Trump supporters remind me of some of the people I was raised with. They believe someone who displays certain characteristics, no matter what they say or what other characteristics they display. Trump is an excellent example. He uses sales techniques, going for the moment, full of bluster that his supporters mistake for confidence.
The reasoning goes like this: me, I’m a humble guy, not much of anything, and I just keep my head down and don’t talk much. This guy is always talking big plans, big ideas, and he don’t take no stuff, he hits back hard. So he must be pretty good b/c I wouldn’t behave like that.
They miss the outrageous lies, the contradictions, and so forth b/c they are themselves transactional, like Trump. It doesn’t matter that he never built the wall, he talks about it and makes Mexicans nervous. That’s what his supporters want, for Mexicans and all the Others, to feel anxious, uncertain, worried, like they feel. They bought into the notion of White Christian supremacy a long time ago, fed it by movies, newspapers, TV programs, and they now find it difficult to see where they are superior.
This is why Trump supporters weigh more heavily toward the older set, those who remember a time when you didn’t see Blacks on TV much nor in public life and you didn’t even know what a Mexican was. Add to that their failing health and joblessness and they think the country is pretty much lost. It must be someone’s fault. And here comes Trump.
When Trump fails completely, they’ll say, “But he said……” The media heaped attention on Trump, further bolstering his image in their minds. Remember, the lie repeated many times becomes common knowledge. Some of these are: Trump is a famous deal maker, he knows how to build things, he’s a producer and a job generator, he knows anyone who is anyone, he is an alpha male conquering gorgeous females, and so on. Let me repeat the part about being transactional: it is in the moment, what it gets for me now, never mind small issues like consistency, truth, accuracy, foundations, strategy, principles, etc., etc., etc. Just get through the moment. Think about how many people in jail or prison now have just that kind of thinking.
Now, regarding Trump’s morals. Someone pointed out that lots of Trump voters do the same sort of scurrilous things he does. Again, the alpha male thing. But what about the Evangelicals? How can they tolerate his predatory sexual practices and phony deals like Trump University? Racism and xenophobia, yes, but sexcapades? Easy. They did the same things but were washed in the blood of the lamb, i.e. forgiven, and Trump is just not quite there yet, just one revival meeting away from it though.