Those of us on the Left who have been paying close attention have realized how President Donald Trump’s hateful words and encouragement of violence could incite violence not just at his rallies but across the nation. The horrible violence by the NAZI’s and White Nationalists in Charlottesville showed us what the logical outcome of racists emboldened by Trump’s words and deeds would be. Now, apparently, writers at even more traditionally Conservative places like Forbes.com realize it too:
President Trump has, intentionally or not, hit a trifecta of hate that foments terrorism, in this case domestic terrorism. At rallies and speeches his incendiary eloquence identifies opponents as enemies then motivates hatred and sanctions violence against them. Facts no longer matter. Nor do values shared with those he sees as horrible, terrible people. What matters is that it’s us versus them. And we can’t let them win. Never apologize, never back down.
The article, by psychologist and psychoanalyst Todd Essig, does a good job of summing up what effect Trump has on his base. After more than 20 years in practice, Essig can recognize psychological manipulation when it sees it. Essig identifies the three steps that Trump invokes that create the violence:
1. Identifying a group as the enemy
2. Teaching people to hate the enemy
3. Sanctioning Violence
This is the Trump recipe that leads to violence. This is also the same recipe that was used by the German NAZI’s against Jewish people. Essig points out that, whereas most leaders stop before they ever get to step 3, Trump does not, and this makes a big difference. From sanctioning the body slamming of reporters to encouraging rally attendees to punch protesters, President Donald Trump has made obvious his approval of people raining violence down on people whom he considers the enemy. I encourage you to read the article. It is only nine paragraphs long.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.