Sunday, August 22, 2021

What Is Happening To Democracy Part II

 This segment attempts to understand Trumpism and what drives those adopting this fascist authoritarianism.  IMO religion plays at least a correlating role, if not an actual driver. 

According to post election studies from NOAC and the University of Chicago, of Trump's support base, 80% of evangelicals supported Trump,  71% of LDS (Mormons),50% of Roman Catholics but only 26 % of those with no religious affiliation supported him.  I believe this stark contrast in support among these groups is very telling. The religious groups listed all have pronounced authoritarian theology, with a strong belief system that:"God" drives events and demands a fidelity to the theological beliefs advocated by each organization.

In all cases, these sects have belief systems rooted in human created myths that IMO are fanciful and "magical." They require a fidelity to the belief system that threatens a dire after death result if not followed.Thus, a basis of fear drives the fidelity.

Myths require no rational, empirical evidence.  Likewise,Trump's fabricated narratives have myth like qualities that are easily digested by gullible people looking for affirmation of their prejudices. And like television preachers and leaders of mega churches, Trump is a convincing story teller and con artist capable of persuading these gullible people to support him financially, though he presents as an already very wealthy person.  Yet many are persuaded that they will benefit if they support him and his movement with their comparatively meager financial resources. 

So, my analysis and that of other observers is that the mentality of people influenced by the Trump fascist, authoritarian message that he alone can solve their problems.  And the more arduous processes of compromises and direct personal engagement required of citizens in a functioning democracy is less effective for them than an authoritarian leader who will make decisions for them.

Most of these supporters are typical Americans who vote infrequently, are engrossed in their own pursuits without much engagement with their communities outside of their immediate congregations with whom they share the same myth values.  These are the people around us who only increase their empathy for others with differing ethnicity, values and lifestyles only when their lives and impacted by such things as relatives/offspring coming out as LGBT, or racial intermarriage in their family for example.  Or the loss of a loved one to disease or war. 

This influence of religious belief without rational evidence and the myths of American rugged individualism being preferred over communal cooperation and American Exceptionalism as well as a huge amount of mythology around our history  are a toxic combination which is driving their abandonment of our great experiment with a democracy.

Trump's political appeal is largely based on fear.....fear of immigrant takeover of our society, fear of minority domination over the shrinking white minority,  Fear of the loss of power and influence and government services favoring white citizens and refavoring minority persons and immigrants.