Readers doubtless will recall the classic Whitman Sampler, an item, somewhat in vogue. in the era in which it was still “cool,” for an invited dinner guest to bring one as a gift. The item was, and, it still appears to be, a handsome, boxed assortment of chocolate-covered candies containing, raisin, nut, crème, nougat, coconut and others. The salient feature, unique to of this box of treats was the element of personal choice; our personal favorites, as recalled, were the nut and the coconut.

Manifestly, in direct contrast to the freely selective, Whitman Sampler, many concepts, foundational to the existence and proper functioning of human society, are not subject to nuanced preference, but are mandated, by empirical necessity, and thus, are fixed and immutable. The most fundamental of the latter is the recognition and perpetuation of factual truth. The maintenance of acceptable interpersonal relationships, safety, health, the feasibility of communal enterprise, conduct of commerce, integrity of family and social integrity, learning and advancement, in essence, the dynamics of society itself, is existentially, reliant on the universal assumption of unaltered, truth.

 As a consequence, it is alarming, to note that said ageless and universally, accepted, supporting pillar of organized society, became degraded, and, tactically, forced into a tenuous back seat to personal expediency, under the dystopic term of Donald Trump. The former President, known for his unabashed, serial mendacity, was the irresponsible and bizarre creator of the. “Alice in Wonderland,” artifice of “alternate facts,” (intended to shield his incapacity and ignorance) to subjectively, and tactically, distort reality. In aid of the same, he vociferously impugned the veracity of authentic, reports of the Nation’s institutional and legitimate media. Man’s empirically, existential reliance on the assumption of factual truth, with his atavistic assistance, descended into a new venal franchise, analogous, in its casual and arbitrary significance to the nuanced selection of a bonbon from a Whitman Sampler.

In the present writing, we seek to express our, deliberated, attribution of the etiology of the bizarre phenomenon, in which, Trump’s acolytes choose to disbelieve confirmed facts, yet, accept Trump’s, arbitrary version of “alternate facts” and fabricated distortions of reality, and bizarrely, find a facile credulity in paranoiac, conspiratorial ideations.

It is with great concern and dismay, that we have noted the perverse influence and cult-like reverence, afforded to Donald Trump, evident in the Nation’s under-educated, and atavistically bigoted, population. It is our best estimate that the etiology of this phenomenon is revealed in their perceived, personal identification with Trump’s purported stance against the (non-existent), influential, “intellectual-elite,” and roadblocks to programs seeking the amelioration of inequality and social needs. The foregoing, supplemented, by the presumed, discontent with their limited, personal lives, Trump’s tactical, snake oil, demagoguery, and, most effectively, a perceived and personally redeeming, identification with Trump’s societal irreverence and brash, barroom quality pronouncements. Such large, horde of “underbelly” Americans, in their elective choice of their orange-haired, social avatar, as President, had been financially supported by industrial polluters, who, sociopathically, afford to profits, a higher priority over governmental health regulations; the latter, famously, opposed by Trump.

We, at first, found it, extremely, challenging to comprehend, or at minimum, to derive a conceivable rationale, for the preferred choice of bizarre beliefs and denials of belief, on the part of these devotees of Donald Trump, in contrast to their uniformly persistent denial of verified fact. In their own, irrational and undemocratic, (analogous) iteration of boxed candy samplers,” not one of their presented choices might emulate any reasonable standard of acceptability of the traditional American options, here analogously, represented by those of the venerable, Whitman Sampler.

We would choose to state our deliberated, understanding of the dynamics of the seemingly unfathomable choices by the Trump devotees, with a cursory analysis and attained conclusion.

In aid of understanding, we start with the subject of Evolution, the rejection of man’s rational, acceptance of which, cannot be objectively, based. The World’s acknowledged scientists have determined the age of our Planet, at more than three million years ( not six days before an “omnipotent,” Deity needed to rest), blood studies, anthropological and fossil proofs of fauna and flora, the instructive order, level and contextual setting in which fossils are discovered, decades of geological research and the persistence of archaic, vestigial organs in man, constitute demonstrable proof, of the universal scientific and mainstream accepted, Darwinian theory of evolution.

The irresponsible denial, by Donald Trump, of the existence and danger of Global Warming and its visibly, disastrous effects over the past decades, as well, remains, loyally and persistently, denied, by his followers; this despite the ratification of its potential for planetary destruction, by the World’s great scientists, including oceanographers, meteorologists and relevant scientists. The perturbing off-season weather, unprecedented typhoons, storms, forest fires and, even national boundary erasing, tsunamis, do not seem to attract their acceptability to the factually accurate, impending danger.

At the advent of the covid pandemic, our former, ignorant and irresponsible President, by his public disparaging remarks, was responsible for the cynical disbelief of many of his cult, of the warning of the Nation’s top medical scientists, to the effect that we were in substantial jeopardy from the spread of the potentially, mortal virus. Trump’s false downplaying of the seriousness of the contagious viral infection, led many of his followers to refrain from the prophylactic measures, universally recommended by medical profession to wear facemasks, distance oneself from others, and be vaccinated. The non-wearing of masks and avoidance of vaccination, as a defined partisan show of support for Trump, resulted, in hundreds of thousands of misled citizens, who, predictably, were infected and died.  “Dr.” Trump had initially, “prescribed” bathroom solvent and thereafter, horse warmer, as his, Whitman Sampler, style of preferences.

In singular contrast, to the loyal, unified, non – acceptance of objectively certified, fact, the Trump loyalists, regularly, maintain and defend a wide array of irrational conspiratorial ideations, all of which, we submit, might, appropriately, be pathologically, diagnosed, as paranoid. These include, bizarre ideations, such as:  the U.S. Government was responsible for the 9/11 event, as a false flag operation; that there are conspiracies to take over the country, by, the (non-existent) “intellectual elite”, or, alternatively, the “ bi- coastal liberals;” that the State of Israel launches rockets to the Earth from outer space that horse worm medicine is effective prevention against the covid virus; that an international cabal of Jewish bankers has been secretly, conspiring to take over and dominate the World; that the vaccine against covid contains intrusive, microscopic transmitters, that the communities of color, aspire to replace their fellow white Americans; that abortion, albeit, performed at the earliest stage, is an act of homicide, (since “birth commences at conception”), that same sex marriage is an unnatural abomination; that the previous, (certified as accurate and fair) Presidential election was stolen, despite its multiple certifications as fair and accurate, and with absolutely,  no evidence to the contrary, that America was intended by its founders, to be a white and Christian nation, and, most charmingly, that liberals are child abusers and sex  traffickers.

We have concluded that the bifurcation of mainstream citizens, who accept empirically certified facts, and those who immoderately reject them, yet, give credence to irrational and bizarre ideations, has a tenable rationale.  In our view, the dilemma had its origin in the many citizens who (for various reasons) chose to accept Trump’s all-out war on truth, his exaltation of the concept of “alternate facts” and his pathological approval of a tailored, reality subjectively, deemed more satisfactory.

Such obdurate denial of empirical reality, amounts to, no less than an unforgivable, and ungrateful heresy, against evolution’s sentient (anthropological) accomplishment, and predictably, destructive of any conceivable form of functioning society. The maintenance of “truth,” is the essential epoxy that binds individuals and their society.

No analogous iteration of the dynamics of the Whitman Sampler’s arbitrary, franchise, can exist in the existential human choices, between fact and selective reality, one, completely, unrelated to personal taste or circumstance.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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