June 1, 2016
Steve Sailer: ‘The core of the Trump Phenomenon is the question of freedom of expression’
Steve Sailer writes:
Deep down, everybody more or less knows that the current conventional wisdom is genteel flapdoodle, and thus they project their fears and hopes onto Trump. Everyone is vaguely aware in this eighth year of the Obama administration that the dominant goodthink is ludicrously out of sync with reality. Thus, there is an endless supply of “hatestats” that they worry/wish Trump could, at any moment, let slip.
For example, it appears to be widely assumed that Trump, like the little child in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes, could blurt out that, say, the reason blacks get in trouble with the police so much is because they murder people at seven to eight times the rate of whites. Or Trump could mention the highly relevant fact that Jews, despite being only one-fiftieth of the population, make up one-third or more of the Forbes 400.
Well, except for the part where Trump wants to strengthen US libel laws.
At Unz, Sailer quotes this unfriendly yet perceptive article at length:
Perhaps more significantly, Hedlin noted that he and Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law professor and former top aide in the Obama administration, conducted research that shows that some people will reject a policy or action that is to their advantage when they feel pushed or forced into making the “correct” decision.
In other words, reactance can foster a totalizing loyalty that does not respond to reasoned fault finding. This might help explain Trump’s seeming immunity to criticism from his adversaries. His followers feel that they have experienced a “diminution of freedom” and believe that Trump can “restore their autonomy.”
He has won a unique admixture of support, based in part on what might be called an anti-rational or irrational loyalty but also in part on his recognition of legitimate grievances among his adherents that many other politicians belittle or deny. This loyalty, as Republican candidates found during the primaries, is far wider and deeper than anyone not sharing it expected.