Anyone who read my article from last week (and I’m assuming you all did, since I obviously have so many loyal readers) knows that I love hypnosis. I saw a hypnosis show at the beginning of my freshman year of college, and it fascinated me so much that I began to get training from the performer, read a ton of books on the subject, studied hypnosis through other sources, and practiced like wild until finally putting on my own show near the end of the year. I can now say quite confidently that I am damn good at hypnosis.

Then there’s Donald Trump.

And I thought I was a master of my craft.

I really need to make this clear. When I say, as in the title, that Donald Trump “hypnotized the nation,” I’m not speaking metaphorically. I’m not making some sort of edgy political statement. I’m not trying to be symbolic. I mean that Donald Trump has literally used several of the same methods as a stage hypnotist in order to influence people. Let me be blunt here; compared to Donald Trump, my hypnosis skills are like a buttered-up fish trying to climb a wall made of melting chocolate. In fact, if he wanted to, Trump could probably convince people that it was possible to build a wall of chocolate between the USA and Canada, and make Canada pay for it. When I say he could do this, I am not exaggerating. Have you seen a hypnosis show? You can tell the volunteers that there is a dog on stage, and they actually see a dog where there is nothing. Honestly, Donald Trump could probably tell his supporters that the wall between us and Mexico has already been built and that Mexico paid for it, and many of them would genuinely believe it.

How does hypnosis work? It is a bit complicated, but the basics are this: relaxation, focus, repetition, confidence. To sum up Trump’s campaign, he says the most ridiculous stuff over and over again with so much power and confidence that people actually believe it. Think for one second. Literally one second. Can we build a wall between us and Mexico and make Mexico pay for it? Can Donald Trump personally ensure that that will happen without just annexing Mexico? This is like asking “Do vaccines cause autism?” The answer is no. Allow me to repeat that, because suggestion takes hold by repetition. The answer is no. This isn’t a debate. This isn’t something that we should even have to consider in any way, and yet so many people believe it. The former president of Mexico said, “I’m not going to pay for that f**king wall.” Trump’s response? “The wall just got 10 feet higher!” And guess what? His audiences cheered for that. They cheered as if it is a genuine possibility. There are other, more subtle aspects to Donald’s methods as well, such as repeated changes of tempo in his rallies and the use of suggestive chanting (“Build that wall!”) to create a level of conformity that I, for one, have never before seen. But these extra subtleties would require much more in-depth analysis and explanation that would take a lot more time and space than I have in this article.

Do other politicians use these techniques? Yeah, definitely. However, I would say that it is on a much lower level, and in many cases, unintentional. It is pretty disrespectful to bend the truth or even tell a blatant lie and hope that voters believe it, but Donald Trump has actually managed to invent his own reality and convince people that it is the real world. Regardless of what level of intelligence Trump has, he certainly knows what he is doing. He may not know it as “hypnosis,” but beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is one of the largest acts of mass hypnosis in history.

So, are Trump supporters just stupid? No. That is something that everyone needs to understand. The common belief now at, say, Illinois Wesleyan, the very liberal university that I attend, is that only crazy and stupid people could vote for Trump. This is not accurate. First, not every single Donald supporter favors him due to hypnotic influence. However, for those who have been caught up in this, hypnosis has little, if any, correlation with intelligence. One of the most common misconceptions that I hear all the time about hypnosis is that people who are “weak-minded” can be hypnotized more easily. This isn’t true. Pretty much anyone can be hypnotized. I assure you that there are plenty of very intelligent people who support Donald, and many of them are, essentially, hypnotized.

Now, there is one question left unanswered. If Donald Trump is such a good hypnotist, why is there so much opposition to him? A very large portion of this country is vehemently opposed to the idea of Donald as president. Perhaps the best aspect of hypnosis is that you can not be hypnotized against your will. You need to be open to it and really willing to give it a try. The things that Donald Trump says are, upon first listen, enough to convince half of this country that he is a terrible person. We close our minds to him (and I’m not saying that anti-Trump citizens like me are closed minded; refer to the quote at the bottom of this page next to the wonderful picture of my face), and therefore, it becomes rather difficult for us to fall prey to his influence. However, those who liked him at the beginning -- or even those who didn’t really like him, but who gave him a chance, took his scary opinions seriously, and who have let themselves be sucked into his wild whirlwind of bullcrap are now under his figurative spell.

The bottom line is, if you are willing to let Donald influence you, he can, and once he gets his foot in the door, it can be very difficult to turn back. You see, hypnosis is like a chainsaw. It is a tool, and like all tools, it can be used for both good and evil. So, Mr. Trump, if you ever read this article somehow, let me kindly ask you to leave hypnosis to stage performers. It’s a fun thing for a show, but every show must end. You may be able to create an illusion in which you are god-like, but you can not actually change reality, and if you become president, reality will catch up with you.