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Invenium Viam

Berniecrats Anonymous 12-Step Program

by Invenium Viam on July 17, 2018 · 0 comments

1. We admitted we were powerless over PC – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that an Independent Vermonter greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to Bernie as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of Hillary Democrats and other non-Bernie Democrats.
5. Admitted to Bernie, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of their moral inferiority.
6. Were entirely ready to have Our Revolution remove Boomers’ and Centrists’ defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Bernie to remove all their shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons who had harmed us and became willing to let them all make amends. Except for DWS. Not her.
9. Let such people make direct amends wherever possible, except when to do so would further injure our fragile self-esteem.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and, when other Democrats were wrong, promptly said so.
11. Sought through Instagram and Snapchat to improve our consciousness of Our Revolution, as we understood It, praying only for a Blue Wave for us and its power to carry our candidates.
12. Having had a Political Correctness Reawakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other Democrats and to force them to practice our principles in all their affairs. Still, if we lose the mid-terms, we’re all gonna go home and sulk.

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2018: Year of the Post-postfeminist DFL

by Invenium Viam on June 29, 2018 · 0 comments

Where the boys are
Someone waits for me,
A smiling face, a warm embrace,
Two arms to hold me tenderly…
Connie Francis, 1960

 

In early February of 2016, Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright told young women that it was “their duty to support Hillary Clinton” in her presidential campaign.

 

“We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done,” Ms. Albright, the first female Secretary of State in US history, said of the broader fight for women’s equality. “It’s not done. There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

 

A day earlier, Ms. Steinem had stumbled badly on the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher when she suggested in an Overtime segment that younger women were backing Mr. Sanders just so they could meet young men. “When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’ ” she said.

 

Those remarks drew an immediate, widespread and hostile reaction from young women across the country.

 

“Shame on Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright for implying that we as women should be voting for a candidate based solely on gender,” Zoe Trimboli, a 23-year-old from Vermont who supports Mr. Sanders and describes herself as a feminist, wrote on Facebook. “I can tell you that shaming me and essentially calling me misinformed and stupid is NOT the way to win my vote.”

 

Word. Keeping it real myself, I have to admit to a brief moment of schadenfreude. Having gotten an earful a time or two for insensitivity to the challenges facing women in a patriarchal society, most recently from my wife and daughter over the recent revisiting of the Bill Clinton / Monica Lewinsky scandal, I was kind of happy to see a feminist leader of the stature of Steinem get flamed. If anyone should get a pass for saying or doing something stupid, she should. They’re probably going to erect statues of Steinem in campus quadrangles around the country. Books and plays will be written about her life and leadership. They’ll name high schools after her. And after she passes, a movie will be made of her life and struggles entitled simply, ‘Gloria.’

 

The most I’ll ever get is an epitaph on a headstone that reads, ‘He tried hard not to be an sh*thead.’ Unless I outlive my wife and daughter, that is. Not likely.

 

As a political junkie, I noted this kerfuffle at the time as a potentially significant event demographically. After all, young women among the Mil-Gen′s who were voting for the first time in 2008 supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. Later, in 2016, polls showed they strongly supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton, prompting the reaction from Albright and Steinem and the counter-reaction just described. I began to wonder if these facts were a bellwether of an attitudinal change in gender relations; hence, a change in gender politics. I wondered if they weren’t early evidence of a post-postfeminist ethos forming among young Democrats.

 

Then came the revelations about Trump the pussy-grabber and serial womanizer. Then came the Women’s March. Then came Cosby, Weinstein, Lauer, Roy Moore, Louis CK, and dozens of others. Somewhere in there came the accusations locally against Rep. Tony Cornish, State Senator Dan Schoen, and US Senator Al Franken. All of which fit perfectly with the focus of Fourth-Wave feminism as defined by feminist writer Prudence Chamberlain: economic and social justice for women and opposition to sexual violence and sexual harassment. Nope, I thought, 2008 and 2016 were just the anomaly of two charismatic male candidates opposed by a uninspiring female candidate with a militant sense of entitlement and a caustic demeanor on the stump.

