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‘The Lizard Brain is in this country’: MSNBC Guest Insults Voters in the Off-the-Rails Tirade

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'The Lizard Brain is in this country': MSNBC Guest Insults Voters in the Off-the-Rails Tirade
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Thank goodness for the staff at NBC News, holding me up to date in the most bizarre ways.

On Thursday, during their post-debate coverage, they hosted a presidential historian who told me that my beloved country had a “lizard brain.” I was a little confused — but I didn’t need to worry, because a quick search on the word led me to a 2019 NBC News video illustrating the idea.

The “lizard brain” is a pop-psychological way of referring to the more primitive parts of the human brain.

Though the word and the idea have been around for a though, it has taken the swell-headed harness of Seth Godin — one of the most redundant individuals in our current pseudo-intellectual TED talk-level cultural dialogue — to bring it into cultural circulation.

“Wild animals are wild animals, because they have just a tiny little brain, and that tiny little brain keeps them alive. It’s about terror and vengeance and replication and rage and ‘let’s go,’ Godin told NBC News.

“And human beings have the same brain, but we’ve developed to have this other brain in front of us, the one that makes ballet, the one that makes big ideas. But the brain is sluggish compared to our wild animal brain, our lizard brain. The lizard brain is right next to our spinal cord, and that’s how it will go. And it immediately fills our brain with chemicals.

My lizard brain makes me slightly irritated that this guy — a marketing guru whose only commodity is self-promotion — plays a real part of an intelligent discussion in the English-speaking world. In other news, my anguished, white-haired lizard brain is still obviously making me vote for Donald Trump.

So says Jon Meacham, presidential historian and MSNBC analyst. Say what you’re going to do about what happened on Thursday night, Meacham is an experienced, respected author.

Will the liberals like this appreciate the country in which they live?

He is best known as the scribe behind the often non-terrible Pulitzer Prize-winning “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.”

At the very least, the book is consistent. It wasn’t Meacham on Thursday.

“Well, it was remarkable to see it in person,” Meacham said of his observations of the debate. “In fact, I’ve never seen a general election debate in the room. And there was a man running for president of the United States, and the other man was auditioning for a Fox show.

Ho ho, man. I can see what you did there. He seemed to know that this wasn’t exactly Pulitzer-winning presidential historian stuff, because then: “And that may sound like an attempt at glibness, but it was the inherent reaction that I had to watch over the president, who lives in this wilderness of mirrors, to borrow a term from the Cold War, where there are those code words.”

You could not have seen what he did there: “The wilderness of the mirrors” was a term used by former CIA Counter Intelligence Chief James Angleton to describe Soviet disinformation campaigns.

As The Intercept reports, the intelligence operative — who was dishonoured by domestic spy operations against domestic activist groups in the 1960s and 1970s — said that he described “a multitude of stratagems, deceptions, artifices, and all the other disinformation devices used by the Soviet bloc and its co-ordinated intelligence services to confuse and divide the West … an ever-flowing environment.

Now, what did that mean? Something like Russia, something like misinformation, a bla-bla-bla-coded language, and thus Trump is bad.

According to a transcript of the Media Research Center coverage, Meacham then embarked on a curious debate about how Trump ‘s success was an exercise in reaching out to his base. Ok, I guess that’s just what he was looking at, anyway.

Meacham will inform MSNBC viewers that “the reason for the victory of Trump’s cult in the Republican Party has been the amount that has been shown to be … not just Republicans in their states or districts that support the president, but strongly support the president. That adverb — these are adverb republicans, I think of them sometimes.

“They’re shocked to see that if you’re with Trump, God, you’re with him, maybe it’s just that demography is here,” he said.

“There are not enough of them. But I’m going to say this tonight, because I’ve had this reaction. It could have been seen in person, as opposed to the way it has been experienced for the world, there is a lizard brain in this world.

“Donald Trump is the result of a white man, an anguished, anxious white man’s brain lizard. And there may be a twitch there, ‘You know what, we’ve sent this disruptive figure, Biden, maybe that 47-year-old thing helps a little bit.’ I don’t think there’s enough of those guys out there, but I think just as an observer of that—I think Trump’s doing well with his base tonight. The issue for America is how big the foundation is.

You’ve got to give it to Seth Godin: I understood what he was doing. It could have been thin, “Who moved my cheese? “-level brain food gruel for people who find Tony Robbins engrossing, but I knew that.

To the degree that one completely understands precisely what Meacham said Thursday night (actually early Friday morning — something that may have accounted for the fact that Meacham was not the best Pulitzer-winner), it was essentially this:

Biden is president, Trump seemed to be the host of Fox News.
Trump used deception techniques or something from the Soviet period.
Trump has such a broad fan cult that he surprises—”adverb Republicans”—but there aren’t enough of them to win.
“In this country, there is a lizard brain.”
Trump’s followers are simply part of “the anguished, insecure white guy’s lizard brain,” but “[t]he question for America is how big that base is.”

In short, if you’re a Trump fan, you’re a racist Fox News watcher with a lizard brain.

You will not be shocked to hear that MSNBC did not carry Meacham because he was a disinterested spectator or a “undecided elector.” Yes, if you remembered him, it is likely that he was a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention in August.

Given that he’s an experienced author who worked on the DNC’s prepared remarks, he was able to say that Trump’s supporters were racists in more coherent terms, asking “if we’re going to remain captives of the darkest American forces or whether we’re going to free ourselves to write a lighter , stronger, nobler tale.”

He invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s paraphrased quotation, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it is bending towards justice,” because, of course, he did: to bend the arc involves all of us. It needs us, the people, and it needs the President of the United States, with sympathy, grace, a great heart, and an open mind.

For liberals like Meacham and Godin, Joe Biden is going to be such a president. With our voices and our votes, they cry, let us now write the next chapter of the American storey, one of hope, of love, of justice. If we do, they say, we can only save our country and our souls.

And save us from the brain of the lizard, obviously.

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