Article 43

 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Republican Redux 19 - Figuring Out Trump Supporters

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They just want to “watch the world burn”
Psychological analysis reveals 14 key traits that explain Trump supporters

By Bobby Azarian
Raw Story
September 23. 2020

As he HIMSELF SAID even before he won the presidential election in 2016, I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters. Unfortunately for the American people, this wild-sounding claim appears to be truer than not, at least for the majority of his supporters, and that is something that should disturb us. It should also motivate us to explore the science underlying such peculiar human behavior, so we can learn from it, and potentially inoculate against it.

In all fairness, we should recognize that lying is sadly not uncommon for politicians on both sides of the political aisle, but the frequency and magnitude of the current presidents lies should have us all wondering why they haven’t destroyed his political career, and instead perhaps strengthened it. Similarly, we should be asking why his inflammatory rhetoric and numerous scandals haven’t sunk him. We are talking about a man who was caught on tape saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.” Politically surviving that video is not normal, or anything close to it, and we can be sure that such a revelation would have been the end of Barack Obama or George Bush had it surfaced weeks before the election.

Some of the explanations come from a 2017 REVIEW PAPER published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology by the psychologist and UC Santa Cruz professor Thomas Pettigrew. Others have been put forth as far back as 2016 by myself, a cognitive neuroscience and psychology researcher, in various articles and blog posts for publications like PSYCHOLOGY TODAY. A number of these were inspired by insights from psychologists like Sheldon Solomon, who laid the groundwork for the influential TERROR MANAGEMENT THEORY, and David Dunning, who did the same for the DUNNING-KRUGER EFFECT.

This list will begin with the more benign reasons for Trump’s intransigent support, and as the list goes on, the explanations become increasingly worrisome, and toward the end, border on the pathological. It should be strongly emphasized that not all Trump supporters are racist, mentally vulnerable, or fundamentally bad people. It can be detrimental to society when those with degrees and platforms try to demonize their political opponents or paint them as mentally ill when they are not. That being said, it is just as harmful to pretend that there are not clear psychological and neural factors that underlie much of Trump supporters’ unbridled allegiance.

1. Practicality Trumps Morality

For some wealthy people, its simply a financial matter. Trump offers tax cuts for the rich and wants to do away with government regulation that gets in the way of businessmen making money, even when that regulation exists for the purpose of protecting the environment. Others, like blue-collared workers, like the fact that the president is trying to bring jobs back to America from places like China. Some people who genuinely are not racist (those who are will be discussed later) simply want stronger immigration laws because they know that a country with open borders is not sustainable. These people have put their practical concerns above their moral ones. To them, it does not matter if he’s a vagina-grabber, or if his campaign team colluded with Russia to help him defeat his political opponent. It is unknown whether these people are eternally bound to Trump in the way others are, but we may soon find out if the Mueller investigation is allowed to come to completion.

2. The Brains Attention System Is More Strongly Engaged by Trump

According to a SOURCE that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didnt necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple language clearly resonate with some at a visceral level.

3. America’s Obsession with Entertainment and Celebrities

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s ADDICTION with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because hes so amusing to watch. With the Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will FORGIVE anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.

4. “Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn.”

Some intelligent people who know better are supporting Trump simply to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the political system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and Democrats like Hillary Clinton that their support for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington. These people do not have their priorities straight, and perhaps have other issues, like an innate DESIRE TO TROLL OTHERS, or a deranged obsession with SCHADENFREUDE.

5. The Fear-Factor: Conservatives Are More Sensitive to Threat

Science has unequivocally shown that the conservative BRAIN has an exaggerated 2008 STUDY in the journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. A BRAIN-IMAGING STUDY published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala - a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 FMRI STUDY that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies. Specifically, the brains of self-identified conservatives generated more activity overall in response to the disturbing images.

These brain responses are automatic, and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues his fear mongering by constantly portraying Muslims and Hispanic immigrants as imminent dangers, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch. Fear keeps his followers energized and focused on safety. And when you think you’ve found your protector, you become less concerned with offensive and divisive remarks.

6. The Power of Mortality Reminders and Perceived Existential Threat

A well-supported theory from social psychology, known as TERROR MANAGEMENT THEORY, explains why Trumps fear mongering is doubly effective. The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitability of oneҒs death creates existential terror and ANXIETY that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews - like religions, political ideologies, and national identities - that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.

Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic IDENTITY, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have confirmed this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.

