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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Famous Stupid Ideas

Well...they let trump be trump.
If trump wasn't a bigot, a liar, a serial abuser of women, a bully, a crook and a weakling, it would have been a great idea.
Now that he is losing by double digits....NOT SO MUCH.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Trump: Lies, Lies and More Lies Trump: The Worst Liar of Any Candidate, EVER




On Sunday, Donald Trump denied that he had any relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with ABC News.

Trump added his previous talk of him having a relationship with Putin was just the two saying nice things about each other.

“I don’t know what it means by having a relationship,” Trump added. “I mean, he was saying very good things about me. But I don’t have a relationship with him.”

In 2014, during a speech at CPAC[,] Trump, though, boasted about meeting with Putin’s advisers — even receiving a gift and personal note from Putin during the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. . . .

In 2013, Trump told MSNBC he had a relationship with Putin. Mother Jones posted video last week of Trump saying he talked “indirectly and directly” with Putin in a 2014 press conference.

Trump also repeatedly said in the GOP presidential debates that he got to know Putin when both were on 60 Minutes. Now he says he wouldn’t know him from Adam (considering he doesn’t know Russia troops are in the Crimea, the last part might be true).

As with so many things, the question for Donald Trump is: Was he lying then or lying now? It’s equally likely he was lying back in 2013 and 2014 to make himself sound more important as it is that he is lying now to avoid sounding too chummy with the authoritarian he openly admires and consistently praises.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort asserts the Trump team never did anything to take out of the platform support for defensive arms to Ukraine. My colleague Josh Rogin reports otherwise and says Manafort is lying. I’m going with Josh’s version on this one — as should any sentient being.

What Donald Trump is doing on the campaign trail
View Photos The GOP presidential nominee is out on the trail ahead of the general election in November.
Trump says he got a letter from the NFL pleading with him to reschedule the debates. The NFL says there was no letter. In the absence of, well, the letter, I’ll believe the NFL on this one.

Trump repeatedly said he would release his tax returns. Then he said he couldn’t because some years were being audited. No, he’s produced no audit letter nor logically explained why he couldn’t release some years’ returns. Now he says Mitt Romney lost because of his tax returns, suggesting that he just doesn’t want to release them because the demands for the returns are less painful than releasing what is in the returns.

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A boastful billionaire who says he’s been super generous to charity, you’d think, wouldn’t mind showing us just how rich and generous he is. Trump, a raving narcissist, however won’t let them out. I’m going with the theory they show he’s not so rich, not so generous and very good at paying little or no tax.

He lied about giving all that money to veterans’ charities — until The Post’s reporting forced him to cough up some money. The Post’s reporting says he has not given a dime to charity since 2008. He claims to have given “anonymously.” No recipients offered to come forward at the convention or anywhere else. Given that Trump brags incessantly about his charitable giving, there should be loads of beneficiaries, so I’ll go with the theory he’s not been charitable at all since 2008.

Trump lied, saying that it wasn’t his voice on a tape pretending to be his own publicist, even though in the past he said he would do this sort of thing.

He lied about seeing widespread celebrations by American Muslims on 9/11. He lies about what Hillary Clinton is proposing (e.g. “repeal the Second Amendment,”). He lies when caught saying something objectionable (e.g. his ear piece wasn’t working).

No wonder he’s gotten 4 Pinocchios from The Post — 33 times. Perhaps we should instead start keeping track of the times he tells the truth. It would be less work.

Jennifer Rubin
Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
  Follow @JRubinBlogger

Friday, October 14, 2016

GOP Big Donors "We Won't Support trump".


WASHINGTON — Several of the Republican Party’s most generous donors called on the Republican National Committee on Thursday to disavow Donald J. Trump, saying that allegations by multiple women that Mr. Trump had groped or made inappropriate sexual advances toward them threatened to inflict lasting damage on the party’s image.

To an elite group of Republican contributors who have donated millions of dollars to the party’s candidates and committees in recent years, the cascade of revelations related to Mr. Trump’s sexual conduct is grounds for the committee to cut ties with the party’s beleaguered standard-bearer, finally and fully.

