The Donald Trump Problem

The Donald Trump Problem

Donald Trump has unleashed telling information about what makes us human.

Mentioning Donald Trump will automatically stir emotions in most. It’s come to the point where no matter your perspective, others may provide a automatic unchangeable label depending on your viewpoint on Donald Trump. But often what we experience says more about us than the man himself.

The landscape seems to be like this, if you make positive remarks someone on the left may batter an insult, a negative response and you’ll also be labeled by the right. What makes this fascinating is the automatic dismissal that occurs.

Growing gaps between Republicans and Democrats across domains

Divisiveness would be an understatement and what it stems from is what’s fascinating. Emotional responses will naturally come first, since we are humans. Adding politics to the mix no doubt creates more of a charged argument, we fundamentally want to make sure we can strive in society by having a fair government.

Looking at the charts above and below, it seems that developing trends in the US show that it’s been getting progressively more divided. The combination with a divisive president like Donald Trump is no doubt extra fuel to the fire.

Democrats and Republicans more ideologically divided than in the past

Less overlap in the political views of Republicans and Democrats than in the past

Battle lines are clearly drawn depending on what news source you find. If it’s CNN you’re likely find dislike, pro-right and it’s likely to be positive admiration. What has become clear is that no matter where you look, a skewed perspective is likely.

Little tricks in wording can turn a news story in a positive or negative, and this is no doubt on purpose. Blatant disregard for a fair argument can be converted into a “win by any means necessary” argument. A quick funny highlight of this fact can be found in this video:

Of course the goal of the media should be to inform, but this is not often the case. Great funding is paid for by interest groups who want an agenda pushed.

Any time something is popular and widespread, it gets accepted into the popular culture. What this inevitably leads to is a authority bias:

greater accuracy to the opinion of an authority figure

The Psychology of Sides

Both Jung and Freud agreed that the number 1 psychological pathology is projection. We can find demons where there is none, saviors in fools. Those on the right can look at the clear agenda on the left and scoff at its clear manipulation, which can breed even more disdain and a belief that they’re right. The left assumes the same of the right, but of recent memory, it’s turned more into moral outrage from the left (to be clear, this isn’t to pick sides, we can point to hypocrisy on both sides, but at least where I live, Trump supporters are treated with an automatic great dislike)

“Projection is one of the commonest psychic phenomena…Everything that is unconscious in ourselves we discover in our neighbour, and we treat him accordingly.” – Carl Jung

Those on the left may see the bias, but ultimately decide that it’s for the greater good. The end result ends up being that we pick and choose based on an agenda, not on the facts. Long-term this is a terrible strategy for both the opposing side and the user. What ends up happening is that blind emotion will steer instead of clear focus. In a later blog I will discuss why true threats require discipline, a lack of emotion, and trust in your capabilities. Right now blind rage is replacing well-thought out strategy and cohesion. Great warriors such as Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi and Marcus Aurelius talked about having compassionate for your enemies, not hatred for fellow citizens.

  1. Common theme of the left: Win by any means necessary and or deny critical thinking
  2. Common theme on the right: Feel as though because the other side is clearly wrong, that then of course, their side is right.

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t care about politics or act without boundaries, but ultimately, we have to respect our citizens. Otherwise, all that we are left with is silencing, hatred, and distrust of others.

Of course there tends to be something to always strive for, or at the very least, acknowledge. But the main contention is of picking sides and feeling as though one must defeat the other.

If we neglect the fact that we are all sharing this planet, country, and  are in a social cohesion, we start attacking each other mercilessly. If instead we look within ourselves and stop projecting, we’ll see that the real root of suffering isn’t Donald Trump or the left, it’s our unconscious.

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