An Open Letter to Trump Supporters

The rise of Trump is fascinating. You, as his supporter, fascinate me. Here is a man who rarely says anything that is fact based and verifiable. Almost all of his statements are opinions. Most of them are easy enough to debunk with the facts, but for some strange reason you do not feel the need to do so.

Not to beat a dead horse, but let’s take this infamous Donald Trump quote from June 17, 2015;

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re sending people who have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with them. They’re bringing drugs, They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

This is the epitome of the non-factual opinionated rhetoric of our day. Not one of the declarations within this statement can be verified with facts. As a matter of fact each key point can be easily refuted.

Yet you, as his supporter, take it lock-stock-and-barrel as a true statement.




Never before have I seen so many people blindly accepting opinionated rhetoric as truth. I used to think that mainstream American media outlets had perfected the art of manipulating public opinion through a clever blend of opinionated rhetoric with a dash of half-truth, but I was wrong. The Donald has won the world championship of spewing nonsense while having it accepted, without question, as truth.

Don’t get me wrong here. A difference of opinion is a common occurrence. You and I constantly find ourselves embroiled in deep discussion with our friends and family only to realize that we fundamentally disagree on certain topics. This is only natural. We are all different. We have had different experiences and are at different points in this journey we call life, but does that mean that the truth is different from person to person? Does that mean that what is true for you is nothing more that an opinion that will shift as time goes on? Absolutely not, there is only one truth and it relies on concrete facts. Unverified opinion is never a fact. You need to do some research.

So why are you unwilling to let go of your opinions even when they fly in the face of the facts? Why are you clinging to the hate and the blame? I believe it is a form of self-preservation, a way for you to absolve yourself of any responsibility for the state of things as they stand, but I’m not qualified to make that statement, it’s just my opinion. It is much easier to blame others than to recognize faults. We are all collectively to blame to some degree, and that is a fact.

Lets face it. Our minds are incapable of holding the entirety of human knowledge. It is impossible for us to know everything about every single topic. It is simply beyond the scope of our capacity as humans. This is where a most profound and beautiful thing within the human mind occurs, we leap forward through imagination. We form concepts, assumptions, beliefs and of course we finally make a hypothesis. We take the leap from concrete knowledge to complex and assumptive reasoning in an attempt to understand even more than we did just moments before.

Often enough this kind of assumptive reasoning brings forth the epiphanies we crave as we meander down the rabbit hole in search of knowledge. It is the stuff of Music and Art and Philosophy, it even leads to advancements in things like Theoretical Physics, but it can just as easily become the stuff of nightmares.




It s very important for you to understand the difference between fact based truth and an opinion. An opinion is formed through a process of assumptive reasoning, a process marred with leaps of faith that lack the concrete empirical evidence that elevates mere opinion to fact. The difference is clear when we have the presence of mind to step back and dissect our position, exposing whether or not our idea has a factual foundation or not.

Trump is capitalizing on your anger and fear. He is manufacturing a concise rhetoric designed to masquerade as truth. His interjection of basic truths throughout his largely opinionated campaign speeches is meant to trick you into accepting everything he says as truth. His strategy is effective. He has you, and the rest of his followers, parroting the xenophobic, sexist, racist, and ignorant talking points he has become known for.

We face a major problem when we do not step back and evaluate our position. We continue unaware of whether or not our position is based in fact or fiction. We take steps that bring us down a path that has no sturdy foundation, and in time it is destined to crumble beneath our feet. There is no greater waste of our efforts than the pursuit of a lie. Let’s not mince words here. If it is not the truth it is a lie by definition. An opinion, if it is not fully recognized as such, becomes a lie that masquerades as truth as it is passes from one person to another. This is the stuff of nightmares, ideologies become radicalized as leaps of faith bring individuals farther and farther from the truth. A once rational mind can become riddled with opinions that are accepted as truth, and in this state their can be no logical reasoning.

When opinions are accepted as truth there is a chain reaction that occurs. One opinion becomes the basis for another, and like Cancer the mind eventually becomes overrun with an infinite stream of irrational reasonings fueled by opinionated justifications. These can lead to any conclusion. The truth is singular, precisely because it is based in fact.

Is what you believe based in truth? Have you researched the facts?

