Trump at his rallies manipulates people with his generalized rhetoric that is all talk and no substance. Marianne Williamson’s closing speech at the end of her debate cycle was the same.
Williamson said she wanted to appeal to our “hearts.” She wanted to appeal to our “emotions.”
What are we, her children, and she the wise parent? Appeal to our heart and emotions?? I find this unbearably patronizing. I am not Williamson’s child who needs her to inspire and move me. I am a voter who needs facts and in depth analysis of the issues.
Furthermore, Williamson is using baby talk when she tells me she wants to appeal to my “heart.” As a grown woman, I expect to discuss my anatomy with adult vocabulary. My heart is a part of my circulatory system. My brain and heart communicate via my nervous system. But neither my heart or my emotions do my thinking, my brain does.
I refuse to be patronized by people who want to manipulate me with anatomical baby talk and arousing speeches designed to manipulate my allegiance.
I want leaders who can appeal to my brain with facts and in depth analysis, not arousing pablum. Facts and in depth analysis of complex issues are not often super interesting or emotionally arousing, but they are the most important variables when it comes to the nuts and bolts of actually running a country.
I am all for entertainers hyping me up in order to make me laugh or cry with their comedic or dramatic language when I am choosing to be entertained. But I have no interest in being “entertained” by political leaders trying to groom me with dramatic language and posturing.
We just elected an entertainer on the far right who loves to whip his followers into frenzies with emotionally arousing but intellectually empty rhetoric. I do not want to replace him with an entertainer from the far left using those same tactics.
Lisa Feldman Barrett is a neuroscientist who just won the Guggenheim Fellowship for her Constructed Theory of Emotion. Her theory shows us it is our brain that constructs our emotions, not our heart or amygdala. Barrett’s work will help us protect ourselves against new age gobbledygook. Barrett’s work will help us disrupt the billion dollar self help and holistic health industries preying on us by exploiting previous holes in our working knowledge about how the brain cues for and interprets emotional sensations. Barrett’s work can protect us from patronizing baby talk and allow us to both use and expect biologically accurate language.
Marianne Williamson was the star of the self help show in the 90’s, but brain research by Barrett and others has eclipsed Williamson’s ability to manipulate us with patronizing notions we all have to become “enlightened” and resonate with higher frequency thoughts in order to manifest the good life. Equal rights for all cannot flourish when thought leaders infantilize us with ideas we have to achieve some phony enlightened state in order to be mentally and physically healthy and fulfilled.
We the people need to take back control of our bodies and minds from behavior gurus who want to control our allegiances and our bank accounts.