The GOP Debacle Is Very Shakespearean

The Gop is running scared as the tragedy they have unleashed on the world, and especially on themselves, is becoming apparent to even them.  They have made a loud and profound statement in selecting Donald Trump to be their standard bearer, knowing that he was very risky to begin with, and now knowing that they were fooling themselves in abiding his childishly deranged behavior and speech in the campaign season last year.  But they can’t acknowledge this as their collective “mental health issues” would be brought to the surface so they are furtively scheming and hoping beneath the surface, crossing their fingers, and praying for a deux-ex-machina to rescue them like the Greeks would often resort to in their dramas. This is a Greek tragedy that is playing out before us.  It is also very Shakespearean and I wish someone would channel the Bard on this drama as our collective consciousness has given him volumes of material he could work with.  Shakespeare knew the human heart and our current “stage play” is straight out of this heart, telling us about the dark recesses of our unconscious depths.  But like in Shakespeare’s time, and throughout the course of history, we have a deep-seated aversion to learning from unconscious eruptions like Trumpism.

But good can come from tragedy…if one, or a group, is willing to learn from it.  Yes, the GOP has a ton to learn but also progressives like myself have had to look at themselves and recognize they we have been part of the social turmoil that gave rise to Trump.  The base of Trump’s support have hitched their wagon with him, willing to overlook his egregious faults, because they felt he was their best bet at getting their grievances addressed.  I think that was a dangerous choice they made but then they are the ones that made it and so we Democrats have to ask ourselves some version of the question, “Just why do they distrust (or even hate) us so much?”  The base of the GOP feel left out and history shows us that when that happens a “savior” figure will always come along for the dispossessed.  It is the responsibility of both parties, and all political affiliations, to recognize the statement these people are making and put their heads together to determine what can be done to alleviate their plight.


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Posted in conservatism, Greek Tragedy, group psychology, populism, psychology, rationality, religion and poitics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Evolution, Mental Illness, and Trump

Mental illness is bad for the health of the organism.  That is why that in early childhood development “contrary” impulses are readily overridden by a genetically/socially determined demand that these anti-social impulses be sloughed off in favor of socially amenable behavior/thought patterns.  And, technically, this process is present even in the genetic pool that we spring from as evolution (i.e. “The ‘Spirit of God” to some…and myself also, in a sense) itself has this tendency to slough off that which will interfere with its ultimate purpose of a “workable whole.”

Donald Trump has had chances to “slough off” his own “contrary impulses” which might also be described as “personal demons.”  His handlers have been frantically trying to rein him in, to corral those reptilian-brain impulses, but they have not succeeded.  Even the “top-dog” handler, a retired general, John Kelley, has had some occasional successes but then the “reality” of Donald Trump resurfaces and again we see demonstrated a performance of a “brain-stem with arms and legs.”  The simple restraint of “reading from a script” would, even now, permit the possibility of Trump righting the ship of his first term but the restraint frustrates him so much that he must find an immediate release and the following day we see an almost-orgasmic release of the pent-up reptilian brain passion.  Trump continues to borrow a line from the Jim Carrey movie, “SOMEBODY stop me!!! but no body, nor any country, can stop him to date.

Trump embodies our worst impulses.  Yes, the Republicans certainly but the whole of American culture…and even human culture.  He demonstrates what happens if neurophysiology, and the social milieu into which one is born, fails in doing its assigned task.  The potential for this disease of the will, or “of the Spirit,” is present from conception onward but only if one is born into an emotionally/spiritual hospitable environment will it be thwarted.


Here is a list of my blogs.  I invite you to check out the other two sometime.



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Will Trump “Declare Victory” and Resign?

Tony Schwartz, the co-author of Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal,” has declared that “the noose is tightening” around Trump’s neck and that he will soon “declare victory” and resign.  Schwartz got to know Trump very well when writing this book and probably knows the Trumpian psyche better than anyone outside of his family and understands that Trump would have to put a positive spin on the ignominy of being forced to resign.  It does appear Trump will have to resign unless someone can stop him from starting a war, the latter being the one thing that would galvanize his waning support.  But should this happen he will enthusiastically and defiantly declare victory in his brief tenure, refusing to acknowledge the failure that is apparent to all as he is constitutionally incapable of admitting he has failed or made a mistake.

