Democrats wonder how President Trump’s followers could ignore his lies and dishonesty. The rich don’t care as long as they get their tax break. Politicians don’t care as long as they retain their power, but why doesn’t his base who are neither rich nor powerful not see his lies and dishonesty.

Psychologists asked the same question after World War II: How could Hitler’s SS, who, as civilians, were God-fearing citizens, gas people in death camps without a problem?

Currently there is a profile for such people, and they are called "authoritarian followers." This profile was developed by a psychologist named Robert Altemeyer. (Dr. Altemeyer makes his book available online for no charge; just Google "The Authoritarians").

A profile is a group of skills which, when combined, create a simple score (like an IQ score). The authoritarian follower profile is based on thinking skills. The lack of certain critical thinking skills make the authoritarian follower susceptible to an authoritarian leader’s control.

Of course, any Trump follower who reads this would deny it. But they would be overlooking the fact that what you think is determined by how you think, and the catch is you do not know how you think. Thinking is carried out at the unconscious level. Think about it — when was the last time you felt your brain think?

How you think determines what you think — not the other way around. This means, unless you have special training, you have little if any control over what you think.

Gene Beenk



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