Welcome back to Lucid, and hello to all new subscribers! Our next Q&A will be Friday, Nov. 17, 1-2pmET. Thomas Warrick will be our guest. He is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Future of DHS Project at the Atlantic Council. He headed up postwar planning for Iraq at the State Department and was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism Policy at the Department of Homeland Security (2007-2019).
You nailed it! Perfect assessment of how Trump operates and his demonic personality! My hope is that voters will “see the light” before they cast ballots! If they don’t, Canada’s population may vastly increase!
Clear& —lucid. Wondering if you could go on Fox & if it would do any good
That all makes so much sence, thank you. as always. for such clear and concise analysis, it is so helpful to me =] FYI the question I sent to you may be too far off topic of the Lucid project and if so please feel free to skip it. I'm so grateful that you and the other experts are informing us all the way you do and are doing it so well =]
scary to think that 30% of any population is a kind of giant "sleeper cell".
That picture of tRump supporters at a Florence, AZ rally, really hit home, as I live not far from there. These people need to wear swastika arm bands so that society can see their true colors.
The inability of people to humble themselves and accept that they are wrong(goes for myself at times as well) is keeping followers of Trump from accepting the reality of what he is and the danger he presents. Choosing instead to maintain an air of invincibility towards those of us who have read the indictments and believe (mostly) in the system of justice that exists in this country.
Excellent. Thank you for your expertise Ruth.
I have always said Trump is sui generis in American politics. He is an example of the great man theory of history. No other personalty or figure could have transformed a major political party, a media ecosystem, created a leader cult, become President, been twice impeached, attempt a failed coup to stay in power after losing an election and then resurrect himself back into power as the GOP's leading candidate for President four years later based on a very big lie. All while being indicted on 91 counts of fraud and corruption. No one.
This is a testament that Trump is a genius at propaganda and a talented demagogue. He has succeeded in dividing the county and bringing it to the edge of democratic collapse. He is rallying his MAGA base with more extreme rhetoric, mirroring Nazi propaganda and promising to lead us into a neo fascism state if he should ever return to power.
"The sad part is that these followers eventually realize that the leader has used them for his benefit."
A few down, millions upon millions to go.
"I prefer to give thorough answers so I can only answer a few at a time." Thank you for providing thorough answers based on your research. Much better than a sentence or two of sound bites.
A workman who installed some blinds in my home started talking about how upset he is that he could have his gas stove taken away. He didn’t believe in global warming and brushed off scientists as not really knowing anything. He was so comfortably self confident that I literally marveled at it.
Afterwords it dawned on me that trump has succeeded in elevating people who have never garnered any respect. That must be exhilarating! He believes in himself because he believes in trump. Of course nobody would give up such reassurance! I felt as if I finally understood why so many average working people have bonded with that man. And truthfully I see this as a logical outcome in a country (us) that is so enamored with wealth and social success and so dismissive of our everyday workers. People quickly forgot how “essential” the people who make things work are.
Re "Creating community is what authoritarian and populist parties do very well. from the chants, apparel, and rituals that create a sense of belonging . . .". I want to make a comment on this.
I was raised Catholic from the time the nuns still wore those habits that concealed all of their bodies except their face and hands, through Vatican II which was called because the Pope thought the Church needed updating and the anti-war movement where the Berrigan Brothers, both priests, protested the Viet Nam War, along with seven other Catholic protesters, and burned the records of the Catonsville, Maryland draft board with homemade napalm. I was active in that movement, and I left the Church soon after that.
Fast forward decades later. I was at my aunt's wake and the priest led us in Catholic prayers. We all knew the words and we all said them together. It felt like a chant, which I found very comforting. Yes, the chanting, the apparel and the rituals of authoritarian parties create a sense of belonging, but the desire to belong is a fundamental part of human nature. Authoritarian religions like Catholicism provided it for 2,000 years. How can we humans get that sense of belonging without the authoritarian organizations?
BTW, speaking of chant, there have been lots of studies since the 1990s that show the beneficial effects of Gregorian chant on the human nervous system.
I'm unable to believe that Defendant Trump is any kind of "genius." Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, Mike Flynn and perhaps a few others are at the center of this quest for dictatorial power. The Defendant in Chief has been fading fast before our eyes, though he maintains the ability to draw crowds of varying sizes. It may be a JD Vance, or someone like him, who takes the reins from what's left of the defendant if he survives the 91 counts plus that are chasing him. I guess we'll find out.
Thanks, Ruth for the Q & A with Steven Hassan the week before last. I am now reading Steven Hassan's book "The Cult of Trump" Many of us are talking about how a strong fascistic leader operates and captures so many followers. I am intrigued by how this charismatic elderly and psychologically sick individual could possibly gain so many strongly loyal followers. In his book, Hassan says that we cannot just tell people they are wrong to believe Trump. He writes, "By attacking or belittling Trump's followers, political opponents and traditional media may be helping Trump to maintain his influence over his base...telling a person that they are brainwashed, that they are in a cult or that they are following a false god, is doomed to fail...puts them immediately on the defensive, confirms you are a threat...closes their mind to other perspectives. I've seen this happen over and over again. " (from The Cult of Trump by Steven Hassan)
Brilliant! Just imagine the impact of 30% of American voters having authoritarian tendencies;
With Trump---they have a match!--not one made in heaven!
Ruth's intention to halt academic writing and serve the common good by bringing this amazing trove of historic information (about authoritarianism) into public view is as timely as any writing can get. Good for her; good for us!
Excellent and to the point.