President Trump told the graduating class of Liberty University that, “America has always been the land of dreams because American is a nation of true believers.” during his ceremonial address. However the question arose asking what “true believers” means, and what could it mean when applied to Trump’s die-hard supporters.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, Ronald W. Plies studies in a recent op-ed. The term “true believer” in this context originated in a 1950’s book by Eric Hoffer titled “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements”. Despite Hoffer being far from an academic, his book became a best-seller as facism became more of a threat to our society.
“Hoffer shrewdly analyzed the forces that spark nationalist and totalitarian movements. The irony of Trump’s “true believers” remark probably escaped both the president and his audience.” , Plies said.
Trump had managed to manipulate and deceive his “true believers” through glorifying himself as the “outsider” and portraying his lack of qualification and experience as a positive thing. Donald Trump made numerous promises to his “true believers” that often conflicted with each other. The wall, advanced military, low tax rates, and a healthcare plan that would benefit everyone. The truth is, President Trump has yet to deliver any of these promises to his constituents. His slogan “Make America Great Again” gave his supporters a false sense of hope, pride, and confidence that was actually absent in his cause.
While so quick to follow, the most disturbing quality of Hoffer’s “true believer” is their tendency to ignore the truth.
“It is futile to judge the viability of a new movement by the truth of its doctrine and the feasibility of its promises.” , Hoffer wrote.