 

But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

 

Getcha Mojo Below the Fold, Moe

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Trump Administration: Crimes Against Humanity

by Invenium Viam on June 20, 2018 · 0 comments

One Nation, under God, Indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all …

 

It now appears that the Trump administration has been forcibly taking infants and toddlers from their parents and placing them in internment camps.

 

“Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.

“Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.” AP News (7:56 am 06/20/18)

 

In so doing, President Trump, Attorney General Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have deliberately and arrogantly crossed the line from immigration policy into Crimes Against Humanity.

 

crime a·gainst hu·man·i·ty [noun] plural noun: crimes against humanity
a deliberate act, typically as part of a systematic campaign, that causes human suffering or death on a large scale.

 

They have done so with the intention of forcing Democrats, elected to represent the will of the American people within their constituent districts, to comply with the administration’s immigration policies, including funding a wall on the southern border.

 

There is no better definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” than Crimes Against Humanity.

 

In so doing, Trump and his allies have proven themselves not only racists, but fascists as well.

 

All Americans of any political stripe who love our country must resist with all the means we can muster.

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OMB Deputy Director Chester Geldmacher

MN-OMB Deputy Director Chester Geldmacher

Dateline: June 5, 2018 – St. Paul, MN

 

Deputy Director Chester Geldmacher, Minnesota Office of Management and Budget, today unveiled a new, supplementary addendum the 2018 Budget and Economic Forecast released last February. The addendum adjusts the economic forecast sharply upward based on what he called “a bold new jobs program and brand new revenue stream for the state.”

 

“With all these new DFL candidates filing for office today,” Geldmacher said, “who we know will be hiring campaign managers, consultants and staffers; booking office space, furniture, computers and hotel rooms; leasing cars and vans, buying print media and advertising, feeding volunteers and hiring law offices and public relations firms, we expect to see an immediate 3-4% bump in the state GDP through the end of 2018. The DFL is truly a party of rainmakers.”

 

Geldmacher went on to say that the state may very well reach a 0% unemployment rate over the next few weeks. “We may have to import workers from economically depressed states like Wisconsin and Kansas. It’s sure to drive up wages for all Minnesotans. This is an achievement never before realized in the history of the state.”

 

Millennials were roundly congratulating themselves on the “genius of our collective” over Twitter using the hastag #canwekukorwhut.

 

“It’s almost as if those DFL’ers were looking for ways to fully fund the schools by boosting state revenues all by themselves,” Geldmacher said. “Who says Democrats don’t know how to create jobs?”

-30-

Comments:
From Eric Ferguson:

I know this is spoof, but seriously, the DFL found candidates to run in all state House districts. That’s maybe a first for either party. It’s tough and praiseworthy, especially given how many state legislators run unopposed in other states. The MNGOP got close. They left two districts uncontested.

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Rep. Keith Ellison is Boycotting the NFL

by Invenium Viam on May 31, 2018 · 0 comments

ellison

“On the stone that remains
Carved next to his name
His epitaph plain:
‘Only a pawn in their game.’ ”

            Only a Pawn in Their Game, Bob Dylan 1963

 

There are a lot of things I like about Keith Ellison. One is that he seems a deeply moral man who hasn’t yet been tainted by political office. That takes strength. I also admire his courage.

 

Last Sunday, he sent out a tweet saying he would be boycotting the NFL due to the owner’s player-protest ban. I plan to join him and to let owners know. Not because he is my Congressman, but because it’s the right thing to do.

ellision tweet

Let’s be clear about a few things:

 

1) 70% of the players in the NFL are black.

 

2) The vast majority of football fans are white.

 

3) Standing for the national anthem is not a necessary component of any sporting event. It was originally intended as a political statement and a kind of loyalty demonstration during times of political turbulence, but has since lost all real significance and is largely ignored by fans.

 

4) It remains a political statement forced on attendees by owners, even though it has devolved into a sham show of patriotism and a crowd-control measure for stadium management.

 

5) When NFL owners decree that football players of any color cannot make a political statement in counter-point to a political statement made by owners, they are denying those players their civil rights to freely express themselves. No one can own an exclusive right to free speech, or assume the power to deny others that right, in the public space. A football stadium is a public space.

