Trump’s authoritarianism comforts those who don’t see their own power

LONDONDERRY — One segment of our politically divided nation consists of what is generally referred to as “the religious right” - an ultra-conservative minority group that forms the core support for President Donald Trump.

There seems to be a profound inconsistency in this support, since Trump's personal conduct - especially his sexual escapades - seems to violate everything that this religious contingent claims to stand for.

What, then, is there in Trump that this religious group identifies with so strongly as to make his moral turpitude irrelevant?

I believe that the answer is found in religion itself: a hierarchal structure at the top of which sits a supreme, omnipotent being who commands all of humanity and promises eternal happiness to all who do its bidding.

Trump's authoritarianism - his solipsistic conviction of being the sole authority, the epicenter of power, that accounts for his affinity with the authoritarian Putin - comforts those insufficiently developed to see themselves as the deciding power, i.e., democratic participants in a political system that assigns total and ultimate power to them.

This religious segment happily capitulates to Trump's centrality as they do to God - a reprise of Italian Catholics, including the Pope, submitting to Mussolini - eschewing their own responsibilities.

This is very convenient, since, when things go wrong, it's not their fault - like the child blaming mommy and daddy. Except it is their fault for not assuming decisive, adult power in the first place.

There is, unfortunately, no easy remedy for this condition, since rectification is contingent upon personal development. And that's a slow and tedious process that leaves too great a portion of society still worshipping or floundering, instead of striving for autonomy.

Hence, Trump is elected the leader, to the disadvantage of most who voted for him and to the dismay of those who didn't.

Patience is the only recourse for the latter - which may be rewarded in the coming midterm elections. It's encouraging to see the number of progressive, anti-Trump candidates - mostly women - winning primaries, even in traditional pockets of reaction.

What ultimately dooms the religious right is that society is dynamic, there being no such thing as a status quo - or a permanent retrogression - that the Bible-subjected right and Trump are dedicated to imposing.

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