While reading Danny Wallace’s F* You Very Much: Understanding the Culture of Rudeness and What We Can Do About It recently, I came upon an uncanny similarity between donald trump and SJWs:
They’re both victim-oriented narcissists who seethe narcissistic rage.
A victim-oriented narcissist is someone who becomes enraged at the smallest perceived (or imagined) slight -- because, in their minds, it is an attack on them as a human being. They perceive the slightest little anything as an unwarranted and abusive attack.
In Aaron James’ (author of Assholes: A Theory and philosophy professor at UC Irvine) words, “In [their] world, shots are always being fired. They’re interpreted as threats to [their] worth. So even if you didn’t say anything but you seemed slightly angry or perturbed, she would see that as an attack on her.” (F You Very Much, p. 237)
This world view is probably something you could predict with physiological measures. People who constantly feel under attack probably release cortisols and experience elevated heart rates and blood pressure. (This would be a really fun and testable hypothesis for all you psychology students out there.)
This attitude is clearly evident in the language used by both SJWs… and trump.
As Wallace wrote,
“Consider the sheer amount of time he spent focusing not on the issues while campaigning, but on the attacks. How he constantly cried, ‘Unfair!’ every time someone criticized him. Journalists were unfair. Celebrities wrre unfair. Judges and fellow candidates were unfair. Look at how he responded with wild sledgehammer blows when people suggested that maybe his fingers were slightly shorter than the national average. How he whined, yelled, whinnied, moaned, swore, and peacocked all the characteristics of low-self-esteem narcissistic rage.” (p. 237)
And what is narcissistic rage? A report in Psychology Today has listed several indicators, including:
An inability to apologize, or to do it sincerely.
This perfectly describes two diametrically opposed tribes in this country: trump, and SJWs.
And what about those who follow trump? Those who mindlessly support and obey and worship, no matter what ridiculous thing he does? (If you weren’t deeply offended by the Russia thing, you are seriously misinformed -- or possibly KGB. If you seriously think the trade war that’s driving American farmers into debt and onto welfare -- forcing us to borrow money from China while draining money from programs designed to insure farmers against the vagaries of nature and crop cycles, not to offset bad policy -- is somehow something we’re “winning,” you should do some additional reading on the topic.)
They can’t all be victim-oriented narcissists, though, can they?
I don’t know. Maybe? But one thing I do know many trump supporters are… is people who follow “honor culture” norms.
As per trump and Violence: Correlation, Causation, or None of the Above?
Liberal progressives are increasingly characterized by victimhood culture, while conservatives are characterized by honor culture.
The post continues:
Meanwhile, conservatives tend towards a more traditional honor culture -- think Old West. Campbell and Manning wrote in Comparative Sociology,
Which… is interesting. Because trump’s FREQUENT exaggeration of his vicimtization and oppression on his very public Twitter page are the opposite of what a manly man in the honor culture should do.
But… maybe it makes sense?
According to a 1996 paper by Cohen, Nisbett, Bowdle and Schwarz, people subscribe to honor culture norms are also a) more likely to think their masculine reputation was threatened, (b) more upset (as shown by a rise in cortisol levels), (c) more physiologically primed for aggression (as shown by a rise in testosterone levels), (d) more cognitively primed for aggression, and (e) more likely to engage in aggressive and dominant behavior.
They demonstrated this by having a confederate (that’s a social science term for an actor who is secretly “in on” the study) bump into male participants and call them an “asshole,” then measuring and comparing their responses.
Maybe criticism of trump is the insult… and it’s directed not at trump, but at those who follow him. Maybe me criticizing your little blue collar hero (who only needed a “very small [$14 million] loan from his father” to build a “fortune” a fraction of the size of the one Paris Hilton built with a much smaller “loan” from her mommy and daddy; trump inherited a fortune, and in decades of effort, he hasn’t even outperformed a basic index fund) is the trigger that makes you irrationally, over-emotionally, and mindlessly defend something you know is stupid, pathetic, or wrong.
Just like a social justice warrior.
What’s the takeaway here?
That all of us can do better. Neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on “special snowflakes,” anti-scientific beliefs and policies, safe spaces, and getting triggered.
In the course of making your point… just make sure you’re not becoming everything you hate about the other side. You may have a lot more in common than you think.
Also... it never hurts to make an active effort to reframe the way you see the world if your mindset makes you particularly coronary-prone. Instead of seeing yourself as a victim, see yourself as a powerful agent, someone who is in control of their life and the way they respond to slights and setbacks. Instead of letting yourself get complacent, make critical thinking a defining part of your identity.
It may or may help you win debates. But it will help you uncover truth... And probably extend your life.