Not only do death reminders INCREASE NATIONALISM, they influence actual VOTING HABITS in favor of more conservative presidential candidates. And more disturbingly, in a study with American students, scientists found that making mortality salient increased support for EXTREME MILITARY INTERVENTIONS by American forces that could kill thousands of civilians overseas. Interestingly, the effect was present only in conservatives, which can likely be attributed to their heightened fear response.

By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump creates a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric. Liberals and Independents who have been puzzled over why Trump hasnt lost supporters after such highly offensive comments need look no further than Terror Management Theory.

7. The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Humans Often Overestimate Their Political Expertise

Some support Donald Trump do so out of ignorance basically they are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that CRIME is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst itגs ever been, they simply take his word for it.

The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isnt just that they are misinformed; itҒs that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed, which creates a double burden.

STUDIES have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a COGNITIVE BIAS that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an OP-ED for Politico, The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task - and if one lacks such knowledge and INTELLIGENCE, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.Ӕ These people cannot be reached because they mistakenly believe they are the ones who should be reaching others.

8. Relative Deprivation A Misguided Sense of Entitlement

Relative deprivation refers to the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes they are entitled. It is the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.

Common explanations for Trumps popularity among non-bigoted voters involve economics. There is no doubt that some Trump supporters are simply angry that American jobs are being lost to Mexico and China, which is certainly understandable, although these loyalists often ignore the fact that some of these careers are actually being lost due to the accelerating pace of automation.

These Trump supporters are experiencing relative deprivation, and are common among the swing states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This kind of deprivation is specifically referred to as “relative,” as opposed to “absolute,” because the feeling is often based on a skewed perception of what one is entitled to.

9. Lack of Exposure to Dissimilar Others

INTERGROUP CONTACT refers to contact with members of groups that are outside ones own, which has been experimentally shown to REDUCE PREJUDICE. As such, itҒs important to note that there is growing evidence that Trumps white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. For example, a 2016 STUDY found that “҅the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters physical distance from the Mexican border. These racial biases might be more implicit than explicit, the latter which is addressed in #14.

10. Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Target the Mentally Vulnerable

While the conspiracy theory crowd - who predominantly support Donald Trump and crackpot allies like Alex Jones and the shadowy QANON - may appear to just be an odd quirk of modern society, the truth is that many of them suffer from psychological illnesses that involve paranoia and delusions, such as schizophrenia, or are at least vulnerable to them, like those with SCHIZOTYPY PERSONALITIES

The LINK between schizotypy and belief in conspiracy theories is well-established, and a RECENT STUDY published in the journal Psychiatry Research has demonstrated that it is still very prevalent in the population. The researchers found that those who were more likely to believe in outlandish conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the U.S. government created the AIDs epidemic, consistently scored high on measures of “odd beliefs and magical thinking.” One feature of magical thinking is a tendency to make connections between things that are actually unrelated in reality.

.Donald Trump and his media allies target these people directly. All one has to do is visit alt-right websites and discussion boards to see the evidence for such manipulation.

11. Trump Taps into the Nations Collective Narcissism

Collective narcissism is an unrealistic shared belief in the greatness of ones national group. It often occurs when a group who believes it represents the “true identity” of a nation - the “ingroup,” in this case White Americans - perceives itself as being disadvantaged compared to outgroups who are getting ahead of them “unrightfully.” This psychological phenomenon is related to relative deprivation (#6).

A STUDY published last year in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found a direct link between national collective narcissism and support for Donald Trump. This correlation was discovered by researchers at the University of Warsaw, who surveyed over 400 Americans with a series of questionnaires about political and social beliefs. Where individual narcissism causes aggressiveness toward other individuals, collective narcissism involves negative attitudes and aggression toward outsiderђ groups (outgroups), who are perceived as threats.

Donald Trump exacerbates collective narcissism with his anti-immigrant, anti-elitist, and strongly nationalistic rhetoric. By referring to his supporters, an overwhelmingly white group, as being true “patriots” or real “Americans,” he promotes a brand of populism that is the epitome of “identity politics,” a term that is usually associated with the political left. Left-wing identity politics, as misguided as they may sometimes be, are generally aimed at achieving equality, while the right-wing brand is based on a belief that one nationality and race is superior or entitled to success and wealth for no other reason than identity.

