It’s a very unfortunate fact of life that the average human is utterly incapable of anything remotely approaching reason. This is because for nearly all of our evolutionary history as a species, calories were scarce and so conserving calories was a winning strategy. Thinking burns precious calories so we evolved to do as little thinking as possible. In turn this means the average person never thinks — they just repeat sound-bites and memes they’ve been fed, imagining that this repetition is “expressing my opinion on the matter.”

The dull-witted and rather uneducated people who have little or no interest in digging down to discover real-world facts and data upon which real opinions can be based simply repeat the same old tropes they’ve been fed over the last few years: the USA’s insane level of gun violence is actually a mental health problem (which makes you wonder why all other nations don’t experience the same level of violence — does this mean the USA is uniquely dysfunctional?), immigrants are “really” the ones causing the problem, it’s all the fault of black people, and on and on and on. It’s the same reason the same people always chant “thoughts and prayers” after every well-publicized mass shooting instead of actually doing something meaningful about the problem.

Of course anyone with an IQ larger than that of a brain-damaged snail knows Trump is an infantile moron, a white supremacist bigot whose only claim to fame is that he’s the only person in history stupid enough to lose money owning a casino — and not once, but twice! But the sad fact is that a great many voters don’t really have an IQ much larger than the aforementioned brain-damaged snail. And that’s one of the many reasons why so-called representative democracy is such an awful idea, and why it delivers creatures like Trump and his motley crew of charlatans. Until we change our attitude towards systems of government (i.e. look for approaches more fit for purpose) we will continue to get the Trumps of this world, and much worse. For the one thing Trump has shown above everything else is simply this: a huge number of people are so foolish and so easy to manipulate that you literally cannot under-estimate their cognitive capabilities. There’s someone out there who is much more self-controlled and nowhere near as brain-dead as Trump, just waiting to put this lesson into its fullest effect. In Germany his name was Hitler and in Russia his name is Putin. The only real question today is: whose name will historians cite as the one who took the USA the last few steps of the way to true totalitarianism? Trump opened the door wide, but it will be someone else who steps through.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.