Hannah Arendt, Totalitarian Thought, and Trump

Trump has been caught again in the swamp of mendacity which he calls home.  (I would have called him a bald-faced, full-of-shit liar…but he is the President of the United States and deserves my respect!!!)  Specifically, he was very critical of the U.K Prime Minister, Teresa May yesterday but today took a totally different stance, denying the harsh criticism he had leveled at her.  “Fake news” he said in explaining the press reports that he had been rude to the P.M. of our closest ally.  For, “fake news” immediately comes to his mind any time he hears something he does not like.  (I have from very reliable sources that when he leaves the commode ring up after pissing and Melania screams at him about it, his response is, “No I didn’t.  Fake news, you bitch.”)

Trump lives in a stream-of-consciousness world, meaning that he does not filter his words and when confronted with this fact and finding it too painful, the immediate response from his Old Brain is, “Fake news.”  Trump cannot handle any disrespect from outside reality.  He lives under the influence of his two-year old brain that never evolved to a developmental stage which makes social relationships possible, permitting only those relationships in which he can tyrannize and manipulate to get what he wants.

The real issue is that now he is almost fully in control of the Republican hierarchy…and a significant part of the party base…and goes unchecked by administration figures and a Congress that should have the courage to stand up to him.  They are so enthralled by him and under his control that he could…to borrow from his words before the 2016 election…stand in the streets of Manhattan and shoot someone without losing the confidence of his supporters.  He is the epitome of any demagogue that has careened across the face of history from time to time.

Ordinarily when a political figure like Trump crawls out from beneath the rock where they always hide during their “formative years,”  reason would have some impact.  But he is beyond the grasp of rational intervention and so are the GOP leadership.  His thoughts and deeds are subject to deep-seated, reptilian-brain impulses which are not amenable to the critical-thought dimension of reason.   Furthermore, he is an illustration to all of us that reason for all human beings is influenced by hidden agendas that most of us are unwilling to entertain.  His unwillingness, however, has metastasized into a monster that bodes ill to all of us.

Re the notion of a, “critical-thought dimension of reason,” Hannah Arendt noted that totalitarianism-oriented thought is not amenable to, or even capable of, what she terms, “an internal dialogue.”  Totalitarian thought involves an internal recycling of thoughts and emotions that the individual is familiar with and reinforces the individual’s biases and premises. “Internal dialogue” will not be tolerated as it would create, “a splinter in the brain,” that would make possible venturing into another way of viewing the world.  An echo-chamber is the only environment in which this style of thinking is possible.

 

 

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Posted in mental illness, Donald Trump, conservatism, rationality, Trumpism, U. S. Congress | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Paul Ryan Steps to the Plate!

Paul Ryan declared this morning, “Separating children from their parents is wrong.”  It has been so frustrating to watch this man, occupying the important position of Speaker of the House, stand lamely by and not stand up to Trump.  There are so many examples were a simple word of rebuke to the President such as this one issued this morning would have conveyed to Trump that there are limits to his “terrible twos” antics.

But that was then, this is now.  Perhaps now Ryan can begin to right his egregious wrongs and present Trump with a firm “presence” from which can come an occasional resounding, “No!” to his excesses.  This is a terrible mess that our country finds itself in today and at some point everyone needs to come together and say to each other, “Now what can we do to alleviate this morass which is leading to a constitutional crisis and at some point even war?”  But the blame game is always on the tip of everyone’s tongue instead of the mature orientation of problem-solving.

And yes, I certainly have blame to cast and have done so and will do so again!  But we must realize that Trump is a monster that we have all created, the culmination of arrogance and disdain of others dating back to our colonial days when we began to obliterate the Native Americans.  And this is not unique to my country.  Any country, or as I like to put it, any “tribe,” does not like to take inventory of itself. But Trump has made it necessary, he has brought us to a “day of reckoning” and that day is painful to all.  Never thought I would say it, but, “Thank you Paul Ryan.”

