Why Trump won the Election

Warning: Due to Trump being elected this article will not be politically correct since that is apparently what a YUUUUGE number of people like!

I woke up this morning, November 9th 2016 wondering what I am sure a lot of people in the world were wondering. How? How in the fuck could Donald Trump be our president? How can that be possible? And why did it happen? After all, the guy seems to have little knowledge of how the US government works, commonly ridicules and demeans people and doesn't seem to have that firm of a grasp on reality. So how, how can it be possible that so many people voted for this person who really doesn't seem cut out for the job of President of the United States?

The media has discussed many of the reasons including:

  • White Racism, the reaction to having 8 years of an African American president
  • The tall hurdle a woman has to getting elected.
  • People voting for the lesser of two evils
  • People voting for change as they see the system as currently broken
  • People voting against what they see as a corrupt system of government #DRAINTHESWAMP
  • The Education System

I believe all of those things (and more) probably did have an impact, but the one I find most important (and the subject of this blog) is the last one, Education. Most people with college educations voted for Hillary but I think there has been a fundamental issue with our education system and that is one of the main reasons the election results were what they were.

I believe our K-12 education system was originally designed to help kids become factory workers. Education worked like this: Information from a trusted source (the teacher) was provide to the student and the student needed to be able to show they could replay that information back. So information was delivered via lectures and books and the student needed to prove they listened/read the info and could regurgitate it back when asked about it on a test. Sometimes the information was about the use of tools (math is a great example) and then the student needed to prove they could use the tool to get a correct answer (do long division for example).

If you need workers on an assembly line, this is exactly the kind of skill needed. Information needs to be provided, understood and then acted on. These 8 bolts go in these holes and torqued to this specification. Perfect.

While this system of education has worked well and provided industry with many talented people, it fails when people have more than one source of information and they have to figure out what information is true. The ability to do that is taught, but historically it has been taught in college (often called "Critical Thinking").Chemist

I remember the first class I ever attended at UCSB. It was "Intro to chemistry". Chemistry was my major and I was very exited on that first day of college. When I arrived at the classroom I was surprised to see it was a huge 500 seat auditorium that was almost filled with students. I waited patiently until the professor took the large stage and a hush fell over the crowd. He looked out over all of the fresh faces and said: "I am going to get up here 3 times a week and tell you things. Some of them right, some of them wrong. It's your job to get them right on the test. Class dismissed." Then he left the stage. At the time, I was totally baffled. Yet this was my first introduction to critical thinking. Figuring out what is true after by researching and understanding data.

In this election we discovered that unknown to most people, there is an alternate reality that most Trump voters subscribe to. It says that Obama has been bad for the country. That Hillary has done many bad things but is only not in jail because the system is rigged. And speaking of rigged, the entire American system is rigged. Elections, media reporting and where money flows. Its all being controlled by "Elites". (There are also a bunch of things that go in this space that get pretty crazy like Ted Cruz's father being connected to JFKs murder, JFKs murder method being disputed, 911 being an inside job,  chemicals are being spayed on people from airplanes (chem trails), Sandy Hook not actually happening, Obama not a US Citizen etc. etc. The list is long and many of these things Trump either believes in or pretends to believe in).

This alternate reality is, of course, bull shit.  Anyone that has a little time and can follow an information trail and use critical thinking skills can figure out the truth to these things. The interesting thing is there are many people actively feeding the alternate reality narrative with information. There are thousands of memes being created by mostly right wing operatives that combine things that are true with things that are absolutely false. Unfortunately, most people, armed with just the old school tools are not equipped to uncover the truth.

And sometimes the alternate reality doesn't even make much sense without doing much research, but by repeating it over and over again, it takes on importance and this feeling that "there must be something to it or it wouldn't be talked about so much". A great example of this is Benghazi. If ever there was an example of a bat shit crazy conspiracy theory it is Benghazi. Yet it is easily debunked (and has been debunked using tax payer dollars) many times. But why it is so bat shit crazy is that even the original conspiracy is so lame it is crazy it got traction. The conspiracy is that the Obama administration (or Hillary Clinton) lied about why the terrorists attacked Benghazi. Either it was because a video pissed off some demonstrators and they attacked the embassy, or a group of terrorists deliberately set out a planned attack of the embassy. Either way 4 Americans end up dead. It is now known that terrorists planned and attacked Benghazi (although they may have been pissed off at the video at the time). Still, the fact that the Obama administration (and Hillary Clinton) did not know which of the two options was absolutely true at the time is (gasp) a fucking conspiracy because apparently one of the reasons looks better if you are trying to get elected. WTF? The embassy got attacked either way and either way its not great. But holy holy fuck it is a huge conspiracy.

Some people think Hillary should be in jail as she "Lied" about Benghazi. Bat shit crazy. What difference does it really make? They did eventually get it right. And it was a tragedy either way.

This Alternate reality makes believers of the alternate reality feel special. They have inside information and they feel smarter than the general populous. Unfortunately, they are actually believing in complete and utter horse crap and regular people think of them as (dare I utter it... yes) fucking stupid. These dumb shits are the reason we have Trump and it fundamentally is because these dumb shits can not figure out what is true from all of the manure that is all over the internet. They do not review multiple sources from different perspectives. They do not add things together. They do not consider motivations.

Consider the Clinton foundation. It is one of the highest rated charities in the United States in terms of how well it is run (see https://www.charitywatch.org/ratings-and-metrics/bill-hillary-chelsea-cl... ). Yet people seeking political power have claimed it to be a complete sham and slush fund for the Clintons. So who do you believe, a non-partisan organization that rates charities or someone motivated to lie to get you to vote for them?  (If that's a hard question, you obviously subscribe to the Alt Right's reality so stop reading this).

Bottom line, our education system has failed many because it has not given people the tools to discern fact from fiction. Common Core seeks to address this issue (which is why I am sure the right will oppose it) but to me, teaching critical thinking in K-12 education should be paramount. In the age of the internet, our very democracy depends on it.




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