I came across a psychological analysis of a Trump supporter's mindset this week and it made interesting reading for anyone worried about democracy.
A lot of the report, authored by cognitive neuroscientist Bobby Azarian, details traits you'd generally want your kid to lose by the time they finish kindergarten. But it's never that simple.
It starts off suggesting that people support Trump most obviously because they benefit. Stealing candy from a baby is easy and the more opportunities you get, the more you will. A growing sense of self-entitlement keeps any guilt at bay.
Showmanship is important, with research suggesting Trump is more interesting to watch than most other candidates, and the further he goes off the reservation with his rhetoric and policy lurches, the better. People like to be entertained.
For some disillusioned souls there's a certain schadenfreude in seeing a disruptive force like Trump screwing round with the establishment. This becomes a little disturbing when Trump becomes the establishment, but then again, he always was ... disturbing, and the establishment.
Conservative personality types apparently have bigger amygdala (a part of the brain) suggesting they are more susceptible to fear-mongering. Conservative brains literally light up when the words "Mexican" and "rapist" are mentioned in the same sentence which is why Trump keeps putting those words in the same sentence. This dog whistling is apparently gonna make America great again.
Terror Management Theory suggests that if you keep reminding people they're under threat and gonna die if they don't strike first they'll vote for you. That's called nationalism and it's a time-honoured tactic.
The report rolls through a range of other human psychological susceptibilities like racism, bigotry, collective narcissim, relative deprivation, lack of exposure to dissimilar others, the desire to dominate, targeting the mentally vulnerable and authoritarianism.
But the one I really like is the Dunning-Kruger Effect which in layman's terms says the biggest dickhead is the dickhead that doesn't know they are a dickhead.
Quite often these dickheads think they have the answer to the problem, and aggressively push their misinformed solution, thus creating "the double burden" - there was a problem, and now with the poor solution, there is a bigger problem.
For an Australian reference, think cane toads, prickly pear and Barnaby Joyce.
The Dunning-Kruger effect seems a particularly human trait, and one not confined to the Whitehouse.
How many of us can honestly hold up their hands and say they didn't always know why they were doing soemthing, but did it anyhow. It's called parenthood people.
Others might call it leadership and in a crisis it's the precarious balance struck between that and the Dunning-Kruger Effect that just might save us falling off a cliff. Thus laying the platform for the next crisis.
Which gets us back to Trump, and what makes his supporters tick. Tock.