Since the ascendance of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber to his perch in the Oval Office paying pee-hookers to piss on the Resolute Desk and everything America values while Kellyanne Conway wears her Ivanka costume and provides color commentary, we at Ye Olde Blogge have had a lot of time to examine the life and career of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber. You know, people who ascend to positions of prominence usually are good at something. They have some area where they approach expertise or at least are a jack-of-all-trades. But, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber seems to be the exception to the rule, and his lack of discernible skills and knowledge and, let’s face it, general awareness that the rest of the world even exists is an existential threat to the country and the world.
The Iran Drone Incident
Just in case there is anyone still wondering if the Ol’ Pussy Grabber could be anything other than a disinterested and uninteresting moron, I offer his comments at a press thing on the downing of a drone by Iran. He explained that We didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. Hunh? Are ya sure about that? Do you wanna check with John Bolton first, big boy? We had nobody in the drone. It would have made a big difference, let me tell you. It would have made a big, big difference. Is he thinking that he’ll cook up his very own Gulf of Tonkin incident by ordering that all drones be manned? Ooooh, diabolically clever! Those Iranians will never see that one coming!
FFS, we can haz all of the Amendment 25’s now? Please Mother Pence? Isn’t it way past time? You know, before some white Americans get hurt?
So, I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that maybe the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is not an expert at aviation? Military hardware in general?
Trump’s Decision Making “Process”
Oh, but it gets worse because in Trump’s America, it always gets worse. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber was up in arms over this whole drone shot down thingee that John Bolton was explaining to him with pictures and graphs and his name prominently displayed and oft repeated loudly or at least that’s the way I imagine it happening. He probably stomped around the Oval Office being careful to avoid the puddles of pee left there by the hookers because that would be gross shouting his invective at the audacity of the Iranians to continue to exist while he hates them so much — I’m alleging.
In the middle of it all, probably after having stepped into one of the puddles of pee — is it wrong that I’m imagining that and laughing? — he ordered the absolute destruction of Iran by any means necessary, which was all John Bolton had ever wanted to hear and quickly scurried from the room to make it so. I’m guessing that during his rant, he sputtered incoherently about the death of the pilot wanting to go on all of the national TVs to explain how this murder will not be tolerated.
At that point, in my fevered imagination, someone spilled the beans by mentioning that drones didn’t have pilots which so amazed the Ol’ Pussy Grabber that it stopped his ranting mid-sputter leaving flecks of spit suspended CGI-style in mid-air.
It probably wasn’t until someone brought in a progress report on the impending attack that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber even knew the attack was on the way — at least in my imagination, right? — and someplace in the cavernous emptiness of his head, a small dim light went off. And, in addition, to looking forward to tonight’s session with the pee-hookers, he felt some anxiety and abruptly called the whole thing off.
Trump’s Areas of “Expertise”
The Ol’ Pussy Grabber is not an expert in any of the areas he needs to be in order to discharge the duties that the Russians have thrust upon him — their reason for thrusting, I’m sure. He isn’t even vaguely aware of most of them. At best, he could be described as a novice. Really, he’s a rank amateur who just makes it up as he goes along. Worse, he assumes he is an expert at everything because narcissism, and dismisses the opinions and thoughts of the actual experts in favor of those of sycophants and the echoes of vacant offices and his own mind.
Unfortunately, the conflict with Iran — entirely of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s own making — is not the only area where expertise is needed by the executive branch of our government to solve it. Others include climate change, immigration, and coping with the multiple investigations into the Ol’ Pussy Grabber, his family, organizations, and his administration. We’ll get to analyzing how the lack of expertise is impacting his relationship with Congressional investigations and what it suggests in terms of strategy by Congress in a minute.
For fun — and I mean that in the tragicomic Shakespearean sense of the word kinda like seeing a bad traffic accident is “fun” — let’s compare the way experts handle situations with how novices do. If that doesn’t terrify Mother Pence into Amendment 25’ing his dumb ass, well, he just don’t read Ye Olde Blogge, do he?
The Nature of Expertise
Expertise has been researched since 1899 with hundreds of fields and areas being studied. Typically, the studies compare experts with skilled practitioners, which they term novices. These studies culminated in a seminal work, The Nature of Expertise, by Chi, Glaser, and Farr in 1988 which codified the findings thusly:
- Experts are expert in their area of expertise only. Once they are outside of this area, they are no better than anyone else.
- Experts work with the large overarching patterns and interactions that occur in their field that most people are not aware of.
- Experts are efficient and resolve issues with few errors.
- Experts can chunk their working memories very efficiently and effectively allowing them to produce the efficient and error “free” work referenced above.
- Experts work on the problems in their area using principles and details that are obscure to the rest of us.
- Experts a lot more of their time in analysis as opposed to novices.
- Experts have strong executive functioning: they plan, adapt, and execute.
