Saturday, July 30, 2016

Foundation and Trump

This is my maybe-once-a-year political post and it has nothing to do with whom anyone ought to vote for or not vote for. It's just an observation of what is.

The other day I read somewhere that Moody's Analytics, who had correctly predicted which party would win the presidential election since 1980, has said the the Democrats will win this election. It made me laugh. 

"Why is that?" you may ask.

Well, it's because of who Donald Trump is, and this is who he is.

He is the Mule. If you are not a died-in-the-wool reader of Science Fiction of the traditional sort, you probably don't know who the Mule is, but anyone who has read Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy will know immediately whom I am talking about. 

The Foundation is a secret organization of psychohistorians who, on the verge of the collapse of the Galactic Empire, gather to plot the course of history so that the new civilization will rise in only 1000 years instead of the 30,000 years it would normally take. They make complicated calculations using mathematical sociology which can predict large events, and they determine different points at which their plan may go awry and what they will have to do make corrections. They do this really well for a long time but then something, someone comes along that they could not possibly have forseen, and that someone is The Mule. The Mule is an anomaly, a mutant who can look into the minds of people and adjust their emotional temperature. It's much like Tom More's lapsometer but he doesn't need a machine to do it. 

Six months ago, who would have imagined that Trump would win the Republican nomination? Did even he think it would happen. Maybe, but everyone else was astonished when he won primary after primary. It was beyond reasonable calculation. I'm certainly not saying that he has any unsuspected powers, but there was more going on than anyone understood or could have predicted. There are undercurrents that may only be understood after a sufficient amount of time has passed.

And so, I don't know if Trump will win or not, but I wouldn't put my faith in anybody's predictions. 

I used this Wikipedia article to refresh my memory. It's been a really long time since the last time I read these books.



  1. Janet,
    I had this same thought not too long ago. I then looked at a Wikipedia article on Foundation trilogy. I read them as a teenager, but couldn't remember the details, so I had forgotten the details. After reading the summary, I said to myself, "Yep."

  2. Thanks for commenting, Robert.