The Monmouth University Polling Institute conducted a poll in 2019. One thousand people were interviewed about their attitude towards religious fundamentalism, ethnocentric prejudice, and their political views and affiliations. The book written on the subject, “Authoritarian Nightmare: Donald Trump and his followers” by John Dean and Bob Altermeyer, was reviewed in the Washington Post on October 4th 2020. The following points are abstracted from that review:
– Most Trump supporters are highly authoritarian and religious. If necessary, were Trump unavailable, they would back another “strong” leader to take his place.
– Trump followers are overwhelmingly concerned about the “corruption” of American society. They don’t care about incompetence and dishonesty but are highly prejudiced against non-Anglo colored people, and would back Trump just as long as he protected them from the “danger“ of “lawless” minorities and immigrants.
– Trump supporters would support prosecution of his opponents, and would back him in the event that he had purportedly lost re-election, if he claimed it to be fraudulent, labeling it “fake news” (he has done so)
33% of respondents would “follow him anywhere”.
– Donald Trump followers have a remarkable lack of self-awareness. They assume that the “swamp” occupants look down on them anyway and don’t care about them or the views of the outside world, applauding Trump’s treatment of women, the military, the established system of American allies etc.
The book concludes (well before the recent election) that the US could be facing more strife and even an existential challenge.
My take: Yes, this blog is not supposed to discuss partisan politics. But the possibility of the undermining (even end) of the democratic system, enabled by politicians in Congress, is scary. The anxiety is made worse by the probability that the new Administration will meet a stone wall if it tries to get bipartisan agreement on anything important. One cannot govern successfully if obstructed on everything, and with a former President undermining the government every day of his life.
Who envíes President-elect Biden?