Psychology Today And The Trump As Messiah Fallacy

Psychology Today And The Trump As Messiah Fallacy

Psychology Today And The Trump As Messiah Fallacy

On May 28, 2019, Psychology Today posted an article titled “The Belief That Trump Is a Messiah Is Rampant and Dangerous” with the subtitle “When a leader is seen as infallible, supporters become disciples.” Not only do I disagree with the premise of this article, I am shocked at the writer’s ignorance of recent history and lack of self-awareness.

Well, I am not really shocked.

The writer, Bobby Azarian, Ph.D., begins by declaring that Trump supporters stay loyal because he keeps us fearful. We have heard that one from Day One. The second paragraph is what concerns us today:

But there is another major reason why Trump loyalists do not waver no matter how he behaves or what scandals come to light. For most evangelicals, it is not only fear that keeps them in line, but it is also faith. As a cognitive psychology researcher who has been writing about the science underlying Trump’s unshakable support since he began his presidential campaign, I have learned—through comments, emails, and discussion forums—that a significant portion of his supporters literally believe the president was an answer to their prayers. He is regarded as something of a messiah, sent by God to protect a Christian nation.

I cannot speak for evangelicals, I am not even a good Christian, but I am pretty sure that the belief is that we get the leader that we need at the time. Also, I know for a fact that God does not, and because man is fallen cannot, pick perfect people to do His will.

But, what is really disturbing is that a five second Google search would have given him insight into the President as Messiah issue.

Jeremiah 5:21 – “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.”

Or, to put it in more modern terms, “O foolish psychologists which have internet, but do not Google.”

Remember President Barack H. Obama? Remember the white plywood columns and the god-like reverb and echo added to Obama’s voice during the 2008 campaign? How about the creepy celebrity “I Pledge” video wherein Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and Anthony Kliedis pledged to be a “servant to Barack Obama”? You can watch it here. But, for truly creeptacular, how’s about these kids, “The Obama Youth”?

I would love to know where these kids are and how they feel about this video today.

During the eight years of Obama, Psychology Today was on board with Obama’s wonderfulness. There was an Obama as Psychologist-in-Chief article and a why we NEED Obama article, among many others.

And, let us not forget the imagery. There was the crucified Messiah Obama, and the Second Coming Obama, and those are just two examples. And, rapper Nas, coined the term “The Chosen One” and declared that Obama would take care of all of our needs.

I think compared to the Obamabots, the Trump Train riders are pretty darn clear-eyed about the 45th President.

Mr. Azarian finishes his article with this quote:

When you believe that someone is truly a godsend, you can excuse anything. It all becomes “for the greater good.” And when that happens, it is a slippery slope to gross abuses of power that continuously increase in magnitude.

True facts, if only Mr. Azarian had a modicum of self-awareness. Psychology Today might want to send him to a, um psychologist.

Photo Credit: DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr/Public Domain

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11 Comments
  • Formerly known as Skeptic says:

    Also don’t forget the myriad photos (many ostensibly non-partisan news photos) of Obama framed such that some background object formed a halo behind his head. Creepy.

  • SFC D says:

    The most terrifying part of “Obama the messiah” is not the people that believed it, but that Obama himself truly believes it. With Trump, what you see is what you get. I don’t always care for the man, I wish he’d put his phone down and stay off of social media, but I cannot argue with the results he’s getting. I don’t expect perfection and godliness from my elected leaders. I expect results.

  • GWB says:

    I disagree with the premise of this article
    Well, the sub-title is right. So, he’s got that going for him.

    I have learned […] that a significant portion of his supporters literally believe the president was an answer to their prayers.
    Being the answer to their prayers does not a messiah make. But, there is some large number (for certain values of ‘large’) of Christians who believe this.

    He is regarded as something of a messiah, sent by God to protect a Christian nation.
    Sadly, there IS some number of Christians who believe this. And it IS troubling – for several reasons.* (And, yes, there was some disturbingly large number of self-declared Christians who felt the same for 0bama.)

    rapper Nas, coined the term “The Chosen One”
    I liked “Lightbringer” best. It was the most messiah-y of all the 0bama-worship.