 

6) The owners could fire players who protest, but that would garner the wrath of fans. Fining them is the equivalent of suppressing them economically for holding unpopular political beliefs. I would view that as a civil rights violation and a management policy that creates a hostile workplace. At best, if NFL owners want to suppress the free speech of players in the form of peaceful protest in the public space during the national anthem, they should dispense with the national anthem altogether.

 

7) The NFL earned $14 billion in revenues in 2017. NFL Commissioner Goodell has said he’d like revenues to reach $25 billion annually by 2027. The player-protest ban seems less about expressions of patriotism than it is about making money.

 

8) By elevating the (presumed) discomfort of some white football fans over the civil rights of some black football players, the ban looks to me like a new form of political suppression and plantation rule.

 

9) Since most (not all) of the football players who take a knee are black – and do so in protest of police brutality and murder of their fellow citizens of color – the player-protest ban is a form of social and political emasculation of black men in that the ban denies those players their right to think and act as free men. That, too, looks like another form of plantation rule but one that revisits the brutalities of the past.

 

10) Taken in total, the player-protest ban is another form of institutionalized racism, which must be actively resisted by men and women of good conscience.

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Democracy in Action: Walz and the NRA

by Invenium Viam on May 29, 2018 · 3 comments

democracy 2It’s interesting how Congressman Tim Walz has transformed in a matter of a few short months from a darling of progressives and proof that Democrats can stand by their principles and still win in Deep Red districts into a miserable DINO and shameless political opportunist.

 

Not that that’s actually the case, of course. Rather, I think what we see is an object lesson in the dangers of getting trapped in your own perspectives. We all do it … and we should all be wary of it.

 

Take Walz and the NRA for example. His former view of the NRA was as a gun rights advocacy group, which it certainly is. Millions of other Americans still see it that way. It is also a lobbying group for gun manufacturers and a fundraising arm of the GOP, which is how progressives see it. Myself, I see it as an Establishment front for radical political action, potentially including armed insurrection.

 

While serving as the elected representative of MN-01, accepting money from the NRA wasn’t much of a problem for Congressman Walz. He represented a Deep Red district. But then he started getting strong criticism and pushback from fellow Democrats, other progressives and gun laws advocacy groups. He reacted to that pressure — which he refers to as “a kick in the butt” — by rethinking his position on the NRA and the need for more restrictive gun laws and by changing his position accordingly. After the Las Vegas massacre, with 59 dead and more than 500 wounded, he broke with the NRA and donated all of the money they had contributed to him to a support group for the families of fallen veterans.

 

For some progressives, his conversion was too slow in coming and too convenient.

 

But isn’t that the foundation of representative Democracy, that the will of the people made known will cause political candidates and elected leaders to react accordingly and to conform their positions and policies to better accord with that will?

 

Or is intransigence on important issues now some kind of Gold Standard of Integrity of which I am unaware? If intransigence in the face of polarizing issues is the Gold Standard, then both King George III and Louis the XVI had more integrity than the Founding Fathers. Look how things turned out for them. In my view, intransigence on the part of any person when confronted by new, compelling information and cogent argument — political candidate or not — is the Gold Standard of Stupidity.

 

Walz is not the only Democrat to evolve his position on guns, gun rights, and the NRA. Senator Bernie Sanders took a lot of heat in the 2016 presidential campaign for his 2005 vote on a bill that gave gun manufacturers immunity from prosecution. At the time, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta saw Sanders’ conversion as a calculated reversal:

 

Podesta on Sanders

Regardless of his motivations, Sanders knew he had to modify his position to better accord with the voters and he did.

 

With regard to another polarizing issue, Hillary Clinton herself was never an advocate for same-sex marriage. In her New York senate race in 2000, she said: “Marriage has historic, religious, and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is … between a man and a woman.” By 2013 the American people had changed their minds about marriage equality. Clinton knew she had to modify her position to better accord with the voters and she did. I believe to this day that our dramatic cultural change in attitude towards gay people resulted directly from the millions of individual acts of courage in “coming out” and in claiming their right to live in dignity, as every extended family learned it had one or more gay folks in it who deserved to be loved and protected just like anyone else.

 

President Obama was no advocate for same-sex marriage either, even after he took office. As late as 2010, in a Q&A session with progressive bloggers, he stated that, while he was “… unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage,” times were changing and “…  attitudes evolve, including mine.” It took Vice President Biden getting out ahead of the president that forced Obama to rethink the issue. He decided he needed to change his position, so he did.

