Donald Trump is Disgusting

Jon Haidt, in his fine book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, opened my eyes to the different Moral Foundations of Liberals and Conservatives; though I didn’t agree with the Conservative (not his) take on his work that more Moral Foundations are better than fewer. 🙂

And I failed to see that many liberal groups are low on Loyalty (Unions? Liberal member of the military?), Authority (Liberal respect for scientific expertise?) and Sanctity (Liberal love for the Environment and Planet Earth?). It’s more that I see Liberals low on conservative takes on Loyalty (tribal in-group bias), Authority (kiss-up, kick-down), and Sanctity ( the Flag not the Planet). His take seemed Liberal Individualist and failed to capture Liberal Collectivism especially European Liberalism.

But I was always a bit mystified about Jon’s research that started all this: his research on Moral Disgust out of which his Sanctity Foundations work emerged.

But now thanks to Donald Trump I finally understand. Trump is morally disgusting. Forget for a moment the intellectual analysis of his positions and the hatred he spews. His whole political persona is viscerally disgusting to me in the most conservative way possible. And I think it time the Dems had a simple slogan: “Trump is Disgusting.”

A neat diagram of his Foundations applied to politics:


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Top Ten Commandments of Logic and Good Conflict Tips Too

Useful Top Ten Conflict Tips also: (if anyone knows the original source please let me know)

Some more explanation but not necessarily the Source Code at:

The 10 Commandments of Rational Debate [logical fallacies explained]


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Conspiracy Theory Cartoon

Time to repost this I think:



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The World is a Complex Adaptive System Relatively Immune to Conspiracies

Faced with the Conspiracy Theory that Donald Trump is part of a conspiracy to get Hillary Clinton elected I wrote:

The thing about paranoia is that it assumes an almost infantile belief that someone is in control, that there are grown ups conspiring. One thing is clear: there are no grown ups. The world is mostly people doing random acts they think suit their self interest, but are often self defeating kamikaze behavior. based on unawareness and ignorance of the system they are part of.

The world is a complex adaptive system with no one in control and very path dependent subject to small chance events like for instance, the death of Joe Biden’s son. Paranoia is actually a form of seeking comfort in a chaotic world. And when conspiracies are attempted, the law of unintended consequences often makes a mockery of them.

Better in my view to think systemically and collaboratively have some chance of impact. Paranoia also plays to the ego of the masters of the universe like Putin, Trump etc who think they are at the helm of their games, their conspiracies when they are

As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods,
They kill us for their sport.” (King Lear)

That’s my unconspiracy theory anyway. And Trump-Clinton conspiracy: give me a break….

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Trump takes us to Abilene

America is going to go for the Abilene Paradox on an unprecedented industrial scale in November.

Individuals making decisions unable to manage agreement to achieve their goals and instead electing a lunatic who will destroy much of what they value including their democracy. Republicans lying for 20 odd years for their own political expediency ending up with a candidate who destroys their whole national security and trade stance. Liberals failing to really understand the economy or the 2008 Crash ending up with a candidate likely to ensure a repeat performance. Bernie supporters not wanting an establishment candidate and getting a fascist. And core Trump supporters wanting change and getting the political equivalent of Trump University. And so on….Trump taking us for 4-8 years in Abilene…


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US Impact on World Problems

Here’s a provocative thought that I wrote in comment on a piece saying how the US had messed up the rest of the world with its interventions:

I think the US has often blindly gone into situations it didn’t understand in places the electorate can’t place on a map and know even less about. It has often created good/bad sides in complex messes. And it has often followed unenlightened self interest. Caused plenty of problems.

But it is not responsible for most of the problems of the world; neither is western colonialism. S E Asian countries like South Korea, Taiwan, China show what a country can do when it stops blaming its problems on the past, on the US or the West and gets off its backside and drives to become developed. South Korea in 1953 had suffered the worst of Japanese colonialism, been reduced to rubble by the Korean War, fought as a proxy fight between Soviet Union and US. It had the living standard of the Sudan. Yet within ten years it had built a modern industrial state, steel, auto and electronics industries that were soon world class. Yep with some US aid, but also needing to spend a lot on defense because of its next door loony neighbor.

And once you do that, once you build a modern industrial state, hey presto the US and the West can’t mess with you because you are no longer a failed state economic basket case. The US has played little role in for instance the Congo which has managed to kill 6 million of its own people since 2000 just as an example. Venezuela has screwed itself into economic oblivion with little help from the US. The middle east is an economic basket case with or without the US or Israel. And Suni Shia conflict has been around for 1400 years. Ditto Pakistan economically a basket case….and so it goes on.

I think it is Neo-colonialist to overrate the impact of the US and the West on the Rest for good and for ill. Countries for the most part need to take hold of their destinies, find decent leaders and get on with it. And yes the US and the West can help or hinder, but they can’t actually effect the fundamentals: develop or stagnate, empower women or not, educate the population or not, resolve your own civil wars or not, build competitive businesses or not….blame the past and others or not…

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Conflict Humor: Windmills


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