Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Dunning Kruger Effect in Trump's America

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." - H.L. Mencken.

While working on the CBS show "BrainDead" the writers were asked to toss out different political and sociological terms that symbolized our age. One of the first things I mentioned was the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Dunning-Kruger is a cognitive bias in which low-ability ppl have a superiority complex. They are incapable of accurately assessing their own intelligence b/c they...well lack intelligence to even judge their performance. It's a vicious cycle and no amount of facts can dissuade them from their 'illusory genius.' I thought Dunning Kruger perfectly described a lot of the alt-right and the GOP policymakers: self-deluded geniuses unmoved by facts.

But there's also a reverse of the Dunning Kruger. This is when smart ppl overestimate the intelligence of others, thereby crippling their judgment. That is, unfortunately Obama and many ppl on the left as well as GOP politicians who were easily defeated by Trump. They overestimated the intelligence of voters. They thought 'people are too smart to fall for this con game.' And even though I really like Obama I think that has been his key flaw: he overestimates the good and intelligence in people and doesn't act until it's too late. Birtherism, Tea Baggers, Benghazi-Truthers, these are all completely b.s and Dems didn't respond to them in time b/c they thought 'this will go away once the facts are presented. People are too intelligence.'

Now news outlets are reporting that the Obama administration knew about Russian hacking a year ago, and they failed to act decisively b/c they thought 'no one is gonna fall for this fake news.' And as a result enough people were hammered day in and day out with e-mail distractions, fake news, and lies that it was enough to tip the election in key areas. And that's the Dems fault. Yes, shame on the GOP for colluding with a foreign power. But also shame on Dems who continually make the same mistake. Stop overestimating people's intelligence. There are millions of voters who desperately need Obamacare who profess their hatred of it....because they have no idea what they're talking about. They truly think that by electing a billionaire who doesn't pay taxes and benefits off an unequal system, he is going to fix the world for them.

Thank you Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other Dems who talk to ppl at their level, don't take anything for granted, and follow-through.

The defining difference in our age isn't right vs. left. It's Dunning Kruger divide of highly incompetent destructive ideologues and fanatics vs. academics impotents who fails to act in time and aren't decisive enough to stop our long painful slide into a new dark age. 

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