Trump has brought us into his world of chaos and noise. He is leaving no room for silence in the public sphere. Trump equates noise with action and results. So he bombards us with tweets, distortions and constant disturbing headlines even in the wee hours of the morning. It seems there is never time for a breath between stanzas. This is the world in which Trump thrives. He is afraid if we pause for a second and examine him we will realize this is a world in which we do not want to live. What has assisted this ‘Age of Trump’, is we already live in a society of noise, distractions, and disturbing images unlike any before. The noise of social media, internet, video games, twenty-four hour news cycles, and the fact we are never without our smart phones has left us addicted to stimuli and Trump is constant noisy stimuli.
Yet matters of governance not only take action; the actions must be made in the pause to breathe and think deeply. We know that our lives must be punctuated with silence. This is how we discover ourselves and our desires. Yes trying new things helps us in discovery but it is the moment after that we think about the new thing we realize if it is what we want to be about. If we are constantly overwhelmed we can only think with the most primitive part of our brains. This is where our instinct of fight or flight and instinct not reasoned activity takes place. It takes about ten seconds for our neurons to flow through the more primitive parts of our brain to the higher functions of the brain. The parts of the brain where we think, do we really want to do that which our instinct is telling us? It is a step beyond the instinct level to think: what do I want to do? Then after this part of the brain is activated, if we are not distracted, we travel to the deepest functions of the brain which ask questions of what do I believe and how should I correlate my beliefs with my actions.
The problem is if we are constantly being stimulated by noise we will only use the primitive parts of our brain. We will be going from one instinctive, low level effort thinking to yet another one because the chaos and noise keeps our neurons stimulated never allowing the breath between the notes to guide our actions. So to put it another way we are always making kneejerk reactions to everything and not thinking deeply about what we do.
I write this as the Senate passes a tax bill that moved so fast through it that the final version had some sections scratched out with pencil and handwritten corrections in it. This is the first action or bill they have been able to pass. They did it so they did not have to return to their constituents with no action while they were in session. And their followers will be pleased with the action at last even though it will not have their desires for a more fair tax program in it. But this will not be a problem because the noise of Trump will not let the deeper functioning parts of their brain consider what they have done. It will be on to the next stimuli which will have distracted them.
Silence is golden some say. Or in this case lots of noise brings the gold to those who already have more than they know how to spend.