2 Dec '15     home | previous

The Trump Phenomenon

Trump remains a topic of conversation, even at dances for middle age folks here in Ohio, on cable television and the New York Times. In the Times analysis of Trump abounds.

Trump's self-confidence allows him to speak without being careful, and many people prefer that to the usual politicians who talk with careful sentences.

An article in The New York Times by Thomas B Edsall quotes John Gartner, a professor of psychiatry, warning that the qualities that "get you elected are not the same as the capacity for governing," that hypomanic individuals like Trump don't necessarily make effective presidents – , unless their "energy, optimism, and drive" are balanced by the following:

the capacity to study and evaluate, to cooperate, thoroughness, caution, attention to detail, the ability to make a firm decision based on reasoning.

Hypomanic describes a temperament, a mild form of mania, that endows many of us with energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and a propensity for taking risks.

Edsall writes of Joseph Burgo, a psychotherapist. who describes Trump's appeal in straightforward terms:

For many people, Trump's braggadocio, contempt, and grandiosity come across as self-confident strength. When frightened by dangers from abroad or here at home, many people gravitate to the 'strong man' who promises to vanquish their fears and confusion.

Some of Trump supporters are described as once proud white working class males voters who lost the source of their pride: their high paying blue collar job. Their wives are likely to see the world and Trump as they do.

Other opinions expressed in the NYT:

Trump is opening a public debate on subjects nobody wants to talk about, things that people feel misled or lied to about. Trump gives voice to the feeling of dismissal and [he] mines the anger.

Trust is at the lowest it's ever been. There is a push for strong leadership, and Trump comes across as a strong leader.

Going a step further, if Trump's 30 percent of Republican primary voters is a marker of his core support, that translates to just 7.5 percent of all the voters who will cast ballots in the general election next November.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.