I would suggest that the ever increasing rate of social /technical change in conjunction with the tribal impulse is a huge factor. The base human ego, along with hating to be wrong about anything, also hates change. Most folks have what I see as a 30 years time horizon or historical reference range. A hundred and fifty years ago the amount of social change that occurred over a thirty year time span compared to, say, the last thirty years was a relatively tiny faction of change.

Somewhere between 20 and 30 years of age an individual has decided what life should be about, and once that ego view point has hardended anything different becomes unsettling. This is particularly true of rural folks where their more settled ways insulates them against change until they are faced with an outside world that is changing at warp-speed, making it seem like an alien threat. I see this as what Trump and other authoritarians most exploit.

Just think about how social media alone has turned the world upside down in the last 7 to 10 years. The human ego psyche is floudering. I put the brakes on change by refusing to get a smart phone. Otherwise I embrace change. But at least without a constant stream of text messages and the like I don’t feel super pressured.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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