The truth about immigrants
http://immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/criminalization-immigration-united-states

Why a border wall is a dumb idea
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/08/18/donald-trump-immigration-border/

Illegal immigration from Mexico has actually declined
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/20/what-we-know-about-illegal-immigration-from-mexico/

The truth is out there. It is easy enough to discern if we have the courage to let go of our opinions and simply crunch the facts.

I welcome any and all criticisms. Please send me your best defense of Trump to thomasparisi@thinkhub.org

 

As usual, thanks for stopping by! 

Later Gator…

 

American Corruption and the Paradigm of Separation

American Corruption and the Paradigm of Separation

I’ve always loved the word paradigm. It’s one of those words whose mere existence elicits a deeper understanding of the world and it’s inhabitants.
par•a•digm (părˈə-dīmˌ, -dĭmˌ)►
n.
One that serves as a pattern or model.
n.
A set or list of all the inflectional forms of a word or of one of its grammatical categories: the paradigm of an irregular verb.
n.
A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

That last definition is the one I would like to focus on. I want to dissect this definition and get to the deeper and more insidious ways in which the American Paradigm of Blame allows corruption to fester and expand.




In America we are riddled with divisive and hateful rhetoric, overrun with ideologies that rely on sets of beliefs that can neither be proven nor disproven, and let’s not forget the arrogant stance of many whom believe their perspective to be the most valid and therefore righteous.

You might think I am talking about a specific group right now. Maybe you feel that my prior statements suite the religious zealot or the politically extreme. But the truth is that I am talking about people from all walks of life and of every discipline, including myself to a degree. The human mind and our emotional drives create in each of us the same potential to be led astray, to be seduced by the half-truths and whole lies. We are all equally susceptible to the impassioned rhetoric that fans the flames of emotion.

A Paradigm is a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline. This is, in a nutshell, the worldview we adopt and it dictates our ability or inability to see things as they are.

In America we are bombarded with news stories and ideologies that are divisive. They bring to light and focus on the differences between us. We are separated. It becomes about us verses them. We separate ourselves into increasingly more numerous categories; black and white, native or foreigner, man and woman, adult and child, democrat or republican, patriot or traitor, soldier and terrorist, and the list goes on. Our worldview is formed in this paradigm of separation, which is essentially a paradigm of division that leads to blame.

When we see others as the enemy and cast blame rather than coming to understand their actions we are forfeiting any true investigation into the state of affairs and how they came to be. Instead of doing the hard work necessary in obtaining true understanding we just point our fingers, and like a sorcerer we cast out our accountability and fault into those whom we deem ‘others’. In our fantasy we believe that once the others are gone so to will our difficulties and problems vanish.

The paradigm of many Americans carries within it this seed of division and it sprouts into hatred and blame at the expense of the truth. The false notion that the resultant state of affairs domestically and abroad is the fault of one group is disallowing us to reach the truth. We are all collectively shaping and shifting this world, and the direction it goes is the responsibility of every individual.

Unless every American accepts their own individual responsibility and becomes accountable we will never see real and lasting change. Every time we subscribe to a paradigm of individualism rather than collectivism, of separateness rather than togetherness, we are fueling the engines of division, of blame, and of war.

We all need to take a long hard look in the mirror and identify which aspects of our identity are divisive rather than inclusive. What do you see in the mirror? If you see a Republican you’ve been cut off from the whole. If you see a Democrat you have been cut off. We need to recognize and see ourselves and each other for what we truly are in order to shatter this paradigm that distracts us from seeing the actual causal factors in our lives and in our culture. We are human beings. We are all the same. We’ve only been led to believe otherwise in order to keep us from turning our attention to the real problems.

America was once considered a ‘melting pot’. She was a home to any and all seeking a better life or refuge. How has our collective paradigm shifted so far from where we began? How has the news become nothing more than the propaganda arm of their moneyed interests? How has the political system become so rigged as to allow the few with the most to control the rest?




The answer is simple. It has been rigged slowly and with little resistance. As those in positions of power where shifting things in place the American masses where arguing over race, the Kardashians, and sports. This has only been possible specifically because of this paradigm of separation that permeates our society.

If we do not shift our focus away from the infinite number of perceived differences being spouted by harbingers of separation and start focusing on our similarities and seeking true understanding we will fall as a Nation.

As usual thanks for stopping by!

that falls