“At some point, you have to look in the mirror and recognize that you cannot possibly justify support for Trump to your children — especially your daughters,” said David Humphreys, a Missouri business executive who contributed more than $2.5 million to Republicans from the 2012 campaign cycle through this spring.

Bruce Kovner, a New York investor and philanthropist who with his wife has given $2.7 million to Republicans over the same period, was just as blunt. “He is a dangerous demagogue completely unsuited to the responsibilities of a United States president,” Mr. Kovner wrote in an email, referring to Mr. Trump.

“Even for loyalists, there is a line beyond which the obvious moral failings of a candidate are impossible to disregard,” he wrote. “That line has been clearly breached.”

Mr. Kovner argued that the Republican National Committee should shift its attention to candidates who reflected its core values, like free markets and limited government. “I hope the R.N.C. sticks to candidates who articulate these principles!” he said.

Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, in August. He has been criticized for staying loyal to Mr. Trump. Credit Mark Makela for The New York Times
Outrage among the party’s largest financiers over Mr. Trump’s behavior has also stirred questions about the leadership of Reince Priebus, the national committee’s chairman, who has remained loyal to Mr. Trump even as dozens of Republican elected officials have abandoned his candidacy. Mr. Priebus told members of the committee on Monday that the party was enthusiastically supporting Mr. Trump, reassuring some of them.

But to some leading Republican benefactors who have advocated a tougher line with Mr. Trump, the party should have distanced itself from his candidacy well before the publication of a recording last week in which he boasted profanely about committing sexual assault.

“The R.N.C. long ago should have cut ties with Donald Trump,” said William E. Oberndorf, a California investor who has given more than $3 million to Republicans since 2012. “Reince should be fired and replaced with someone who has the competence and leadership skills to rebuild the R.N.C.”

Even some of Mr. Priebus’s longtime associates in his native Wisconsin appear to have reached their breaking point.

“Reince Priebus has to ask, how much of his soul does he want to sell for Donald Trump at this point?” said Charlie Sykes, a conservative talk show host in Milwaukee, calling on Mr. Priebus to “man up.”

Mr. Sykes also alluded to Mr. Trump’s repeated denunciations this week of Speaker Paul D. Ryan — another Wisconsinite and a close friend of Mr. Priebus’s — who said Monday that he would no longer defend or campaign for Mr. Trump. At a fund-raising event in Florida on Wednesday night, Mr. Trump told donors that he did not respect Mr. Ryan.

Referring to Mr. Priebus, Mr. Sykes asked, “Is he going to allow Donald Trump to throw Paul Ryan under the bus?”


For all Mr. Priebus’s public expressions of loyalty, he has been deeply shaken by revelations about Mr. Trump and the rifts within the party, seeing years of Republican organizational work potentially being undone, according to multiple people who described private conversations with Mr. Priebus on the condition of anonymity. He has said he feels adrift, fearing that Mr. Trump is headed for disaster, and told one longtime associate that he was having sleepless nights. Mr. Priebus did not respond to requests for comment.

The Republican financial apparatus under Mr. Priebus, sputtering since Mr. Trump claimed the presidential nomination, is wheezing painfully in the final weeks of the race. The committee’s fund-raising officials now quietly acknowledge that Mr. Trump is a thoroughly compromised candidate, party donors said, but implore potential contributors to give anyway, stressing graver concerns like control of the Supreme Court.

Many donors have stopped giving, though, and some have deserted the party, including two major donors who confirmed on Thursday that they were supporting Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor who is the Libertarian candidate for president.

Julian H. Robertson Jr., a billionaire hedge fund investor who has directed more than $5 million to Republicans since the 2012 election, is now backing Mr. Johnson, said Fraser P. Seitel, a spokesman for Mr. Robertson. And Jeffrey Yass, a Pennsylvania investor who has given more than $3 million to conservative candidates and committees, said in an email that he was “rooting for Johnson.”

Even some of Mr. Priebus’s allies believe that Mr. Trump is certain to be defeated and that it is time for the party to protect its image by disavowing him.

