About half of the citizens of the United States think they elected a president who will “drain the swamp” in Washington DC and negotiate good trade deals for the public. But the other half believes they are living in 1930s Germany and the next Hitler just came to office. Those are very different movies, yet we all sit in the same theater at the same time. It’s trippy.
As I often say, the human brain didn’t evolve to give us a clear understanding of our reality because we don’t need it to survive as a species. All we need to do is survive long enough to procreate. As long as we can still make babies, it doesn’t matter that we are all experiencing different movies. You can be living in 1930s Germany in your movie and I can be living in 2016 trying to make America Great again, yet the population of humans is still growing. So living in different movies doesn’t matter as much as you’d think.
Immediately after the election was decided, protests against Trump popped up in several cities. Protesting makes perfect sense if you think Hitler just came to power in your country. You must stop Hitler!
But the days went by and the protests fizzled out.
If you REALLY believe Hitler just came to power in the United States, why would you stop protesting? What are you doing that is more important than stopping Hitler?????????
So why did the protests fizzle out? I find this question fascinating. So should you. Here are some explanations I can imagine:
1. Protesters decided that accepting Hitler as their leader was better than missing classes or skipping work.
2. Protesters have now seen enough counter-evidence to diminish their hallucination of living in 1930s Germany.
I think the better explanation is the second one. Look at how much counter-evidence is accumulating:
1. Anti-Trump Republicans are making peace and supporting Trump. Would they do that if they thought he was Hitler?
2. Foreign leaders show every sign of being willing and able to work with Trump. Wouldn’t they be yelling “Hitler!” if they thought he was one?
3. Trump continues to disavow White Nationalists when asked. Would Hitler do that?
4. Trump has moderated his more extreme views on immigration, waterboarding, and trying to jail Clinton. That doesn’t sound very Hitlerish.
5. Trump’s public demeanor has transformed from campaign mode to governing mode. He looks more serious now.
6. A year ago it would have seemed ridiculous for a president to be tweeting provocative things several times a day. But now it looks almost normal. We even see the benefit of it because the media is a filter as much as a source of information.
7. Trump keeps meeting with people that opposed him, and both sides seem pleased with those meetings. That isn’t very Hitlerish.
8. Trump is non-interventionist. That doesn’t seem very Hitlerish.
9. Trump has done a better job of managing the country’s expectations and optimism than any prior president-elect. Consumer confidence and the stock market are up. It’s hard to dislike any of that.
10. Trump keeps demonstrating that he likes black people. Kanye West is the latest example. Football great Jim Brown also met with Trump and had good things to say. None of that makes sense if you think Trump is a racist.
11. Trump’s cabinet picks might not please everyone, but they are serious people for serious jobs.
Every time Trump does something reasonable – and he is doing a lot of that now – the hallucination of living in 1930s Germany weakens. I’d say it’s about half gone already.
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