Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Trump is a MINORITY President - Don't Let ANYONE Forget It!

A Minority President Trump: Why the Polls Failed and What the Majority Can Do
by George Lakoff | November 23, 2016

1: The American Majority

Hillary Clinton won the majority of votes in this year's presidential election. More than TWO MILLION of them!

The loser, for the majority of voters, will now be a minority president-elect. Don't let anyone forget it. Keep referring to Trump as the minority president, Mr. Minority and the overall Loser. Constant repetition, with discussion in the media and over social media, questions the legitimacy of the minority president to ignore the values of the majority. The majority, at the very least, needs to keep its values in the public eye and view the minority president's action through majority American values.

The polls failed and the nation needs to know why. The pollsters and pundits have not given a satisfactory answer.

I will argue that the nature of mind is not a mere technical issue for the cognitive and brain sciences, but that it had everything to do with the outcome of the 2016 election — and the failure of the pollsters, the media, and Democrats to predict it. They were not alone. The public needs to understand better how the human mind works in general — but especially in politics. There is a lot to know. Let us go step by step.

2: The Mind

I am a cognitive scientist. I study the human mind. Our minds are neural minds. The mind is physical, constituted by the neural circuitry of our brains and bodies. Most thought is unconscious, since we don't have conscious access to our neural circuitry. Conscious thought is a small part of thought — estimates by neuroscientists vary between a general "most" to as much as 98%, with consciousness as the tip of the mental iceberg. We do know that people tend to make decisions unconsciously before becoming consciously aware of them. How the neural unconscious functions in decision-making is vitally important for politics.

3. Worldviews and Worldview Differences

Our fixed worldviews are made up of complex ideas carried our by relatively fixed neural circuitry. Our worldviews determine how we think the world operates, as well as how we think it should operate. In short, our worldviews are constituted by neural circuitry for what we understand as normal, and what we take as right and wrong.

There are, of course, radical differences in worldview, and we see those differences in politics, religion, culture, and so on.

Here is the crucial fact about worldview differences: We can only understand what our brain circuitry allows us to understand. If facts don't fit the worldviews in our brains, the facts may not even be noticed — or they may be puzzling, or ignored, or rejected outright, or if threatening, attacked. All of these happen in politics. A global warming denier does not say, "I am denying science." The facts just don't fit his worldview and don't make sense to him or her. In short, the neural system characterizing a dominant fixed worldview will act as a Neural Filter, letting in only what fits.

Consider some all too real examples.