    The obsession with 0bama as a messiah for the progressives was disturbing. It crossed the line into a cult for some people. Especially considering he had absolutely no accomplishments to his name. Not a damn one. But he “was the one we’ve been waiting for” and other such hosannas.
    At least Trump has his business empire, as well as his ‘reality tv’ show.

    * Now, as to the Christians who think Trump is here to save our nation:
    1) You’re not paying attention. Trump is NOT a social conservative, nor a strict fiscal conservative. He just happens to be a lot more America-loving and more conservative than the guy we put up with for the previous 8 years. (Bush 43 wasn’t exactly a fiscal conservative, either.)
    2) If you think ANY man is sent by God to save us on this Earth, you’re evangelical-ing wrong! There is exactly ONE messiah/christ, and He has already done His saving.
    3) We’re a republic, not a monarchy (we have only one King – Jesus!), and any ‘saving’ of the country is going to have to be done by… all us free citizens, at least 70 million of us (based on voter turnout in 2016). And I don’t mean we just magically vote the right guy in – it requires an imperturbable majority in both houses of Congress, a solid majority of constitutionalists on ALL of our courts, as well as a President. But, it also means we have to – every single day – jealously, zealously guard our rights, our history, our founding ideals, and our morals.
    Note Mr Franklin’s response to the woman who asked him what sort of gov’t we had out of the Convention:
    “A republic, ma’am, if you can keep it.”
    No one else will do the keeping for us. At least not while keeping it a republic of free citizens.

    • Henry says:

      “I liked “Lightbringer” best. It was the most messiah-y of all the 0bama-worship.”

      All the more so because it quite *literally* denoted “Lucifer.”

  • GRA says:

    I believe it was also Psychology Today that had several psychologists stating why President Trump had a mental disorder (mainly out of fear of Trump). I had had a Phd holder who was sure Trump has a learning disorder based on the way he talks and how he writes on Twitter (that’s some data).

  • SDN says:

    Psychology Today? You mean the ones that put this out back in 2012?

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/evolutionary-entertainment/201206/conservatism-mental-illness

    “The specter of mental illness does indeed loom large over creationists, but they are not alone. Signs of psychopathology can also be seen among their political bedfellows, conservative politicians, especially when you consider a wide range of illness indicators. In his award-winning 2005 book, Dr. James Whitney Hicks discusses 50 signs of mental illness including denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual preoccupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia. Now I’m no clinician, but in my (admittedly biased brown) eyes it seems that prominent Republicans have evidenced each of these ten telltale signs of mental illness over the past year:”

    Considering the article concluded that Jon Huntsman was the ideal Republican, I’d take this as evidence that PT hasn’t been sane for a while.

    • GWB says:

      Yeah, they’re much less about psychology and more about their own particular psychosis.

      I had a subscription to them decades ago. I let it lapse when I noticed they were publishing more pop psychology than actual psychology. And it was definitely slanted against anything of a religious character.

  • David Longfellow says:

    Psychology is a pseudoscience and its practitioners are little more than wannabe shamans.

    • CptNerd says:

      At least shamans had good rythm as they pounded on their drums to make the dragon spit out the sun when it was eaten in the day. Psychologists can’t even work up that much usefulness.

    • B Smith says:

      Psychology Today joins the recistance!

      Where were they when Obama fans were singing Dear Leader anthems.

      I do not know a single person who accepts what Trump says uncritically. I am sure those people exist but I don’t know any. Trump is loved by those who feel dispised by the establishment, by people like, well, Psychology Today.

      Psychology Today needs a follow up article exploring the Satan Fallacy, aka Trump derangement syndrome.

  • Robert Sendler says:

    Someone collected pages of iconography of Obama is the messiah from around 2008…there is a lot of it…

    https://obamamessiah.blogspot.com/

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