I humbly submit that, in Donald Trump supporters, we have found a considerably large and living example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. A cognitive bias that occurs when people of limited intellect mistakenly believe themselves intellectually superior or suffer from illusory superiority. Illusory superiority is an internal illusion resulting from the inability of those of limited intellect to recognize their own ineptitude. It appears to me that they have limited to no ability for meta-cognition, which is awareness or understanding of one’s thought processes.

Donald Trump, Fox News, ignorance, and lies

In the book “Cult of ignorance”, written in 1980, Isaac Asimov said, “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” I wonder if he had not just read about the Dunning-Kruger effect.

It is important to note that the largest portion of those that voted for Donald Trump is not college educated. From my perspective, these folks have such a limited grasp of current affairs that they can’t see some glaring facts about their pick for President. According to Politifact’s file on Trump, just 5% of what he has said since taking office has been true.

That is in stark contrast to the 33% of his statements that have been patently false, or the 21% that have been mostly false. Donald Trump doesn’t just tell a few lies. He is clearly, a liar. Yet, this substantial uneducated portion of America believed him to be honest or honorable enough to put him into the Oval Office. This, I bet, will trouble social scientists for decades to come.

According to the New York Times, the old and uneducated, and/or high school dropouts, watch the most television. I’m betting they're not going to be watching CSPAN, but I’m no expert. What I do perceive though is that whatever ‘knowledge’ these folks might have, is coming from the cartoon network, and/or Fox News. I’m sure the reader can see how this formula could produce a Donald Trump supporter as a result.

Knowledge, intelligence, political judgment, idiot

Psychological research has revealed that people, in general, suffer from the Dunning-Kruger Effect. According to David Dunning, an experimental psychologist at the University of Maryland and Politico magazine, people with gaps in knowledge fail to realize how little they know and how poorly they perform. To sum it up he writes, that the knowledge and/or intelligence necessary to be “good” at something would be equally necessary to recognize that one is not good at something. He says that if one lacks that knowledge and intelligence “one remains ignorant that one is not good at that task. This includes political judgment.”

In the end, however, is it not each person’s responsibility to ensure that they are at least knowledgeable about politics and, more importantly, politicians?

Are we not responsible for what we allow to rent space in our head? In the age of information, isn’t ignorance a choice? Should we not be required to prove our knowledge about candidates, or politics in general, before we are allowed to cast our vote? Should people like Donald Trump be allowed to hold public office merely because they pandered to those of limited intellect? I don’t think so. I believe that it’s time to tighten America’s political reigns.

idiot (n.) - early 14c., "person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning;" also in Middle English "simple man, uneducated person, layman" (late 14c.), from Old French idiote "uneducated or ignorant person" (12c.), from Latin idiota "ordinary person, layman; outsider," in Late Latin "uneducated or ignorant person," from Greek idiotes "layman, person lacking professional skill" (opposed to writer, soldier, skilled workman), literally "private person" (as opposed to one taking part in public affairs), used patronizingly for "ignorant person," from idios "one's own"

If memory serves, ‘Idiot’ is how the ancient and democratic Greeks referred to those unable or unwilling to participate in political affairs, including voting.

It is also, I believe, exactly what Donald Trump was counting on in his bid for President. Just my two cents.

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