Has Trump Created A Type Of Voter Affinity Which Rests On Group Belonging Regardless Of Self Interest Or Rational Argumentation: Hypnosis?

By Donald A. Collins | 23 July 2023
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

A friend sent me part of the 7/19/23 NY Times column of Charles Blow entitled “Why Trump’s Indictments Don’t Feel Like Part of the Finale” which comments on a question many of us have been writing about. How can his MAGA voters do not waken to his lies and the objective that Trump seeks, which is authoritarian control of democracy.

Blow writes,

Trump recognized that for many Americans, celebrity was more powerful than character or civics. That celebrity allowed for a curated reality, one that acknowledged the flower but hid the thorns.

In this environment, some people’s desire to belong and be affirmed and validated transcended truth and reality. And in that space, he could be the captain of their team, the leader of their band and the minister of their church.

I love his language in analyzing the motivations of MAGA people.

Belonging to a clan, however bizarre, has the power to overtake reason.

This column with this concise, brilliant summation of what has evolved since Trump’s 2016 election can be read in full here.

Trump’s facility as the ultimate con man has been exhaustively presented elsewhere.

However, I discovered a Trump connection which offers an insight about where he got his training.

Remember Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, Pastor at the Marble Collegiate Church in NY City, whose 1952 book “The Power of Positive Thinking”, sold millions of copies but was widely criticized by most behavioral experts for its undocumented claims of how positivity bailed out people’s problems?

In the opinions of several well-known critics, Peale was engaging in putting people in a state of hypnosis that didn’t offer a pathway to solving personal problems.

Here is one quote of many:

Albert Ellis, an influential psychologist of the 20th century and the founder of cognitive therapy, also criticized Peale’s techniques for their similarities with hypnotism. He compared the techniques presented with those of the hypnotist Émile Coué and asserted that the repeated use of these hypnotic techniques could lead to significant mental health problems. Ellis stated that eventually Peale’s teachings “lead to failure and disillusionment, and not only boomerang back against people, but often prejudice them against effective therapy.”

The full review of the Peale’s book is here.

So, what is the Trump connection?

Read from the Peale review here:

Former U.S. president Donald Trump has called Peale “his pastor” and “one of the greatest speakers” he had ever seen. According to Donald’s niece and author Mary L. Trump, Donald Trump’s father, Fred, became interested in Peale’s message in the 1950s. Fred and his wife, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, traveled to the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan with their children to hear Peale’s sermons. Donald Trump grew up hearing Peale’s teachings from his parents, and Peale officiated his first wedding. Trump credits his survival in 1990 after being almost a billion dollars in debt to Peale’s positive thinking teachings.

Histories con men begin by using plausible sounding lies to win over people.

Example: “The original “Confidence Man” was a charming crook from the 1840s named William Thompson. His “con” was to strike up a conversation with a stranger, win their trust and then ask an odd question: Did they have enough confidence in him to lend them their gold watch for the day? Yes, people actually fell for that.”

Trump’s capacity to become a great con man was funded by his father’s money but his trainer was Roy Cohn who took Trump into business practices that honed his skills at deception and led him to the most powerful office in the world with multiple opportunities to destroy our democracy.

As Wikipedia tells us:

In the late 1970s and during the 1980s, he became a prominent political fixer in New York City. He also represented and mentored New York City real estate developer and future U.S. President Donald Trump during his early business career.

You can read his whole sordid but fascinating life here.

So scary is what Trump promises if reelected.

You can read here the 14 promises Donald Trump has made in his campaign for a second term!!

Trump forecast his intention to tighten his grip on power if he gets a second chance as he openly tells his befogged MAGAites!

The possible connection with the obverse of Peale’s thesis: THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING. After years of telling his lies and misrepresentations about the state of our democracy, he convinced his MAGA following to join his world. To me the hypnosis theory has credibility!

He has repeatedly made completely open announcements of his intention to take our democracy down the path to authoritarianism. We must not let him.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us” and “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life”.

Legendary Watergate journalists weigh in on Trump’s legal woes

The Trumps’ family church explains everything you need to know about Donald

What Donald Trump learned from Roy Cohn

‘It would be chaotic’: Trump’s former chief of staff sounds alarm on second term

Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here