A longtime listener from Ohio — Pat — called in to Glenn’s radio program Monday to discuss why he is supporting Donald Trump for president. Glenn was fascinated by the psychology of what was going on — that Pat would support someone who stands for the polar opposite of what he does, even in the face of logic and reason.
Psychology experts Dan Korem and Bob Hamp joined Glenn Wednesday night on TV and the guys discussed what they’d learned on radio Thursday.
The first half of the equation of why someone might support Donald Trump makes a lot of sense. Whether it’s a fear of increasing terrorism, a failed banking system in 2008 or the loss of a job, many Americans are feeling the pain of the Obama years in one way or another.
Pat in Ohio was no exception. He lost everything in the crash of 2008 and that’s where he was coming from.
“He was terrified,” Glenn said. “And he was so beaten down, and he was, you know, ‘I lost everything in the crash of 2008. I’m afraid. This guy is going to take care of us.’ Then we went through all the things that he strongly disagrees with Donald Trump on and he kept saying, ‘Yeah, but.'”
What is it that can make us so blind to logic that we shrug and say, “Yeah, but?”
The Door of Disconnect
When pushed into a place of pain or fear, people tend to act emotionally rather than rationally — and that’s where the disconnect happens.
“The door of disconnect is the door between left brain and right brain,” Glenn said. “Your reason is leading you to a place of such fear that you close a door and you say, ‘I’m not going there.’ And you find somebody that is talking to your passion and saying to you, ‘I will take care of you.’ And you put all of your support there.”
The fascinating thing is how this leads some people to defend people or ideas they would otherwise have no part of.
Defending the Indefensible
We have all been there, whether we are trying to talk sense into someone or on defense. You might even know you are wrong — but in the moment, it doesn’t matter. For some reason, you shut down and do what feels safe.
“You bar that door of intellectual facts and intellectual arguments and you say, ‘I’m not going there. This guy is going to save us. You’re wrong.’ And you attack the person who is trying to come to you with facts,” Glenn said. “So there’s no way to win with facts. There’s no way to break that door down.”
Common Sense Bottom Line
This is all well and good, but what now? We have diagnosed the problem, but is there a way to change the dynamic?
Asking the right questions is a step in the right direction, and now that Glenn is onto the scent, you had better believe the quest will only intensify.
“I have absolutely no idea, but we better figure it out really soon,” Glenn said.
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