The Tie That Binds All Trump Supporters

A lot of white supremacists support Donald Trump. But a lot of non-white supremacists support him too. A lot of people who have failed at life and blame others for their own mistakes support Trump as an act of vengeance against those they perceive as causing their life problems. But a lot of successful people back Trump too.

Michael Barone has noted a common thread that links Trump voters. It is a lack of social connectedness. The more likely someone is to actively participate in their community or engage within family structures, the less likely the person is to vote for Trump. A good example of that is evangelicals. The more frequently someone goes to church, the less likely they are to vote for Trump.

social connectedness strikes me as the most useful explanation I’ve seen yet of the variations in Trump’s appeal. It’s plausible that people with few social connections and inclined to blame elites for their problems might see in Donald Trump, who promises singlehandedly to make things great again, “a sense of collective identity,” as Clare Malone of fivethirtyeight.com writes.

There is a lot of merit to this and there is something else I think is missing.

I have noticed in person, online, and on the phone with callers to my radio show, the tie that binds all Trump supporters is that they have absolutely no idea how they come off to other people. They are socially tone deaf. Regardless of the demographics, the income, the upward mobility or lack thereof, the success or failure in life, a great many Trump voters just don’t seem to fit in well in polite society and have therefore embraced his attacks on political correctness.

It is just flat out remarkable how a group of people championing a candidate have not once made the case for their candidate as good for others, but instead immediately decided that those opposed to him were traitors. Of course that common, shared personality trait also explains the lack of social connectedness. Who wants to regularly be around someone so tone deaf and angry?

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Erick Erickson

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