Writing in The Atlantic, Peter Whener, who served in three Republican administrations as a speechwriter, said those who supported Trump are akin to drug addicts looking for a stronger ‘kick’ now Trump has left the White House.
He references psychologist Daniel Goleman, who refers to “amygdala hijack” – an intense emotional reaction that’s dramatically disproportionate to the situation.
He write: “The MAGA brain was rewired... When a person has been triggered, their emotions take over, and they see the world through a distorted lens.”
He continued: “To better understand what’s happening in the GOP, think of a person with addiction who over time develops a tolerance; as a result, they need more potent and more frequent doses of the drug to get their desired high.
“And sometimes even that isn’t enough. They might turn to a more potent drug, which offers a more intense experience and a longer-lasting high, but at the price of considerably more danger.”
Wehner added that Trump has now become “something of an establishment figure” because his own supporters booed his suggestion that they get vaccinated, and right-wing Alex Jones called him a “dumbass” afterward on his radio programme.
He said this is leaving the door open to even more outrageous “cranks and kooks,” that could take over the MAGA movement.
“When you cross into territory devoid of moral axioms or epistemic standards ... things can get very ugly, very quickly,” Wehner wrote.
“Even Trump can begin to look like a mainstream figure within the party. At some point in the future, the same may be said of Marjorie Taylor Greene.”
In comparison, “Trump looks rather ordinary” he claimed.
“The GOP base may be identifying less and less with Trump personally — that was inevitable after he left the presidency — but it is not identifying any less with the conspiracist and antidemocratic impulses that defined him over the past five years.”