It’s funny but before Trump won the election everyone that I met laughed in my face when I said he would win. Just outright mockery, which I loved because I knew that it was going to make being so right all the sweeter. They would laugh in a jolly and condescending manner. A few of them would then ask me to explain why I thought Trump was going to win, so I’d explain it to them. As I spoke they’d do that eye-rolling thing to each other. Then they’d act bored that I was explaining to them the thing that they had asked me to explain to them.
The behavior patterns never changed. They were uniform across all sexes, races, nationalities, and political persuasions. Yes, conservatives had the same reactions as well. This wasn’t restricted to those hive-mind leftie loonies. Everybody was completely convinced that they were right and they were delighted to meet someone who they knew with such certainty was so wrong.
I have always been a contrarian. I remember in my early teens taking contrary opinions to my friends and teachers. I didn’t do it to stand out. I did it because I’ve always done a lot of thinking. I try and work things out. If someone tells me that such and such is true, my natural instinct is to take it apart to see if they’re right. If I can’t take it apart because I lack the knowledge then I go out and find the knowledge required to shoot them down. And then I shoot them down.
I discovered that people don’t like being shot down, which is weird because I love it when it happens to me. If someone shoots me down it means that I can happily jettison a prior opinion in favor of the new information. Which then leads to another curious situation. People like to rag on you for changing your opinion. They’ll say, (in that condescending and eye-rolling manner of course), that they remember when you used to hold x opinion and now you think that it’s y. So which is it, they’ll say, as if you can’t make up your mind.
This genuinely flummoxes me. Do they really think that the first opinion that you hold on something is destined to be your only opinion on a subject for your entire life? Do they actually think that changing your mind when you encounter new and superior information is an evident weakness? It appears to be the case. I assume that this is because the majority of people are emotionally attached to their opinions and beliefs. The loony-lefties go one better – they identify with their opinions and beliefs, which makes them rather challenging to change.
But back to Trump. Because this has been an extremely interesting experiment in group-think. I mentioned earlier that before the election I could not find a single person, (outside of the internet), who agreed with me that Trump would win. Well, now I can’t find a single person who ever thought that Trump would lose. I mention to people that I picked Trump’s victory extremely early and they nod their head, they look wise, and then they say that they did too.
Which creates something of a problem for me. Because as a contrarian I now find myself on the side of collective opinion. The only thing I can do as those around me congratulate each other on how early they picked Trump winning the election is to shut up at how prescient I was. Because listening to them I know that they are terrible liars but saying the same thing puts me in the same camp. All I can do is to cast around to see if anyone else is remaining silent because then I might discover a fellow contrarian.
But as I look I see that everyone is talking. I wonder what would happen if I piped up and said that I thought Trump would lose? I’d probably get the eye-rolling and the condescending looks again.