Any of this sound like the Ol’ Pussy Grabber in any area other than pee-hookers? When you think about it, you realize that experts have a ton of information at the ready to apply to any and every problem they encounter. And, isn’t that what experts do? They solve problems. And, because they have so much experience and knowledge, many of the things they do, including analysis, are automatic. They do it without thinking because they have so thoroughly mastered their areas of expertise.
Experts react instinctively, but their instincts are well grounded in knowledge and experience unlike the Ol’ Pussy Grabber who reacts instinctively, but his instincts are mired in narcissistic bullshit.
Experts and Executive Functioning
One of the key distinctions between the way an expert handles a problem and a novice does is their executive functioning. Experts can patiently analyze a problem. They realize that a good diagnosis leads to the selection of an accurate treatment, which, in turn, leads to a satisfactory outcome. It takes discipline and self-control to not jump like the toddlers in Walter Mischel’s marshmallow study to the “obvious” conclusion and eat the damned marshmallow right away!
All of these patience and discipline allows them to realize that they might need contingency plans, so in addition to making their primary or initial plan, they have alternate plans to use in case anything goes wrong. They can anticipate problems before they arise. They have options when problems do arise.
Of course, this is why we have experts in our government. Political appointees and elected officials cannot be expected to be experts in their fields. Decisions need to be made that are apolitical and based on expertise in the fields that the various departments govern. It’s why we have a cabinet and those positions are Senate approved so we can have a competent expert executive branch… only we don’t, do we? We have vast vacancies, acting office holders, non-vetted nominees falling in flames…
Novices versus Experts
Novices — and remember most of the people termed novices in the studies of expertise are actually experienced practitioners in their field, they just haven’t risen to the proficiency-level of expert — have a limited number of options. They react as if there is only one way to solve a problem. When that method fails, they are at a loss for what to do next. In other words, novices have a hammer and the world is a nail.
Trump’s Go To Move
You may have noticed that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s go to move is to fight. He reacts to any and all problems with threats, intimidation, bluff and bluster, and spittle inflicted invective. He doesn’t actually do anything about any problem. He doesn’t actually care if anything is done. He may have a lackey or two who actually do something — cutting regulations come to mind — but that doesn’t matter to him.
His go to move encompasses filling his life with so much conflict and fighting that he can move quickly from one to another without ever worrying about whether any of the fights are resolved. He is the living embodiment of the heuristic that no problem is so big and bad that doing absolutely nothing about it won’t resolve it. He conveniently ignores the corollary that you may not like the resolution that ignoring it brings, but it will be resolved.
The last facet of this technique is to manufacture and create crises to fight about. If most of your fights are because of things you absolutely control, you can escalate and deescalate them at will. In some ways it is brilliant. When you need to demagogue immigrants, you ratchet up the crisis at the border. When you don’t, you ratchet it down. When you need to distract with a foreign conflict, you rattle your saber at Iran over some bullshit. When you don’t, you claim that there was no loss of life, so we can ignore it.
All he’s got is fighting and the resulting chaos. As long as he can keep you fighting, he figures he’s winning. How can he be expected to do anything with all of this harassment and the constant attacks made by the enemy of the people and the bitter desperate Dems?
Countering and Removing Trump
The lesson here for the Congressional investigations is not to engage in the fight. While it is boring and not what we want — god, do we ever feel like we need to fight with the Ol’ Pussy Grabber! — the absolute best thing to for the Congress to do is plod forward with their investigation. As long as the courts uphold the Constitution and our democratic traditions, we will win.
We will win because all the Ol’ Pussy Grabber has is smoke and mirrors. As soon as they face close scrutiny, they dissipate into nothingness. Kinda like the difference between a civil court action that you can delay and obfuscate over until the other side is so broke and worn down that they give up and an FBI investigation that you cannot obstruct by firing people, intimidating them, or refusing to cooperate. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber was not prepared for the level of scrutiny that he has come under.
His old bag of tricks are not going to work here as long as we stay the course and methodically hold his fucking feet to the aluminum-melting fucking fire by using all of our democratic institutions and traditions.
We the people can best help by calling our representatives and senators and telling them to stay the course, keep investigating, and impeach the motherfuckers. We the people can best help by engaging in elections and issues. Supporting candidates and advocating for specific issues. Not just presidential candidates and national issues, though. We the people gotta go local, too. Our biggest failing has been to cede the understanding of and mechanism of government to the elites.
Categories: Cognitive Psychology, Expertise
Nicely put Jack. I am intrigued that you wrote from Paris now if I read the sidebar correctly. Let us hear of some ideas from France that might ease our collective pain of you no who.
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Yes, you read that correctly! We’re in Paris remodeling our apartment here before we can rent it again. It has been a lovely time. I’ll check further into the French political scene, but I’m afraid they have their own problems with Russian interference, right-wing extremism, nationalism, racism, and what not, much like we do.