“We’re headed for destruction,” said Al Hoffman, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman and a longtime Florida donor, who plans to host Senator John McCain of Arizona at his house for a fund-raiser this week. “I just hope we can find a group of conservatives and moderates who are rational thinkers to re-establish the party.”

But other leading Republicans believe the party has little choice but to prop up Mr. Trump, fearing that excommunicating him would be catastrophic for other Republican candidates and all but hand over control of Congress to Democrats. And in some parts of the country, Mr. Trump has been a boon to the party.

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“He will bring over a minimum of two state House guys and two state senators for us,” said the Pennsylvania state Republican chairman, Rob Gleason, who predicted a record presidential turnout for his party west of the Susquehanna River.

While some Republican donors and elected officials have had it with Mr. Trump, another constituency dear to Mr. Priebus remains committed to the nominee: the 168 members of the national committee. In a series of emails shared this week with The New York Times, some Republican state chairmen and chairwomen and national committee members affirmed their support for Mr. Trump and saluted Mr. Priebus for standing by him.

“He is our candidate,” Rosie Tripp, the Republican committeewoman from New Mexico, wrote to other members of the committee. “I am dismayed by our own Republicans who are bailing like rats off a ship. He who is without sin can cast the first stone. I am sure they are not as pure as the driven snow, either.”

Juliana Bergeron, the Republican committeewoman from New Hampshire, agreed. “There are worse things in this world,” Ms. Bergeron wrote, referring to Mr. Trump’s conduct, “and Hillary Clinton is near the top of that list.”

The views of the committee members, most of whom are party activists, not political professionals, are important because Mr. Priebus is considering running in January for another term as chairman. And when the party does not control the White House, the chairman is selected by a vote of the members.

Should he seek another term, Mr. Priebus is expected to face competition from Mr. Trump’s critics as well as his loyalists. Matt Borges, the Ohio Republican Party chairman and an outspoken Trump detractor, is said to be considering the chairman’s post, as are several state-level officials supportive of Mr. Trump.

Asked about his interest in the job, Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, declined to rule out a run, saying only that he was happy in his current work as a CNN commentator.

Jonathan Martin reported from Washington, and Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman from New York.





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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

To the pro-Israel Trump voter: I get it




I understand why you resent President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. True, Obama has given Israel billions in military aid, protected Israel in the United Nations, and validated the country’s founding narrative. But he has been prickly in his approach to its leaders, fanatic in his opposition to settlements and unable to understand that Israelis respond better to love-love than tough love. I disagree when you call either of them “anti-Israel”: I reserve that term for people like Max “It’s a Mitzva” Blumenthal and Palestinian delegitimizers.

Still, Obama – and Clinton – often seem far angrier about housing starts by civilians in Israel than lives ended violently by terrorists in Israel, Syria and elsewhere.

And yes, I fear that president Hillary Clinton will come in with the same blame-Israel-first, settlement obsessed, tired peace processors who have failed for 20 years. I worry about the lurking influence of George Soros and Sidney Blumenthal. Moreover, I am distressed that the Democratic Party, while still overwhelmingly pro-Israel, has become the home to the radical anti-Israel forces in America – and that no Democrat of stature has had the nerve to confront them, saying: “Get out! Your anti-Zionism which masks antisemitism does not belong in my party.”


Still, I start with some assumptions before voting.

First, a patriot shouldn’t vote based on a single issue but on an overall assessment of the candidate’s policy and ideology. Second, character counts. The president combines the role of king (or queen) and prime minister; we need a good role model in the office. And third, regarding Israel, the old saying is correct: if America has the sniffles Israel catches a cold, or, more positively, what’s good for America is good for Israel.

Beyond Obama’s Israel churlishness, he has been disastrous for Israel because his farcical foreign policy has weakened America, the West and Israel. The weakness he broadcasts, his cowardice and incompetence regarding China, Syria, Islamic State, Iran and Russia have undermined Israel’s strategic strength as America’s loyal friend, more than any anti-housing or anti-Netanyahu temper tantrums.

