The Republican establishment is clearly frightened of Donald Trump. They cite various reasons, but, as I psychiatrist, it is my job to look under the surface. Here’s what I come up with:
The Republicans are populated with conservatives. Conservatives want to conserve what is. “What is” is a culture in which survival, a predominately male function, is their focus.
Now, a look beneath the surface at the male brain reveals different wiring from that of the female – in general. Part of that different wiring involves fewer connections in the male brain between the location of emotions (limbic system) and the location where decisions are made (pre-frontal cortex).
This should be no surprise to anyone, as men are generally considered less in touch with their emotions than are women. More deeply, they are less comfortable with the role of emotions in decision making. They are operational, whereas the Democratic candidates are more inspirational.
Now, along comes Donald Trump. He is quite free to incorporate emotions into his decision making. He does not have or care about having detailed policies and plans, even on his website. Rather, he uses emotions to connect with the voters via their emotions. This approach is anathema to Republican establishers. They rely primarily on thought, on databases, on precise plans – blueprints.
So, whether or not detailed, unemotional plans are important or not in reality, they are secondary in the voters’ emotional worlds. What the voting populace responds to is emotions. That’s what populists are all about. They connect with emotions. That’s what Trump is all about, but that’s not what the Republican establishment is all about. Emotions are not their thing. Emotions make them nervous, anxious, uncomfortable, threatened, afraid.
And that, in a nutshell, is why the Republican establishment fears Trump. They are uncomfortable, nervous, threatened, fearful of them. The reasons they state are concrete, superficial, secondary, and not what really drives . . . their own emotion – fear – of emotional Donald Trump!
Melvyn Lurie, M.D.