Why people like Trump

2016-07-22 22.37.18

So why is it, people support and follow other people.  Some patterns are emerging, even if I am very far from an answer. As a intrepid self-deprecating  and self-doubting individual that science and my parents have forced me to develop into, these are only patterns I can affirm to be important in the absolute current affairs of humanity. I don’t think humanity has always been the same towards following a patronage of any kind (aah but there is more where that came from…. and died in hope or despair).

So, general people when confronted with what they believe is a threat to them will do whatever possible to divert it, even quite easily towards someone else, that is why heroes are heroes as well as rare, and the rest of everyone pretty much cares only what happens to them. They may also care about others, once reasonably assured of their own “security”,  who can make them unhappy by dying or being angry at them for not at least trying to (pretend) to help or save them. That means family or whoever you think you need to share your happiness and accomplishments to feel that as happiness (and accomplishment). Not to be unkind to my species, there are people in between heroes and general people: who care, can think of a bigger picture and all that. I like to think I am one of them (which makes it one of those things to be taken with a pinch of salt and a red face). But I am also not a Trump supporter, haha. Unlike my neighbor who WILL hire people undoubtedly illegal (immigrants) to see to his lawn but also has the post supporting Trump  on his way to make America Great again on the same lawn.  It is not that he doesn’t care (although he is a bit discourteous) if one were to ask him if he wanted these people to have a good life (the definition of good is as variable as god), he probably would. He will claim high ground to let everyone know that he thought illegals were bad for the U.S. and he didn’t actually know the aforementioned people were illegals (because he assumes the best in people, or something like that). Well, most of that is wrong. He chooses not to believe it when it suits him, if he were one of those people who thinks everyone is nice then why would he be opposed to the immigrants Trump is so against bringing in? Oh wait, he is nice but racist, it is only the Muslims that are a problem ( and the Mexicans). I should mention these gardeners are from Guatemala and that my neighbor lives with his 90-95 yr old parents to take care of them. That’s how people are, multifaceted, and I will be the first to admit that the big picture is not always the most important.

Except when it is. The next president of the U.S. cannot (well, at this point, should not) be a person pandering to the small picture needs of people, who are to begin with too out of touch with the rest of the world and have been for too long. The small pictures exclude the world at large, that is why they are small. The whole thing about the big picture is: it contains by definition all the small pictures existing including all the ones some people cannot imagine. It is true that small pictures are not unimportant, we should take into account all the small pictures. They all have to fit in the big picture and no small picture, of the American picket fence, two cars, three children, 2 dogs and a cat should threaten another picture with another large family, but with no picket fence, in fact, nothing to protect them from bombs dropping from the sky. People do like other pictures just like the ones they are in, but this covert antagonism, or basic disrespect towards different pictures has led to the divisive reigns, even in India where one would think there are enough differences to make them seem normal.

Then there is this strong skepticism on numeric data, be it GDP, Dow Jones industrial average, S&P, Unemployment rate. Whatever it is. Someone, long ago planted this (like inception, but the seed was planted in many brains and is imprinted now in the descendants) lack of belief in numbers, while affirming belief in translated words as long as the spine and top of the book says ‘Bible’. The alarming thing, as noted in the blog before, leads to distrust in statistics and even casual disregard of the NUMBER of people being KILLED in wars this country wages with NO numeric (read GDP, national debt) benefit for its own people. They FEEL safer when these was are ongoing and do not care how much more in debt the country or they themselves get into as the economy suffers. How many innocent people are killed to get that FEELING of safety? It is the feeling that matters, not reality because apparently reality can be rigged, but not the feelings. As long as no one hurts their feelings, other lives are mere numbers that maybe spurious and are definitely suspiscious. Instead of this morbid FEAR of numbers if someone had planted the power of statistics, data, history and simple probability (we are not talking about theoretical physics models here!) these same people may have understood that economy and investments are numeric in basis and it bodes us well if we can look at them without fear of the unknown, to eventually find reliable sources. Instead of living in denial of their own mortality (because after all 80 is just a number: of years) and that of every index that measures aspects of society and life style, people would then try to accept reality. To make matters worse, there is whole bunch of other ‘character’ features that people think they are supporting: honesty, for one. As apparently, unlike career politicians Trump is actually honest. To the billow of laughter I would expect following that statement in circumstances I used to consider normal (and ok I am sure it is still normal in yours or my circle) until last year, we have incontrovertible proof that he has managed to accrue somehow a hushed sort of respect and awe emanating from the crowds  that are undoubtedly voting for him. Oh yes.. he is so honest about all his views about everything, however misinformed! One would have thought (in the good old days I believe in but never witnessed) people would KNOW the value of knowledge and wits, over honestly acknowledging that he doesn’t know, does not want to know and moreover does not even know how to know what to know. All he needs apparently is a bunch of prejudices and a receptive, impressionable audience here.

He stands in Scotland singing praises for the Brexit vote. He is honest about how he is obviously on record being contradictory about the most important social issues of our time: on gun violence, on women’s rights, on EQUAL rights for all. Forget the innocent relatives for putative terrorists.. 

