I went into the lecture thinking that General Hayden was going to talk for the most part about the privacy vs security debate that we had been discussing in class, but instead it seemed like he talked about politics for the most part. I admit that I didn’t understand most of what he, the Chancellor, and Professor Meacham discussed, and what little I did understand I had to look up certain terms to keep on the same page.

Over the course of the lecture, Gen. Hayden made many references to Jeffersonian and Jacksonian concepts of democracy in the context of the attitudes of recent presidents towards public policy. It wasn’t until I looked it up that I realized that Jeffersonians, which he categorized Obama as, value a decentralized government with Congress and the educated elite having more say in governing. On the other hand, Jacksonians, which he categorized Trump as, value a stronger executive branch and believe that the common people should rule the country. He listed examples of how Trump’s brash and unsupported actions contribute to his power independent from Congress and how he appealed to the common people by promising to give factory jobs back to the industrial workers, which all contribute to the idea of a Jacksonian Trump.

Another point that Gen. Hayden brought up was that social media is very susceptible to fake news. In our post truth world, he stated that decision making has started to become less based on fact than feelings. This is mostly due to the huge influx of information and news that we are now receiving, as it’s both less curated and more susceptible to faking. In order to process everything, we take less time to think about what we’re reading and instead base our opinions on how we react emotionally. We naturally gravitate towards news that agree with our preconceived biases and make us feel good, which is addictive and makes us gravitate more and more towards those news sources, and eventually echo chambers are formed. As a result, it becomes hard to differentiate good news sources from ones that tell us what we want to believe, which is dangerous if we want to keep our free thought.