Monday, January 9, 2017

Why We Write Novels, Inspired by Trump Supporters

I grew up in rural America among those who elected Trump. In mocking interviews, his supporters say, "I don't care about the facts. I know it’s true."

Or, “you have your facts and I have mine.”

Working in education, I see an opportunity for curricula about facts vs. opinions. But these statements go deeper than poor critical thinking, to the root of subjectivity. 

Imagine person A and person B.

Person A decides by age 25 that evangelical Christianity is the answer to life's pain and a path toward meaning. She goes deep into religion, and everything she encounters in life seems to affirm her religion. If you think that religion is not circumspect enough to inhabit the modern world, look again. 

Person B has been exposed to religion for her whole life, and never once inspired. By age 25, she is reading every book she can get her hands on and believes literature is the path to truth. The study of philosophy, history and psychology make sense of the world, and everything she encounters in life seems to affirm the primacy of empirical understanding.

My mother is person A. I am person B. This is why one writes novels.

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