How do you manipulate people? Well, there are two things you need to do first: 1) isolate that person and 2) get them to rely on you (and only you). If you can convince a person or group of people that they are alone, under attack, underappreciated, or otherwise marginalized, you can control who has access to them and who they can contact. This makes it easier to force them to rely on you, to make them listen to you, and to listen to only you. Then you can start getting them to do what you say.
To maintain their loyalty and isolationism (because it’s easier to manipulate someone who wants to listen to you), you have to periodically praise them, often at the expense of others. “You’re so smart,” you say, “Unlike your sister,” or “You’re so much prettier than the other girls,” or “Did you see what stupid thing such-and-so did? I know you would never do that.” Complimenting people in that fashion pits them against others, further isolating them, and intrinsically implying that, should they stop being so smart, loyal, etc., they will lose your love and respect and everything that goes with it. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?
Then the real horror begins because if you have an isolated person who only relies on you, only believes in you, and only listens to you, they’re going to do whatever you want without questioning you. This will lead you to spit on, beat, and scream racial slurs at dissenters, especially if your leader is egging you on. This will compel you to ignore outside facts and accuse those fact-holders of either being mean to your leader or to you. This will allow you to forgive your leader for whatever they do, regardless of how vile, cruel, violent, or hateful.
This is how Donald Trump can tell a group of supporters that he could shoot someone in broad daylight and not lose any voters. Oh, and those supporters will cheer. Continue reading