Given those understandings, here are three groups of questions you should ask yourself before voting for Donald Trump. First, what policies actually will define this man with no governing experience, who contradicts himself mid-sentence, who treats facts and principles like silly putty to twist to satisfy the needs of the moment? He’s a twice-divorced darling of the Evangelicals, someone who was pro-choice until it was convenient to be pro-life, an unpredictable, showboating real estate gambler who has won big and lost big.

Every campaign appearance of his has been drive-by performance art suited to the age of bluster and Twitter, lacking thoughtful analysis or anchoring principles.

And how do you even know this self-absorbed deal-maker won’t decide he knows how to impose the right solution on the Israelis and the Palestinians? Second, and related, do you think this impulsive, egotistical narcissist has the temperament to be the most powerful person in the world and the character to represent an America that is now 78 percent white and 50% female? My issue is not with the offensive private banter he – and Bill Clinton and many other boors – indulge in. No, I fear his public statements. How could a president Trump earn respect from Mexican-Americans, from Muslim-Americans, from immigrants, from the disabled, when he has denigrated them so? Trump has lowered the rhetorical bar in American politics, pitted groups against others, stirring a nastiness that appalls and terrifies.

Obama’s election in 2008 offered a healing moment, allowing all Americans, black and white, Republican and Democrat, to appreciate that the country that once enslaved blacks could elect one president; a Trump election victory would be a traumatic moment demonstrating that ugliness, not character, counts – and inviting boorish imitators in future campaigns.

Finally, Hillary Clinton, for all her flaws, is a part of the system, for all its flaws. I understand the desire to shake things up but aren’t the stakes too high to fire so blindly? How can Trump translate his bluff and bluster into effective strategies against America’s enemies? In the debates, when pressed, he only repeats himself and uses words like “tremendous” – that’s posturing, not a strategy.

Last week, I moderated a debate between a Trump representative and a Clinton representative at the Israel Arts and Science Academy in Jerusalem. During the Q&A, these smart, idealistic Israeli high school students asked hard-hitting questions about both candidates which left me feeling depressed about both choices. But two questions, about Trump’s “racism” and ugly rhetoric, were truly devastating. I tried to be a fair moderator, asking the kinds of normal questions one asks about presidential candidates’ biographies and stands. I realized that, especially since Trump’s nomination, we have normalized his monstrosities, we have mainstreamed his deviance.

An Israeli newspaper or column shouldn’t endorse one candidate or another, but those of us who love America and Israel, who champion democratic and Jewish values, must point out just how outrageous Trump’s behavior has been – and how dangerous it could be in the Oval Office. Good luck to us all in choosing.

The author, professor of history at McGill University, is the author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s, published by St. Martin’s Press. His next book will update Arthur Hertzberg’s The Zionist Idea. Follow on Twitter @GilTroy.
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The right reason to rebuke Trump and his supporters isn’t that they’re stupid. It’s that they’re foolish.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Israel Is Different By Amir Sigal




A young Israeli contemplates the behavior of Arab Muslims living next door to the world's best neighbors, the Jewish People.