 

Were Sanders, Obama and Clinton all DINO’s and shameless political opportunists who only changed their views and their positions to gain political  advantage? That’s one way to look at it, I suppose. You could also see it simply as the machinery of democracy in action, of our democracy working in exactly the way it was designed to do.

 

More Below the Fold

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walz flanagan

“Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” UCLA Bruins football coach “Red” Sanders (later appropriated by Vince Lombardi)

 

When I look out at the coming gubernatorial elections, I see disaster unfolding before us like a gigantic black supercell slowly rolling in …

 

The future looks menacing. Progressives tend to be optimists. We have bright hopes for a better tomorrow. But I think we all need to consider carefully the cost of losing this election.

 

Obviously, I’m not a believer in Magical Blue Waves. I’m a believer in viable candidates, coordinated action, and the hard work it takes to persuade voters.

 

In voting to endorse a gubernatorial candidate, delegates to the 2018 DFL State Convention have a special obligation this year to fully consider all of the effects and consequences of their votes, not merely their political preferences. Yes, an endorsing convention is meant to show which candidates can capture party strength. I understand that. But this year we have to consider who is likely to win, who is unlikely to win, and who is likely to lose.

 

When you consider all of the effects and consequences of endorsing a candidate for governor, or of failing to endorse any candidate, I believe that Tim Walz is the clear choice and should be endorsed as the DFL nominee for governor. Here are six reasons to chew on:

 

  1. Electability = Walz

The candidate you like may not be the candidate best able to win the general election. Like them to your heart’s content, just don’t vote to endorse them unless you are sure beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she can win. You’ll still be able to like that person after they fail at the polls, the MN-GOP returns Pawlenty to the Governor’s mansion, all of the gains during the last eight years under Governor Dayton are reversed, and Minnesota turns into another Wisconsin.

 

The only candidate who I’m sure beyond a reasonable doubt can win is Tim Walz. How sure are you about your candidate?

 

Walz is gregarious and charismatic. Likeability has always been a major factor in elections because voters like to vote for people they like. Are the other candidates for endorsement likeable enough to get elected in the general? Will they capture the hearts and minds of independents and cross-over voters across the state? I’m quite sure Walz can do both. I have serious doubts about the other two candidates. If you have doubts, you need to re-think your support.

 
More Below the Fold

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Ramsey County: Keep Your Friends Close …

by Invenium Viam on May 1, 2018 · 0 comments

Ramsey County Sheriff Badge

 

“Don’t it always seem to go,
That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?”

                    Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell

 

There is enormous power in political activism, although that power is not always readily apparent. Next Sunday, a handful of activists will decide what the future of policing in the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office will look like for at least the next four years.

 

On May 6, at the Ramsey County DFL Convention, delegates will decide who to endorse for the county sheriff’s race. It promises to be a lively affair. Because St. Paul is so heavily Democratic, whoever wins the endorsement is a good bet to win the election, provided no ‘unknown-unknowns’ come to light in the meantime.

 

This is one of those occasions when the power of political activism is readily apparent. It is, simply put, the power to shape the future, the power to choose one embodiment of the future over another.

 

Will it look like the department built by Sheriff Matt Bostrom, a department that instituted character-based hiring, community-based policing, and other benevolent policies that, in a few short years, have earned it a similar kind of reverence and beloved status – though not yet similar in degree – to that which the St. Paul Police have enjoyed for decades? Will that foundation of trust and goodwill be carried forward to greater achievements by Sheriff Bostrom’s protege and former second-in-command, Sheriff Jack Serier? Will the moral courage and sense of mission that comes from benevolent vs. militaristic policing that emboldened Sheriff Serier to offer police services to Falcon Heights after the tragic Philando Castile shooting (when no other local police department would) continue unabated and allowed to grow into an even greater, ever-more-valuable asset of the community?

