At Psychology Today Blogs, Steve Taylor explores the “abdication syndrome,” which refers to persons’ choosing to abdicate their autonomy to a charismatic leader or guru. He suggests that it can help understand the fanatic devotion of Donald Trump’s base, even as his behavior demonstrates repeatedly that he doesn’t have a clue about how government, politics, or international relations (let alone integrity or morality) work. Here’s a bit; the rest is worth a look:
It is tempting to apply the ‘abdication syndrome’ to Donald Trump. Perhaps this helps to explain his appeal to a sizeable proportion of the American electorate. Those who describe Trump’s following as a ‘personality cult’ are correct in the sense that he behaves like a narcissistic guru who craves the adoration of his disciples. And in turn, he provides his disciples with an illusion of responsibility and control. Despite his seemingly narcissistic personality, Trump’s supporters believe that he has their best interests at heart and that he loves them and their country. As with a corrupt guru, it doesn’t matter how incompetently he performs, or how immorally he acts; nothing will affect their devotion. His followers either explain away or deny his incompetence and corruption, in order to preserve their image of him as an infallible father figure.