Is The US Prepared To Deal With Millions Of Americans That Suffer An Identity Crisis When Trump Loses? - DMT NEWS

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Is The US Prepared To Deal With Millions Of Americans That Suffer An Identity Crisis When Trump Loses?


It now appears Donald Trump is going to lose the election in November-and lose badly. With millions of followers, the United States is not prepared to deal with those that will suffer from an identity crisis and state of uncertainty and confusion. Indeed, one can only speculate what will happen to supporters that are defined by the president and his values, beliefs, and personality.

Known as an identity crisis, a person sometimes feels overwhelmed or is besieged by fear and doubt-real or imaginary. They can also embrace an ideology like racism or nationalism. It is attractive to suspend individual judgment and place one’s faith in the leadership of someone who conveys his/her conviction and certainty that he/she has the answers and knows what is best.

The leader, through skillful use of rhetoric and reminders of an outside enemy he/she can destroy, will persuade his/her needy audience to follow him/her. Together, they can build a new society filled with their shared values and ideas.

In their confusion they lose their individuality.

Consequently, their leader’s story and success becomes their story and success-identity crisis.

Other-Induced Harm

One effect of supporters suffering from an identity crisis may be other-induced violence. Not only will some isolated individuals with their shattered world and damaged self-esteem lash out at others, but they may try to destroy America. In fact, more than fifty percent of Trump supporters already have discussed the use of violence and expect a fight if the president does not win. (1)

Another scenario might be pursuing desperate actions.

Federal prosecutors just revealed that six of Michigan’s militia members plotted against Governor Gretchen Whitmore because of the coronavirus-related restrictions she placed on the state.

In addition to taking her captive and holding her hostage, they had planned to instigate a state-wide rebellion. (2)

Another possibility might be inter-group violence or scapegoating-the practice of singling out a person or group for unmerited blame and consequent negative treatment instead of the leader that is responsible. Certain Republican leaders or some of Trump’s most unlikely supporters-Muslims, Hispanics, Black Americans, and Asians, may be singled out and targeted.

People suffering, emotionally and psychologically, will go in search of explanations for their feelings. But they will also go in search of recognition for them. One asset populist’s have is demagoguery-the ability to connect with economically depressed regions and convey empathy with people otherwise ignored. Some supporters will likely pursue other demagogues like Trump.

Identity and Self-Induced Harm

Just as an identity crisis becomes manageable with the aid of narratives, prolonged social and psychological suffering makes people unusually responsive to the use of opioids and illegal drugs. Consequently, and since Trump won counties in 2016 with a higher rate of opioid and substance abuse than the national average (3), some of his followers will pursue substance abuse.

Do not be surprised to find some supporters completely removing themselves from society, building fortified enclaves with other like minded believers.

Adam Fox, one suspect to have plotted against Whitmore, did just that as he hid in a vacuum store. (4) Other communities have done the same, making it nearly impossible for non-Trump supporters to live nearby.

Without a doubt, obstructionism will be used by millions of supporters, especially among those in Republican leadership roles. Republicans will likely regress to the “party” and “victory of no” as they work to dismantle Democratically led legislation, working to cause an even greater partisan divide between the two parties and among American voters.

Another scenario might be millions of Americans who suffer from a kind of post-traumatic-stress-syndrome, or the feeling of disempowerment and meaning. It is not hard to imagine that the loss of recognition and the role of feelings for Trump in the public sphere will have a greater polarizing impact in politics and between generations and ideological camps.

Identity Matters

That identity matters in politics is a truism, especially when gains and losses can be tangible and symbolic, such as psychological status. Erik Erickson, who coined “identity crisis,” noted that it occurred during adolescence, during a stage he called the Identity vs. Role Confusion level, where an individual learns to be true to themselves instead of a leader or peer.

Other psychologists maintain that a sense of identity is formed early in childhood, when the self and the “we” are fused so that the self is experienced as the relationship. This leads to a tendency to not only merge themselves with an authoritarian figure but to search for an authoritarian figure and group to belong too later in life-Trump and “Make America Great Again.”

In an ideal society, America would produce adults that have a healthy identity and self-esteem.

But America is not an ideal society, suffering from wars and racism, recessions and income inequality, a rigid and corporate-controlled school system that inhibits critical thinking skills, and far-right news and entertainment outlets like Fox and Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.
American values such as Social Darwinism and a two-party system, moreover, promote an extremely narrow view within the political spectrum. At moments of societal crisis, otherwise mature and psychologically healthy individuals may temporarily come to feel overwhelmed and in need of a strong and authoritarian leader like Trump.

What Next?

The most important thing Americans can do in dealing with those who will suffer from an identity crisis when President Trump loses the election is to listen and avoid judgment. Another thing is to be prepared to handle some followers that will experience disruptive mood and behavior swings, out of control emotional reactions, and in some cases severe identity disorders like schizophrenia.

Something else Americans can do with Trump supporters is to suggest counseling and encourage mindfulness.

The goal is to heal a nation that is deeply divided by hate and racism, and to build a trusting and lasting relationship while teaching to disengage from the “Donald Trump” in their minds. This will consequently take good listening skills and patience.

Again, all of this is predicated on the fact that Trump will lose. Declaring martial law, discounting ballots, refusing to accept the outcome, contesting the election, buying and selling votes, or using the Attorney General and Justice Department to interfere in the election-all of which Trump is pursuing- may complicate matters. Hopefully, Americans will not stand by to watch this happen.

Dallas Darling (






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