Or rather, hello random people I have never met before, who are probably small in number because this is my first blog post ever. Ironic. Did you know that to sign up for one of these you have to pick several things, including a theme, a blog “genre,” and a budget plan (I’ve opted for free because I’m uncertain how to consider this, as well as the fact that I don’t exactly know how successful these can be)? I chose “lifestyle” because that seems the most broad subject line for me—and I don’t want to be confined to just writing “How to Lose 30 pounds in 30 Days” or “How to Double Your Sales in Half the Time” articles. I don’t even want to be confined to something like “On Art.” Which is not to say that I will never write something like this, but I really don’t like cliché categorization ideas.
Categorization, in my opinion, is the root of all evil. Anytime someone labels something, even if it is in a positive sense, it has negative associations. Take, for example, the Oscars. “Best Actor” is a category that comes to mind. Let’s take Leo winning this year. He has been claimed “the best actor of movies released in 2015.” What does this imply? Well, obviously there is the positive—that Leo’s performance was far and away above that of the other actors nominated. Which is, in my opinion, completely true. But this division between Leo and other actors inherently creates a comparison between Leo and others, with Leo being the greater of the two.
Now, most people think that this is harmless, and for the most part it is. The problem is, however, that the subconscious does not necessarily have the same filtration system—it is less prone to reason and more prone to innate responses. In Layman’s terms, it thinks like “Leo good, others bad.” Of course, no mature adult is going to wage a war over who the Academy chooses for “Best Actor.” They may, on the other hand, wage a war against the villains that their group of choice deems evil. A modern example is the Democratic and Republican examples.
I’ll start with the Democrats, because the less violent speech seems easier to justify. Bernie Sanders has spearheaded the movement against the income inequality, and he has demonized the entire one percent. This is a scapegoating tactic that is used to appeal to the pathos side of a person’s brain—to incite fear or anger toward a group. He then uses logos (logic) to justify his idea as truth—typical Bernie has used statistics to establish his ideas. Finally, he relies on ethos, his expertize in the field, to make himself the sole reliable candidate for this. Now not all of this is bad—in fact Bernie uses a careful balance between the three pillars of persuasion to not become overly extreme in his rhetoric, despite his ideas being “extreme” for American politics. He doesn’t pressure people to execute the top money makers, but to demand better treatment from them.
Which leads me to the Republican Party. Now I don’t want to attack Cruz or Rubio despite their ideas being an appeal to religious authority. I want to do the popular thing and attack Trump. While the other “more moderate” (less dangerous) candidates are “politically correct,” Trump appeals by being unpredictable. Low-level thought loves this. I’m sorry if you’re a Trump fan, dear reader, but you have been caught with your evolutionary traits showing. You see, my theory is that the three pillars we rely on are ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos, is the conclusion of high brain activity—the reflection on outcome after years of experience. We can see Martin Luther King Jr. was a great person (publically) because he was on the correct side of the racial equality movements on nearly all occasions. Think of it like the Tip of an iceberg. As you move down to where the water level meets the ice, you reach the second level of thinking—logos. Logic. It’s called the bedrock of society for a reason. This is how people start movements like the Civil Rights Movement. Let’s say Rosa Parks was this person. She thought logically “I’m human, this other white guy demeaning me is human, and clearly less fatigued than I am. I’m going to stay sitting here.” That’s pretty basic logic. It’s still respectful and mechanical.
When you dive deeper though, you’ll notice that humans, just like an iceberg, are still heavily comprised of a reliance on pathos. Emotion. It’s what kept us alive for thousands of years before we had guns and knives and fire. Kill or be killed. In a balance, people can suppress the impulse to lash out at others, and use the passion of emotion to fuel their logical arguments. Unfortunately, when too much pathos is involved, people tend to forego civil behavior for primal aggression. Trump has fed on this idea. He harnesses people’s basic instincts to control them. If I told you, in complete seriousness, that unless you did what I said, you and everyone that has meaning to you in your life would die horribly, you’re going to do whatever it is. Even the slightest example of this can take a person’s imagination for a spin. Especially if its your life or someone else’s.
These matters, while pressing, are not imminent enough to need a response by the end of you reading this essay. Any time a person comes out as the savior of sorts, you should consider everything they say as objectively as possible. That may mean stopping and looking at how it effects other people that are not you. Which can be hard—it is hard to fight natural instinct. But that’s part of what being a “good” human being is. Anyone can kill someone to keep themselves safe. It’s much more difficult to trust another person and work with them for mutual safety. But if you can, in the end, you will both be stronger—because it’s a lot easier to take on oppressive regimes when you’re not alone.