Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Are UU's seven principles an antidote to the emotionality of Trumpism?
On Tuesday, 11/13/18 the first article in a series on "Individual And Social Factors Which Support Trumpsim" appeared on this blog. It is fascinating not that Donald Trump, "The Donald," got elected President of the United States, but that citizens actually voted for him to become their President. Who are these people? What made them do it?
As these questions have been studied, "Who are these people who voted for Donald Trump," and "What made them do it," answers have been discovered and rather than view these answers through a poltical, psychological, and sociological lens alone, the articles on this topic published here will also look at the spiritual dimension.
The first reason that people have voted for The Donald could be construed as cynical and practical. These voters wanted, on a practical level, what Donald was promising: tax cuts for his 1% bank rollers, and jobs for the working class. These folks were willing to make a bargain with the Devil to get what they wanted. These folks are described as the Republican Party which got in line in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and GOP headquarters hoping to ride Trump's coat tails.
In this second article describes a second reason that people voted for Trump which is people are emotionally aroused by Trump's rhetoric. Trump's speech patterns have been studied and he speaks in a simple, repetitive way, with words and meme's that are incendiary even if proposterous. For example, Trump repeatedly said he would build a wall along the Mexican/US border and get the Mexicans to pay for it.
It has been said that if a person is to lie and get away with it, the person should tell a "whopper." People will object to a lttle lie, but a proposterous lie people tend to believe because the person can't believe a person would be so brazen as to tell such a huge lie if there wasn't something to their assertion.
Brain studies have been done which demonstrate the hearer's brain lights up when statements are made that are emotionaly arousing. Trump's tweets and statements that were clearly not accurate, but amost mythic in scope were carried nonstop by the 24/7 cable news channels whose viewers and advertising revenues sky rocketed because of the public interest in Trump's non normative statements and antics. Trump's ability to obtain and sustain attention, even negative, captured the reptilian brains of viewers. The appeal of Trump at his rallies is visceral.
Trump's statements and policies violate most of the Unitarian Univeralist principles such as the inherent worth and dignity of every person, justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, and the goal of world community with peace liberty and justice for all.
How is it that enough people were emotionally aroused by Trump's invective that they would actually vote for him to be leader of the free world? This question gets to one about judgment, wisdom, and character. This lack of judgment, wisdom, and character is a marker of dysfunction in a society that lacks maturity, that is psychological, and spiritual development. The prefrontal cortex of Trump voters is less highly developed and so its ability to regulate the reptilian reactions of the amygdala is compromised.
Unitarian Univeralism is a very small denomination in the United States, only about 150,000 people. The wisdom dormant in our covenantal relationships based on seven principles is the yeast for the dough of the american republic and the world. As UUs we have a duty and obligation to be the conscience of America as it careens down a harmful and destructive path.
As Unitarian Univeralists we don't need to argue about poltics with our fellow Americans but we do need to affrim and promote our principles which promises us heaven on earth, i.e. a happier life for all people of the Earth. We do need to point out to our fellow Americans that there is a better way for us to proceed into the future together.
This is a secon article in a series on antidote to Trumpism.