This inability to admit error is the character flaw that has always fascinated me the most about Trump, but even more so about many of his supporters.  He was uncannily astute in the campaign when he declared that he could stand in the streets of Manhattan and shoot somebody and not lose support.  This has been demonstrated since then as he has said and done things which no other president would have ever gotten by with and even today, with his fortunes going south, those who call themselves “strong Republicans” back him to the tune of 79 per cent!  This reveals that his support is not a rational, but an emotional, matter.

We humans are first emotional, not rational creatures.  That is why we are so susceptible to manipulation by the media as those controlling the media recognize the power they have with the imagery they produce.  Furthermore, given the lack of emphasis of critical thinking in our educational system we produce citizens who do not really “think” but merely passively absorb what they encounter in their day to day life, including through the media, without giving it any critical thought.

Therefore, huge sections of our population will enthusiastically accept any Trump declaration of victory should he resign and follow his lead in blaming the “fake news” media, the Democrats, or what I like to call collectively “them.”  For Trump has been the poster-boy for an external locus of control, blaming others for anything and everything that goes wrong in their life.

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Trump Echoes Jim Carrey, “SOMEBODY, Stop Me!!!”

As the Trump train wreck careens down the track, desperately seeking the misery-relief its final catastrophe will bring, I can’t help but feel a touch of pity for Trump and also for Trump-lite, Steve Bannon.  There is a sense in which Trump cannot help himself.  He was, shall we say, “temperamentally unfit” for the Presidency from the outset which is how Hillary so kindly put it but the GOP was so hapless and self-serving it could not pass up the best desperate effort it had to win the election.  And, this decision was in spite of the obvious fact that he was sorely ill-equipped politically, morally, and ethically to lead our country.  There is a sense in which the GOP has deliberately exploited a “troubled child” for their own purposes which in some sense is nothing more than “child abuse.”  Trump cannot handle the pressure he is under, demonstrated again yesterday when he again “went rogue” by going “off-script” and launching into a Neanderthal tirade while his handlers stood on the side line and watched in mute terror.

On the rare occasions when Trump has performed according to script, even if it was obviously a “scripted” performance, he managed to turn in a more or less convincing performance.  And, yes it was “convincing” if you could manage to overlook the obvious consideration that he was aping the words that someone had fed him against his will.  But performing according to the script is what life is all about though most of us have decided to do this in early youth when our unconscious needs have been satisfied and we dutifully sign the social contract.  Trump never signed any social contract and therefore complying with any script goes against the very fiber of his being and at some point the real Donald, the two-year old Donald still trapped in the “terrible two’s” comes to the fore again and we see him going rogue.  In some sense he is actor Jim Carrey in one of his movies announcing with a leering, menacing, “SOMEBODY, stop me!!!”

Now poor Steve Bannon.  He also cannot help it that he is “the toy of some great pain” and that he is, shall we say, “not very photogenic.”  So I guess we progressives should “make nice” and not ridicule these two and their ilk, huh?  Well, perhaps we need to dial it back occasionally but we do need some expression for our fury at the moral, ethical, and spiritual abuse the GOP is subjecting our country to.  I guess we could mount street marches with slogans that parallel those of the white nationalist.  And here I started to offer a few but you will have to “fill in the blanks” with your own.  And it can be done.  Civility does seem to have flown the coop and that does stem for a complete disregard for “the script” of common civility, courtesy, respect, and decorum that makes us human even if at times it has the air of insincerity.



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Trump Has a Point Here about Charlottesville!!!

On the Charlottesville issue that is before my country, Trump has argued that if we must take down the statue of Robert E. Lee we need to take down the statues of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and their ilk.  Hmm.  Well, he has a point…if you want to follow the dictates of reason. But, if you follow the dictates of reason in the vein that he is suggesting it will take him and our country further than he has in mind for it will take us to the very foundation of our country which included a rigid distinction of “us” vs. “them.”  Yes, there was the necessary violent Revolutionary War in which we told Great Britain, “We no longer want to play with you guys” but more subtle was the implicit statement by our physical presence in the New World to the Native Americans, “This land-mass is now ours and you submit or we will destroy you.”  Shortly thereafter, we made a similar implicit announcement to African-Americans that we had imported to be slave-labor, “You will continue to be subservient and slaves and at best will only have 3/5 citizenship.”

