Saturday, September 5, 2015


Here's one of the phrases we often hear from supporters of Donald Trump: "He says what I'm thinking."



I think many things. So does my 5-year old niece. 

The last time I saw her she whispered in my ear, "Uncle Mark, some times I think I'm a pineapple." 

Cute. But she's 5. Most of us grow up after our 5th birthday and develop filters for what we think. 

This is the problem I have with Donald Trump's supporters. They have random thoughts - many of which are rooted in wishful thinking or ignorance - and don't seem to believe their thoughts need to be filtered. 

So, yeah, I'm saying Donald Trump's supporters don't think like grownups.

Just because you think something doesn't mean it's a good idea; or that you should act on the thought.  

Donald Trump's supporters think remaking the country into a place where people of color know their place, and women make the sandwiches, is a good idea. It's not.

Donald Trump's supporters also think building a wall to keep out the Mexican "rapists" and "murderers" is a good idea. Again, it's not.

Look, the real world forces most of us to readjust and tether our thoughts to new ways of thinking. When our ideas fail we have to adjust. It called growing up.

Most of us who live outside of Donald Trump's universe intuitively understand this. Those who don't understand our evolving world have issues. Fortunately, with the help of Science Daily, we learn that science can help us understand these issues and the evolution behind entrenched ignorance. It works something like this.

We learn through trial and error that all of our ideas aren't really good ones. The first Cave Man who built a fire and then burned himself learned to respect and stay away from fire. This was a good thing. 

Over time this kind of respect became routine, which created habits that acted as filters. People who work or see the same thing everyday understand certain cues and know how to respond or act. 

When it becomes "second nature" we cope with the world better. 
Some might call it adaption.

Problems emerge when adapted habits turn into snap judgments (which is good initially) that prevent people from learning anything new. The end result is that people will miss many opportunities. 

The Cave Man who became so fearful that they never used fire to cook meat, to light the night path, or as a weapon did not evolve, or survive long. The person who grows fearful or suspicious of people because of their religion, skin color, or national origin is in the same boat. 

When fear and suspicion drive our routines we stop thinking and begin developing ugly stereotypes and attitudes about life.

So it is with the attitudes Trump supporters have about Mexicans, pushy women, and scheming Asians who only "want deal." 

The evolution of prejudice, bias, and stereotypes is not hard to understand. Some don't want to acknowledge it, but we have a long history of nurturing our fears and prejudices. 

The "junk scientists" of the 19th and 20th centuries used phrenology and eugenics to argue that the size of your skull or national origin determined who you were or would become in life. The tales they spun about head slopes and skin color did much to advance slavery and justify ideas of racial superiority. 

Unfortunately, the toxic fumes of this history are with us today.  

What's difficult to comprehend is how such a large segment of our political community in the 21st century believe verbalizing and acting on these immediate and unfiltered thoughts is a good thing. This helps explain why a
 group of people with the intellectual discipline of a 5-year old are stealing our political headlines. 

Think about where this leaves us.  

In many ways a 5-year old thinking she's a pineapple is more advanced than the "thinking" that turns Mexicans, women, and Asians into objects of hate, fear, and ridicule. In fact, I'll b
et that my niece will learn she's never going to be part of a fruit basket long before Donald Trump's followers learn that misogyny, race baiting, and building walls to keep the Mexicans out aren't realistic life guidelines.

Saying and acting on what you think about the world might be viewed as decisive. But so are tantrums. Don't be surprised if people look at you like you're a 5-year old if you speak like Donald Trump. G
rownups understand what Trumpspeak really means.

- Mark

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