More Understanding, More Understanding

President Trump.

I could feel my stomach dropping at about 9pm on Tuesday night when I read that Trump was winning the rural counties in the Florida panhandle by margins larger than 2012. My emotions told me it was a bad sign, and my cognition was soon proved correct. I turned off the TV stream, tweet, and my web browser and went to bed for a few hours. I woke around 3am and by then the election was over. So I went for my usual late night walk in reaction to bad election news. I did the same back in 2004.

A few days later and I’m thinking about where to go next. One way to do that is to write out some thoughts and see where they lead.

Right now I’m thinking about emotions and cognition in parallel with the many post-election demands that the left needs to reach out a helping hand to the white working class which has been left behind by globalization and free trade.

Perhaps this needs to be a dialog.

Head: You know the Democrat party (and Republicans as well) have ignored the growing problems of the working clasess for the past 40 years. Neoliberalism has destroyed jobs and any chance at dignity for the poor. Just look at the growth of drug abuse in rural America. It’s a slow-motion disaster.

Heart: I agree it’s horrible. I wish everyone, government, academia, business, had done more to help.

Head: Now is the time when you should reach out to these poor white people and try to understand how they are feeling and why they are so angry.

Heart: But…

Head: We need to come together in order to understand where we went wrong. Here is a list of books you can read about the plight of the working class.

Heart: I just need a moment before I can move on. I feel like my anger might be useful.

Head: But don’t you see we can’t afford to be divisive anymore. We need to bind the wounds that split us apart and work together to make the world a better place.

Heart: But you’re jumping ahead. Read this. You need to stay angry because the people you want to be sympathetic with aren’t interested in “reconciliation” or “healing”

Meanwhile at the headquarters of elite opinion.

And the sarcastic reaction.

Todd Suomela
Associate Director for Digital Pedagogy & Scholarship Department

My interests include digital scholarship, citizen science, leadership, and communications.