Why Americans Can’t Trust the President: and why you can’t trust yourself

3 min readFeb 2, 2017


There’s a logical fallacy called ad hominem, which is defined as “ an argument… directed against [the] person rather than the position they are maintaining.”

That just means, instead of arguing against someone’s ideas, you are arguing against their strength of character.

In the ideal, logical world, you should be able to reason through someone’s ideas without dismissing them because of who said it.

However, when you start to program computers, you realize that computers have limitations with their processing power. They are logic processors. They run a high volume of logical equations to produce what you interact with on screen. Computers, though powerful, have their limits.

In current day computing, many programmers break down problems into simplified versions of that problem and use heuristics. Heuristics are oversimplified goals or rules that allow the program to get an approximate answer without having to know every single thing about what’s going on.

A great example of heuristics in use are the weather. There are tons of weather stations around the globe and we use that data to predict a 7-day forecast pretty accurately, however we are not measuring every square inch of the planet and therefore do not have the data or computing power to predict a 100% accurate forecast nor a moderately accurate forecast past 7 days.

Humans’ ability to process logic on the spot is much, much worse than computers’ and we commonly use heuristics.

Instead of performing chemistry experiments on our food every time we go to the grocery store, we choose to trust the FDA or we choose to trust articles countermanding the FDA’s practices. It would take too long to actually do real science on all of your food every time you bought groceries.

While I don’t agree with things like ad hominem, I completely understand why people do it.

Trump’s issue is that he has created an entire career from lying. And as the president, he continues to lie directly to the press… on the podium. In addition to that, his chief staffers are willing to lie directly to the public as well, and not just vocally. Trump still hasn’t properly divested his own monetary interests and has placed a ban on middle eastern states except for the ones that his, now, son’s company has business ties in. Few members of Trumps cabinet have been completely vetted by the ethics commission assigned to them.

It’s much easier for the American public to assume that most of what he’s saying lines up with his history of blatant obfuscation, lies, and substanceless, yet emotionally rousing hate speech.

Even if someone wrote a bill or an executive agenda for President Trump that was moderate and reasonable, and then he was the spokesperson for that agenda, he’s ruined his own reputation so much that people aren’t really willing to spend the logical brainpower required to evaluate every claim he makes.