Donald Trump supporters discovered.

It has been written numerous times that the measure of a person’s intelligence is based on how much they agree with you. And having a political science professor agree with this political apparatchik is doubly gratifying. You have to admit it is a rare occurrence. Too often we get into the typical argument with political scientists between theory and application.

And that was why a recent news release from Brock University caught our eye. (You might be surprised at the number of news releases you get every day when you are writing a political blog.) Published in the June 20 edition of New Political Science, Professor Stefan Dolgert has written a paper entitled The Praise of Ressentiment: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Donald Trump.

Despite the hackneyed title (probably written by Brock’s PR department), Professor Dolgert is right on in his use of the French ‘Ressentiment’ to describe Trump’s target group of supporters.

‘Ressentiment’ goes beyond the resentment of the English word as it embraces the anger and frustration that you often find in lower class, less educated, middle-aged men. And this is the core support of Donald Trump. He appeals to their misogyny, bigotry, anger and frustration. Trump is their leader and they accept anything Trump says.

Dolgert correctly asserts that there is little to be gained among this group in correcting Trump’s wild claims. These people are on automatic in the sense that they accept and grow what ideas he feeds them.

And should the Republican National Convention in Cleveland attempt to dislodge Trump as their candidate, these are the potential storm troops of the ensuing riots. And there will be lots of people in Cleveland who are willing to take them on. Frankly, the convention organizers could save time by having the National Guard ordered out before the convention starts.

The only disappointment with Professor Dolgert’s theories is that he considers the opposition to Trump is wasting its time trying to correct Trump’s rhetoric. He thinks the ‘left’ should create its own stories about who is to blame for the ills of society. That could only work if there is an essential truth to the stories.

And besides, Trump’s bombast is already losing steam. He fired his campaign manager the other day who was letting Trump be Trump. His campaign is at a serious point. He has no real organization. He has to capitulate to the Republican Party and let it run his campaign or be an also-ran.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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