Here Is Our Predicament:
No Dolphins Are Running for President
of the United States

Leaving aside a critique of the personal morals and psychological health of a certain U.S. presidential candidate, this timely question remains: What the horsefeathers is going on in American life?

I’d suggest this: After cavorting in one of the universe’s “pastures at the end of the rainbow” for the first several years of the new millennium, the 21st Century has decided to flex its extraordinary muscles of change. Resultantly, it’s threatening to kick over the traces in multiple public and private arenas, all at the same time.

In some ways, this is encouraging, both for America and much of the rest of the world. It indicates that American influence is pretty much as hale, hearty and far-reaching as ever in places where it matters. Practical economics. Military dominion. Birthing and rapid propagation of new ideas and new technologies. Not to mention, the continuing absorption into our daily lives and commerce of relative newcomers to our shores. (More than a few of these folks are making their way up the American socioeconomic ladder with surprising nimbleness.)

I know it still looks like the Chewbacca Mom is dominating many major mirrors. But we should get used to it. This condition is likely to spread in this idol-breaking new era to numerous localities, cultures and socioeconomic systems in our world. So it’s probably best that these all-hell-breaks-loose times have developed so demonstrably first in America.

This nation still has the best overall track record for absorbing cultural, social and marketplace chaos and playing the good aspects of the turmoil forward. Despite a lot of rough patches, unfairness and pain, the American experiment has generally been best in history at putting responsive new systems and movements in place and successfully enrolling the largest number of its citizens in what emerges.

Can we do it again? Well, that’s the question.

As we contemplate the answer, here are some things to consider about America’s current turbulence, especially in our politics:

The epic gaps in continuity created by monumental change usually bring suffering to sizable segments of society.

Most of these unfortunates have never enjoyed much of a launch pad to begin with. But the toll often includes a goodly number of folks who didn’t realize how vulnerable they were until their worlds collapsed. What is happening now is no different.

As is always the case with turbulent changes, a core circumstance to monitor is what is happening with people’s worldviews—with their beliefs.

Humans convinced that they are being ignored, manhandled or dishonored tend to look backwards belief-wise. They grow nostalgic. They want “good times” and “old tribes” to return, believing this will make most of their troubles disappear. (At Brain Technologies, we’ve often referred to users of this worldview as “Carps.” As you’ll see in a moment, there is profound illustrative value behind our naming of this and other worldviews in this way.)

Humans strongly resistant to being shamed tend to reinforce their beliefs by turning to their symbols, tools and MOs of ruthlessness and bullying. They talk tough. And they look for opportunities to cow others, especially the weak and less powerful. (Unrefined Sharks.)

Humans not in the above categories usually fall into three additional categories of belief that are considerably removed from the ones just mentioned. First, there are those who see personal advantage in other people’s fears, unhappiness, confusion and powerlessness and seek to benefit by manipulating them. (Self-interested Sharks.) Second, there are those who go merrily and blithely on their way, rejoicing “at all the diversity and freedom of choice” and largely ignoring the need for society to do something different. (Pseudo-Enlightened Carps.) Third, there are those who can lead effectively in complex times but tend to do so selectively. They prefer to act with other competent persons only in situations with a strong chance of delivering value. (Dolphins.)

In the current U.S. presidential campaign, one candidate has boldly, brazenly and with remarkable success gathered supporters either who feel their beliefs and well-being are under grave threat (Carps) or who identify strongly with tough talk and ruthless solutions (Unrefined Sharks). He’s played relentlessly to both groups’ fears and brain biases.

The other major candidate has sought to juggle her appeal to category one (Carps), to the first of the advanced categories (Self-interested Sharks) and to the second advanced category (Pseudo-Enlightened Carps). This splintered “focus” explains much of the criticism from potential voters, her opponent and the media over trust and consistency issues.

No major political figure from the third advanced category of beliefs (Dolphins) has been visible in the 2016 campaign.

The unavailability of a political leader whose beliefs are capable of handling the most momentous changes (thus far) of the 21st Century is a major reason why our American presidential campaign has been so ugly and unfulfilling.

Is the absence of one or more such thinkers dangerous? Most likely, it is.

Is there still time in the near future for such leaders to emerge? Let’s hope so.

For certain, it’s brain-change time for the planet. In the USA, Nov. 8 will be a good time to fashion healthier, more mature beliefs to govern public and private behavior. You can start by choosing the presidential candidate less likely to damage our options.

(Email comments or questions to


From A Reader Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous:

You write, “The other major candidate has sought to juggle her appeal to category one (Carps), to the first of the advanced categories (Self-interested Sharks) and to the second advanced category (Pseudo-Enlightened Carps). This splintered ‘focus’ explains much of the criticism from potential voters, her opponent and the media over trust and consistency issues.”

I respectfully suggest that Hillary IS a Dolphin and that your assessment that no Dolphin is running in the election is wrong.

I submit that the very fact that she is talking in so many different languages to multiple world views is a very good sign that she has crossed the great handover to second tier thinking and that she is operating as a Dolphin. . . . I think that both Clintons are Dolphins and that they will surround themselves with highly competent Dolphins in the new administration. I am very excited!!

Reply: I admire any politician who seeks to communicate with multiple worldviews, including Hillary. But if a dolphin worldview is in the house (or the water!), I expect to see ample evidence that the person under the microscope has resolved the issues of the worldview(s) being addressed for herself or himself. If this were the reality for Hillary, I’d expect her to be much more strategic and effective with her message “juggling.” As for Bill, brilliant shark-thinker that he is, he’ll be forever seeking to atone for his stupidity and sexual shortcomings. What a different election this would have been if he had behaved differently.

Assuming she wins (and we must hope she does), is Hillary astute enough to surround herself with dolphinthinkers? In my opinion, that’s a bit too much to hope for. First, there’s a real shortage of Dolphins who will want to deal with the “miasma of dysfunction” in Washington, D.C. Second, if there were, I still doubt that she would be able to appreciate their MOs and insights sufficiently to feel comfortable around them to make good use of their service. At least, this is the view from Florida. You may be able to see things with greater clarity from your non-U.S. location! Thanks for writing and for your assessment!

P.S. Wish you could vote in this one!

From Michael Roth,

In the early hours this morning while deep into active brainwave consciousness, I turned over and a wonderful image materialized before my eyes. LEAP!psych WELCOMES NEW EYEBALLS. A magnificent construction of words, color and images came into view in the form of a simple email made from the thought projections of several of my favorite writers and people, Dudley and Sherry Lynch, whom I have the honor and privilege to call friends and mentors.

Thank you for being you for sharing your creativity and enthusiasm for nurturing a better world and offering resources to help make it so. I am writing to say that YOUR blog and article really made my day, and I thank you

Reply: Michael, thanks for letting us know that we helped the sun rise in spectacular Portland.

From Perry Flippin,

I thought you might like this article on Slate: “The Problem Isn’t Donald Trump’s Mental Health. It’s Ours.”

Reply: Thanks greatly for flagging that, Perry. As always, I’m as interested in assessing the beliefs of the author as in the usefulness of what he has to say. These seem to be the thoughts of a person holding what I’ve come to style “PEC” beliefs (those using a Pseudo-Enlightened Carp worldview). I’d argue that we are better served seeing our world as one struggling toward more maturity than as one that is overwhelmingly sick.

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