I don’t normally write about politics, but like for a lot of people, this year is different.
I understand why Trump is running for President. As someone said, he would run for world emperor if there were such a job. He is an egomaniac among other things.
What I don’t understand, is why some people are supporting him. How come someone who is not well off, who has been left behind as we have transitioned to a manufacturing economy to one where technology is dominant — I mean, even the cars are manufactured by robots — who lives in a neighborhood where the schools are poor and the roads and other public services are even poorer, would agree with him on anything. Why would anyone trust this huckster?
I did have some insight into the how come this week. I had an earache and went to an ENT physician. I had gone to him before to get a prescription to get my hearing tested (its ok) and Mr. Not So Curious and I were fascinated by the people in the waiting room.
They looked unhealthy, poor, overweight, pasty. It was strange. And at this recent visit, it was the same.
Two groups came into the waiting room after us: one was a middle-aged man with his very elderly (and infirm) father; the other was a woman pushing an elderly man in a wheel chair, who was on oxygen.
At one point the two groups started talking to each other. I don’t remember what started it but the woman said how awful Obama care was, then the son went on to say that immigrants were “taking” all the jobs, and then the woman said that they are taking away our guns.
That’s when I spoke up. I asked her if she thought it was a good idea for ordinary people to have a rifle that puts out hundreds of bullets a second. She said that her family liked to hunt. I asked her if she thought it was fair to kill an animal with such a gun, much less a human. She actually agreed with me that it was not right to have those guns.
The man then said that he didn’t like it that all the industry was in the hands of people from overseas. I reminded him that there was a big Honda plant nearby and that it employed thousands of Americans, paid taxes, etc. Again, the man thought about that.
But things were getting a bit heated.
I suggested to the woman that she might look on the web and see what the Democratic Platform was and the Republican Platform said about things and see which made more sense to her. She responded by saying, “That’s your opinion.” So I though maybe I hadn’t said it right and repeated myself, re-iterating that she should look at both and make up her own mind. She never quite understood what I meant by look at both sides, make up your own mind.
An insightful experience. I felt alternately sorry for them and thought that they deserved their fate. They don’t want to think for themselves — the concept of critical thinking is pretty much foreign to them. And yet, they have truly been left out and blame others — “immigrants”, “that Obama guy”, foreign people, anyone, for what has happened to them.
But it’s not just people who have not succeeded economically or haven’t received a good education who can’t seem to think critically. A friend sent me an article supporting the view that Islam is the religion of violence. In the article was a statement about how Islam religious observance is treated in Canadian schools. And the statement just didn’t ring true to me.
So I looked it up — easy to do in this day of the web. And it wasn’t true. And it turns out that the article wasn’t actually written by the man my friend said it was. And there were other flaws.
HOW COME my well educated friend doesn’t have good antennae to spot the stuff that just might not be true? HOW COME people don’t want to look at both sides and then come to their own conclusions? HOW COME people don’t think critically?
I still don’t get it.