Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

A Horrifying Continuum:Trump Encourages Police Brutality.

July 29, 2017

Another day, another deranged declaration from our diseased Commander in Chief and with it yet another effort to divide America between those who adore Trump and those who are disgusted and alarmed by him. On that level, at least, the speech to a group of Long Island law officers could be said to be a rousing success, not unlike his grotesque babbling to the Boy Scouts, his “slice and dice” oration in Ohio, and his whimsical ban of transgender personnel in the military that took place earlier in the week.

Ostensibly, the visit to Long Island and the speech to law enforcement was about Trump’s plan to “eradicate” the notoriously violent gang MS-13, who in yet another example of blowback, emerged out of America’s savage policy toward El Salvador under Ronald Reagan, and are responsible for several brutal murders in the area. But, as with everything this man speaks of, the visit and the speech were really about Trump and his base.

Thus, the purpose of the visit was largely to plant or reinforce in the mind of the American public the idea that American immigrants are made up not of the millions of hard working, decent, and law abiding peoples that have built and rebuilt the country since its founding, but horrific criminal organizations such as MS-13, and thereby build support for the Trump administration’s expansion of it’s mass detention and deportation agenda.

Addressing the law enforcement officers, the President of the United States said the following: “When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’

“Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’

Implicit in the words is the belief that the president has the power to simply negate protocol and the law. Implicit in these words is the message that the accused are guilty until proven innocent. Implicit in these words is a message that the President of the United States approves of police brutality.

Once again, there is no precedent for a president making such appalling statements.
Disturbingly, the statements were met with vociferous cheering from the law enforcement officers present, this at a time in which reports of police brutality, especially against people who happen not to be white, are a ceaseless national disgrace; and to be sure they were cheered just as enthusiastically by Trump’s deranged supporters across the country.
And that, I fear, is the point. In his first Inaugural Address in 1861, peering out at a nation enthusiastically set to slaughter each other wholesale, Lincoln implored and beseeched Americans to contact and embrace the “better angels of our nature. ”
Such is what great leaders do.
Conversely, like some demonic cheap rent parody of an anti-Lincoln, Trump has, from his incredible emergence as a politician, continually urged and encouraged the exact opposite of Lincoln’s sublime exhortation. To wit, he has ceaselessly, recklessly, and with absolute immunity encouraged, explicitly or implicitly, Americans to not merely embrace but valorize our basest and most brutal impulses: greed, mendacity, jingoism, violence, racism, xenophobia, vulgarity, and cruelty.

Yesterday’s remarkably repugnant statements are merely part of a continuum that has stepped up in the past week to fever pitch; merely another attempt to rile up his base and divide the nation into two irreconcilable camps: supporters of Donald Trump and The Enemy who is everyone else. There can be no middle ground because there is none meant to be. And there is no purpose, political or otherwise, other than the apotheosis of Donald J. Trump.
This is our current civil war: the dividing of Americans against the “better angels of our nature.” And, as this is all that he can understand, this is what Trump desires. This is what happens – what MUST happen—when a nation invests a toxic, malignant, astoundingly ignorant mega-narcissist with immense power. Trump does not know how to do anything other than what he is doing and is wholly, characterologically incapable of learning or even conceiving of anything that does not glorify Trump. Trump is narcissism incarnate. Trump’s war is not about Conservatives against Progressives, or Democrats against Republicans or any other recognizable political affiliation. Trump has no more loyalty to Republicans as he has to anyone or anything he has ever been connected with.
Trump rants and raves about “ loyalty,” a word in understands to mean subservience to Trump and his family and nothing more. Trump’s war is about the domination of his “movement” which consists entirely of the cult of Trump. And as he is increasingly showing, he will do and say anything to “win.”

Further, with the cowardly refusal of the members of the United States Congress to unambiguously condemn the purposefully divisive, anti- democratic, and vile statements of this ridiculous and all so dangerous figure, it may only be the beginning.

In the end, Trump will fail and fall but he will not go easily and the damage he and his will do in the process may be enormous.

