Just a heads up, or trigger warning for the pussies reading this: The reason I’m doing this is because of the 2016 election. I don’t like talking about politics in general, for all the obvious reasons; it’s an emotionally charged topic that gets heated quickly, it provokes arguments that often go nowhere and can split up otherwise good families and friends, etc. But this election has brought to light something I researched and even wrote about a while back, something whose simplicity is matched by it’s sheer power on human nature. That would be the manipulation of your emotions. Yes, it sounds simple, eye rolling so. But there are two parts of this you need to be aware of:
1. Humans generally have evolved to think in two different ways. One is logical, using rational evidence and critical thinking. The other is emotional, driven by primal instinct and reactions. They are two sides of the same coin, in many respects. One, if you think using logic, might say that thinking logically is the best wat to figure out a problem, because that is the best way to figure out the right solution to a problem. Today, that’s a smart plan, but the problem is that it didn’t work when humans were developing. Back when our problems were jaguars instead of Jenga, you didn’t have time to figure out whether that rustling of the leaves was either the wind or a predator; if you hesitated, you died. And if you look up the studies, when people are asked certain questions or put in high stress situations, the emotional and primal response in the human brain reacted way before the logical part of the human brain kicked in. In an evolutionary sense, logic is what you use when you have the luxury, while emotional reaction us what saved your ass; it’s what triggers the fight or flight response after all, therefore it takes priority in your brain. Keep that in mind, it is very important.
2. Humans teach using stories. We learn by emotion; you may have never seen a tiger in real life, but chances are you aren’t going to run and hug the first one you meet, because it’s a fucking tiger. The reason for that is that we can teach lessons using stories. This is vastly different from using scientific review; while the scientific method focuses on proving its point from logic (otherwise known as the slow way of learning), telling stories makes the problem and the solution to it relatable to the average person. It makes it a narrative, which can be entertaining on the surface, but like the stories our parents told us at bedtime, influence us on a level we many times never realize, meaning oftentimes, we don’t realize how we are being influenced. There are good reasons for this, one of which is tribalism: people back then didn’t have the time or patience to lay out the facts about why Tribe Grug was evil to Tribe Olaf, so they made stories about great battles and moral crusades to influence you on a primal level. When you are fighting for resources, your family, your very survival, you use the most effective weapons you have at your disposal, evidence and reason be damned! Again, this is very important, keep it in mind. And with that in mind, here’s the political part of this column. And though this will put me in a bad light for several reasons, though this makes me feel stupid for previous beliefs I once held, at my own expense, and your benefit, I will be as blunt and honest as I have ever been here:
I was wrong about Donald Trump.
In many ways, dead wrong.
Let’s make this clear: there are many flaws in his character. I know of several stories about him that make him an asshole, the eminent domain case of this elderly lady one of them. To counter that off the top of my head, there’s the 3 year old kid he saved by, without even thinking, having his private jet fly him to the nearest hospital when he was acutely sick, just because the kid’s mom asked him to please help. Look, he’s easy to make fun of, but he’s human. He’s one of us.
Do you really think he’s evil incarnate, indifferent to human suffering? Does he really value his own (in my own opinion, very high) ego over the lives or his own peers, family and neighbors? Well, if you’re in the media, that’s a huge yes.
When I say the media, I don’t mean just what is broadcast over the airwaves; many of us don’t get the news that way anymore. But we do get it from Facebook, from Twitter, from sites like Gawker, Reuters and Cracked and Daily Mail. We watch the Daily Show and the Colbert report get news from each other, from those outlets. They are used to tell stories. They are used to inform us by telling a narrative. And that narrative is to destroy Trump. He is their enemy, he threatens them, and they will stop at nothing to take him down.
