Validation or confirmation?

I’ve been trying to find pro-Trump coverage, so I changed the settings on my google newsfeeds to favor Fox News, the Daily Caller, and the Wall Street Journal (which seems to be trying to figure itself out about this).  It’s been interesting to see the same news, but with a different slant.  Of course, the difference is striking when I open the comments sections.  I find the trolls are the best way to tell who the editors are writing for.

I’ve been trying to figure out Trump’s appeal.  According to one article, it’s that:

We like people who talk big.

We like people who tell us that our problems are simple and easy to solve, even when they aren’t.

And we don’t like people who don’t look like us.

Another article (same author) claims that what unites Trump supporters is simply a preference for  authoritarianism.  I think one thing that Trump understands (or just gets right) is that his base is interested in validation, not confirmation.  They have no interest in seeing facts or statistics to support their views because they have no doubts about their views.  What they want is someone strong and successful who will tell them it’s ok to have their views and express them out loud in public.  They want validation, not confirmation.  I think this is part of what confuses the non-Trumpers.  They see Trump’s claims refuted by evidence and don’t understand why his followers don’t abandon him.  But why would they?  They follow him because he’s strong and validating.  He is stronger than truth.  If that doesn’t set you free, what will?

 

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