After puzzling over the incomprehensible hyperpolarized rancor of the recent campaign season, these are my conclusions:

• We vote for candidates not for their virtue or ideology, but for what they symbolize. Every political candidate is a symbol for an unsatisfied longing.

• Voting decisions are made in the reptilian part of the human brain. The voter is a complex emotional being, and the voting decision is made instantaneously in his unconscious mind.

• These voting decisions are a response to an unconscious emotional need that the voter tries to explain rationally. The best politicians give voters the rationalizations (excuses) they need to justify the emotional decisions they have already made.

• Usually the voter’s “reality” is an irrational matter of personal perception. What the voter perceives to be authentic is “real” for her, regardless of objective independent evidence to the contrary.

Many people are so hungry to be led, and so desperate to succeed, and so greedy, that the unethical hype of the professional politician creates more delusional voters.

Peter A. Schaible

Brewster