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“All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.”

― Alexandre Dumas, fils

From Wikipedia: Expressed in philosophical language, a hasty generalization is a fallacy of defective induction, a conclusion that has been made on the basis of weak premises. Unlike fallacies of relevance, in fallacies of defective induction, the premises are related to the conclusions yet only weakly buttress the conclusions. A faulty generalization is thus produced.

In spite of the danger, I am going to divide guys up into five classes. Now, before the question is asked, I am limiting this to guys because they are far easier to classify than gals. Gals are a lot more complicated. There would have to be a huge number of classes, maybe as many as there are gals.  Life is too short to tackle that. Guys are a simpler problem.

Some might say that people cannot be classified. Every individual is unique. But that is a generalization too, so it’s dangerous to say that. I admit that there are no fine lines separating these classes. There are guys on the fringes of each class who could fall either way, depending on the situations in their lives, and there is considerable variation within each class. Nevertheless, I think the classes are valid.

So, here we go. Five classes, numbered one through five:

  1. Good Guys. There aren’t a lot of these. Some of them are individuals who have contributed significantly to society, often at great cost to themselves. Soldiers who die in battle are automatically included in this class. Others are just really nice people, and it’s a pleasure to be in their company. Very few of them will vote for Donald Trump.
  1. OK Guys. Most guys fall in this category. They do their jobs, support their families, pay their taxes and try to enjoy life. They believe in “live and let live.” Different strokes for different folks. They might not go out of their way to help a stranger in trouble. They take care of themselves, their family and their friends, and let others do the same. Sadly, some of them, hopefully not too many, will vote for Donald Trump.
  1. Jerks. They have a high opinion of themselves, and think they are smart, witty and entertaining. Often they are incredibly boring know-it-alls with some really dumb ideas. But basically they are harmless, and a lot of them would be OK Guys if they would just keep their mouth shut more of the time. Most of them will vote for The Donald.
  1. Assholes. Fortunately, there are not a lot of these, but it doesn’t take many of them to make life unpleasant for others. They don’t like other people who disagree with them, and often demonstrate their dislike in unpleasant ways. Many of them are racist or misogynistic or both. They know they are smarter than anyone they have ever met. It is best to just avoid them whenever possible. Sometimes you have to deal with them, and it’s best to say as little as possible and escape as soon as you can. Almost all of them will vote for Trump.
  1. Beyond Assholes. There are even fewer of these, but you need to stay away from them because they will enrage you. The worst thing to do with one of these guys is to get in an argument with him, because you can’t win. It’s like arguing with a rock. They are racist, misogynistic, nativist, biased and bigoted in everything, and if you disagree with them, they will insult you with the foulest language they can come up with using their limited vocabulary. Every damn one of them will vote for Donald Trump and crow about it.
  1. Well, I lied. There are actually six classes. But my little fib is insignificant compared to the endless string of whoppers that the one-and-only member of this class has perpetrated. He is truly in a class of his own making. Name a brand of bigotry, and he has bought boatloads of it. He feeds it to his rabid followers, inflaming their racism and xenophobia.  And then, to the fawning cameras of the media, he blandly denies it. His blatant dishonesty is so outrageous that it makes mere liars look like saints in comparison. Even if he loses by a landslide of historic proportions, he has coarsened our society. His not-so-subtle advocations of violence have made life more dangerous for public figures, and even for peaceful protestors. He has harmed us more profoundly than any terrorist could. It goes without saying that he will vote for Donald Jackass* Trump, and do it with great fanfare. What should I call this class? I have tentatively named it “Asshole — To Infinity and Beyond.” Thank you, Buzz Lightyear.

*My wife objects strenuously to labeling The Donald as a jackass. She says jackasses are actually very nice, intelligent animals, and equating them to this poor excuse for a human being is unfair to them.

Bert Bigelow is a trained engineer who pursued a career in software design. Now retired, he enjoys writing short essays on many subjects but mainly focuses on politics and religion and the intersection...

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