To give an example of why I think of Trump supporters like I do, I have presented a comment from FB, on a friend’s wall. I think it is not and cannot be apparent who made it (other than for the two of them) and I have no wish to mark anyone for anything. I just think this presents the contradictions of the small and the big pictures.  So, basically  people (in the U.S.) have no actual disrespect for dictators as long as they can claim (in the future) to curb violence. Yet, they are ok with the U.S. bringing down dictators everywhere who have a PROVEN record of KEEPING violence down, like Saddam Hussein, so what if they were using deplorable means? Until suddenly someone tells them Hussein is going to hurt them or their feelings. Then that dictator has to go.  The next ‘dictator’ they are ok with would have to employ those deplorable means in the U.S. The only thing any media outlet has got about right in the U.S. in a long long (LONG LONG) time is disliking Trump.

The average American (belonging to the group I am talking about here, obviously not everyone here, I better explain CLEARLY) thinks there is no responsibility to participate, even if indirectly by the citizens, in causing civilian deaths through mass bombings. In the real world, banning aggrieved immigrants from getting anywhere safe is making the whole world a place for terrorist camps, but that seems to be a hard idea for people to wrap their heads around.  In war zones or terrorist occupied territories, if you are one of those in power,there is some sort of protection for you and maybe your family, however tenacious.  This is similar to what people in the U.S. maybe more familiar hearing about: with the gangs that require initiation, then offer protection once you are in, living in the economically underprivileged neighborhoods many kids have no option. It is easy to imagine the situation being much more dire in a war zone,just by using some minimal powers of empathy. Then there are all kinds of videos and reporting that are mostly free, streaming from Syria and elsewhere. A drowning man will clutch at anything and every hero or average person knows that. At least any one who wants to know can know that.

Group hysteria and brain washing (indoctrination) works best on the desperate, and somehow citizens of the U.S. fall in the category despite every avenue available to develop an analytic brain. I don’t know what makes them desperate to be hysterical enough to entirely ignore that the problem needs looking beyond their noses. Gun violence is at its height, I should say plateau, but those people are mostly American citizens, who have assault rifles. Not some immigrants. There are scattered news reports from Germany about immigrant initiated violence, but teenage crime is not an immigrant related problem and a machete, is a machete. That the number of suicide bombers can only go down if there is fewer people to recruit. There can be fewer people to recruit, not by killing everyone, but by enabling them responsibly. Besides, it is normal, almost but not quite Trumpian logic  (he would expect the others to die for the sake of America without protest) that if you bomb someone claiming to make them safer, you actually have to make  certain that they are safe as their home is a rubble because of you OR they are entitled and easily instigated to bomb you back. Their life, they have been told meaningfully, is of no value anyway.

Just to be clear, I am not an outright Hillary supporter, her foreign policy is much more openly hawk like (even if Obama did start and continue a lot of wars, he was never openly a hawk). I don’t believe she is ‘honest’, in general I live in the real world and in this world, honesty is at best a few dots in the picture and if moved around or removed, mostly makes no real difference in the big one. The only thing that is equivalent and perhaps matters a little along the same lines is integrity. Except for integrity, you need knowledge and wits. No self respecting world leader can be expected to hold  conversation with an ignorant ass, who is proud to be ignorant (and an ass). It has always fascinated me how people like to believe that since there was Jesus (or equivalent) making life and living sound so simple that somehow international diplomacy, currency valuation, civil wars, foreign occupations, drone wars, terrorist camps, fundamentalism can all be explained and contained simply. Even if you can’t understand it, complexity exists and to discuss it you need to be able to keep 5 thoughts in your head. Make it 5000, per issue.  Given the sort of choice we have now, Hillary appears to be a no brainer (is that simple enough?). Even so, I think its not so “historical” that as usual the US is a little behind when it comes to a female president, the world has had many powerful women leaders and premiers and it is too bad if the american public didn’t think a woman should get their votes, but I won’t vote for Hillary (or anyone, remember Sarah Palin is also a woman) just because they are women. Feminists will like Hillary because she is a woman, or some feminists. That’s cliquish and cliques are ok, till one is 12 I think. If one is a real feminist they would care about all the other women and their children physically, and emotionally tortured to insane levels in wars and troubled zones not how the coddled American or British or German, public perceives them ( as in, ‘too soft for wars’).At any rate, for America’s image in the world, it had better be Clinton.

Finally, the idea that ‘Trump doesn’t need the presidency’ is also a joke at the cost of the naviete I now associate with the general American public. No one becomes a president of any country for the money, probably not even in African countries mired in civil war, where filling ones coffers is the only real benefit in the short life you are likely to have there any way. The American presidency is about power. Every one of the past American presidents (except perhaps Bush II) has been more than capable of making more money than Trump has made, lost or inherited combined. They understood that while the big picture is highlighted by money, it is composed of and made through history and no self-proclaimed construction giant ever made it big enough to color  all of it a sickly yellow- green.  Not yet anyway.

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