1). In yesterday's attack of a Muslim murderer, in Jerusalem, he managed to kill 2 Israelis, 36 years old policeman and a 60-year-old woman. Another 5 were wounded in various conditions. This is the qualifications/strong side of the Arabs. I want to see them making the opposite: helping/ supporting/assisting people. No, never. This kind of Humanism is missing in the Quran. This is I don't understand how educated people, like Authors, Poets, Doctors Professors and more can obey this cruel religion. a riddle for me. What about you? How do you feel about it? You Arabs too?
2). But, Israel is behaving differently: Bader Aladdin Tachruri is a 19 years old Muslim Arab from Kalansawa, an Arab village in Israel. He was working in the market lifting boxes. A year ago he felt back pains. He went for CT. The lower joint was damaged. He was operated and a new link was implanted in his back. The unique fact is that he was the 1st operated human in the world that was fitted with a link that was produced in the 3 dimension printer. Less than a week after he was operated he walk like it was natural. Bader: "The docs told me that I am going to have fitted with new technology. I didn't hesitate. I trusted them. I knew that they will make the best they could. You see, I was right". This is the treatment that Arab citizen is getting in the apartheid country of Israel and this is his opinion on the country he lives in. What about you, Arab Muslims, Israel haters? What you think about this story?
3). The UN world bank is supporting the Muslims because they are more. In the yearly bank report they wrote that Israel's economy decreased, in the period of 2007-2012, by 20%. This is mudslinging. In this years the Israeli economy increased by 10%. This is substantial difference. Due to this disinformation, the bank destroyed the printed/published edition of his flag book "Taking on inequality". In the new edition they took off Israel and put instead Iceland. Why? Because the World Bank didn't want Israeli economy to be seen in its glamorous. If Israel was described there its results would have been ranked the 2nd or the 3rd in the world in this period of time. This does not suite the bank's policy. This is another way to fight Israel, but all of them fail. The BDAss have substantial power in the UN but there is no way that they can bend/beat statistics.
4). Ms. Michaela Englemayer is an instant Israeli supporter. She is also a German Parliament member. She fight, very hardly, the BDAss, The BDAss is not happy. So they threaten her oftenly. She is visiting Israel, in a private tour. In a meeting with the press she declared the following: "These attacks give me more motivation to fight the BDAss". Thank you Lady englemayer, for supporting Israel and for your holy fight for Israel. We will fight as long as necessary and we will win.
5). The "benefit" of having refugees: The German police is detecting a Syrian refugee that was planning attacks in the airport. A lot of explosives were found in his apartment in East Germany.
6). What is the most famous name in NY state? It is the Jewish name "Cohen". The Cohens were serving the God in the holy temple. Now they serve in NY State. The2nd most famous is Rivera and3rd most famous name is again Jewish name: Swartz. These figures were published by "Mental Floss". This does not mean that Jews are conquering US. This means that many Jews live in the big apple.
7). From time to time I get requests from people that want to serve in the Mossad. I have nothing to do with this successful Israeli secret service organization. But, I noticed that they published, lately, a request for special manpower. They are looking for an "artist in the design of leather dresses". Now, if you are qualified in such and want to work in the best of the best secret service and want to serve Israel in its war against the evils, you are invited to enter their web and submit your application. Maybe they are looking for bear or alligator's skin? I am not sure.
8). One of my Muslim readers sent me post reminding me that this year no Israeli was granted with Noble prize. I felt in his application some kind of happiness/victory. Yes, Mustafa, you are right, no Israeli was granted with it, but, so far, how many Jews, like me, compare to how many Muslims, like you, were granted with the said prize? You, Mustafa are 25% of the world's population, while we are 0.25 of the population and compare what you contribute and what we contribute to the world. In brackets, as nobody read this, I want to tell you that if I were you, I would never raise this question in the situation that your world, the Arabs/Muslims, is in. You don't have achievements to show so you are looking for others failure. You think negatively instead of positively. I hope that your God/Prophet will help you to change it.
9). Growing trees in Israel, Italy and California has become easier thanks to an Israeli innovative solution that takes care of all aspects of pest management for high-value crops, using less pesticide. “We provide an end-to-end solution to special crop growers that follow our clients in all the process, allowing our customers to use pesticide in a smarter and more efficient way, reducing waste and spray mistakes. They also save money with us,” said Eyal Amit, VP business development at FieldIn.
10). Payoneer raises $180 million for its global payments technology. TechCrunch: Already profitable, and with a good amount of cash, the new money will double product development at the company and its technical staff, according to the company’s chief executive officer Scott Galit

By Amir Sigal

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Compared to Hillary, Trump is a World Class Liar


Tony Schwartz, the writer of Trump's "Autobiography" The Art of the Deal, told Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, “Lying is second nature to him.”


If deception were a sport, Trump would be the Olympic gold medalist; Clinton would be an honorable mention at her local Y.

Let’s investigate.

One metric comes from independent fact-checking websites. As of Friday, PolitiFact had found 27 percent of Clinton’s statements that it had looked into were mostly false or worse, compared with 70 percent of Trump’s. It said 2 percent of Clinton’s statements it had reviewed were egregious “pants on fire” lies, compared with 19 percent of Trump’s. So Trump has nine times the share of flat-out lies as Clinton.

