‘Blue Lies’ May Explain Why Trump Doesn’t Lose Support
Scientific American posted a very interesting article on why Trump never loses support amongst his base.
It’s the psychological concept of ‘blue lies’. ‘White lies’ are untruths meant to shield or support other people. ‘Black lies’ are untruths meant to avoid responsibility or consequences. ‘Blue lies’ are untruths that are ‘true’ to the group they are told to, and draw members of that group closer together.
So every lie Trump tells no matter how outrageous simply makes his base like him more.
Journalists and researchers have suggested many answers, from hyper-biased, segmented media to simple ignorance on the part of GOP voters. But there is another explanation that no one seems to have entertained. It is that Trump is telling “blue” lies—a psychologist’s term for falsehoods, told on behalf of a group, that can actually strengthen the bonds among the members of that group.
Children start to tell selfish lies at about age three, as they discover adults cannot read their minds: I didn’t steal that toy, Daddy said I could, He hit me first. At around age seven, they begin to tell white lies motivated by feelings of empathy and compassion: That’s a good drawing, I love socks for Christmas, You’re funny.
Blue lies are a different category altogether, simultaneously selfish and beneficial to others—but only to those who belong to your group. As University of Toronto psychologist Kang Lee explains, blue lies fall in between generous white lies and selfish “black” ones. “You can tell a blue lie against another group,” he says, which makes it simultaneously selfless and self-serving. “For example, you can lie about your team’s cheating in a game, which is antisocial, but helps your team.”