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The Trumpertantrum Turns Violent or Was it Always So?

Trumpertantrum (noun, adjective, pronoun, and whatever else you want it to be): (Definition) Throwing a fit so loud and so noisy, so violent, and unexpected, so unreasonable that it resembles the origin of the word itself. Donald Drumpf…oops..sorry, I meant Donald Trump.

You’ve seen the news. The short version of it is that for quite some time now every candidate has had protesters from the other side (Democrat/Republican) come to many of their events. They protest, sometimes a few insults are thrown here and there, and everyone then goes home feeling good about themselves and more convinced that they’re righteous. Ahhhh!!! Amu’rikaaahhh!

The problem is that more recently the media has been putting out stories about Trump protesters getting harassed and beat up at Trump rallies. And, whether that’s true or not (it’s true) in turn Trump protesters (who oppose Trump) have become more bold in their protesting decisions – as if to say – let’s raise the stakes. No longer do they stand by in the quiet area of the arena, politely holding signs. They get in and more and more they come out in numbers, and frankly don’t try to hide it any more. I mean what’s the incentive? If they’re going to be harassed and beat up anyway, they might as well be more vocal.

The spiral to violence doesn’t stop there. Because now Trump’s supporters – a segment of which are brutes to begin with – go all in indiscriminately bullying anyone that comes in their way. This last week they’ve assaulted and threatened to kill black protesters, and on social media the rhetoric is approaching Jim Crow levels, if not already there.

If you ask me, Trump’s supporters are throwing a Trumpertantrum that reflects the behavior of their leader. Leader-Follower behavioral theory tells us a lot of about that kind of behavior, but that’s a topic for another time. It’s easy to see how the chaos descends directly from Trump however. I mean if he can throw a violent Trumpertantrum every time someone asks him a questions or criticizes his actions, why should we expect his supporters to behave differently?

My question is, was this movement always predisposed to violence?

Well, there is at least one answer to that question I respect, by Matthew Macwilliams who looked into this, ran an experiment and found a pretty strong (and significant) correlation between “Authoritanianism” and level of support for Trump. He describes what authoritarianism means quite eloquently: “While its causes are still debated, the political behavior of authoritarians is not. Authoritarians obey. They rally to and follow strong leaders. And they respond aggressively to outsiders, especially when they feel threatened.”

Case closed. I can’t think of a better way to describe Trump supporters (without insulting them).

Based on that alone, I think maybe this movement was destined for violence from the beginning, and it looks like there is no end in sight. Electing or not electing Trump won’t make the least bit of difference on whether his supporters continue their path of self-destruction. The only thing we can hope for now is a speedy resolution to this presidential campaign.

About The Author
Joseph A.E. Shaheen
Computational Social Scientist. Former Consultant. I fought ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in my own way. Livin' life in Washington, DC
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  • May 31, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Aaw! Mommy!, mean journalists dare to ask me real questions, I’ll have to crush them! @realDonaldTrump #GoldenWreckingBall

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