12. The Desire to Want to Dominate Others

SOCIAL DOMINANCE ORIENTATION (SDO) - which is distinct but related to authoritarian personality syndrome (#13) - refers to people who have a preference for the societal hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones. Those with SDO are typically dominant, tough-minded, and driven by self-interest.

In Trumps speeches, he appeals to those with SDO by repeatedly making a clear distinction between groups that have a generally higher status in society (White), and those groups that are typically thought of as belonging to a lower status (immigrants and minorities). A 2016 SURVEY STUDY of 406 American adults published last year in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that those who scored high on both SDO and authoritarianism were those who intended to vote for Trump in the election.

13. Authoritarian Personality Syndrome

Authoritarianism refers to the advocacy or enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, and is commonly associated with a lack of concern for the opinions or needs of others. AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY SYNDROME - a well-studied and globally-prevalent condition - is a state of mind that is characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to one’s authority. Those with the syndrome often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid hierarchical view of society. The syndrome is often triggered by fear, making it easy for leaders who exaggerate threat or fear monger to gain their allegiance.

Although authoritarian personality is found among liberals, it is MORE COMMON AMONG THE RIGHT-WING around the world. President Trumps speeches, which are laced with absolutist terms like “losers” and “complete disasters,” are naturally appealing to those with the syndrome.

While research showed that Republican voters in the U.S. scored higher than Democrats on measures of authoritarianism before Trump emerged on the political scene, a 2016 POLITICO SURVEY found that high authoritarians greatly favored then-candidate Trump, which led to a correct prediction that he would win the election, despite the polls saying otherwise

14. Racism and Bigotry

It would be grossly unfair and inaccurate to say that every one of Trumps supporters have prejudice against ethnic and RELIGIOUS minorities, but it would be equally inaccurate to say that many do not. It is a well-known fact that the Republican party, going at least as far back to Richard NixonҒs “southern strategy,” used tactics that appealed to bigotry, such as lacing speeches with “dog whistles” - code words that signaled prejudice toward minorities that were designed to be heard by racists but no one else.

While the dog whistles of the past were subtler, Trumps signaling is sometimes shockingly direct. ThereҒs no denying that he routinely appeals to racist and bigoted supporters when he calls Muslims dangerousӔ and Mexican immigrants rapistsӔ and murderers,Ӕ often in a blanketed fashion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a recent study has shown that SUPPORT FOR TRUMP IS CORRELATED WITH A STANDARD SCALE OF MODERN RECISM.

Bobby Azarian is a neuroscientist affiliated with George Mason University and a freelance journalist. His research has been published in journals such as Cognition & Emotion and Human Brain Mapping, and he has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, and Scientific American. Follow him on Twitter [at] BobbyAzarian.

SOURCE

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New Research Explores Authoritarian Mind-set of Trump’s Core Supporters

By Christopher Ingraham
Washington Post
October 12, 2020

Data reveal high levels of anti-democratic beliefs among many of the president’s backers, who stand to be a potent voting bloc for years to come

And yet, despite the tumult of the past eight months, President Trump’s favorability numbers have barely budged: His approval rating hovers in the low 40s, just as it has most of his presidency. As the economy cratered and covid-19 mortality skyrocketed, the Trump faithful stuck with him, lending credence to his infamous 2016 campaign boast that he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any support.”

Why is that?

A new book by a PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR and a former lawyer in the Nixon White House argues that Trump has tapped into a current of authoritarianism in the American electorate, one that’s bubbled just below the surface for years. In AUTHORITARIAN NIGHTMARE, Bob Altemeyer and John W. Dean marshal data from a previously unpublished nationwide survey showing a striking desire for strong authoritarian leadership among Republican voters.

They also find shockingly high levels of anti-democratic beliefs and prejudicial attitudes among Trump backers, especially those who support the president strongly. And regardless of what happens in 2020, the authors say, Trump supporters will be a potent pro-authoritarian voting bloc in the years to come.

Altemeyer and Dean define authoritarianism as “what happens when followers submit too much to the authorities in their lives.” They measure it using a tool Altemeyer developed in the early 1980s, called the RIGHT-WING AUTHORITARIAN (RWA) scale.

The “right-wing” label refers not to left and right political leanings as they’re popularly understood today, they write, but rather to a more legalistic sense of “lawful, proper, and correct.” It’s used to identify authoritarian tendencies among people of any political persuasion - supporters of the Communist Party in the former Soviet Union, for instance, would have scored high on the scale despite having decidedly leftist economic and political views. The scale remains one of the most WIDELY USED MEASURES of authoritarianism to this day.

