Right vs. left vs. Trump: The great Gap Psychology misunderstanding.

For as long as I have been alive, which now exceeds 80 years, the right-wing (conservatives) and the left-wing (progressives) have seen the same world with different eyes.

Though generalities, by definition, do not apply to all cases, one can say that conservatives wish to “conserve” and progressives wish to “progress.”

This fundamental difference manifests in several ways. Conservatives are more likely to be “originalists,” wishing to interpret the Constitution through the eyes of the original drafters, while progressives wish to interpret the Constitution through the eyes of someone living today.

Image result for opposites photo

When viewed through original eyes vs. today’s eyes, many issues can be seen quite differently.

Gun ownership, aid to the less fortunate, abortion, voting rights, female rights, religion, speech, morals, war, government power, etc. — identical facts often are interpreted in opposition — and perhaps no more so than today, by people who sincerely want a better world, but merely see different paths for getting there.

Donald Trump has exaggerated the differences so that opposing sides neither understand, nor seemingly even want to understand, the others.

The reason is that Trump, who formerly was a Democrat, then myseriously became a Republican, does not have a philosophy regarding any of the above issues, but rather employs the philosophy: “What’s best for Trump is best for the world.”

To achieve his personal goals, Trump deliberately has set the two sides in bitter opposition through the politics of hate.

In Trump’s world, the only good people are those who support him, and all the others must be destroyed. Compromise is weakness. Apology is weakness. Compassion is weakness. The truth is what he claims it is.

Why does this Trump-centric philosophy have strong appeal to a large number of people?

It begins with the fact that Trump demonstrates hatred of the same people his followers hate: The poor, the non-white, the immigrants, the non-Christians, the gay, the progressives.

Seemingly, the people Trump admires most are hate-mongering strongmen, dictators like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Rodrigo Duterte, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

And all this hatred has its basis in Gap Psychology.

The foundation of hatred is fear.

It is almost impossible to hate someone or something unless you fear them in some way. Do you hate the poor? Do you fear they will impinge on your neighborhood, alter your life in some way, take money from you?

Do you hate the non-white for the same reasons, or that they will bring criminality or unwanted changes to your life? Do you fear the non-Christians for their “alien” beliefs that will affect your own beliefs? Do you fear the gays for turning your children gay? Do you fear the progressives for their support of the people you fear?

Gap Psychology describes the fear that the upper-income/wealth/power groups have of the lower-income/wealth/power groups. Imagine the fear and loathing many people feel when a ragged panhandler approaches.

Trump exploits these often-latent fears and brings them to the surface. He tells you Mexicans are rapists and criminals. He tells you Muslims are terrorists.  He tells you immigrants will take your job.

He tells you the poor will take your money, and the progressives will take your guns and kill your babies and steal your money. He tells you only he can save you.

And this politics of fear works on those who are most susceptible to belief in conspiracy theories and undocumented allegations. The politics of fear works on those who already are afraid.

This “fear-of-the-other” is merely a subset of Gap Psychology, which has two parts:

  1. Wanting to distance oneself from those “below” you on any socio-economic measure, and
  2. Wanting to come closer to those “above” you.

The importance of Gap Psychology in our daily lives cannot be overstated. It, along with Monetary Sovereignty, describes almost everything that happens in the world of Economics.

Quoting from What is Gap Psychology? A brief explanation”

“Gap Psychology affects the clothes you wear, the house in which you live, the schools you attend, the car you drive, the stores and restaurants you frequent, the church you attend, your job, your hobbies, your vacations, your voting, the person you marry, even the name you give your child.”

Gap Psychology is both cohesive and dividing. Evolution has retained it as an integral part of higher-level social species’ interactions. It both strengthens and weakens groups.

Gap Psychology creates ambition and enthusiasm, aversion and disgust. It supports dictators and causes wars. Gap Psychology is the basis for Donald Trump’s hate-mongering power.

Economists don’t speak of or even consider Gap Psychology, and it is seldom if ever taught in economics courses,  which represents a huge hole in the science.

Teaching economics without teaching Gap Psychology is comparable to teaching mathematics without arithmetic.

Gap Psychology not only should be part of every economics course. It should be a part of every class. It is that fundamental.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


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