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Ocelot II

Ocelot II's Journal
Ocelot II's Journal
July 2, 2017

I don't have your direct experience but I don't doubt any of what you're saying.

It seems to have become a cult of personality, at least in some locations. The hard-core "base" is not going to come around. No matter what he does, his approval ratings will never drop below 25%-30% - which sucks for a president but is still a whole lot of people. But it's not surprising. At the end of the Watergate scandal, when the release of the tapes proved conclusively that he was directing the cover-up, Nixon left office with 26% approval, and that stayed pretty steady for years afterwards. To this day there are people who think he was framed.

The psychology of this is that people don't like to be wrong. They don't like to admit they made a wrong or foolish decision, and there have been studies showing that the more wrong they are shown to be the more they will dig their heels in and refuse to admit they were wrong. So: You voted for Trump because he told you, for example, that he'd bring the jobs back to the factories and coal mines or that he'd build a wall to keep out the Mexicans who are stealing American jobs. These things were so important to you that you didn't care that he's a thuggish, racist, mean-spirited boor with the morals of a jackal (for some, those characteristics are actually features, not bugs), so you voted for him.

And now, the more he's revealed as an erratic, narcissistic man-baby who doesn't give a shit if you ever get another job or lose your health insurance, the more you will support him. You will insist that he'll bring the jobs back soon, just give him more time; and that the media who criticize him are wrong and unfair and fake - because to acknowledge how bad he really is, is to acknowledge that you were duped into voting for a con man. You were stupid and foolish for believing a grifter. You can't admit such an embarrassing thing about yourself - that you're a sucker for a fast-talking con artist - so you double down on your support. That's where that dead-end 25% will come from.

And yes, they are largely unpersuadable. There will be people at the edges - those who saw Trump for what he was but had ideological reasons for voting for him, as well as some of the people who voted for him only because they irrationally hated Hillary - who will desert him; this is already starting to happen. Some of them are Democrats, and they can be won back. The main target should be the people who didn't vote at all. The hard-core Trumpistas are completely hopeless, like the hard-core Nixonites.

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