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A recent poll conducted by Matthew MacWilliams, a doctoral
candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that the unique
thing that unites Trump supporters is their parenting style. Specifically, an authoritarian form of parenting.
The poll gave respondents a list of qualities and asked
parents which traits were more important: independence or respect for their
elders; curiosity or good manners; self-reliance or obedience; and being
considerate or being well-behaved.
Parents who picked the second traits, like good manners and
obedience over the other options, tend toward a parenting style the
psychologists call authoritarianism. According to the Washington
Post, "Among Republicans who are otherwise similar, authoritarians—those who chose the second option in each of the four questions above—have nearly 50-50 odds of supporting Trump."
It's troubling that they also support a style of parenting that has a proven track record of harming children's well-being.
The polling didn't reveal similar results for other
Republican candidates, which mean that the parenting styles of their supporters
are more varied. But for Trump supporters, a dictatorial style of parenting is indicative
of a personality that is drawn to strong leaders with a totalitarian message.
And this authoritarian style, more than coherent policies, is what is
driving the Trump campaign.
While many factors beyond parenting contribute to the
success of a child, the bottom line is that authoritarianism is a negative way
of raising children. And it's troubling not only that so many people in America
support Trump's manic and despotic candidacy but they also support a style of parenting
that has a proven track record of harming children's well-being.
But of course, the downside of all of this is, pointing out
the fallacies of not only Trump's candidacy but this parenting style will have
little effect on the supporters. Again,
the Washington Post notes, "And the findings are bad news for the other
contenders in the GOP primary, since authoritarians tend to be set in their
ways. What they have in common is an aversion to new kinds of experiences."
So in sum, we are doomed on more than just a democratic