Leaving Donald Trump Behind

Would it be fair to say that Donald Trump is the last gasp of 20th century man? That might sound a bit odd, but if you think about it, Trump does embody certain characteristics that are sooooo last century.

The most important one is certainty. Trump is certain that he is right. It matters not what others say or think. Trump believes that he is smarter and has the right answers. Indeed, he distorts reality when he needs to in order to justify his opinions.

So how is this a 20th century phenomenon? Consider that in the 18th century, the enlightenment opened the door to speculation that was not God centered. Western man started to think in terms of science rather than religion. And this led in the 19th century to certain “scientific views” about history. I refer to Hegel and Marx in particular. In the 20th century, these so called scientific views hardened into ideologies – communism, fascism, capitalism. Each ideology was certain that its view of history and the world was correct. Ironically, the tool that opened our minds — scientific method — then closed them. Amidst mind boggling scientific advances, we clung to the certainty of our views on the most basic issues.

And of all the unpleasant character traits that Donald Trump exhibits, his closed mindedness is perhaps the most obnoxious.

That tells us something. The 20th century is over. We are now embarked on a new century that will develop new ways of seeing the world. If we want to visualize what we would like to leave behind, just think of Donald Trump.


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