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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Why Are Trump Supporters So Unwavering? They Have Given Me Some Answers.

Last week’s column generated a lot of emails and phone calls — mostly from readers thanking me for my “courage” and speaking out about what one reader called our “Moron-in-Chief.”  But it also drew the ire of many readers who were offended by the psychological analysis I presented of Trump supporters.
Mind you, it was not my analysis. I was publishing what psychologists near and far have written about Trump and some of his supporters. It’s a fascinating area of academic study these days.
I really appreciated (and responded to) all the emails I received, because they gave me additional insight into this phenomenon we know as Donald J. Trump.
It reminded me of my days as a bicycle activist in New York City, organizing a demonstration to create bike lanes on the 59th Street Bridge. It was so satisfying to see demonstrators on TV parroting the talking points which I had given them prior to the event. Donald Trump and his tribe at Fox News would be similarly gratified to see the president’s fans parroting a kaleidoscope of mistruths which are laid out for them. Some of them were new to me. Obviously I need to watch more of Fox News, especially the evening opinion broadcasts. 
By the way, have you noticed that what Trump calls the “lame-stream media” — NBC, ABC and CBS — don’t have any opinion shows during the evening? While Fox News Channel fills its prime time with pro-Trump, anti-Democratic rabble-rousers, the broadcast channels have nothing but entertainment programs — sitcoms, police shows, reality shows, and the like. There is virtually no opinion programing at any time of any day. All the president has to attack are the straight news reports of the evening news program and the Sunday programs which include guests with their opinions for and against the president.
But I digress. Back to the negative emails I received. More than one described Joe Biden as a “fantasizing senile plagiarist,” a picture being painted by Fox News. A woman I’ll call “Mary” was my favorite, diagnosing Trump with Aspergers Syndrome  (is Trump a savant?) with no mention of narcissism. She compared Trump to Einstein, saying “you will notice that geniuses generally are socially challenged and have unusual behaviors. Trump definitely is challenged and has unusual behaviors.”
She and I had begun to have a conversation via email, but she went silent after I wrote the following:
“So you believe that Trump is a genius – a stable genius, as he says?  This genius said yesterday that we should look into injection of disinfectants! He was touting hydroxychloroquine, so much that it was tried on veterans in VA hospitals. The results, reported today? Nine percent of veterans who were given standard treatment died, but 28% of those who got standard treatment plus hydroxychloroquine died. Because of his promotion of the drug, Trump actually caused the death of many veterans. And today his own FDA came out opposing the drug because of its failure to help and proven causing of death!
“This stable genius promotes coal, while the power industry itself is closing coal plants left and right in favor of cleaner, cheaper natural gas, wind and solar. You know the president only ‘digs coal’ for the votes it gets him in the Midwest.  He pulled us out of the Paris climate accord, making us the only nation in the world not to commit to reducing greenhouse gases. He ordered the EPA to remove the phrase ‘climate change’ from its website and all documents. This is a genius?  Geniuses [like Einstein] believe in the value of science.  If he were smart instead of narcissistic, he would leave the daily briefings to the scientists instead of using them to get screen time and make statements that appeal to his base and then require walking-back by the scientists at the very same briefings! This man is a walking disaster.  No I don’t ‘hate’ him, I see him for what he is.  And it’s scary for this country and this planet.”
If you’d like to write me, too, my email address is I answer every email.
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