Altemeyer’s scale measures respondents agreement or disagreement with 20 statements, such as: “Our country desperately needs a mighty leader who will do what has to be done to destroy the radical new ways and sinfulness that are ruining us” and “It is always better to trust the judgment of the proper authorities in government and religion than to listen to the noisy rabble-rousers in our society who are trying to create doubt in peoples’ minds.”

For each statement, a respondent can select an answer on a sliding scale ranging from 1 (total disagreement) to 9 (total agreement). The final score on the 20-question survey ranges from 20 (total opposition to authoritarianism) to 180 (total support).

The authors enlisted the help of the Monmouth University Polling Institute to POSE THE QUESTION TO 990 AMERICAN VOTERS IN FALL 2019. They asked participants to answer the questions on the RWA scale, as well as some separate measures of authoritarian beliefs and prejudice toward minority groups.

They found a striking linear relationship between support for Trump and an authoritarian mind-set: The stronger a person supported Trump, the higher he or she scored on the RWA scale. People saying they strongly disapproved of Trump, for instance, had an average RWA score of 54. Those indicating complete support of the president, on the other hand, had an average score of 119, more than twice as authoritarian as Trump opponents.

Many fervent Trump supporters, Altemeyer and Dean write, are submissive, fearful, and longing for a mighty leader who will protect them from life’s threats. They divide the world into friend and foe, with the latter greatly outnumbering the former.

Trump’s personal authoritarian bona fides are well-established, with experts across NUMEROUS ACADEMIC FIELDS warning that his attacks on basic democratic principles PRESENT A CLEAR DANGER TO THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM. But his beliefs and actions are toothless without the support of millions of followers.

“Donald Trump only has the power to flaunt American institutions, treaties, and laws because he has a large, dedicated base who will believe whatever he says and do whatever he wants,” Altemeyer and Dean explain.

Other researchers have reached similar conclusions using very different methods. Vanderbilt political scientist Larry Bartels, for instance, RECENTLY USED YOUGOV SURVEY DATA to find that many Republican voters hold strong authoritarian and anti-democratic beliefs, with racism being a key driver of those attitudes. Researchers have also consistently found that separate measures of authoritarian belief, such as a short survey of attitudes toward child-rearing, are reliable predictors of Trump support.

Not all of the presidents supporters fall into the “authoritarian” category, however. Monmouth’s polling director Patrick Murray, who administered the survey, RECENTLY WROTE that about 23 percent of strong Trump supporters scored in the middle or bottom of the authoritarian scales used in the survey. Moderate Trump supporters, meanwhile, are split roughly 50/50 between “high” and “moderate to low” on the scales.

Many, however, express extremely authoritarian viewpoints. Roughly half of Trump supporters, for instance, agreed with the statement: “Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within,” which Altemeyer and Dean characterize as practically a “Nazi cheer.”

Among people who disapproved of Trump, just 12 percent agreed with that statement.

“Trump’s supporters are much more inclined to stomp out the people they dislike than Trump’s opponents are,” Altemeyer said in an email. “This reflects the authoritarian aggression that is a central part of the RWA personality.”

One common criticism of the RWA scale is that it could simply be a proxy for generic conservative or religious beliefs, such as respect for tradition or a deference to religious authority. Murray TESTED THIS IDEA by running the scale without questions touching on religious identity and sexual norms. He found the different versions of the scale produced findings that were nearly identical to the original 20-question battery, suggesting the scale is measuring a distinct psychological attribute that can’t be explained away by religiosity or political ideology.

Contemporary discussions on authoritarian backsliding in the United States tend to focus on Trump and his allies in Congress. But Altemeyer and Dean’s work is a reminder that his followers will remain a potent force in American politics for years to come.

“Even if Donald Trump disappeared tomorrow,” they write, “the millions of people who made him president would be ready to make someone else similar president instead.”

SOURCE
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How to Win a Debate With a Bully

Joe Biden should simply name what is true and what most Americans intuit about the president: He is a terribly broken man.

By Peter Wehner
Contributing writer at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC
September 24, 2020

I’m used to bullies.

That’s a line Joe Biden has used several times during his run against Donald Trump, and he said it again recently in talking about the first presidential debate.

“I hope I don’t take the bait, because hes going to say awful things about me, my family, et cetera,” Biden said at a virtual fundraiser. “I hope I don’t get baited into getting into a brawl with this guy, because that’s the only place he’s comfortable. Biden expects to be able to keep his cool because, he said, “I’m used to dealing with bullies.”