Likewise, The Washington Post Fact-Checker has awarded its worst ranking, Four Pinocchios, to 16 percent of Clinton’s statements that it checked and to 64 percent of Trump’s.

“Essentially, Clinton is in the norm for a typical politician,” says Glenn Kessler, who runs Fact-Checker, while Trump “is just off the charts. There’s never been anyone like him, at least in the six years I have been doing this.”

When I speak with Trump voters, they often argue that Clinton is an inveterate liar and crook, yet when pressed they draw from the same handful of examples.

One is Clinton’s 2008 claim that she landed in Bosnia in 1996 “under sniper fire” and “ran with our heads down” from the plane. The Washington Post dismantled that claim; video shows that Clinton was greeted not by gunshots but by a crowd of dignitaries that included an 8-year-old Bosnian girl.

But it’s also true that as the plane prepared to descend, security officials gave a spine-chilling briefing of the risks of sniper fire, and Clinton wore body armor in case of shooting.

Critics also claim that Clinton lied to the families of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, but fact-checkers have said the evidence is unclear. Harder to defend is her disingenuous explanation of flip-flopping on the Asian trade agreement.

All this is junior varsity mendacity. In contrast, Trump is the champ of prevarication.

You don’t need to go back eight years to find a Trump embellishment; eight minutes is more than sufficient. In March, Politico chronicled a week of Trump remarks and found on average one misstatement every five minutes. The Huffington Post once chronicled 71 inaccuracies in an hourlong town halsession — more than one a minute.

If Clinton declares that she didn’t chop down a cherry tree, that might mean that she actually used a chain saw to cut it down. Or that she ordered an aide to chop it down. As for Trump, he will insist, “I absolutely did not chop down that cherry tree,” even as he clutches the ax with which he chopped it down moments earlier on Facebook Live.

Trump used to boast that he and Vladimir Putin were buddies — “I spoke directly and indirectly with President Putin” — only to acknowledge later that they had never met or spoken. He retweeted an incendiary graphic indicating that 81 percent of murdered whites are killed by blacks (the actual figure is 15 percent). He denied telling The New York Times’s editorial board that he would impose a 45 percent tariff on China; The Times then released the audio of him saying just that.

Then there was Trump’s claim that he had seen thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after 9/11. That was preposterous, but he then claimed that an article from the time backed him up (it didn’t), mocked the disabled reporter who wrote it, and denied he had done so. Lately he stitched yet another quilt of lies about all this.

Equally brazen were Trump’s claims about his fund-raiser for veterans in Iowa: He said on video that he had raised $6 million for them, then when the money didn’t show up he denied ever saying that. He claims to have been “among the earliest” to oppose the Iraq war, even though interviews from 2002 and 2003 show he then supported the war.

“The man lies all the time,” says Thomas M. Wells, his former lawyer. Wells recalls being curious that newspaper accounts varied as to the number of rooms in Trump’s apartment in Trump Tower — eight, 16, 20 or 30. So Wells asked him how many rooms were actually in the apartment. “However many they will print,” Trump responded.

Tony Schwartz, the writer of his book “The Art of the Deal,” told Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, “Lying is second nature to him.”

In short, Clinton is about average for a politician in dissembling, while Trump is a world champion who is pathological in his dishonesty. Honestly, there is no comparison.

By Nicholas Kristof

First Published In The NY Times

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Neuroscientist Explains Why Some People Support Trump

Senator John McCain has a simple explanation for Trump's unwavering supporters “What he did was he fired up the crazies.”
Mayor Giuliani: "Donald don't pay No taxes Because he's smart, lot's of rich people don't pay taxes"


Mayor Giuliani: "Donald don't pay No taxes Because he's smart, lots of rich people don't pay taxes"
There’s no doubt that Donald Trump has said many things that would have been political suicide for any other Republican candidate. And almost every time he made one of these shocking statements, political analysts on both the left and the right predicted that he’d lose supporters because of it. But as we have clearly seen over the past year, they were dead wrong every time. Trump appears to be almost totally bulletproof.

