President Donald Trump

Summary of Chapters 1-15, published in RAIS, August 2020; and ResearchLEAP, February 2021.

Summary of Chapters 16 - 30, published in RAIS, October, 2020, and ResearchLEAP, April 2021.


Synthisophy - Integrating the wisdoms of history into present culture

Roots – Synthesis/History/Sophy

Synthesis - the integration of separate material or abstract entities into a single  
or unified whole

History - what has happened in the past; a detailed description of past events as
relating to a particular people, country, period, etc…

Sophy - Greek root: wisdom, knowledge; an intellectual system embracing
knowledge and truth; study of the real world based on fact and truth, science

As you know, the USA today is a very polarized society. Technology in the Digital Age can be challenging. It can also be an avenue for us to interact despite differences in viewpoints and geography. That is the role of Synthisophy, integrating the wisdoms of history based on fact and truth into present culture. To foster an understanding of the real world, it’s important to learn about points of view which don’t match your own.

Citizens are the crux of democracy, an educated and well informed citizenry is vital for the survival of a democratic republic. As Benjamin Franklin said after exiting the Constitutional Convention and was asked what sort of government the delegates had created, his answer was, “We’ve given you a Republic, can you keep it?” With synthisophy in mind the answer to his question is “Yes, we can.”


"We've given you a Republic, can
you keep it?" Ben Franklin after
Constitutional Convention

"If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed
ourselves." Abraham Linclon

"United we stand, divided
we fall." John F. Kennedy
Inaugural speech

"I believe, as I always have, 
that America's strength is in
'We the People.'" Ronald Reagan

Here are the latest discussions:

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday (11.22.22) ordered the release of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns from the IRS to the House Ways and Means Committee. Last month, Chief Justice John Roberts granted a stay, temporarily blocking the former president from having to turn over his tax records. Yesterday Roberts vacated that stay. Trump and his legal team had filed asking the Supreme Court to block the release of his tax records.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal:

“We knew the strength of our case, we stayed the course, followed the advice of counsel, and finally, our case has been affirmed by the highest court in the land. Since the Magna Carta, the principle of oversight has been upheld, and today is no different.”

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Sources: Fox News and CNN

As we saw in the Midterm elections, let’s give thanks today to our functioning Democratic Republic.

Pic source:

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There were 3 more mass shootings this past month:
University of Virginia class field trip.
Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia.

The chart above shows the number of gun deaths (red) vs strictness of gun laws (yellow), by state.

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Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, was found guilty (11.29.22) by a jury of seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. That breach disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.  The jury convicted Rhodes of masterminding a plot to violently block the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, finding that Rhodes entered into a seditious conspiracy against the U.S. government. Rhodes was also found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and tampering with documents and proceedings. Each count along with seditious conspiracy carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison

Attorney General Merrick Garland:

“Today the jury returned a verdict convicting all defendants of criminal conduct, including two Oath Keepers leaders for seditious conspiracy against the United States. The Justice Department is committed to holding accountable those criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy on January 6, 2021. The prosecutors and agents on this case worked tirelessly, with extraordinary skill, and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray:

“As this case shows, breaking the law in an attempt to undermine the functioning of American democracy will not be tolerated. The FBI will always uphold the rights of all citizens who peacefully engage in First Amendment protected activities, but we and our partners will continue to hold accountable those who engaged in illegal acts regarding the January 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol.”

Here are evidentiary quotes from Rhodes presented in the case:

-- "We aren’t getting through this without a civil war. Too late for that. Prepare your mind, body, spirit," Stewart Rhodes, in a Nov. 5, 2020 text to a group of Oath Keepers.

-- "If you fail to do your duty, you will leave We the People no choice but to walk in the founders footsteps, by declaring the regime illegitimate, incapable of representing us, destructive of the just ends of government - to secure our liberty. And, like the founding generation, we will take to arms in defense of our God-given liberty." - December 2020 open letter posted online from Rhodes to then-President Trump.

-- "Show the world who the traitors are, and then use the (Insurrection Act) to drop the hammer on them. And all of us veterans who swore that oath, until you're age 65, you can be called up as the militia to support and defend the constitution ... He needs to know from you, that you are with him. That if he does not do it now, while he is commander in chief, we are going to have to do it ourselves later, in a much more desperate, much more bloody war. Let's get it on now, while he is still the commander in chief." - Rhodes in a speech prior to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

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Sources: US Department of Justice, Reuters

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An earlier participant post referred to a study titled: Individuals Prefer to Harm Their Own Group Rather Than Help an Opposing Group, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stating the following:
Understanding the principles guiding decisions in intergroup conflicts is essential to recognizing the psychological barriers to compromise and cooperation. We introduce a novel paradigm for studying group decision-making, demonstrating that individuals are so averse to supporting opposing groups that they prefer equivalent or greater harm to their own group instead. We propose that identity concerns drive this behavior.

We found consistent evidence that individuals prefer to harm their own group rather than provide even minimal support to an opposing group across polarized issues (abortion access, political party, gun rights). In an incentive-compatible experiment, individuals preferred to subtract more than three times as much from their own group rather than support an opposing group. Example shown below.

Taken together, our results offer the first unambiguous evidence that individuals are so averse to showing support for an opposing out-group that they even prefer to do greater harm to their own group instead.

Our results reveal the central role of identity in decision-making in polarized contexts. Identity often plays an important role in decision-making, such as when and to whom we offer support. We propose that individuals aim to protect their group-based identity when facing intergroup conflict and therefore behave in ways that best express their values, especially those that are central to their identity.

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