“I’m not a bigot. My best friend is a [Enter race, religion, nationality, political party here].”
That is an almost humorously trite response from supposed bigots — people who, by definition, are obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, especially one who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.
Bigotry is the negative face of generalization, by definition, a proposition asserting something to be true of all members of a class or of an indefinite part of that class — in short, stereotyping
Thus, to some, Jews are greedy, blacks are stupid, the French are effete, Italians are womanizers, Muslims are terrorists, the English are pompous, Chinese are sneaky, Spanish are fiery, Japanese are inflexible, Mexicans are lazy, Germans are harsh, Canadians are bland, Americans are boisterous, women are bad drivers, men don’t ask for directions — the list is endless.
To some degree, you are a bigot, as am I, as is every human on earth. Bigotry, rationalization, and stereotyping are hardwired into brains as survival functions.
The common phrase, “Once bitten, twice shy,” is a description of experiential learning that is found among virtually all living creatures.
Slap a dog, and that dog likely will cower or growl at the next person it meets. That slap will have induced bigotry against people — even kind, friendly people, in that dog’s mind.
I don’t need to evaluate the specific temperament of a lion, bear, a snake, or a spider to be wary of them, and that wariness could save my life if I wandered through a jungle or forest.
I am bigoted against all lions, bears, snakes, and spiders, no matter how friendly one may be.
Humans, being social animals, rely on more than experiential learning. Our beliefs are influenced by interactions with other human beings.
We learn to read cues, sometimes quite subtle, from facial and body “language.
The look of a face, the sound of a voice, certain seemingly bland words, all can provide cues about a person’s emotions, intelligence, attitudes, intentions, and preferences.
These cues can be so powerful that we may believe them more than direct statements.
“Why are you angry?
“I’m not angry.”
“Well, you look, angry.”
“Really, I’m not angry.”
(Aside: “I know he’s angry. He just won’t admit it.”)
The sum of these cues is known as “personality,” the interpretation of which can be the ultimate decider in your attitude about the person.
President John Kennedy exuded these cues, the total of which were referred to as “charisma.”
Kennedy followers loved him, not so much for what he accomplished (which was relatively minimal), nor even for what he said, but rather for how he said it and how he looked. Those were his cues.
By contrast, President Lyndon Johnson, who accomplished miles more than Kennedy, was followed but not loved. He had less charisma.
Since charisma, like beauty, is in the eyes and ears of the beholder, it provides for massive disagreement among viewers and listeners.
For example, I personally believe Donald Trump embodies all the worst components of the human character. See: “The secret GOP checklist of Presidential requirements. Know anyone?” I view him as an ultimate form of evil in America, and I find him disgusting.
The Macho Appeal of Donald Trump
Though a majority of Latino voters favor Democrats, Hispanic men are a small but enduring part of Trump’s base.
Those supporters see him as forceful, unapologetic, and a symbol of economic success.
By Jennifer Medina, New York Times, Published Oct. 14, 2020
What has alienated so many older, female and suburban voters is a key part of Mr. Trump’s appeal to these men.
To them, the macho allure of Mr. Trump is undeniable. He is forceful, wealthy and, most important, unapologetic.
In a world where at any moment someone might be attacked for saying the wrong thing, he says the wrong thing all the time and does not bother with self-flagellation.
To these people, lies and bluster are not the signs of criminality or weakness, but of power. The reality of Trump being a cowardly draft dodger and bully is invisible to them.
For these men, who presumably lack what they feel the President offers, the shouting, incessant interrupting, and overall ignorant boorishness during the “debate” with Joe Biden, were signs of strength.
“I feel so powerful,” the president declared at a rally in Florida on Monday, standing in front of Air Force One. Lest anyone miss the message, the rally ended with “Macho Man” by the Village People blasting on the speakers.
The irony of Trump’s campaign illegally using the campaign anthem of the gay community is lost on his followers.
Paul Ollarsaba Jr., a 41-year-old Marine veteran, voted for a Republican for the first time in 2016, won over by what he saw as Mr. Trump’s commitment to the military.
More irony: A marine veteran is won over by a draft-dodger who called marine war casualties and heroes, “losers” and “suckers.” It’s almost would be laughable, if it weren’t so bitter, but the power of personality cannot be overstated.
“I’ve been the biggest fan of him,” said Mr. Paul Cejudo, 33, recalling watching “The Apprentice” in a high school class. “We need a businessman, we need somebody like this to run our country.”
Even more irony: Not only is Trump a failed businessman, who squandered millions on losing casinos (Who loses money on casinos??), and who had to be bailed out of six bankruptcies by his daddy, but he has been President for nearly four years, and his “businessman” background has yet to yield positive results.
Compare America’s weak economy under Trump with China’s powerful and growing economy And China’s economy is run by communists!
They said they saw his defiance of widely accepted medical guidance in the face of his own illness not as a sign of poor leadership, but one of a man who does his own research to reach his own conclusion.
Trump doing research? He is an obviously learning-disabled man who famously cannot read even one page of notes, and whose favorite communication is Twitter, with a 280 character limit. Trump learns not from research, but from Hannity, Carlson, Limbaugh, et al.
Edwin Gonzales said that for him, and many other Trump supporters, the president represented the best of capitalism, adding, “He’s a boss and they wanted to be him, they idolize him.”
Psychologists will tell you that Trump’s bragging, bluster, bullying, lawbreaking, and contempt for women are signs of weakness and of psychopathic insecurity.
But for Trump’s male (and presumably some female) followers, they are signs of strength, to be admired, much like the macho appeal of street gangs and drug cartel leaders.
The only thing that could reduce Trump’s appeal among those followers is for him to admit error, or to apologize for pain given, or to show compassion. Those human qualities are seen as weak among the “macho men.”
Though the New York Times article refers specifically to Latino men, the notion must be quite common, especially among blue-collar male workers, that bosses are supposed to be crude, rude, bullying, bellicose tyrants. This is considered “toughness.”
Visualize stereotypical dock foremen, football coaches, Southern sheriffs. Many men admire and aspire to those “boss” positions, and even may be experienced in obeying what those kinds of martinets demand.
Forget about morals. Forget about fairness. Forget about intelligence and honesty and truth. Forget about healthcare, Social Security, and unemployment compensation. From an evolutionary standpoint, obeying a “boss” leads to survival and success.
And that is why no facts or evidence can sway those Trump followers from their cult leader. Blind to reality, they always will be with him.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
- Eliminate FICA
- Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
- Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
- Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
- Salary for attending school
- Eliminate federal taxes on business
- Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
- Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
- Federal ownership of all banks
- 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.
3 thoughts on “The evolutionary advantage of being blind to reality.”
This is how a lazy, incomptent “boss” operates in Trump-world:
More than 220,000 Americans dead, and still Trump does nothing but brag, insult, and point his stubby, little fingers. Dr. Atlas will once again prove the mantra, “Everyone who touches Trump comes away dirty.”
If Atlas ever had a good reputation, it’s gone, now.
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Many comment to me:
“Look Trump is an idiot – but we know who he is and he will soon be gone. So I’m no longer bothered by Trump per se. What really bothers me is that 40% of the nation supports him. How can that be?”.
Your essay offers some excellent insight on the answer to this question. Thanks.
Thank you, Charles.