Three Cheers for the Mooch: Trump Selects the Perfect Man

July 28, 2017

Contrary to the millions of Americans who are horrified, appalled and disgusted at his language, demeanor and intentions, I, for one, believe President Trump choose brilliantly and yes, honestly, in selecting Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci, as brand new White House Communications Director. What man, I ask you, can more clearly communicate and, indeed, distill Trump’s vision of Making America Great Again than the former hedge fund predator known as the Mooch?

Even his nickname is perfect. In terms of pure vulgarity, contempt for law and tradition, hubris, decorum, ignorance and unbridled narcissism that define the Trump administration, it is almost inconceivable that The Donald could have tapped a more appropriate being. Mooch, who has repeatedly stated his love for the president and all he stands for, is outright perfection.

Thank you President Trump, for assuring all of America and indeed the world, that your vision of American greatness will be communicated even more loudly and more clearly than it has been since the advent of your presidency. And thank you, Mooch, for your brilliance and clarity.

Incapable of Governing Trump Seeks to Set America At War with Itself

July 27, 2017

If anyone were thick enough to still believe that some inner buried spark of decency would stop President Donald J Trump from setting the American people against themselves for the sole sake of gratifying his diseased and oceanic ego, his words and actions over the past three days should provide ample clarity. Incapable of passing a single piece of legislature, his own administration in operatic, barely concealed ruins, and forced to face dismal approval ratings, Trump did as Trump does, following the same grotesque path that allowed his shocking electoral victory six months ago.

In multiple ways, Trump attempted to rally his base: first degrading a Boy Scout Jamboree by turning it into an incoherent Trump Youth Rally where he mocked a former president, whined about the fake media, campaigned for his vicious and incoherent health care “plan”, threatened a member of his cabinet, and reminisced about a the travels of a fallen millionaire who lost his “momentum,” and, last but not least, encouraged an idiotic chant of “USA! USA! “

Trump’s words have to be read to be believed and even then beggars belief that these are actual statements of the President of the Untied States.

Trump then appeared at an actual Trump rally in Ohio where, before floating the idea of having his vile visage carved into Mount Rushmore, he ranted crazily before his ecstatic groupies about illegal immigrants whose apparent joy is to “slice and dice ” beautiful 15 and 16 year old girls. This, said the President of the Untied States, instead of merely shooting them as bullets would rob the “animals” of the pain they so sadistically love to inflict.

To top it all off, yesterday Trump announced (via a Tweet!) that he had imposed a ban against transgender soldiers in the military. This was done apparently with no input whatsoever from the military, who are now squirming and attempting to figure out how to react to the dictate of their insane commander and chief that they do not agree with. The decision, in short, was made on a whim and the rationale – “tremendous medical costs and disruption” – was immediately exposed by the Rand Corporation among others as pure bullshit.

No matter to our current leader and his fans.

If nothing else, the past three days billboard what anyone with any knowledge of Trump has long understood, even as they have yet to figure out an effective way of countering it or even neutralizing it. Trump has no goals other than the constant, ceaseless gratification of his ego, no beliefs to appeal to, no principles to restrain him.

Trump is about getting his way. Trump is about “winning.” At any and all costs.

Trump has his disturbingly worshipful base who, grateful for being allowed to vocalize their basest, most brutal impulses and indulge in their most infantile fantasies about what American is, has been, and will be, will follow him anywhere, even as his policies immiserate and degrade them; even as Trump degrades and immiserates any one (save his family) who have been taken in by this con man.

It was for these people these grotesque statements were made in the absolute certainty that they would keep these people in a perpetual state of mindless frenzy or fantasy.

We must understand this: Trump will do all he can to rip the nation asunder simply to gratify his ego. And as yet there is nothing stopping him from doing just that.

Donald Trump and The Politics of Narcissism: Mental Illness as Statecraft

January 24, 2017

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For anyone who was holding out hope, however faint and desperate, that the gravity of assuming the presidency of the United States would somehow miraculously compel Donald Trump to be someone other than Donald Trump, less than 24 hours on the job was more than enough time to not merely shatter completely all such illusions but confirm one’s worst nightmares.