Posted in House of Representatives, psychology, Trumpism, U. S. Congress, U.S. Constitution | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Reality is Tightening its Noose on Trump.

I kick the subject of mental illness around a lot in this venue due to my career as a clinician which has given me a perspective to “sniff out” madness pretty readily.  Oh, we are all “mad” to some degree but then there are times when one’s madness goes beyond the pale and then the Shakespearean question is relevant, “What’s mad but to be anything else but mad.”  There are times when the ordinary madness of day to day life approaches the pale and threatens to go beyond it and enter the realm of “nothing else but mad.”

Trump is demonstrating this.  Here and in my other blogs I have noted often of his need to isolate himself in a private world, to cut off any criticism from those who see the world differently than he does, best illustrated with his hatred of, “fake news.”  But now as his “fake news,” known by most of us as “reality,” continues to tighten its noose on him, he is taking even more desperate moves.  The news about the non-disclosure agreements with his advisers and now the “cleaning house” with his staff and cabinet reveal a heightened need to cut off feedback from the outside.  Like Hamlet, overwhelmed with the duress of everyday life, expressed a desire to, “flee to a nutshell and there be the king of infinite spaces,” revealing Shakespeare’s knowledge of the human need to occasionally want a complete escape, even that of lunacy.

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Gun Craziness Happens Again!!!

Gun craziness erupts again in my country.  We have so much craziness and there are so many ways to express it but I really don’t think schools and children should have to be victimized with it.  “School shooting” has now been conceptualized and has offered instant identity for lost souls who can for a brief moment find meaning in their otherwise meaningless lives, a “meaninglessness” that is the product of our spiritually bereft “christian” culture.

In a sane society our leaders would get together, scratch their heads for a while…and perhaps their asses…and then make a decision about how to minimize the likelihood of the school shootings to continue being institutionalized.  Now I favor common sense and we would do like other countries and disallow private ownership of weaponry, certainly the military style weaponry that is used to inflict tragedy on our school children.  Now, since absurdity will rule, and the gun industry will prevail once again, let me suggest other absurdities that might be pursued.  Let me start with prayer, but let it be a prayer that God will intervene and prevent parents from having sex any more so that children will no longer be born and need to be educated in schools where they face random slaughter.  Or, perhaps, legislation should be passed and schools across the country should be razed so that “school shootings” would end.  Our nation’s youth could then be home-schooled.  Or perhaps the draft could be reinstituted and each classroom in the United States would have an armed soldier whose only responsibility would be to protect the children.  Or…back to God…we should beseech God to come to his senses and just reach a gnarly hand down here and wipe humankind off the earth instead of permitting us to continue the folly of allowing our youth to be slaughtered.  Yeah, blame it on God…as it has to be someone’s fault!  We must never accept responsibility for this tragedy, a tragedy which will continue again as nothing will be done.  It is just too painful to accept responsibility for our actions, individually and collectively.  Blame somebody!  Blame God, or the devil, or the Republicans, or the Democrats, or the Russians, or the Arabs, or Obama, but do not sit down and ask ourselves, “What can we do to alleviate if not eliminate this problem?”

Oh my!  A light bulb just turned on!!! I just realized that, though we cannot…probably ban private ownership of weaponry…we could ban private ownership of assault weapons!!!  That would solve many of these mass slaughterings immediately.  But, oh…that will not fly, will it? We will “vote with our feet” that we wish for a few more of our children be slaughtered, dying a painful and unnecessary death, rather than infringe upon our, “2nd amendment rights.”  This is certainly why, “Jesus wept,” and is still doing so.  Our history is the Shakespearean, “tale told by an idiot…”

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

https://anerrantbaptistpreacher.wordpress.com/

https://literarylew.wordpress.com/

https://theonlytruthinpolitics.wordpress.com/

Posted in 2nd Amendment Rights, conservatism, Trumpism, U. S. Congress | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Faux “Fox News” Flash Report!

