Thursday, March 3, 2016

An "Anthropologist on Mars" Views Super Tuesday's Returns

The Scream by Edvard Munch. Yes, I feel like screaming too. Yikes!
As you all know, Temple Grandin, who is autistic, is the famous animal husbandry expert. She has not only innovated many changes in her field, but has also been a spokesperson for autism. She’s written several books about autism that translate the autistic experience to those of us who aren’t autistic.

Temple Grandin has likened her experience of the world of emotion and human relationships to feeling like an “Anthropologist on Mars.” I have to empathize with Ms. Grandin because sometimes I feel like an “Anthropologist on Mars” myself. Yesterday watching the Super Tuesday primary election returns coming in was a great example.

I often say that I’m technologically challenged. I don’t have a Smart Phone and don’t know how to text. As a matter of fact, I had to enlist the assistance of a computer savvy friend to start this blog. At this point, Temple Grandin is probably better equipped than I am to understand current communication methods and probably understands current campaign styles better than I do.

Candidates have twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and give us their views in 140 characters. People watch for gotcha moments on television and a lot of people have been deciding how to vote on that basis.

I watched the Republican debates aghast to see the candidates explaining their positions on complicated issues in the minute or two they each had allotted to them. In subsequent debates, this descended into mutual name-calling. It seems that Americans are picking their candidate the way they pick American Idol or a Survivor winner. It’s no wonder Donald Trump is shaping up as the front runner. He is very adept at tapping into voters’ anger in two-minute sound bites. I wonder how Pres. Lincoln would have done in this format. After all, he was a Republican, too.

Pretty soon I have to vote in the Illinois Democratic Primary. Will it be Hillary or will I feel the Bern? Do Bernie Sanders’ supporters like him because he reminds them of their grandfathers and makes them feel cared for or have they suddenly developed class-consciousness and become Socialists? Will enough Americans be able to get past their customary revulsion to the word Socialist to vote for a Socialist Jew from New York for him to win the election? Or will Hillary be able to adapt to the world of sound bites and social media in time to be a strong candidate? Or are enough Americans going to be so horrified by Trump’s bullying Nazi tactics to vote for anyone opposing him? Will my vote matter? I don’t know, but I’m joining Temple Grandin as an Anthropologist on Mars. Who knows? Maybe I’ll move there if Donald Trump becomes President.

If anyone has any insight to the current American mood, please clue me in. I’m looking forward to hearing your opinion. You don’t have to limit yourself to 140 characters either.   

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