Full disclosure, I am a huge Ted Cruz fan. Have been for years. I have followed carefully his efforts to return America to its founding principles with a certain amount of awe. Knowing full well just how far our once great nation has fallen he still sees the good in her and by default, in us. Perhaps even more wondrous, he still believes that our best days are still ahead of us. Sadly, there are precious few of us left.
I have worked with developmentally disabled adults for the last 31 years. I have noticed over the course of the last presidential campaign some striking similarities between those I serve and the supporters of one particular candidate. As I write this I can’t help but feel like I might be insulting those I work with. Still, as grandpa used to say, there is no point in denying the obvious.
The observation crystallized for me as I listened to a Trump supporter on the Rush show not to long ago. No fact would impede his argument. There was no effort on his part to even listen to, let alone try to understand, why anyone would not support his man. Like his candidate the discussion was going to be his way or the highway. Reason would not be allowed and that was that. He actually stated that there was “nothing” Trump could say that would change his mind. Wow. He calls himself a supporter. He is in fact a fanatic. Trump appeals to people like him and I think I have figured out why.
In my work we are trained regularly on what is known as the Crisis Cycle. The relative part here is what we call the crisis stage. This is the point in an outburst or aggressive behavior where the individual literally loses the ability to reason. Studies have shown that once in that state the portion of the brain that controls the ability to reason actually shuts down. This leads to all kinds of poor decisions. Watching several videos of Trump supporters has confirmed to my satisfaction that many of his supporters are in fact in the crisis stage of the crisis cycle. They literally have lost the ability to think.
But, but the peanut gallery will cry out, surely not all of Trumps supporters are such people. Of course not all of them are. The supporters who are not in crisis yet do nothing to help those who are in crisis are still part of the problem. Let’s be honest here. There are no fence sitters in the Trump camp, you are either a Trump supporter or part of the problem.
After the last seven years it’s not hard to see how anyone could have reached the crisis point. Everything good and decent has been under constant, often brutal assault. Millions of honest, hardworking church goers are routinely and publicly derided. Anyone who thinks that 6000 plus years of human history defining marriage as between a man and a women should be taken seriously is publicly berated as a hateful bigot. As is the person who thinks a man should use the mens bathroom instead of the womens bathroom. Supporting Col. Allen West, Justice Clarence Thomas, Dr. Ben Carson or the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson means nothing if you don’t mindlessly support the Kenyan little Barry. You are still a racist. As are those who believe that just because someone can break into our country doesn’t mean they are entitled to everything they want for free. Those of us who prefer not to import moslem terrorists by the thousands are berated as xenophobic. How’s that for a scary name? Not to mention those of us who work 60-70 or more hours a week to provide for our families but have a problem with welfare queens stocking their pantries to overflowing on our dime. Then there are our veterans, sacrificed on the altar of politically motivated bonuses. We have watched helplessly as the Kenyan and his vile henchmen have systematically weaponised the IRS, Justice Department, EPA, Education Department, Housing and Urban Development against ordinary Americans and gone batshit crazy with executive orders. I haven’t even scratched the surface of the assaults perpetrated on America yet but I think I can understand how so many Americans can be in crisis at this moment.
Perhaps because of my training and overriding desire to be self-sufficient I have obtained a certain amount of immunity from the desperation that leads to crisis. Or maybe it is nothing more complicated than my remembering the words of my TKD instructor, “The angry person makes the most mistakes. Remain calm, make you enemy angry and capitalize on his errors.”
There is no doubt Trump appeals to angry people. Anger is his preferred tool. He is comfortable with it. He encourages it, feeds it, massages it and I suspect, rewards it. The one-shared quality of nearly all his supporters is a deep seated and white-hot anger. Trump then provides his supporters just enough talking points so they can feel superior to their enemy. Trump deftly keeps them at crisis level with one insane allegation after another. Because they have suspended the ability to reason, they simply cannot notice the lunacy of their positions. They are angry, they want to be angry and by God they are going to be angry. I watch Trump standing at a podium somewhere soaking up that anger like some kind of demented sponge. All that is missing is the Emperors theme from Star Wars.
I will admit, a part of me liked a lot of what Trump said in the beginning. The border wall needs to be build hard, high and fast. Anyone here illegally has only one right, the right to go back to the country they left. There is nothing more anti-American, anti human than Sharia law. Moslems and their cult of islam have no place in America. (I would consider making an exception for any moslem who publicly refutes Sharia law and the practice of Taqiyya. That said, it is a one-strike policy. Screw up and get permanently deported.) His destruction of political correctness was wonderful to behold until he replaced it with his own version, political Trumpness.
I am willing to bet nearly all of Trumps supporters, once they come down from the crisis stage they have been so skillfully maneuvered into, will suffer again. This time though the part of their brain that reasons will be fully functional. They will slowly but surely understand the destruction they wrought upon themselves and the rest of us. On this level, buyers remorse can be a real bitch. I’ll try not to tell you I told you so.