What Snipping Trump's Twitter Means for MAGA: Capitalism to the Rescue

Many in the psychiatric community have studied Donald Trump’s psychological profile throughout his presidency. Because Mr. Trump does not exist in a vacuum, there has also been a lot of attention directed at his followers. This often-toxic relationship, between Trump and Trump supporters, is what has captivated me the most. There has been a pile of articles and books on the subject, and it continues to draw attention and fascination to this day, especially as this presidency draws to a destructive and disgraceful close, and his dedicated followers remain loyal, despite it all.

According to an Axios/Ipsos poll conducted Jan. 11–13, 66%, or two-thirds, of Republicans agree with the following statement: “The Republican Party is better with Donald Trump in it.” This number increased to 96%, for those who identified as Trump supporters, as opposed to traditional Republicans (Jarvis). After Trump’s attempt to overthrow a fair presidential election — capped off by a call to the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump pressured him to change the state’s vote totals — and after the Capitol riots and a second impeachment, it leaves many of us asking how this is possible.

Brandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and president of the World Mental Health Coalition, offered some strong insight into the Trump/Trump supporter relationship in an article from Scientific American, published on Jan. 11, 2021. Lee identifies two major emotional drives that help to explain what attracts people to Trump, narcissistic symbiosis and shared psychosis. She explains both terms in the following way:

Narcissistic symbiosis refers to the developmental wounds that make the leader follower relationship magnetically attractive. The leader, hungry for adulation to compensate for an inner lack of self-worth, projects grandiose omnipotence — while the followers, rendered needy by societal stress or developmental injury, yearn for a paternal figure. When such wounded individuals are given positions of power, they arouse similar pathology in the population that creates a “lock and key” relationship.

“Shared psychosis,” — which is also called “folie a millions” [madness for millions] when occurring at the national level or “induced delusions” — refers to the infectiousness of severe symptoms that goes beyond ordinary group psychology.

Essentially, the psychosis, which can manifest itself as paranoia, delusions and a propensity for violence, spreads from the leader to the masses. Lee tells us that the treatment for both of these conditions is “removal of exposure” (Lewis).

The anger that many of Trump’s supporters exhibit is attributed to “socioeconomic deprivation.” Many, mostly rural white Americans, have lost access to resources and opportunities (Lamnisos).In an effort to explain or give meaning to their circumstances, many seek scapegoats from outside of their own local and ethnic groups. For Trump supporters, they perceived that “Black, Latinx and Asian people…were advancing at their expense (Lempinen). Trump saw these conditions and capitalized by harnessing the raw emotional wounds of these people, including appealing to and stoking hate (Jarvis).

Jennifer Chatman, associate dean for learning strategies at UC Berkeley, says that Trump employed division and disinformation to draw his targets away from fact-based reality. At that point, the paternal relationship that his followers were seeking, turned abusive. As Trump contradicted himself or lied or did not fulfill promises, his followers made excuses and denied the reality of the facts, just like an emotionally or sexually abused child would for a parent. The more that the child lies for the parent, the more difficult it becomes for the child to contradict the parent in any way, and unwavering loyalty manifests itself. Chatman tells us that you see this behavior in many cults (Lempinen).

But now, as Trump is facing more and more opposition, even from Republicans, his perceived unlimited power is beginning to crumble. How will his followers, who sought a powerful, protective parent to provide them security and stability, react as he is exposed as a mortal? What happens when their abuser is emasculated — when there is “removal of exposure?”

If Twitter is the scene where the deed is done, and Trump’s tweets are the proverbial ejaculate that he spews into his supporters’ heads, he may no longer be able to “f**k their brains out.” We are just now facing this possibility with Trump’s Twitter ban, election loss, impeachment and possible criminal charges. These things will tear down the idealized, all-powerful leader to which so many have subscribed.

Surely Fox News and other right-wing media outlets, and politicians, will converge at the spot where the Twitter was snipped. It will be a viscous gangbang of rabid, right-wing alpha males (Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Ted Cruz etc.) contending to take the place of the shamed eunuch. Trump will, of course, as he slowly slips into obscurity, lie about his shameful condition. But it is only a matter of time before his victims wonder what happened to the routine, pseudo-consensual violations, as they subconsciously crave the disinformation that is now nothing more than a void, where the tweet used to dangle.

If this is in fact the way that Trump meets his end, it will be corporate America, and not politics or some grand societal revelation that comes to our rescue. It will be capitalism. Currently, the following companies are among the two dozen or so that have all either permanently or indefinitely pulled support for President Trump and his Republican conspirators: American Express, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Coca-Cola, City Bank, AT&T, Marriot International, Blue Cross Blue Shield Assn., Dow Chemical and Mastercard (Hiltzik). Finally, CNN reported on January 12 that even Deutsche Bank will no longer do any business with President Trump (Riley).

Money is the primary language of America, followed by English, distantly.Power is the language of our government. Both of these, and disinformation, are the lifeblood of the vilest, most manipulative and psychotically symptomatic president of all time, Donald Trump. This trifecta, the public castration of Trump by corporate America, American democracy, and Twitter, can strip him of his money, power, and the ability to distribute misinformation with ease. It may be the only way that America can rid itself of this cancer. We can only hope.

Works Cited:

Hiltzik, Michael. “Column: Corporations ‘Suspend’ Political Donations — but Citizens United is the Real Problem.” Yahoo Finance, 15 January, 2021.

Jarvis, Jacob. “Donald Trump Makes the GOP Better, Most Republicans Still Think: Poll.” Newsweek Politics, 14 January, 2021. 15 January, 2021.

Lamnisos, D. Lambrianidou, G. and Middleton, N. Biomed. “Small-area Socioeconomic Deprivation Indices in Cyprus: Development and Association with Premature Mortality.” BMC Public Health, 22 May, 2019, 15 January, 2021.

Lempinen, Edward. “Despite Drift Toward Authoritarianism. Trump Voters Stay Loyal. Why?” Berkely News, 7 December, 2020, 15 January, 2021.

Lewis, Tonya. “The ‘Shared Psychosis’ of Donald Trump and His Loyalists.” Scientific American Behavior and Society, 11 January, 2021. 15 January, 2021.

Riley, Charles. “Deutsche Bank Won’t Do Any More Business with Trump.” CNN Business, 12 January, 15 January, 2021.

7 views0 comments