Baffled by Trump Supporters, Climate Naysayers, Anti-Vaxxers?

One simple question to help understand mass motivations

The Maverick Files
4 min readDec 16, 2021


Free image via Pixabay by OpenClipart-Vectors / 27384 images

I am one of those who don’t have extreme views about most issues and am OK to see how different people may have different perspectives.

Yet, there are times when I wonder — how the hell did this thing get majority support? The Trump win was one such time, other times I cringe when I hear people saying “climate change is a hoax” or when I see people opposing vaccines as a fundamental concept.

So, I tried to rationalize in my mind, what could be driving people’s motivations? There had to be a logical explanation when it wasn’t a one-off person with a different view, but a large group of people, sometimes even the majority with a view that seemed rather irrational.

The first step was to detach any emotions from the analysis and think about it purely objectively.

Could it be something that they’re thinking that I am completely missing?

How can they not see what’s obviously the right thing?

The word “obvious” is an interesting one. It’s a relative word that is used most often as it is an absolute. It’s not.

The key thing that determines people’s preferences is their own motivations and priorities.

As a parent, I might miss the most important work meeting for my three-year-old son’s Christmas concert, but without that context, if someone decided to miss their most important work meeting for some Christmas concert, it would seem absurd.

Perspective is key.

I boiled all of this down to one simple question, which for the most part explained all the misalignment I had with some of these people that had a view different than mine.

The question was this:

What’s the one thing that keeps you up at night?

Or phrased differently, what’s something that’s top of mind for you every morning, and what’s your biggest worry?

If we’re honest about it, it is our basic needs that take top priority. The answers to the above most likely are going to be around the following:



The Maverick Files

Thinker, finance professional, loving husband, a doting dad, fitness enthusiast! MBA in Finance & Marketing and Comp. Science Engineer.