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Wed Apr 10, 2019, 06:10 PM

Sadopopulism: interesting perspective on Trumpism

I had not heard this word before, but it provides a very interesting perspective on the perversity of what is going on in the minds of trump cultists. Here is a video (one of several) by Timothy Snyder that explains the phenomenon:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=228&v=oOjJtEkKMX4

Additionally, Teri Kanefield does an excellent job of explaining how it works:

https://terikanefield-blog.com/sadopopulism/



"Maybe it isn’t spite. Maybe it’s what Yale prof. @TimothyDSnyder calls Sadopopulism.

“What the heck is that?” you ask? Snyder talks about sadopopulism here.

Sadopopulism explains how oligarchs—those who seek to have both power and wealth—stay in power.

It works like this: Sadopopulist leaders enact policies designed to inflict suffering on the people. Policies such as tax cuts for the rich and eliminating health insurance for millions of Americans creates an abundance of suffering.

The leader directs that suffering into anger at the “enemies” (immigrants, minorities, migrants seeking asylum, Democrats, etc.”


While this perspective doesn't provide us with immediate solutions, it does help explain the cultish reactions of trump followers and their delight in his lies and their willingness to accept cognitive dissonance. It also helps explain why trump is a master deceiver while we beat ourselves over the head trying to convince everyone how stupid he is.


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Reply Sadopopulism: interesting perspective on Trumpism (Original post)
bbgrunt Apr 2019 OP
cilla4progress Apr 2019 #1
bbgrunt Apr 2019 #2
lunatica Apr 2019 #3
bbgrunt Apr 2019 #4
Karadeniz Apr 2019 #5
bbgrunt Apr 2019 #7
Beringia Apr 2019 #6
bbgrunt Apr 2019 #8
Beringia Apr 2019 #9
bbgrunt Apr 2019 #11
WhiskeyGrinder Apr 2019 #10

Response to bbgrunt (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 06:18 PM

1. Glad to find another Kanefield fan here.

I posted this over the weekend.

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Response to cilla4progress (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 06:24 PM

2. just discovered her and Snyder via twitter

sorry I missed your post. Am glad to join the club!

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Response to bbgrunt (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 06:58 PM

3. Our reaction to that deliberate infliction of pain on us

Should be to NEVER let them see us phased by it. Never show them it hurts. Never.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:29 PM

4. That is an interesting response.

Initially, that is the more successful response to bullying. Ultimately we have to actually somehow stand up to the bully to get them to fully back down.

I think we also have to find a strategy to the larger question of how to deprogram those who fall for these techniques without eliminating freedom of speech. I'm at a loss as to how to discredit things like faux news and psyops on the American public by our own intelligence agencies. Certainly we need to get rid of the concentration in media sources and concentrations of income and wealth.

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Response to bbgrunt (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:38 PM

5. I've thought that, being a bully, qualifies Trump as a sadist.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:59 PM

7. definitely!

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Response to bbgrunt (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 07:38 PM

6. Sadopopulism, that is a hard one to swallow


How can you combat sadism? It also seems linked to masochism, since the people who like Trump are being hurt themselves, but they think he is such a great leader.

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Response to Beringia (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:17 PM

8. I think they ARE linked.

There is also a link between the underlying ideas of authoritarianism and the roughly one-third of any population that supposedly is wired into that form of thinking/behavior. (see authoritarians/ Robert Altemeyer, eg: https://www.theauthoritarians.org/)

Both trump and his followers would be considered authoritarians--idealizing the strong-man/patriarchal norm. A few become leaders and others the sheep or happy sycophants.

In the discussions about sadopopulism I found it interesting that the adherents or trumpists rationalize his actions and moves as fine because they think he is just playing n-dimensional chess and thus making them "winners" in the game of life.

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Response to bbgrunt (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:25 PM

9. Yes I read part of a book on Hitler's followers by Eric Fromm


and how they were middle class, and sadomasochists. I myself have never known a sadomasochist, so I wonder about that type of person. My young nephew likes Trump and the only thing I can think of is that he needs to fit in and please the larger population, he lives in Alaska. He definitely is not sadistic or masochistic. I asked him on facebook why he likes Trump, and he gave me this vague, long winded explanation, which I just left alone. I just got the courage to ask him what specific policy of Trump's he likes, and will see what he says. I don't want to get in trouble with Mama Bear, my sister.

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Response to Beringia (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 09:23 PM

11. That seems like a wise way to approach those who are followers.

I am trying to practice more restraint, but it is really difficult for me. If they are not totally committed, too much questioning can drive them right into the bosom of the beast.

Secondly, I think there is probably a whole spectrum of tendencies towards sado-masochistic qualities. So while it may be hard to identify with sadomasochists, most of us probably have some unrecognized minor form of it--such as the joy of winning competitions where someone else necessarily loses. I have no idea if there is some trigger that can drive people to become full blown sadomasochists. If there is, it sure seems like that trigger has been pulled on a massive level.

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Response to bbgrunt (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 08:32 PM

10. I feel like that term is, ultimately, redundant.

Populism requires an "us" and a "them," which in politics is always weaponized.

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