia law is terrifyingly high.
Sharia law means stoning people, using amputation as a punishment and throwing gay people off rooftops, and gosh I wonder why people think that’s a bad thing.
Here is what I think the Trump Train boils down to: we are at war. This is not a conventional war. This is not a war as war is traditionally understood. But it is war, nevertheless. We are being invaded. And the political left is welcoming the invaders and trying to make the resistance fighters lay down their arms and offer themselves as lambs to the slaughter.
It is not going to happen.
Donald Trump is winning because Donald Trump is the only candidate who appears to understand that we are in serious trouble. Are his policies and ideas the best ones we have to fight this war? Probably not. But he is the only one offering even the hint of a fight. Trump is winning because voters have no other sane choice.
The cultural left, aided and abetted by feminism, has succeeded in making patriarchy, men, masculinity and fatherhood dirty words that cannot be spoken aloud, but when the bodies start piling up, people respond honestly if not openly, and turn to patriarchy, men, masculinity and fatherhood to save them. Because we’re not stupid. We will die if we don’t. Critics might ask ‘but isn’t it patriarchy, men, masculinity and fatherhood that is driving the Muslim invasion in the first place?’, and that’s a legitimate question.
Here is where the cultural left goes bonkers: Western, Christian, capitalist men are profoundly different from their Middle Eastern counterparts. Liberty, freedom, independence and happiness are superior values. There is a reason the Western world has ruled for most of recorded human history: our values are better.
And we will die to protect them.
And of course by ‘we’, I mean ‘men’, because it’s mostly men who will do the fighting and dying. Do I think that’s wonderful? No. I don’t. So spare me your screeching, radical MGTOWs. It’s just reality. Women and children aren’t safer in nuclear families because they contribute equal protection. They’re safer because men protect them from all violence.
One of the most interesting results from Super Tuesday is the voter turnout. In his speech following the closing of the polls (you can watch it below), Trump talks about the record turnout for the GOP.
SuperTuesday shattered turnout records for the GOP. A whole lot of voters are ‘activated’. And ironically, I’m guessing the majority of those voters were women. If this holds for the general election, then it will be irony indeed. Women will vote for the patriarchy. And that is just how it should be. The purpose of my #WhyWomenShouldNotVote hashtag is precisely this: activate women voters to vote in their own best interests by demonstrating how often they do exactly the opposite. What is in women’s best interests?
Also known as ‘authoritarianism’.
Also known as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Also known, for better or worse, as Donald J. Trump.
Lots of love,