Almost half of Republicans surveyed in a new poll say they are willing to throw away the Constitution, democracy, and pretty much everything America was founded on. To put it more bluntly, they are willing to toss the principles and values that Americans have fought and died for. All for an authoritarian dictator.
Apparently, the will to “piss off a liberal” is that important to them.
In a new poll done by the Pew Research Center, a whopping 43 percent of Republicans say they want the President to be free of any “checks and balances” from either Congress or the courts. That number was just 16 percent before Trump took office.
This will come as quite a shock to some of the (still) majority of Americans that prefer a country where the Constitution rules, not the President. The ones who still prefer democracy over a dictator.
Of course, others have seen this coming as Trump supporters seem to have an obsession with defending “their” leader even when there is no factual defense.
In 2017, Psychology Today cited a credible study that listed five traits of Trump supporters, especially the ones who have an extreme devotion and unwavering admiration for their highly unpredictable and often inflammatory leader.
1. Authoritarian Personality Syndrome
Authoritarianism refers to the advocacy or enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, and is commonly associated with a lack of concern for the opinions or needs of others. Authoritarian personality syndrome—a well-studied and globally-prevalent condition—is a state of mind that is characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to one’s authority. Those with the syndrome often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid hierarchical view of society. The syndrome is often triggered by fear, making it easy for leaders who exaggerate threat or fear monger to gain their allegiance.
2. Social dominance orientation
Social dominance orientation (SDO)—which is distinct but related to authoritarian personality syndrome—refers to people who have a preference for the societal hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones. Those with SDO are typically dominant, tough-minded, and driven by self-interest.
It would be grossly unfair and inaccurate to say that every one of Trump’s supporters have prejudice against ethnic and religious minorities, but it would be equally inaccurate to say that many do not. It is a well-known fact that the Republican party, going at least as far back to Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy,” used strategies that appealed to bigotry, such as lacing speeches with “dog whistles”—code words that signaled prejudice toward minorities that were designed to be heard by racists but no one else.
4. Intergroup contact
Intergroup contact refers to contact with members of groups that are outside one’s own, which has been experimentally shown to reduce prejudice. As such, it’s important to note that there is growing evidence that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. For example, a 2016 study found that “…the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters’ physical distance from the Mexican border.
5. Relative deprivation
Relative deprivation refers to the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes they are entitled. It is the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.
That 2017 study certainly seems to line up with the trend in the new Pew poll. This is something that should shock and scare real American patriots who still believe in the Constitution, the rule of law, and all of America’s principles and values. Americans who don’t wish to become another satellite or clone of Russia and/or China. Or perhaps the better comparison would be countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, who’s authoritarian regimes mix religion and government similar to the way many American evangelical Republicans defend.
America under a dictator would certainly make all those soldiers who defended democracy roll over in their figurative grave. America under a dictator would mean that America is no longer America.
Featured image via Chicago Tribune