The challenge for Biden isn’t simply that he’ll be facing a bully on the debate stage in Cleveland on Tuesday; its that he’ll be facing a man who is shameless and without conscience, a shatterer of norms and boundaries, a liar of epic proportions, a conspiracy-monger who inhabits an alternate reality. President Donald Trump operates outside any normal parameters.

If one is not used to dealing with someone like that, it can be utterly disorienting. Just ask the 2016 GOP primary field, or Hillary Clinton.

“We were on a small stage,” Clinton said about her second debate with Trump, “and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces. It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled.”

She went on to describe what went through her mind: Should she keep her calm and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading her space, or should she turn to him, look him in the eye, and say, Back up, you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up? Clinton chose the first option, but in retrospect, she wonders whether she should have chosen the second.

What might Vice President Biden do to prepare for his debates with President Trump?

For starters, I hope the former vice president’s campaign team has consulted psychologists who can help prepare Biden to deal with Trumps disordered personality.

A second thing Biden can do is put Trump’s words within a larger context. For example, the president is a profligate liar; we know that in the course of the debates the president will tell an avalanche of falsehoods. It might therefore be useful for Biden, early in the debate, to warn viewers what will happen - Trump will lie, and lie again, and lie again. The former vice president should put a frame around those claims, so people understand what’s happening in real time.

In February, a friend pointed out to me that years ago Donald Trump lied about the size of Trump Towers, claiming he lived on the 66th to 68th floors. Here’s the thing: Trump Tower has only 58 floors, according to New York City documents. So Trump lied about even this, as he lies about virtually everything else. (In fact, Trump has lied about the height of several of his buildings, including Trump World Tower, which he claimed has 90 floors. In fact, it has 70.)

If Biden were to use this story at the beginning of a debate, perhaps even before Trump’s first lie, the former vice president, when hearing a lie, could simply say, Donald, we’re at the 66th floor again. This response would certainly be more effective than repeatedly calling Trump a liar and serving as a fact-checker for the entire debate. Biden has to find a way to quickly name what’s happening and move on.

When its his turn to respond to a comment by Trump, the former vice president should confidently name each strategy Trump attempted. “That was a deflection… That was a hoax… That was scapegoating… We’re at the 66th floor again.” By quickly and succinctly answering any question after naming the strategy, Biden will appear controlled, reasonable, and intelligent; Trump will feel dismissed and mocked. This will enrage the president, especially if his attempts to engage in argument are ignored, and Biden refuses to look at him.

Beyond that, as one clinical psychologist I consulted for this piece suggested, Biden should simply name what is true and what most Americans intuit about the president: He is a terribly broken man. Money and privilege spared him from the consequences that might have helped him develop a conscience. He does not show remorse or guilt, because he does not feel it. Decency and honesty yield no reward for Trump; indecency and lying yield no consequences. He doesn’t apologize to others, because he doesn’t feel the pain of others. He does not have the capacity for empathy and authentic relationships; all his relationships are conditional. He knows only pleasure and pity for himself. He perseverates on the wounds to his ego. Telling the truth, when its not Trump’s truth, is viewed as a betrayal by the president, because he always places his interests above truth.

Such a damaged individual may deserve some measure of pity as well as some measure of contempt; but in either case, such a person should not be the president of the United States.

Yet the reality is that such a man is the president, and with every passing day, his pathologies grow worse, his instability becomes more apparent, the danger he poses to American democracy more undeniable. Yesterday, he once again signaled that he has no interest in accepting the election results if he loses. In the summer of 2016, I said of Trump, with him there’s no bottom. We’re now seeing what no “bottom” looks like.

The investigative reporter Bob Woodward, whose book Rage is just the most recent, scathing indictment of the Trump presidency, said that historians, looking back at this period, are going to ask, “What the F happened to America?”

The answer is that Donald J. Trump happened to America.

Joseph R. Biden is the only person who can keep Trump to a single term and stop this ongoing American carnage. And that, in turn, could depend in large part on how the former vice president does during the first debate.

I’m a conservative who served in the Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations. I’m also wishing Joe Biden very well on Tuesday evening. Its less for his sake than for the sake of the country I love.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or writeto letters at theatlantic.com.

Peter Wehner is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He writes widely on political, cultural, religious, and national-security issues, and he is the author of The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/24/20 •
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