The only thing that might be more perplexing than the psychology of Donald Trump is the psychology of his supporters. In their eyes, The Donald can do no wrong. Even Trump himself seems to be astonished by this phenomenon. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s, like, incredible.”

Senator John McCain, who has been a regular target for Trump during his campaign, has a simple explanation for his unwavering support. “What he did was he fired up the crazies.”

While the former Republican presidential nominee may be on to something, he doesn’t exactly provide a very satisfying scientific explanation.  So how exactly are Trump loyalists psychologically or neurologically different from everyone else? What is going on in their brains that makes them so blindly devoted?

The Dunning-Kruger Effect:
Some believe that many of those who support Donald Trump do so because of ignorance — basically they are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it’s ever been, they simply take his word for it.

The seemingly obvious solution would be to try to reach those people through political ads, expert opinions, and logical arguments that educate with facts. Except none of those things seem to be swaying any Trump supporters from his side, despite great efforts to deliver this information to them directly.

The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed. This creates a double burden.

Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an op-ed for Politico, “The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task — and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.” Essentially, they’re not smart enough to realize they’re dumb.

And if one is under the illusion that they have sufficient or even superior knowledge, then they have no reason to defer to anyone else’s judgment. This helps explain why even nonpartisan experts — like military generals and Independent former Mayor of New York/billionaire CEO Michael Bloomberg — as well as some respected Republican politicians, don’t seem to be able to say anything that can change the minds of loyal Trump followers.

Out of immense frustration, some of us may feel the urge to shake a Trump supporter and say, “Hey! Don’t you realize that he’s an idiot?!” No. They don’t. That may be hard to fathom, but that’s the nature of the Dunning-Kruger effect — one’s ignorance is completely invisible to them.

Hypersensitivity to Threat
Science has unequivocally shown that the conservative brain has an exaggerated fear response when faced with stimuli that may be perceived as threatening. A classic study in the journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. A brain-imaging study published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala — a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 fMRI study found that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies. Specifically, the brains of self-identified conservatives generated more activity overall in response to the disturbing images.

So how does this help explain the unbridled loyalty of Trump supporters? These brain responses are automatic, and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues his fear mongering by constantly portraying Muslims and Mexican immigrants as imminent dangers, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch. Fear keeps his followers energized and focused on safety. And when you think you’ve found your protector, you become less concerned with remarks that would normally be seen as highly offensive.

Terror Management Theory
A well-supported theory from social psychology, called Terror Management Theory, explains why Trump’s fear mongering is doubly effective.

The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitably of one’s death creates existential terror and anxiety that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews — like religions, political ideologies, and national identities — that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.

Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic identity, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have confirmed this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.

Not only do death reminders increase nationalism, they influence actual voting habits in favor of more conservative presidential candidates. And more disturbingly, in a study with American students, scientists found that making mortality salient increased support for extreme military interventions by American forces that could kill thousands of civilians overseas. Interestingly, the effect was present only in conservatives, which can likely be attributed to their heightened fear response.

By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump creates a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric. Liberals and Independents who have been puzzled over why Trump hasn’t lost supporters after such highly offensive comments need look no further than Terror Management Theory.

High Attentional Engagement
According to a recent study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple messages clearly resonate at a visceral level.

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.

Of course these explanations do not apply to all Trump supporters. In fact, some are likely intelligent people who know better, but are supporting Trump to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and Hillary Clinton that their vote for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington.

So what can we do to potentially change the minds of Trump loyalists before voting day in November? As a cognitive neuroscientist, it grieves me to say that there may be nothing we can do. The overwhelming majority of these people may be beyond reach, at least in the short term. The best we can do is to motivate everyone else to get out to the booths and check the box that doesn’t belong to a narcissistic nationalist who has the potential to damage the nation beyond repair.
By Bobby Azarian

Bobby Azarian is a neuroscientist affiliated with George Mason University and a science writer. His research has been published in journals such as Cognition & Emotion and Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, and he has written for The New York Times, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Slate, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post. He also runs the website Science Is Sexy. Follow him @BobbyAzarian.


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