"Only the wise can be perplexed." -a Salada tea bag

The marketing people at Salada appear to have warring ideologies with Confucius, who claimed that "he who is really wise can never be perplexed." Depending on with which party you choose to pitch your tent, I'm either exploding with wisdom or intellectually a troglodyte.

A lot in life perplexes me: the persistence of morning talk shows on non-talk radio stations; the fact that people willingly move to places where tornadoes are common; Australia; anyone who says they're "not a dessert person."

But I'm not sure that perplexity and understanding can't coexist. The easiest example here is the case of Trump supporters. Needless to say, my bewilderment at the idea that anyone can possibly support this man as the next leader of the so-called free world has grown exponentially over the course of his campaign. A comprehension of the vitriol, bitterness, desperation one must feel to back such an obvious bigot and (I'm not a psychiatrist, but I think it's pretty safe to say) megalomaniac completely eludes me. Where one cannot muster empathy, sympathy suffices; yet I find none here.

Intellectually, though, on some level, I DO understand. For angry people who would rather blame others for what they do not have, who think the success and joy that they feel entitled to has simply been taken from them by someone else -- who is inherently less deserving simply by being, you know, SOMEONE ELSE -- a blustering bag of psychosis is an obvious choice. He gives (horrific, unavoidable) voice to their deepest insecurities and legitimizes their unwillingness or inability for self-inspection. He pats them on the head while bellowing "of course it's not your fault. It's everyone else's. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS."

Understanding -- in a logical sense -- is not accepting, though. In fact, understanding sometimes adds to the confusion; because you know WHY people are acting so stupidly, but you can't figure out how to fix it. And so I find myself feeling both wise and perplexed at the same time. Chalk one up for the Salada tea people, I guess.