The conservative voter is enamored with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, an anomaly that expert pollsters have been struggling to understand, reported AlterNet.
Trump loves to brag about how much money he has, and Republican voters love it. It’s as if he recaptures the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous obsession that was all the rage in the 1980s, a decade of which Trump is a relic. Here’s part of Trump’s announcement speech in which he talks about his money:
And I have assets— big accounting firm, one of the most highly respected— $9 billion $240 million.
And I have liabilities of about $500 million. That’s long-term debt, very low interest rates.
In fact, one of the big banks came to me and said, “Donald, you don’t have enough borrowings. Could we loan you $4 billion?” I said, “I don’t need it. I don’t want it. And I’ve been there. I don’t want it.”
[. . .]
Now I’m not doing that…I’m not doing that to brag, because you know what? I don’t have to brag. I don’t have to, believe it or not.
He just finished bragging before saying he didn’t have to brag.
As a disgraced reality television star, Trump still carries that appeal. And that appeal distracts people from the hardships of everyday life. It has no place in a presidential race. Trump’s persona creates an illusion that entrances conservative minds and distracts them from the real issues.
According to Nigel Barber, an evolutionary psychologist, part of Trump’s appeal also comes from conservatives “admiring wealth because successful people are seen as having worked hard in pursuing a moral obligation to provide for themselves and their families in a difficult and uncertain world.”
Trump’s world is not difficult and uncertain. His father was already a millionaire by 1980, so Trump didn’t exactly have to pull himself up from his bootstraps, which is a tired conservative trope that Republicans use to say poor people are lazy. How many Americans out there work 40+ hours a week, but still struggle to make ends meet?
Conservative voters refuse to see Trump as the billionaire attention whore that he is. He’s a showman, an entertainer, Archie Bunker in an Armani suit. Trump knows what will get press coverage and will say any bit of nonsense that gives him more free airtime. What’s worse, some conservative voters experience a Trump-laden doublethink in which they know he’s a lying moron, but still support him either because “he tells it like it is” or that he’s funny and entertaining.
If Trump won the presidency, that would be indicative of the very manipulation experienced by conservative voters who tend to vote against their own economic self-interests by supporting Republicans. Trump is no different.