Yes, Reason, if given full-sway will always lead an individual or a nation to an existential crisis but this is usually avoided by utilizing reason only for a limited purpose to accomplish some self-serving goal.  Trump’s argumentation, the result of huddling with his “Stevens” (Miller and Bannon) is intended only to diminish the rationale of those who oppose their virulent white-nationalism; but, if they want to make their point, I challenge them to take their point to a more logical conclusion and let reason challenge the very basis of our collective existence as well as the very basis of their individual existence. Yes, Reason if used for something other than self-gratification…and Bannon knows something about this (wink, wink)…would let Trumpers see that their first concern is only emotional/spiritual auto-erotic satisfaction, the legitimization of a self-serving world view.

This puts the issues before us in the Spiritual realm but the “Spiritual realm” I have in mind is not the narcissistic playground of people like Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church, Dallas and Jerry Falwell Jr and their ilk.  For Spirituality is not a self-indulgent enterprise and requires the understanding that all spirituality begins with a dimension of the infantile narcissism which refuses self-awareness and is challenging to ever out grow.

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Trump Must Not Criticize White Supremacy!

That is right!  Because he tells the truth.  Contrary to “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary” he tells the truth and to suddenly be critical of white supremacy when he is the poster boy for white supremacy would be a bald faced lie!  Furthermore, he is the picture of consistency.  He never backs down from principle and to suddenly equivocate from his white supremacy loyalty would be nothing more than a lame-ass caving-in to fake news!

Seriously, words do matter.  Trump can’t shut up and can’t filter the impulses of that two-year old reptilian brain so the detritus that flows from his mind, including his tweets, is tightening the noose around his neck and that of his minions.

Also, note that white supremacy and Vladimir Putin have this in common—Trump will not say anything critical of them even when his reticence is glaringly suspicious.  It is as if white supremacists and Putin have something over him…and, of course, they do.  It is obvious he owes his election to white supremacists and to the Russians.

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Be Kind to the Mentally Ill!!!

Early in grade school we were taught to be nice to our class mates who were, well…ahem…pause….”kinda different.”  Later we began to describe them as “nuts” and only later more properly as “mentally ill.”  We learned that to make fun of someone who was mentally ill, to ridicule him, was just not very nice and would merit a stern rebuff from the teacher.  We learned that someone who was mentally ill or disabled in any fashion just could not help it and that we owned them the respect of being a fellow human.

But what do you do when the President of the United States is mentally ill?  It still is not nice to make fun of him, knowing that he can’t stand being humiliated even though his mental illness leads him daily to humiliate himself and the entire country.  But it is hard to not give in to the human impulse, especially when he occupies a position that by definition should mean he is the embodiment of “mentally healthy.”

But my main concern is the group of people who selected this man to be their candidate for this powerful position.  And when they began the process of making their choice they already had plenty of evidence that he was mentally unstable unless you are willing to discuss numerous video clips of him openly disclosing incestuous designs toward his beautiful young daughter.  These people…and here I am talking about the hierarchy of the Republican Party…knew that Trump was “temperamentally unfit to be President of the United States” (Hillary Clinton’s description) and they did not intervene when they had a chance.  These people demonstrated the systemic “mental instability” of the Republican Party over the past few decades as they lacked the judgment that would have put the welfare of the nation over their desire to win an election.

We now are witnessing this mentally ill two-year old rattling nuclear sabers with an equally mentally ill two-year old in North Korea and millions of lives are in jeopardy.  The situation is so grievous that humor and ridicule seem ill-advised unless we start placing more of its focus on people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, not to mention the hordes of “handlers” who continue to prop this evil man up.  We are again seeing illustrated the wisdom of Shakespeare who told us that human enterprise, “is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

Lord help us.  And by that I sincerely and humbly pray, “Lord, help us.”


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