He seduces people with his confidence and his promises. People invest time, love and money in him. But in the end he cares only about himself. He betrays those who trust him and leaves them high and dry.I think it will be hard to persuade his admirers to care, the same way it's hard to convict star athletes of domestic violence or sexual assault. Like those athletes, Trump is a hero to his voter base. Under those circumstances, the just world theory kicks in:
... this is a message that can sway potential Trump supporters, many of whom have only the barest information on what Trump’s life and career have actually been like.
This is a message that can work in a sour and cynical time among voters who already feel betrayed. This is a message that can work because it’s a personality type everyone understands. This is a time when it is not in fact too late, when it may still be possible to prevent his nomination.
The campaign against Trump has to be specific and relentless: a series of clear examples, rolled out day upon day with the same message. Donald Trump betrays.
It can start with Trump University, where Trump betrayed schoolteachers and others who dreamed of building a better life for themselves.
The need to see victims as the recipients of their just deserts can be explained by what psychologists call the Just World Hypothesis. According to the hypothesis, people have a strong desire or need to believe that the world is an orderly, predictable, and just place, where people get what they deserve.Voters who didn't like Mitt Romney believed he screwed workers when he was at Bain Capital, but his own voters never did -- even the ones who didn't like him very much cheered him on as an upright capitalist and job creator, someone who might have presided over job losses, but only because you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. Similarly, I assume Trump's backers are going to rationalize the problems at Trump University by concluding that there's something wrong with the students who are suing -- either they failed to take in the extremely useful information they were taught or they're just a bunch of malcontents and whiners who are looking for a free lunch.
No, that's not rational, but I can't imagine another reaction from Trump's base. He's leading a cult, and it's extremely difficult for cult members to believe bad things about their leader. The negative stories about Trump that are being spread now will limit the growth of his base, I suspect, but they're not going to disillusion more than a tiny handful of the faithful. The faithful will continue to believe that every terrible-sounding allegation against Trump must have a rational explanation.