The secret to Trumps success? Its sheer existential dread | Sheldon Solomon

Authoritarian populist leaders thrive on the fear of death, says psychology professor Sheldon Solomon In a recent experiment, American participants were asked: Please describe the emotions that the thought of your own death arouses in you and Write down as specifically as you can what you think will happen to you physically as you die and once you are dead. Moments later, those who had been asked to contemplate their mortality reported more negative attitudes towards immigrants, greater opposition to a mosque being built in their neighbourhood, and a greater likelihood of voting for Donald Trump for president. What could possibly explain these findings? In The Denial of Death (1973), cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker argued that while humans share a …