Political agnostics who are skeptical about Big Government “solutions,” left or right, view the current hullabaloo about the Trump presidency with some detachment. What’s remarkable to us is the extremism, not just of those bitter about Clinton’s loss, but by insiders who are threatened by the possibility Trump may upset their insider skims and scams.
As an opening observation, I don’t recall bitter Nixon supporters issuing death threats to performers at John Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961–and the 1960 election was extremely close.
I also don’t recall bitter Gore supporters issuing death threats to performers at G.W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001–even though the 2000 election came down to a few hundred votes in Florida.
Trump is a lightning rod for a spectrum of people and organizations. Let’s see if we can separate the spectrum into socio-political groups.
In times of turmoil, identifying a bogeyman/woman as the cause of the turmoil is a classic mechanism for shirking responsibility and agency. This is the psychological source of witch-hunts (it’s all the witches’ fault!), scapegoating, show trials, and so on: it isn’t our fault things are falling apart, or the fault of our institutions–it’s the bogeyman/woman’s fault.
This transference/projection concentrates the blame and responsibility on The Other–a scapegoated group, or even better, one individual or a small group. Those making the accusation reckon pointing the finger at some target lets them off the hook: I am blameless, it’s all his/her fault.
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