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The Two Political America's - Abstraction Vs. Transactional
by John Jazwiec

I am not qualified to opine on the drama in Washington. 

But I have given quite a bit of thought to the present political divides of America. I have come to the conclusion, that red and blue states are not the divide. Neither are cities, suburbia and rural. It's not Republican vs. Democrat. Nor is it North or South. And it sure isn't intelligence and education.

No. The election of Trump, has shown me at least, that his support comes from the differences between "political" abstraction and transaction.

Generally speaking, transaction is familial and tribal; while abstraction is intellectual, personal and goes beyond one's self. Transaction is borne out of our daily dopamine's and/or fears, while abstraction is a product, not bound by time, that dares us to look beyond the day and seeks a higher level of reflection.  

To make an important distinction, let's apply this generality to someone like myself - who has the time, the proclivity and the business-need to focus on politics and business - but doesn't have the time to focus on science and climate change. On such latter matters, I am a "transactionalist", while on the former, I am an "abstractionist". As a science/climate change transactionalist, I am not tuned into every panel discussion, research and media story. I am only interested in the water line of my house and what today's weather is. 

Pivoting back to voter political divides, Transactional Conservatives support the GOP and Trump, while Transactional Liberals support the Democratic party. From my experience, Transactional Conservatives voted and support Trump because of their opposition to abortion and concerns over immigration, while Transactional Liberals support the Democratic party because of their real-time social concerns and/or depend on the federal government for financial aid. 

For example, I have a highly educated dentist who is way smarter than me. He is a transactionist by profession. He goes from patient to patient all day, and then goes home to eat and relax. He is predisposed to being a Transactional Conservative by the nature of his profession and where he lives. 

As another example, I have LGBT, Muslim and racial-minority friends. And some are employed in transaction professions. Regardless, they are Transactional Liberals. For good reason, they have real-time social concerns. 

Either way, life-transactionalists - regardless of politics - don't read newspapers and books. They don't pay attention to daily news. They don't study current events, except to cherry pick stories that reenforce their views and voting decisions. And their familial and tribal ties - reference groups - are the most powerful glue that binds them to their politics.

I would estimate that the country is made up of, and has always been made up of, 40% Conservative Transactionalists and 40% Liberal Transactionalists. The remaining 20% are political abstractionalists. 

There are traditional intellectual conservatives that have broke from Trump like George Will, Charles Krauthammer and Joe Scarborough. They fein breaks with their party. But what they are really saying, is that in the abstract, they find Trump's behavior and political competence unacceptable. 

Either way, abstractionalists - who read books, who follow the news, and who listen to panel discussions - make up a political no-man's land of the last 20%. 

So, taking this to the next level, two conclusions can be made: It will take a great deal of time and take a real negative impact to Conservative Transactionalist's lives to break from Trump.

Secondly, in a general election, abstractionalists will weigh Trump vs other candidates and make the least bad decision. Depended on the other candidate - I don't see anyone that is ready to go - a coalition of Trump's Transactional Conservatives and more than 1/2 of abstractionists, along with the power of the incumbency is more than enough for Trump to be a two-term president. 

The reader can debate if the drama in Washington will critically damage Trump's presidency. What is not debatable, in my opinion, is the arithmetic of our political divides and why that helps Trump.


What I see today in both Republican and Democrats, in my world, is.... Hate.
Each side labels everyone in a negative.
Our culture dehumanizes people.
I look forward to a younger generation with new ideas, diversity, and collaboration.

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From athletic scholar and satirist to computer programmer to CEO success, John Jazwiec brings a unique and often eccentric perspective to business and supply chain challenges. Exploring how they can be solved through the leadership and communication insights found in untraditional sources. This CEO blog demonstrates how business insights from books on history to the music of Linkin Park can help challenge and redefine “successful leadership.” Read Jazwiec’s Profile >>

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