I’ve avoided writing about Donald Trump’s antics for a while, mostly because they’re predictable IF you accept the fact that Trump is a relational disruptor extraordinaire, and a narcissistic psychopath.
What people seem to be stumbling on is the behavior of Republican senators, and why they haven’t united to throw Donald into the wood chipper yet. If you ask me, it’s coming, and soon. At the same time, their behavior is a classic example of how the Authoritarian v-Meme works.
Let’s review. Social structures, created by shared values aggregated into a Value Set/v-Meme, using a brain-wired set of common Knowledge Structures, create coherence of information, and the potential for coherent action in a group of people. That’s how you get people to work together. There’s a shared, emergent behavior that comes when people’s brains line up not just in specific information, but also in time and space.
And all these things are governed by the level of empathy.
So.. if I had to arrange these things in a line…
Value Set=>Social Structure<=>Knowledge Structure=>Information Coherence=>Coherent Action
So… let’s review the Authoritarian v-Meme, which few would disagree is a.) running Trump’s Brain, and b.) most of the Republican party at the current moment.
- Authoritarians sit in a hierarchy/power structure.
- Truth in that power structure is decided by the person above you in that structure, and moves downward.
- In-group/out-group dynamics are dominant.
- If you’re in the In-group, you believe! (core value)
- If you’re in the Out-group, you don’t believe — but become depressed. (core dynamic)
- If you’re depressed, you’re easy to control. (core dynamic)
- The group moves together in the same direction pretty much from external forcing. Your beliefs are installed from the outside, causing you to move. Or you’re depressed, and you shuffle along with everyone else.
- Agency is low. You don’t suddenly get to decide you DON’T get to go with the crowd.
- Culture (which can come from any of the value sets, but with origin unknown) creates modest sidebars for constraint of behavior.
With this in mind, let’s consider former Senator Jeff Flake’s comments yesterday. Flake said that “at least 35 Republican senators would vote for impeachment if it were a secret ballot.” This is totally consistent with the value structure of the Republican party. Inside the social structure, those senators’ actions are constrained, as Trump is the apex of the Authoritarian pyramid. BUT — these senators also exist in the broader culture. If they could mask the effect of social structure, 35 would vote against Donald Trump. That’s what Flake is really saying.
The aggregated total system of their shared brain wiring is creating some serious cognitive dissonance about now. What WILL happen is, as the momentum builds for impeachment (modes and ways) this group will move en masse, over a very short time toward impeachment, as other leaders in the Republican party abandon Trump’s authority. There are signs that this is already happening far up the Authoritarian pyramid, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell siding with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on release of various parts of the intelligence portfolio.
What’s the takeaway? The actual social system is working according to its driving physics. Once one understands and analyzes the information flow, everything is going, well, according to plan. The emergent plan. And how else would 35 Republican senators be expected to act? All this isn’t a bug. It’s a feature.
When will they flip is anyone’s guess. Why? It’s a collective limbic/basal ganglia decision point. That means it’s an impulsive switch — either on or off. And when it turns to ‘Off’, it will be because the threat of inherent trauma (massive losses in the next elections) will create the Survival v-Meme neuroplasticity to remove Trump from office.
My guess is most of them, in the trauma space, are in fright, freeze and fight. But before long, we’re going to see this turn to flight.