I was listening to NPR recently and in the discussion, it was mentioned that much of Trump’s support comes from people who distrust learned people. People who are educated and have some degree of expertise in a field of knowledge. Even people who are not formally educated but who have taken the time to acquire a significant body of information from either reading or experience have experienced this rejection.
I have no problem agreeing with this assertion. Many times I’ve seen people who can’t get beyond their own “gut” feelings or unfounded assumptions and become defensive when they are challenged. Trump himself has exhibited such behavior. We’ve all heard him say that such and such is correct because he just knows it is, his gut tells him it is.
Part of becoming educated is accepting that your beliefs and opinions have to stand up to challenges. A fact is not a fact just because you declare it to be one. It has to be provable or supportable.
Back in October of 1973, for some unexplained reason, there was a rash of UFO sightings around Greenfield, OH. It was reported that a policeman shot at a UFO that turned out to be a farmer’s combine that was harvesting grain after dark. Another story has two local policemen claiming to have chased a UFO around the area and were asked to tell their story on a Columbus TV station.
On a personal note, I was attending a meeting at school and heard a bunch of kids making noise on the athletic field. I went to the field and asked what the commotion was. They replied that a flying saucer had been spotted over a nearby village, New Martinsburg and that they themselves had seen the glow.
I responded by rounding up a few friends and headed for the scene of the excitement. At the edge of Greenfield, we came across a police cruiser, an officer and several other citizens. We stopped to join them and asked what the interest was. They pointed at a bright light in the sky and said it was a UFO and was moving across the horizon. Someone in our group, a teacher, identified the light as being the planet Venus and explained that planets appear to move in the sky because the earth is rotating.
Having solved that we headed for the car to proceed to New Martinsburg. As we walked away the cop uttered in a loud enough voice to make sure we heard him, “damn smart aleck teachers, think they know everything!”
At New Martinsburg, we encountered two county sheriffs who laughed and reported they had seen nothing resembling a UFO. Further down the road, we stopped at a state roadside rest and stood watching the night skies. Besides all those stars the only thing of note was the passing of several man-made satellites moving along their orbital paths. Oh, and we were a little taken by the rumbling sounds of a farmer’s combine bring in the corn. It was a little eerie seeing its headlights flicker between the brush and trees that stood between it and us.
I’m happy to report that we fired no shots that evening. No farmers or farm machines were harmed in the telling of this story. However, we were kind of sad that we didn’t see anything that qualified as a UFO.
Maybe it’s more fun not being a bunch of smart-alecks who know everything!