In February, before any vote was cast, it seemed inconceivable that Donald J. Trump would be a nominated candidate for President and yet, reluctantly, I predicted that he would become the next President Of The United States.
I made a brief argument based on my scientific work, work that concerns the complex behavior of organisms, and the idea that Indiscriminate Familiarity equals Trust.
In other words, I argued that Donald J. Trump has exposure never seen before in a candidate. And this exposure is primarily due to his 15+ television seasons of The Apprentice. Since 2004, for 12 years, the public (although probably not you and I) has been exposed to a continuous flow of Donald J. Trump.
It should be clear that what applies to one, applies to all. So the dynamics I describe here can be found in every election.
Past elections started with relatively unknown presidential candidates and so, according to this theory, the winner would be the one that during the campaign could garner, beg or steal, the greater amount of familiarity before election day.
Advances in new media and personal technology today enable social immediacy, simple exposure, familiarity — trust — to be easily bought.
This is why candidates that spend on media exposure promoting their own policies win, why those that give exposure to their competitors lose, and why those with privilege have an undue advantage.
Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger are ready examples of elected officials in which the effect of this theory can be easily argued. But cases can, I believe, be made for every president, and every elected official, of the modern era.
For example, Barack Obama benefited from a familiarity with America's worse public enemy at the time. Many English speakers could not easily differentiate between the name Barack Obama and Osama Bin Laden, underscoring the indiscriminate nature of this familiarity.
Over the years the effect has been mostly benign. We’ve been lucky.
Indiscriminate familiarity is simple exposure. It gives no account to policy, faux pas, whatever was said, or personality. The theory simply states that indiscriminate familiarity is trust — and that we act on trust.
I was so alarmed by this realization that in February I saw the potential for the first USA Military Coup should Trump be elected, I believe that this maybe the only possible peaceful resolution. I have given this idea much thought since and I believe that the Supreme Court would need to initiate the act.
Before the Supreme Court can act, however, it must understand the implications, what is involved in this simple mechanism, and the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific theory.
The theory is difficult for many to accept because they are drawn into the public narrative and they feel the ebb and flow of the constant narrative. Emotions rise. But this narrative makes no practical difference, it only changes how those engaged feel. It has little to no effect upon behavior and it distracts us from the dilemma at hand.
The theory undermines the very nature of our democracy. It argues that politics is futile. The cherished VOTE impotent.
The 2016 election, like all the so-called democratic elections before it, will be an act of the mob. The choice of the mob is necessarily Donald J. Trump.