By Dave B.
Because I apparently hate myself, I still occasionally have conversations with supporters of President Trump and Senator Sanders. I know that I shouldn’t, but there’s a part of me that can’t resist studying people. Would you like to know what I’ve learned? The supporters of each man, despite apparently believing in different things, have the EXACT same flawed mental processes. It would be fascinating if it weren’t frightening.
Many in both groups believe in completely irrational and impossible conspiracy theories. Many in both groups wholeheartedly believe in policies which defy math and common sense. Think about it: large portions of both groups believe in an international conspiracy aimed at global domination and the repression of their respective group. They have different villains, of course. But the mentality required to believe such things is identical. And most distressingly (at least for me as an American), few members of either group believe in the individual as the foundational unit of political life.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the two groups are identical. But when you get right down to it, a group of people who base their ideology on misplaced racial and cultural grievance is thinking and feeling similarly to one that bases it’s ideology on misplaced economic and cultural grievances. They both support wretched policies based entirely upon passion, paranoia, and personality. Both groups are infested with anti-vaxxers. Both groups are vehemently (but selectively) anti-science. Both want to increase the national debt by trillions of dollars. Both are fundamentally isolationists. Both view any sort of political compromise as betrayal.
It’s disheartening that these two groups have achieved such prominence in the political discourse of the United States. Oddly, because of their similarities, there isn’t much hope of finding many policy solutions that are amenable to both groups except on free trade, which both groups despise. Their unwillingness to compromise is a recipe for disaster and the only way that I can see to prevent it is for moderate Democrats and Republicans to either purge their respective parties of members who promote racial and/or economic bigotry, or to abandon their parties and create a new centrist one. Neither option is likely to occur.
What is most likely to happen is that the Democrats waste a golden opportunity to gain control of Congress in 2018, President Trump gets reelected in 2020, and a Socialist becomes President in 2024. By that time (assuming I’m still alive) I will probably have become completely catatonic due to the nonsense that I’m subjected to from these people on a daily basis. On the bright side though…well…I don’t see a bright side, but if you can think of one, please let me know!