I suspect most everyone is very tired of all the politics and hearing about politics. However, after watching last night's Republican convention talk by Donald Trump I can't help but express my fears about the presidential election from my standpoint as a Democrat.I think that most of the political issues that have been discussed and which were reviewed last night at the Republican convention and the talk by candidate Donald Trump relate to issues of values, self-interest and survivorship. They are all personal and involve our best interests & value beliefs rather than being just broad social and economic issues. I think that explains the attraction of voters to Donald Trump. Here's a list of some of the key issues to illustrate my point:
A. MORALS – VALUES
B.SURVIVORSHIP – SELF PROTECTION
- Gun control
- Law enforcement: a) Crime b) Drugs
- Homeland security
- Death penalty
C. ECONOMY- SELF INTEREST
- tax reform
- civil rights
And what was the primary message? Self protection, self interest and fundamental values. Here's a quote from his talk:
"The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponent, is that our plan will put Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America first, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. The respect that we deserve. The American people will come first once again. My plan will begin with safety at home – which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders and protection from terrorism. There can be no prosperity without law and order. On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth."
I suggest that the basic reason people support Donald Trump is because when there is a strong resonating issue that connects with our significant value system or that stimulates the basic primitive brain for survivorship and self protection everything else becomes irrelevant. When, under those circumstances, one identifies with a person or situation that provides a simple and uncomplicated solution, we filter out all conflicting evidence or ignore the absence of evidence to support the claim of having a solution. I think that every time there is a terrorist attack, and attack upon law enforcement or news which offends the evangelical community it encourages support for Donald Trump.
The unconscious process that goes on in our brain operates at a level we are not consciously aware of, but we will offer some rational reason for it without realizing the decision or opinion was already made at an unconscious level. We know this from neuroscience studies and research. We aren't consciously aware that basic drives for self protection, self interest and deeply held values operate at an unconscious level when they take place. If there is a perceived significant threat to our survival or injury to us or an attack upon our value system there is an automatic and unconscious reaction to protect both.
A substantial amount of voters support among all levels of American voters can be attributed to these drives of self interest and self protection in an increasingly hostile world of economic challenges. Donald Trump offers a solution to fears for survival personally, economically and morally. He offers simple uncomplicated (and unexplained) solutions to the list of concerns. "Build a wall" is an example of a simple uncomplicated solution to a complicated issue involving immigration that directly impacts both our concept of self-interest economically, our self-interest in self protection and, as to Muslims, religiously. Furthermore, his communications are short, simple and repeated at least three times. That's fundamental good communication.
Now add to the situation the fact that his opponent communicates in exactly the opposite way. She projects a guarded, rehearsed and politically generated communication. Her solutions to issues are rational and well thought out, but complicated and that's not what American voters want to hear. "Let's make America great again" is easily understood and identifies with patriotism. Candidate Hillary Clinton approaches this campaign from an intellectual communication campaign. She expects voters to analyze Donald Trump's claims as not being logical and thinks they will reject him as a result. That's not how people make decisions when they are driven by concerns over self-interest, self protection and attacks on their value systems.
As a dedicated progressive Democrat I can foresee how the better candidate, from my viewpoint, Hillary Clinton could lose the election in a way that would profoundly negatively affect this country. By the way, the Republican party has already been profoundly changed by this campaign which may not all be a bad thing.