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this morning warned the United States that Russia is currently attempting to interfere with the 2018 mid-term elections and that our country is no better prepared than before the 2016 election.  Reliable sources have confirmed to me that the “deep state conspiracy” is behind this Secretary of State who is actually nothing more than a personal informant for former President Obama who is still trying to run this government.

Seriously though, how long will Tillerson survive.  He has been in trouble for months now since it came out that he once called Trump a, “moron,” in a White House meeting and with this announcement he will be further in trouble.  Trump cannot offer any challenge to Russia as they have him obviously compromised.  I can’t help but think the famous, “pee-pee” tape is a legitimate fear!!!

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Evil Necessary to “Push” Us into God

The evangelical Christian support of Trump has been a sore point for me, given my background in fundamentalist Christianity and a continued emphasis in personal faith.  The evangelical trope, “The Lord has raised him up” to restore our country to greatness, (i.e. “Make America Great Again,”) has always been a really irksome bit of their rhetoric for me.  But, I now can certainly accept the notion of “the Lord’s” hand in “raising him up” as he has brought to the surface the full extent of our collective and personal shadow.  Here is a bit of wisdom from Francis Bacon (1561-1626 )relevant to our collective unconsciousness’s intent in bringing this darkness to the light:

We are much beholden to Machiavelli and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do . For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with the columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent; his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil. For without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced. Nay, an honest man can do no good upon those that are wicked, to reclaim them, without the help of the knowledge of evil.

This “knowledge of evil” is something we prefer to see in others, having a very human aversion to recognize that it lurks beneath the surface of us all.  This is particularly difficult for persons of faith to accept, especially the Christian faith, as being a “person of faith” often convinces one that he has “seen the light” perfectly and has clear judgment.  Trump has clearly shown all of us, even the whole world, just how impaired our judgment is; yes, even in the area of religion. W. H. Auden, in his narrative poem, “New Years Letter,” presents the, “Prince of Lies” as being a god-send in spite of its evil intent, and often being necessary to, “push us into grace.” Trump is one of these opportunities for us if we could ever manage to pause that linear-thinking monstrosity of our collective Western thought and let it dawn upon us, in the words of Pogo, “Uh oh, we have met the enemy and he is us!” We could then be “pushed into Grace,” kicking and screaming every inch of the way.

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

https://anerrantbaptistpreacher.wordpress.com/

https://literarylew.wordpress.com/

https://theonlytruthinpolitics.wordpress.com/

Posted in Donald Trump, Fundamentalist Christianity, group psychology, religion and poitics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I Go, “Fox News,” On You!!!

The Republican candidate in the state of Wisconsin is Arthur Jones.  He runs unopposed, as his party clearly sees him as the unalloyed voice for their racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Trumpian ideas.  The GOP realizes that he is the voice for their party in Illinois and have not even bothered to run another voice against his.  His venom clearly represents a choice made by the GOP in that state.

But now, let me suggest, this gentleman…or facsimile thereof, might not be the first choice of Republicans in his choice.  But for some reason or another no one has chosen to oppose him and so he becomes “the voice of Republicans” to we Progressives.  In rules of reason, one cannot argue with it—he is the Republican nominee for the office and therefore he is the voice for the conservatives in the state.  But perhaps “reason” is not the only factor on the table and maybe human emotions are ultimately paramount in drawing our conclusions.

My point is that “the pauser reason,” (Shakespeare) is always of value.  I certainly see that is so for, “them,” those guys and gals that don’t agree with me. But perhaps it is a factor that I need to consider????  Perhaps my certainties are not all that, “certain.”

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

https://anerrantbaptistpreacher.wordpress.com/

https://literarylew.wordpress.com/

https://theonlytruthinpolitics.wordpress.com/

Posted in conservatism, extremism, group psychology, mental illness, psychology, Republican Party, U. S. Congress | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment