Everyday we look at unfolding news and events through the lens of politics. Suppose we tried to understand it all instead through the lens of psychology? Suppose we got beyond the zero-sum political construct, and into how we have been and are still being manipulated.
What if we realized that President Donald Trump is just a symptom of the deeper crumbling psychological infrastructure of our country? One that makes us so vulnerable to divisive political tactics?
Our guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast is psychologist and attorney, Dr. Bryant Welch. In his book State of Confusion, he argues that these are questions not of politics, but about the health of the American mind.
Welch talks to Jeff Schechtman about the long-term impact of today’s sophisticated forms of political manipulation, all of which undercut our ability to seriously deal with modern problems. In an era of change and the onslaught of technology, Welch explains how we are particularly susceptible to paranoia, sexual perplexity, and envy — and how they can easily be used to undermine our ability to function rationally.
In Welch’s theories, we can see the root cause of the power of religious groups, and why long-accepted rational scientific ideas are suddenly now under siege. According to Welch, half of Americans today are “suggestive and regressed,” and he says that we are now also suffering from a kind of collective trauma.