To understand trumpism, study the self-professed "betas" of 4chan


Originally published at:


Similar vein – recently somewhere I read an interview w/ a Trump supporter who is wavering now (a bit). Among other things, he said, roughly, “I think I was wrong to vote for Trump but if you keep telling me I’m a fool then I’ll never vote for you even though I know your positions are the ones that will improve my life.”

I don’t think even “cognitive dissonance” covers this sort of behavior. It’s very much like abused spouses who refuse to leave.


I’m new here, but I see myself more of a Daniel Johnston kinda frog.


I don’t even understand that. “I willfully smashed my hand with a 5-pound maul. My hand hurts and it’s bleeding, and I need someone to help me, but if anyone, in the entire world, for a period of four years, calls me a fool, as soon as I can, I will smash myself in the hand with a 5-pound maul again.”


Hi, I’m okay :smile: How are you?

ETA just upload it as your avatar, then everyone here can see you as a Daniel Johnston frog


Premise: Start with the fact that half of the country has an IQ of 100 or under (for the sake of this argument - just accept IQ is a roughly useful indicator of overall ability to rationalize).

Now with that fact above - take the recent rise of the ‘geek’ in modern culture - being smart is suddenly cool.

Add these two together - suddenly culture has just taken a ‘sense of worth’ from half of the population. Growing up (I just missed the ‘geeks are cool’ thing) being a geek or a nerd was derisive - if you were smart in school or even spoke up with the correct answers - the people who couldn’t would gang up and deride you. You were made to feel ‘stupid’ and ‘brought down to their level’ - in many cases you were bullied. My reality was - in most cases the teachers/parents/authority figures never really cared about the bullying - they just tried to keep kids from killing each other or getting to ‘that point’.

Move forward past the ‘geeks’ who went crazy and Columbine (and related actions) and society over-reacts - now expressions of ‘macho’ that gave less smart kids a group and identity are suppressed. Bullying is seen as a true problem and laws and real focus goes into punishment and control to remove it from schools. Add all of this (which eroded the groups and support structure for the ‘jock’ or ‘less smart’) along with the ‘geek is cool’ societal change and you end up with a very angry half of the population that wants to lash out at anything that points out to them how ‘dumb’ they are.

They don’t care if it’s dumb.
They don’t care if it’s destructive
They just care that it’s 'against them’
They want to win for once.

The real tragedy, honestly, is that they can’t cognitively seem to understand that if you had to destroy everything to ‘win’ … then you really haven’t won. There will come a point when that happens - although the sad truth is other factors may make the entire thing moot before the realization kicks in. (By that I mean war, or some other horror that makes the entire point no longer important).


I read the Beran article the other day and was brought up short at the end in the same way: a largely insightful article that asks “the Left” to do something that won’t work. Liberals and progressives have been trying for years to convince losers of various sorts that they are acting against their own economic or sexual interests by buying into the fantasies of racist and sexist conservative politicians, to no real effect.

Whether we’re talking about someone left behind financially by neoliberal globalism or someone left behind culturally by the rise of secularism and the embrace of diversity or (in the case of the 4chan “betas”) someone left behind behind sexually by feminism, we tend to run into two obstacles: first, they’re stubbornly clinging (often due to a real lack of options) to outmoded assumptions about what they’re entitled to; second, due to their damaged pride and self-esteem they are particularly thin-skinned and defensive, reacting badly even to the most empathetic suggestions from the left (to the point that they mock empathy itself).

So while I find analyses like Beran’s fascinating, American liberals and progressives are better off focusing on reforming the only viable political vehicle they have: the Democratic party. Toss out the Third Way faction, bring in the Sanders people who will run on a primary platform of fixing our corrupt campaign finance system and on re-regulating Wall Street. Do that and America’s various “betas” might just have a place to go in 2020 after they’ve learned the hard lesson of what happens when a loser “wins” by casting a double-down vote for a right-wing charlatan who promises to restore the “good old days.”


Perhaps you were not badly and regularly abused as a child?

Makes total sense to me. I wouldn’t piss on my own brother if he were on fire today, but there was a time in my life when I might have instead lit myself on fire just to level the playing field between us.

Is it rational? It’s not even a fair question. Rationality is a a really nice expectation of the world, but you gotta throw that one out the window to make a deal with a malignant egotist. They lack the character to fair deal. They lack the humility to see their own potential, do you think they could do anything but degrade yours, from that place?


Yeah, no. Abused spouses refuse to leave because they believe marriage means forever no matter how awful it gets, or because they’ve been gaslighted into believing they can’t fend for themselves, or because they literally don’t have the funds and support structure to fend for themselves.

I think what you’re referring to relates to the gaslighting part – call an abused spouse a fool to stay, and you’re reinforcing what they’ve already been told by the abuser.

Now, how that relates to Trump supporters – tell people they’re deplorable and they’ll act deplorable? I feel like there has to be more to it than that.


I’m not convinced of that. People in non-legally-married pairings have the same difficulty leaving, even when they do have the finances to support themselves.


4chan trolls are describing a millionaire real estate magnate as a loser?


That would come under


The 2009 recession hit this generation the hardest.


The real tragedy, is that the market is being flooded with very similar articles.

Writer writes about a group that is doing something foolish and harmful, not just to everyone else, but also to themselves. It really doesn’t matter what the group is doing, but let’s just say for the sake of staying on topic, they are Trump voters.

The writer goes on to explain their original motivations, how they were led to follow Trump, and how they currently feel. A quote is inserted that sets up a condition that cannot possibly be met, as a necessary condition for the behavior end. In this case it was, that the quoted person acknowledged that voting for Trump was a mistake, but they would vote for Trump again if someone called them a fool.

Then and here’s the part that I don’t get and that Belle Waring also rejects: the writer pivots on that quote and makes that the conclusion. Drop everything and save these people from themselves without once making them feel foolish.

I’d like to win, too. But I think I’ll have a better chance at winning if I don’t waste my time comforting people who are only happy when I’m invisible and silent.


This article explains maybe 2% of Trump’s support.

I live in an area where Trump got 55 plus percent of the vote. The Trump voters I know are 40-70 year old men and women who wouldn’t know 4chan from Charlie Chan.


I am from their generation too, and it was obvious to me that Trump is a really bad idea.

Things are going to get a lot worse now, for us and for them. all I can hope for is that they realise that they made a mistake before it is too late.

(I think this V for Vendetta image is going to see a lot of use over the next four years)


Angry Constituents Are Saving America From Trump And We Are Here For It


You get it.

You’re not convinced that anyone has stayed with an abuser because of a faith in the institution of marriage? What about a true scotsman?


Well my point was (I hope it came across) that there is no ‘comfort’ you can give these people - they feel like they are victims - and as such they want to hurt the people they feel are victimizing them.

Women who reject male power = victims.
Blacks who reject being a lesser class citizen = victims
Gamers who want women to be more than sex objects = victims
Dumbass ignorant people who are tried of being proven wrong = victims
Anti-Nazis = victims
Anti-White power = victims
Anti-Gay men who were never allowed to be gay and had to marry = victims

The list is endless - that’s why the idea of a ‘safe space’ is so offensive to them… they feel like they are the victims and how dare you want a space free from them.

There is no reasoning with madness - the only chance to overcome this is to be resolute in it’s destruction.


I get your point, but I don’t like the strawmen.

There is no reasoning with madness -

True, but

the only chance to overcome this is to be resolute in it’s destruction.