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The Psychology Behind Trump Supporters

By Clare Buchanan

Image via Clare Buchanan

If the 2020 US Presidential Election has taught Americans anything, it is that there is a huge portion of this country that thinks we still live in 1850. This election has put a spotlight on America’s most gullible individuals. Of course, I am talking about half the country that voted for and supports Donald Trump.

Thank God, the election is over. Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, and an even bigger victory, Kamala Harris will be not only the first woman, but the first African American and South Asian Vice President of the United States. This is truly incredible. On November 7th when Pennsylvania was called and Biden surpassed 270 electoral votes, I couldn’t help but feel a spark of hope. I thought to myself, maybe we are gonna take a step forward in the right direction this time.

But, one simply cannot forget the millions of sick individuals that voted for Trump. Specifically, the white people that did. Because these individuals are still here, squirming around in the mud like maggots or “MAGAts”, wearing no masks and spreading hate. They might be physically sick with COVID-19 from attending one of Trump’s super spreader, narcissistic rallies, or they might be sick with racism, homophobia, transphobia, or sexism. Either way, they are contagious and they are spreading illness, hate, and lies all over this country and it is frankly terrifying. Because words have power. Trump speaks like words don’t have power, but the outrageous comments he makes are believed by those who support him. And these hateful and questionable beliefs will continue to spread from generation to generation. This is why we live in a never ending loop of ignorance.

Sometimes I often wonder why someone would even vote for Trump. I’m not one to look at a group of people and judge them as a whole, but this becomes hard when looking at Trump voters. Each Trump supporter has a different reason for voting for the least qualified president in modern American history. But I truly believe the reason they voted for this man comes from a place of insecurity and fragility. Some Trump voters are known for their prejudiced and borderline apathetic behavior, which comes from a place of ignorance and privilege.

Unless you are a cis, heterosexual white man that lives under a rock, politics dictate how people can live their lives. And that is something Trump supporters truly do not understand. Or do they? I have a feeling they know they are voting for someone who goes against everything human rights stands for. And they truly feel a connection to this man. It feels cult-like. I say “cult” because these people are being brainwashed. Like it said in Vox’s “We Need to Talk About the White People That Voted For Donald Trump” article, the majority of the people that voted for him are working-class, blue-collar people. It just doesn’t make sense to me how they would feel a connection to a billionaire. Trump preys on their Evangelical fragility, white fragility, and lack of awareness of the world outside their own. They don’t even realize they are puppets in the capitalist system.

But the reason America has gone to hell these past four years is not entirely Trump’s fault. Yes, he has played a major part, but he just amplified the hatred that was already there. He festered a wound that has been infected for a while now. As stated in a BBC article, hate crimes against Indigenous, African American, Asian, and LGBTQ populations have been staggeringly increasing these past few years. This intolerance and hatred should have no place in our society. But, yet it seems like such a large portion of this country encourages this behavior. I had to ask myself, Is it a lack of education on current issues that fuel the negligence or is it coming from a deep, hidden psychological problem?

I believe some supporters are just unaware of the absolute damage they are causing this country by voting for Trump, not wearing a mask, or by being simply racist. Knowledge is wealth, and the lack of it is devastating in this country. I believe that deep down some Trump voters appreciate that under the Trump administration racism is able to thrive. If they are white, this fuels a sense of power for them. When it comes to not wearing a mask, I believe since Trump supporters don’t see their idol wearing one they think they don't have to. But more importantly, I also think they don’t like being told what to do. Since when did our American freedom intersect with our selfishness? The reality is that Trump supporters are fragile. They live in a house of cards built on generational supremacy, manipulation, and immunity. This makes them oblivious to the harm their actions are causing.

On the other hand, I also believe that some of the more hostile supporters of Trump, like the KKK, Proud Boys, and other blatantly racist groups are completely aware and probably suffer from insecurity and fear, which has turned into hate. Whereas the silent majority of Trump voters tend to keep quiet in their 401k on Maple Street, other supporters have no shame. Their insecurities, whether they be sexually repressed or have control issues, are manipulated by the Trump Administration, and that’s how this connection develops. When Trump has a victory, these people believe they are personally victorious. The notorious slogan, “Make America Great Again” should say, “Make White Americans Feel Great Again”.

The hypocritical behavior of white supremacists and Trump supporters mirrors the insecurities. Trump has effectively built a metaphorical wall between his supporters and the rest of the world. No matter how hard you try to explain to a Trump supporter what Pro-Choice means, what Black Lives Matter means, or how wearing a mask is going to save lives, not destroy their own, it just goes in one ear and out the another. There is no way to reason with these people because they are mentally stuck in a utopia of white privilege and misogyny. Trump supporters can tell women what to do with their bodies but can’t wear a mask because it’s an “infringement of their rights”. Trump supporters can’t support a consensual gay couple, but they will vote for a man with over 20 sexual assault allegations. Trump supporters will say that a woman controlling her own body is murder but forcibly removing the uteruses from migrant women on our southern border is constitutional. Trump supporters will protect white lives but will look the other way when another African American life is slain right in front of them. So no, it's not about politics. It is about basic survival. If you are LGBTQ, a woman, and/or a person of color, a man like Trump is a threat to your well-being. A threat to your human rights. So before another person dares to tell me that this issue is political, tell that to the almost 300,000 people that have died in the US from COVID-19. Tell that to the children on our border who were separated from their families. Politics should dictate whether or not a sidewalk is built. It shouldn’t dictate whether or not a human being is to be treated like one.

These double standards highlight the lack of thinking Trump supporters indulge in. I am unsure of how to connect to these people and reach out with my progressive ideas because it seems like there is no way they could ever see past the veil that separates their morals and someone else’s. They are so fixated on the way they grew up that they fail to realize some people grew up differently. Some Trump supporters are simply ignorant and oblivious. Others are completely aware of the damage they are causing and probably suffer from insecurity and fragility. This divide we see in our country right now cannot be fixed easily. I find it difficult to have conversations with Trump supporters, for their rhetoric excludes my rights as a woman. Nevertheless, we must have these conversations in order to truly move forward as a country, so we can better understand the reason behind the gap in our nation’s morality.

Written by writer Clare Buchanan

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