It took Trump less than one day to show the nation and the world just how deeply, dangerously, eerily and spectacularly unfit he is for the position he now holds. In the process, Trump displayed to all and sundry the horrific and inevitable results of that which compels and controls him: a rampaging, gargantuan, chilling narcissism.

Consider Trump’s behavior during his tour of CIA Headquarters, which was promoted as a major step in reconciling the feud between the intellence agency and their new boss, the head of state.

Standing before the CIA Memorial Wall, commemorating CIA agents who died undercover, addressing some 400 agents who were gathered to hear the new president’s words, Trump sounded for all the world like a pathetic drunk babbling to himself at the end of a dive bar on an early Saturday afternoon after a three day binge.

Except it wasn’t alcohol Trump was drunk on: it was something infinitely more powerful. It was narcissism.

While it is true Trump made a casual reference to the “special wall “ behind him and added a few choice words about destroying “radical Islamic extremism,”
as is his wont (and I would argue, his need) Trump spoke mostly about Trump.
To wit: the president of the United States spent his first visit to a national institution (however dubious an institution it is) babbling about his relationship with media (“They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.”), his inaugural speech (“I’ve been given good reviews “) the media lying about the crowd size at the event (“And I think they are going to pay a big price”) ; an uncle “ who was at MIT, (“I know a lot about West Point. I’m a person that very strongly believes in academics. In fact, every time I say I had an uncle who was a great professor at M.I.T. for thirty-five years, who did a fantastic job in so many different ways, academically—was an academic genius—and then they say, Is Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me, I’m like a smart person.”) and the number of times he has been featured on the cover of Time Magazine ( “I’ve been on it fifteen times this year. I don’t think that’s a record that can ever be broken.” ).

Let us be blunt: It is not simply wrong for the president of the United States to stand before a memorial wall of people who died in service to the nation he is now leading and babble on incoherently about his speech, his uncle at MIT, how smart he is, and the number of times he was on the cover of Time Magazine and so on. Nor is it simply appalling, though it surely is that. Nor is it a matter of personal style, quirkiness or somehow evidence of some kind of “authenticity.”
It is deranged and need be called deranged. And it must not be allowed , through sheer repetition or a perverse respect for the office of the presidency or outright cowardice on the part on the corporate media, to be made normative and acceptable.
More: It has since been confirmed that Trump brought with him to the CIA a team of shills to cheer on his every syllable.

A few hours later, Trump ordered Sean Spicer, his poor fool of press secretary, to the briefing room in the West Wing to scold reporters, lie about the size of the crowd at
Trump’s inauguration and warn the media that the Trump administration would hold them to account.

It was an astonishing performance and one that, quite naturally, caused an immediate media firestorm. After all, this was blatant bullshit — on a subject of complete irrelevance.
The next day, in a clip that is now infamous for giving the world the unlovely locution “alternative facts,” CNN’s Chuck Todd attempted in vain to fox out of Kelly Anne Conway, counselor to the president, some rationale for Trump’s insane demand on his press secretary to self righteously and angrily utter an absolute lie about something of zero importance.

Predictably, Conway dissembled, changed the subject, and than uttered the line that will live in infamy.

But what interests me is not Conway’s answer but Todd’s question, or rather the presumption behind Todd’s question. Todd assumes that Trump is in control of Trump. Todd appears honestly baffled by Trump’s concerns and actions, asking Conway why the man would risk credulity over the size of a crowd, which Todd characterizes as “the smallest, pettiest thing.”

From the perspective of a relatively healthy psyche, Todd’s question is completely reasonable. From the perspective of a narcissist as completely diseased as Trump, the very idea that his inauguration was not the biggest crowd ever might as well be the size and depth of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a direct threat to his identity. As such it is unbearable.

Todd appears to believe that Trump made a choice to send his press secretary out to lie. Narcissism allows no choices. Whatever threatens must be attacked and, if possible, eradicated from the face of the earth. A full-blown narcissist like Trump is compelled to remove, destroy or defame anyone or anything that threatens to expose the falsity of his identity. The narcissist is incapable of allowing any person, place or thing to outshine his fractured, agonized ego for even a moment.

