Donald Trump, Framing — December 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Conservatives’ secret advantages — shamelessness and hero worship


Praising ‘Daddy’ just comes more naturally to the right


The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein has a post up about Trump’s rushing to Indiana to take credit for Carrier only sending most of the jobs in its Indianapolis plant to Mexico. The headline reads:


President Obama’s approval rating is still 10 percent higher than Trump’s but Stein does make a point. The current president did amazing things for Indiana’s economy through the Stimulus and the auto rescue and was rewarded by losing the state by 10 percent to Mitt Romney.

If the president-elect had managed to persuade Carrier to keep all the factory’s  jobs in Indiana, this could be called an unqualified success — despite the corporate cronyism such a deal implies.

Instead, this seems to set a precedent that Trump will trade a tax breaks for small concessions and big PR. And it’s worth it to him because it fits his story that he really cares about American jobs — despite the long series of Trump products made overseas.

CNN correspondent Phil Mattingly got some reaction from Trump supporters:


So why could Trump sell a specious success while Obama floundered with giant victories?

“I think everyone understands the president saved the economy from the abyss and the huge progress we made. That is indelible in our record,” a senior administration official told Stein. “There is also no question that certain communities didn’t feel it or realize they felt it. And you’re 100 percent right that it remains a challenge … I don’t have a lot of spin for you. If you crack this code, let me know.”

First of all, Obama won Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin in 2012 handily. Second of all, it goes without saying why “certain communities” couldn’t give Obama credit but find his birther’s case compelling.

But there’s a larger story here that fits into how our brains work when it comes to politics, at least according to George Lakoff, as I understand him.

Conservatives have a “Strict Father” worldview where the leader is expected — or at least allowed — to beat his chest to the admiration of his clan. Progressives have a much more nuanced “Nurturant Parent” point of view. We see things systemically, which is why climate change doesn’t seem like a hoax to us. And it’s clear that lots of people have to do right in order to make something a success. Thus no one should take too much credit.

That’s why a channel like Fox News survives even when it doesn’t have a Democratic candidate to destroy. Now instead of inventing scandals, they can go back to covering them up.

And it isn’t just Fox News in Trump-worship business now:

Shamelessness and hero worship are inherent in the authoritarian worldview.

And we have to understand that though it looks ridiculous to us that by fixating on it — even in mockery — we nurture the “Strict Father” worldview that’s latent in many of the voters who switched from Obama to Trump.