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No One Knows Why Trump Is Winning. Here’s What Cognitive Science Says. (Link)

If you regularly ponder the difference (and especially the whys) between Conservative and Progressive thinking, you’ll find this article fascinating. It explains why Donald Trump, despite his outrageous posturing, is doing well in the 2016 Presidential Race.

Spoiler: Some of us feel less free to think for ourselves than others. It’s goes back to family. But we can’t blame Mom this time. Dad is the one who always knew best.

No One Knows Why Trump Is Winning. Here’s What Cognitive Science Says. (Link)

Donald Trump is winning Republican presidential primaries at such a great rate that he seems likely to become the next Republican presidential nominee and perhaps the next president…. Many people are mystified. He seems to have come out of nowhere. His positions on issues don’t fit a common mold. […]

We tend to understand the nation metaphorically in family terms: We have founding fathers. We send our sons and daughters to war. We have homeland security. The conservative and progressive worldviews dividing our country can most readily be understood in terms of moral worldviews that are encapsulated in two very different common forms of family life: The Nurturant Parent family (progressive) and the Strict Father family (conservative). […]

The strict father logic extends further. The basic idea is that authority is justified by morality (the strict father version), and that, in a well-ordered world, there should be (and traditionally has been) a moral hierarchy in which those who have traditionally dominated should dominate. The hierarchy is: God above Man, Man above Nature, The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak), The Rich above the Poor, Employers above Employees, Adults above Children, Western culture above other cultures, Our Country above other countries. The hierarchy extends to: Men above women, Whites above Nonwhites, Christians above nonChristians, Straights above Gays. […]

— George Lakoff, Economics

In all fairness, Conservatives don’t think less thinking is a bad thing. They rightly see that thinking interferes with the hierarchy of control, which is a moral imperative… to them. The control hierarchy is so very important because it preserves freedom – for those at the top – and is the foundation of family values, which are necessary for “Dad” to stay on top.

If our country is one big, happy family where everybody is loved and thriving, this is fine. But we are not. The “family” system has become tragically dysfunctional.

It’s time to get the “family” metaphor out of our politics. Be your own person. Act like an adult. Start thinking. If you do that, you are a Progressive. You feel free to vote for your own good, instead of merely the good of governing elites – who are neither your family, nor your God.


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends--with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. JoAnn Chateau

    I think I know where you’re coming from. Robert Reich for instance, says Cruz would be much worse than Trump as President.

  2. memadtwo

    Trump is much less a mystery to me than Ted Cruz. Trump is entertaining. Americans want to be entertained. Cruz, on the other hand, is just mean, in every way. (K)

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