Trump is grooming his followers. He is a known predator and grooming is essential to how they operate.
People say they don’t understand how a sexual deviant can get a kid to agree to go with him alone into a room and get him to voluntarily give up his/her innocence. People are also perplexed why people followed Hitler. It’s all in their expert application of a special skill called grooming,
Here’s how it works, in the case of Trump. Before he can abuse, the predator must separate his victim from his/her safety net. He does this by insulting and vilifying those who would protect his victim “lock her up.” He turns opponents into “enemies of the people.” At the same time, he compliments and aggrandizes his victims, calling them “good people,” saying, “l love uneducated people,” and proclaiming “Make America great again.”
He creates problems that only he can fix, “build that wall” and the disastrous tariffs. He normalizes corruption by pardoning criminals and awarding honors on corrupt individuals like Rush Linbaugh and Michael Robert Milken. He slanders heroes, calling them names like “cowards” or “unAmerican.” He repeats a lie loudly and often until it becomes true. The victim is gaslighted, eventually believing, trusting and depending upon his groomer, who has won credibility and trust by expertly separating the victim from his/her protectors, and then villainizing them.
The predator pushes the bar of what is considered normal, inch by inch, until the incomprehensible becomes the new normal.
Trump is going even further, destroying the very institutions that were set up to protect us, like cutting food stamps, rolling back EPA standards, decimating public education, attacking the post office, upending our alliances, along with a myriad of other cutbacks, and draconian programs, like separating children from their parents at the border. In every case, he is creating more dependence on himself, as the one and only true savior from the destruction he himself has caused.
Overwhelmed with the chaos of collapsing systems, instead of turning on him, his followers invest ever more trust and adoration upon him. The more fear, hatred and chaos he generates, the deeper the devotion.
And that’s how and why the predator “wins” his prey.