Dissolving the Trump Mindset
Make America Great Again. It has been more than five years since Donald Trump tried to trademark the phrase with the US Patent and Trademark office. It’s easy to comprehend for many working class individuals, who haven’t benefited from much of the growth seen in the last few decades. It makes sense for them to blame other groups, immigrants, “Washington Insiders,” and liberals, who have all seemed to benefit from the system while their America was getting worse.
We still need to solve a multitude of problems that led to the disillusionment of Trump voters, but how do we address the cynicism that haunts those individuals? Everyone keeps talking about Trump’s base as this core group who could never desert their love for his rhetoric and MAGA merchandise, yet we struggle to identify the reasons behind their death grip on Trumpian ideals.
Nobody likes to take blame when things go poorly, and everyone wants to take credit when things go well. One of Trump’s political tactics revolves around moving responsibility for hardship and taking all the praise when there is success. These practices are reflected in his core group of supporters. These individuals are able to blame immigrants and marginalized groups for the lack of growth manifested in their lives. Since America is no longer a source of greatness, they also get to call their success completely self-made. This is the ideal mental space, the best of both worlds. For many, it is far easier to hold hope in this concept than to face the reality of a New America.
In order for individuals in this thought spiral to break free, they must see fallacy in both parts because the two propositions rest heavily upon one another. It is hard for people to stop blaming others and nearly impossible for them to not claim credit. In order to part with Trumpian thought processes, they have to acknowledge that immigrants make the country a more vibrant place, culturally and economically, which will in turn make them realize the hard truths about mechanization, outsourcing and the New American Economy.
They must recognize the existing “Greatness” in America. Perhaps, by crediting some of their success to the abilities and opportunities given to American citizens. Each of these realizations is incredibly difficult to achieve with any single person. In order to fully dissolve this Trump mindset, all of these realizations have to occur with everyone, an impossible feat.
The greatest obstacle to achieving these realizations lies within the polarized media landscape. Each person can create a media diet where the only information they see reinforces their world-view. Every day, these trends in logic are strengthened by people who enjoy the peaceful world-view of blame sharing and credit grabbing. His base will hear MAGA long after Trump leaves office because of its power to cement the logic that allows them to feel better about hardships they face.