It sometimes amazes me when someone writes, on Facebook or in a distinguished journalism outlet, about the hidden urges and secret psyche of people they don’t know very well, whether those people are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, or millions of Muslims.
If you claim to know someone’s deepest thoughts, emotions and desires, then get a cape, mask, and tights, because you have telepathic powers and should use your abilities for the greater good.
If you claim to know the thoughts, emotions and desires of a populace numbering in millions, then you should ascend to heaven immediately, because you’re a god.
Some people really do know a lot about other people’s inner workings: a psychologist who’s met frequently with a patient, a biographer who’s spent years researching a biographee (yes, I just made up that word), a pollster or ethnographer who’s repeatedly studied and questioned a population.
But the rest of us? We’re just guessing.