In other words, seen through the lens of traditional politics, Trump’s behavior is simply appalling and seems inexplicable. Yet seen through the prism of narcissism it makes complete and horrific sense. Indeed, it is inevitable.

That Donald Trump is a hopeless narcissist has been known for decades. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of visiting Trump Tower could feel the palpable power of this affliction like a malevolent force field. But there is all the difference in the world between a nasty narcissist in his garish tower and a nasty narcissist in the Executive Office, who, thanks to the machinations of President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and the cowardice of the congress, enjoys vastly greater executive powers than did any of their predecessors. The horrible hold that affliction has on it’s victims is something we are witnessing in real time and with the highest conceivable stakes, as one of those victims is now the president of the United States, and one whose actions, statements and decisions are compelled by something completely beyond his control.
And the whole world is watching how this is unfolding.

Needless to say, the size of an inauguration crowd is not a real problem, but nonetheless Trump responded with lies and threats bolstered by the power of the state. Inevitably, real problems will arise and I shudder to think how this wounded and wounding man, invested now with such enormous power, will respond.

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Addendum: Here’s a video with more of the same. This time Trump’s “belief” in massive voter fraud for which there is zero evidence.

It is interesting and revealing that the number of Trumps’ ficticious fraudulent voters coincides, more or less, with the number of voters by which Trump lost the popular vote. It is as if, in Trump’s diseased mind, he cannot accept the fact that Hillary Clinton received more votes. Therefore, reality must be altered to fit Trump’s “beliefs.”

Even in the midst of his public downfall and humiliation, with the furies of Watergate hounding him around the clock and from every corner, Richard Nixon did not exhibit this level of public craziness. Indeed, in comparison, Trump makes the paranoid and hounded Nixon look healthy.

I am no fan of Jake Tapper but this video is unlike any I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/news/trump-has-meltdown-over-cnn-after-jake-tapper-scorches-him-on-voter-fraud-lies-video/

Mass Revolt Against Trump in New York and Across America

January 21, 2017

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The spectacle of Trump’s ascension to immense power is nothing if not unprecedented. Just as candidate Trump’s presidential campaign, built on lies, ridicule, cruelty, racism, paranoia, revenge fantasies, misogyny and insane messianic promises, was unprecedented in how it completely degraded the electoral process, so too did he degrade the tradition of the inaugural address yesterday by making what was in essence yet another extraordinarily divisive and insulting campaign speech; one which made no attempt whatsoever to even acknowledge the profound concerns of the majority of Americans who did not vote for him. It is as if millions of Americans simply do not exist for this man. Instead, Trump babbled about “transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People, ” and how “America will start winning again, winning like never before,” and othersuch nonsense, even as he fills his cabinet with the most anti labor, pro corporate degenerates in the land. He then balled his hand into a fist as if addressing, not the nation, but a mob.
Indeed, the speech was so degrading that even Ur- conservative George Will called it “the most dreadful inaugural speech in American history.”

My daughter, who attends an excellent public school in the inner city, watched the speech with her class and was astonished to learn that she and her classmates were the victims of “an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge.”

Such unprecedented assaults on any semblance of decency and truth call for unprecedented response, and today, one day after the swearing in of President Trump, such responses came in extraordinary numbers, in the nation’s capital and all over the country.

I marched in New York. It was the most poorly organized march that I’ve ever been to – and I’ve been to many. At the same time it may have been the most inspiring. For some reason, thousands were made to stand almost immobile in penned areas for hours with no idea of what was happening. But so we did. And at last the march began. And then everywhere you looked you saw more people coming. And more and more and more. Hours later, more were marching. And you knew it was worth it.

Nothing like this has ever happened before in American history: one day after the swearing in of a new president, a massive nation wide revolt and rejection.
No American president has ever inspired such a response, but then no American president has so repulsed and frightened and insulted the American people as deeply as does Trump.

But many more such marches will be needed. And much more than marches. We will need to build a true opposition party that is NOT the Democratic party.

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