Tweet Tower—Why was the fight-or-flight response triggered in so many of us in November? Some mental health professionals are calling it Post Election Stress Disorder, but I think it’s more of an Acute Trump Response. I admit I’m having a hard time adjusting to the grim realities of a republican super-majority. Once spooked, our sympathetic nervous system floods our body with hormones. And here I was blaming all the IPAs for my man boobs. Say you’re snorkeling and a large dark shape darts passed you. Your body might be on a heightened state of alert for some time, even long after security escorts you out of the aquarium. As for this shark named Trump, all the beer in Milwaukee doesn’t seem to be quelling this heightened state of unease (burp). So to pass the time until the collapse, why not invest in some stocks in the Bro or the Manziere?
How does shit get this F-d up amidst the Age of Information? Republicans have fears too, they just don’t seem horribly grounded in anything meaningful. Who’s adrenal glands are matching the situation on the ground, is my point? And why does it take an increasingly large amount of booze to get through the nightly news these days? Wolf Spritzer?
Adrenaline is supposed to alert us to potential threats:
Liberals: adrenaline and cortisol released right before unnecessary wars, economic collapses, and when a man-child is handed the nuclear codes.
Republicans: Adrenaline and cortisol released as black guy is stabilizing the economy.
There’s a barrage of cognitive scientists weighing-in on the matter. Why are we all shifting to like-minded groups? Why are initial impressions so hard to overcome? Fine, I should have worn pants for the interview. I admit I have focused mainly on the right, because their dysfunction is so profound, but that’s all changing. The New Yorker found some peeps who think they’ve identified the reason for our inherent stubbornness, at least evolutionarily speaking.
“Reason developed not to enable us to solve abstract, logical problems or even to help us draw conclusions from unfamiliar data; rather, it developed to resolve the problems posed by living in collaborative groups.”
—Hugo Mercier & Dan Sperber
We all seem stuck with lasting and seemingly unchangeable perceptions of the world. We now seek out these like-minded groups because we need constant validation. On the reward-center side of the brain, Dopamine is actually released when we read some bullshit-affirming political tidbits. Makes me want to throw my crack out the window.
I do remember arguing an old Biden comment. He said something about people are more worried about their families and their jobs and there’s more that unites us than divides us, blah, blah, blah. At the time, I thought, have you spoken to a Fox-only-viewer lately? Don’t let this false reality fester, Joe! Too late. Now I feel the same jolt of adrenaline they did when our republican friends get their way.
MSNBC = Dopamine
Fox = Adrenaline
You can switch those if you’re a republican, but I don’t recommend it… uh, being a republican. If we divide into our two major camps, which seems all but inevitable, soon liberal frontal lobes will become as impaired. The same mechanisms are kicking in. Many think it’s already the case as we watch a frenzied president lash out an enraged press. Polarization will likely start to accelerate now as the bubble on the left becomes as impermeable as the bubble on the right.
Climate change is a prime example of a fixed belief:
Liberal view: I think climate change is happening and man has accelerated it.
Fallback position: (If this turns out not to be the case.) Why gamble with our ecosystem? Why trash our planet either way?
Republican view: There’s nothing to see here. If it is happening, it’s due to natural earthly cycles.
Fallback position: (If this turns out to irrefutable.) Uh, if you’ll excuse me, God is rapturing my naked body into heaven, which isn’t weird at all. Good luck with the breathing thing, heathens.
Remember, if 97% of climates scientists agree it’s happening, you can parade that other 3% around for a long time. That represents over 30,000 scientists! It doesn’t Trump the 10.6 million who do believe in man made climate change, but you can book a dissenting view on the O’Reilly Factor, each night, right up until we all melt.
What makes me scratch my head is how this stress reaction is triggered in the rightwing during periods of relative peace and prosperity. They were all merrily waving their flags in 2008, saying “the fundamentals of the economy are sound!” and we all know how that turned out. Similarly, in 2017 they’re all waiting for the Trump winnings to start trickling down from Trump Tower. The only thing trickling down from Trump Tower is when The Donald hires a hook—
[That last joke was removed by the editor, placed in a small brown bag, and set on fire]
At one point does reality set in? I don’t think it necessarily will. Meanwhile, every time the republicans get their way, I know the ankle-grabbing reality will soon commence. Not just for me, but for all Americans.
If we each have our own sets of facts and can spin anything in real time, can’t we at least agree on what already happened? It doesn’t seem to be the case either. A recent CNN poll found Obama ranked 12th among U.S. presidents. This must immediately trigger a “You Lie!” from republicans, who, not even knowing how many we’ve had, believe he should be ranked 50th. The vast majority of historians and scholars will always disagree with the right, but they are already booking the other 3% on Hannity. On that note, another Trump-shelf tequila, please. No… the one with Bannon floating in it.
Oh, my friend has been encouraging me to end these on a good note. Hmmm. Fine, I think there’s only one way to deal with this disorder. We all meet at a designated voting station on November 6th, 2018 for our own version of conversion therapy.