The other day I was talking politics with a friend who normally doesn’t bring up the topic a whole lot. Out of nowhere she texted me, saying, “I can’t take this Donald Trump sh*t anymore! It’s madness!”
Curious as to what sparked this random, obviously angry message, I asked her what happened. That’s when I found out she had just lost a friend (a Donald Trump supporter) who had finally pushed her too far by posting things on Facebook that she could no longer ignore. Then she told me she had actually lost several friends over the past year for that very same reason — a story I’ve heard from many people over the course of Trump’s campaign.
After a few back and forth messages, we started to discuss the character traits of Trump supporters. Now I don’t mean the bigotry, homophobia, racism, sexism or any of that stuff that’s been discussed countless times before. I’m talking about certain traits that nearly everyone I know who supports Trump shares.
While there are more than 5, to keep this from becoming a novel, I wanted to go over some of the most common traits I notice among Donald Trump supporters.
1. They’re not very well-educated: I thought I’d start with this one since it’s widely known that Trump does very well with people (white people, in particular) who have a high school education or less. Not to say that a college degree is the only metric by which intelligence is measured, but it does say something that the biggest con man to ever run for president in modern political history, someone whose bullshit is so easy to spot it’s mind-boggling to me that more people don’t recognize it, is a superstar to the least educated among us.
Practically everyone I know with a college degree (even my Republican friends) cannot stand Trump. Yet nearly every (white) friend I have whose level of education is high school or less, is a big-time Trump supporter.
2. They have delusional visions about how wealthy they might be: This might just be me, but I find a lot of Trump supporters who seem to think that the only reason why they’re not rolling in money, living in some giant house, is because this nation hasn’t been led by someone like Donald Trump. Again, people with practically no education or skills to warrant a very high level of income who honestly believe — to their core — that the only thing standing between them and being part of the “2%” is our “stupid government.”
That makes Trump the perfect candidate for them considering he’s a con man selling them the myth that if they support him, he’s going to make all their dreams come true.
3. They really don’t know a damn thing about politics: I’ve joked that if I created a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no knowledge of how politics or government works and 10 being very well-versed in politics and how government works, nearly every person I know who supports Trump would fall near 1.
I’ve been amazed how people I’ve known for years, who’ve never said a word about politics or even shared anything on social media politically related, suddenly think they’re “experts” about government because of a few memes they’ve found on Facebook or Twitter.
I’m not joking, if I handed out a simple five-question quiz with the following questions:
- How many branches of government are there?
- How many members are there in the House and Senate?
- Who’s third in line for the presidency?
- Describe the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
- What are the term limits for the president, representatives and senators?
If I asked those questions to all of my Trump-supporting friends (and most Trump supporters I’ve dealt with), I’d be shocked if any of them got more than one question correct without having to look any of the information up online.
4. They’re highly misinformed about nearly everything and extremely gullible: Now I don’t mean just politically, I mean in general. These are many of the same people who I’ve caught sharing obviously fake/satire “news” because they thought it was real, buy into “lose weight quickly” diet rip-offs they see on shows like Dr. Oz, or share these Facebook clickbait scams where you’ll see a picture of a child who appears to have cancer captioned with something like, “Each share raises $1 to save my life.”
Not to sound rude, but many of them are just highly naive people, easily swayed by whatever sounds good. They hear something that appeals to them, and without thinking or looking into it, it becomes “fact” for them. They tend to lack common sense.
5. They think they’re a whole lot smarter than what they actually are and tend to be extremely stubborn, if not outright arrogant: Look, I’ll be the first one to tell you that I am by no means a genius. But we all know people who think they’re extremely intelligent — when, in fact, they’re not very bright. That doesn’t make them bad people, it just makes them some of the worst people with which to attempt to have any sort of reasonable debate.
I refer to this as “stupid smart.” By that I mean, they’re not very factually knowledgeable about much, but they think they are. These are folks who always think their friends, co-workers, bosses or family members are the dumb ones… while they’re the one who knows everything. It’s the co-worker who’s actually not very good at their job who spends most of their time complaining about how everyone else is terrible at theirs.
They frequently make matter-of-fact statements with such unwavering conviction behind what they’re saying that, even if you provide evidence to debunk something they’ve said (be it political or non-political), they’ll almost never admit that they were wrong.
In their minds, what they believe is right because that’s what they want to believe is right — and that’s all there is to it. When you get right down to it, it’s the perfect foundation for someone to support a presidential candidate who seems to operate in some alternate form of reality where even using audio or video evidence proving he said or did something he claims he didn’t say or do, isn’t valid proof that he’s lying.
Again, while there are plenty of more I could have added to the list, for the sake of time, I’ll wrap it up here.
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