“Explaining Trump’s Uninterrupted Base Support” Bob Burnett, The Huffington Post, 5 May 2017

“Trump has fashioned a narrative where he is the most reliable source of information.  His voters buy this narrative because they identify with him”.

Donald Trump is unpopular with voters, in general.  However, his base overwhelmingly supports him.  Why? 52% of Americans disapprove of the job he is doing, while 42% approve.  But 94% of Trump voters approve of his performance. There are three explanations.  The first is political: Trump voters don’t have another choice, no other politician they prefer to Trump.  Asking  who was to blame for Trump’s lack of accomplishments in his first 100 days in office;  they felt it was due to obstruction of congressional Democrats. The typical perspective of Trump voters is: “Give him a chance to show what he can do.”  Trump hasn’t repealed Obamacare or built the border wall or kept Muslims from entering the U.S., but there appears to be a strong economy. There’s also a sociological reason: Trump has fashioned a narrative where he is the most reliable source of information.  His voters buy this narrative because they identify with him. Finally, there’s a psychological reason: they are trapped. These voters may suffer of Stockholm syndrome, where prisoners “develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy.” In Strangers in their Own Land,”  sociologist Arlie Hochschild detailed the shared narrative, “deep story,” of Trump voters: “Standing in a long line leading up a hill...  You are in the middle of this line, along with white, older, Christians, predominantly male... Just over the brow of the hill is the American Dream… Most in the back of the line are people of color... Look!  People cutting in line ahead of you!  As they cut in, you are being moved back... Who are they?  Women, immigrants, refugees, public sector workers”.  Hochschild explained: [Trump voters] felt the deep story was their real story and there was a false PC cover-up... So it was with joyous belief that many heard a Donald Trump wildly, omnipotently, magically free of all PC constraint”.

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“Explaining Trump’s Uninterrupted Base Support” Bob Burnett, The Huffington Post, 5 May 2017

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