Does that matter? If he is truly evil, doesn’t it make sense to use every weapon you have? Sure, if he was actively using a flamethrower to burn your family. In reality he’s a businessman running for office. And yes, he has been a bad guy. But compare him to his primary opponent: Hillary Clinton. He’s been accused of many things that were important, such as bankruptcies and hiring illegals, that have since been debunked or shown to have been to be smart decisions. What she has been accused of is covering up her husband’s rapes, comprising national security, and other shady practices. Later on, the attacks against Trump have been rape and assault accusations, along with mean words he used; meanwhile Clinton has had many legitimate accusations either proved right or brought to light. The important thing to look at is that the attacks on Trump are issues that trigger a primal response, while attacks on Hillary, personal appearance aside, are treasonous ones that many people can yawn at. In other words, the atracks on Trump are scare stories; the ones on Clinton are factual and boring. What sounds worse, building a wall on the border of brown people, or enacting a policy that will provoke a nuclear power to attack the U.S.? What’s more exciting, hearing about how Clinton’s policies have doomed millions of people, or Trump grabbing women by the pussy?
Does that sound offensive to you? Are you offended that I’m defending Trump? If you are, why? Here’s why: the way he has been attacked was in a way that grabs your knee jerk reaction. Sure, you can have a debate about whether him building a wall is a good or bad idea, but its infinitely less rousing as whether or not he literally grabs women by the pussy. Him talking about bringing jobs back to inner city youth (black kids) and having negotiations with one of the biggest enemies of our nation’s lifetimes that was the Russian Federation pales in comparison to his criticism of beauty pageant women and his privacy about his tax returns. In other words: real issues that will make or break us as a people in our, and our children’s, future, matter next to nothing to what makes us angry in the here and now.
Is that you? Do you have a logical reason to hate Trump? Or does the mere mention of his name raise the hairs along your spine, making you bare your teeth at the thought of his mere existence? If its the latter(like most of you), you are the victim of the media. You are the victim of the type of historical story telling that programmed humans of yesteryear to fight against competing tribes, used to make you irrationally hate someone that, personal ego aside, might give more of a shit about you than they do. It is severely important that you realize how very important this is, because this taps into a shortcut in your brain that circumvents reason and goes directly to your emotions, which makes you react in a way you aren’t capable of defending against. Let’s make this very clear: Your ability to think rationally is being overrided by your primal urges to their emotional arguments. You are being told what to believe.
Here is where I usually have a million links to back this up. I’m not here to do that today. The info is out there for you to find and verify, and it’s been there for the last 3 decades; if you can’t or won’t find it, that’s on you. But understand that weakness is exactly why you can be tricked, lied to, and even controlled. If your natural reaction to hearing the preaching of doom is to immediately run away, it’s time to stop and think twice. That button of emotional response is almost irresistibly strong, and it’s being pushed to make you do their bidding. Do you like being manipulated like this? Let’s bring this back to politics, the reason I am writing this:
To be clear: I don’t like Trump. But I see Hillary as the catalyst of mass destruction. As much of an asshole as Trump is, you will die if Clinton is put in power. That said, I am voting for Gary Johnson. He’s not the perfect person, but he’s the best candidate, and though he’s got a flame’s chance in Hoth of winning, I stick by my morals and integrity. But I understand if you want to make your vote count, if that’s even possible today. If you want to survive, and only see Trump or Clinton, as much as it pains me to say, vote Trump. He’s your only hope.
Does that make you angry? Do I now sound racist for saying that? Am I now a misogynist, an illiterate, and other bad names, for saying that? Take a breath, take a walk. Clear your mind. And come back to these words:
I am not here to tell you what to think, but how to think, your benefit.
But what I will say, line my Instagram profile says and which I implore you to heed with deadly importance, is this:
Close your heart.
Open your mind.
You are being lied to.
Do not be controlled by those that do not have your well being in mind. If you do, you have no excuse of ignorance. You have no scapegoat. You helped cause this. You had the chance to help stop this and you didn’t.
You can make a difference. The opposition’s M.O. is to make you feel you have no chance to change things. Again, you CAN make a difference.
Learn. Do research. Learn to think for yourself. Learn to have faith in your side and your actions. Learn to believe you CAN do something to help. You, and you alone, have that intrinsic power to make the future possible. Don’t squander it. Your future, and your children depend on it. Don’t let them down.
I see the opposition say the reverse to control you, so I will repeat this:
Close your heart.
Open your mind.
You. Are being lied to.
Fall for it and doom yourself and your family.
Or take it on and arm yourself, your family, and survive.
The choice is yours. The truth is there. Which will you choose?