 

Or will the residents of Ramsey County and the City of St. Paul be subjected to all the Sturm und Drang of their sister city across the river including brutality, civil rights and wrongful death lawsuits; inter-departmental and inter-agency lawsuits, frequent oustings of Chiefs of Police, and multi-million dollar payouts to litigants? After all, the City of Minneapolis has been trying – mostly unsuccessfully – to change the internal culture of its police force since Chief Tony Bouza was recruited from the NYPD for that very purpose w-a-a-a-y back in 1980.

 
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Invited Guest Commentary

John-Marty-2016by Senator John Marty. DFL – Roseville

As a consistent critic of corporate subsidies, I had a mixed reaction to Amazon’s request for bids to attract their proposed second headquarters.

 

The promise of up to 50,000 high paying jobs is incredible; something no state would ignore. But nobody knows whether those jobs will actually materialize. Businesses often promise the moon to gain handouts from taxpayers as is evident in Wisconsin’s massive subsidy to Foxconn.

 

Even if Amazon does come to Minnesota, along with the jobs and economic boost there would also be serious negative impacts from the project. For example, an already tight housing market in the Twin Cities would get much worse. Low income workers at other businesses would not receive significant pay increases because of Amazon’s arrival, so many would be priced out of the rental market, creating more homelessness. Low income workers usually see more costs because of these subsidies, but few benefits.

 

Another major concern is that the competition between states ends up with a bidding war to see who will promise the biggest taxpayer subsidy. I share Governor Dayton’s desire that Minnesota’s bid be “restrained” in offering financial incentives. Such economic subsidies to one business come at the expense of other businesses and individual taxpayers.

 

Having said that, there is a way in which Minnesota could offer a bid that would be attractive to Amazon and everyone else in Minnesota.

 

Amazon, like every other American business, is being choked by the high cost of health care for employees. A 2010 survey of Minnesota employers found that the expense of health coverage was the most significant obstacle to business expansion.

 

As a result, I reached out to the people pulling together Minnesota’s Amazon bid to encourage them to include, front and center, a commitment to adopt a universal health care system, such as our proposed Minnesota Health Plan.

 

The Minnesota Health Plan would ensure that all Amazon employees would have comprehensive cradle-to-grave care, including dental care. It would give every Amazon employee the ability to select their doctors and hospitals, without network limitations. Amazon employees would not face co-pays or deductibles and could get care without worrying about whether they could afford it.

 

And, every Minnesotan would receive the same benefit!

 

Amazon’s headquarters would be freed from the waste of time and resources negotiating new insurance plans every year, and the subsequent need to educate their employees on what is covered, what their co-pays and deductibles are, and who is in- or out-of-network. Again, this benefit would apply to every Minnesota business.

 

Because Amazon employees would have access to the care they need when they need it, Amazon could count on a healthier, more productive workforce. So could every other Minnesota business.

 

Equally important, although it may appear counterintuitive, it is significantly less expensive to provide health care for everyone than to continue our dysfunctional health insurance system. These lower costs are clear from both economic studies in the United States and real-world evidence from international comparisons. Amazon would have to pay its fair share, as would everyone else, but they would pay much less than under the current system.

 

This could be a game-changing bid. Because health care costs are far higher for business than corporate taxes are, providing universal health care may save Amazon more than the corporate tax breaks likely to be offered by other states. Amazon would save significant money from the start and the savings grow over time.

 

Amazon stated in their Request for Proposal that they seek “communities that think big and creatively.” Minnesota’s bid to Amazon would be wise to take this bold approach rather than offering corporate subsidies.

 

Should Amazon end up going elsewhere, Minnesota families and businesses would still gain the incredible benefit of a less expensive health care system that delivers comprehensive care to all. We need to address the health economics crisis soon. Amazon’s bid makes this a good a time to start.

 

Copyright © 2017 John Marty www.applie-pie.org

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The Trump Presidency: A Clear and Present Danger (Part 1)

by Invenium Viam on September 19, 2017 · 0 comments

trumpangry No one knows what it's like
 To be the bad man
 To be the sad man
 Behind blue eyes
 And no one knows what it's like
 To be hated
 To be fated to telling only lies.
 But my dreams they aren't as empty
 As my conscience seems to be ...
 ...
 My love is vengeance
 That's never free ... The Who

In an interview with Rachel Maddow last week, Hillary Clinton took the courageous step of again warning the country that the Trump Presidency poses “… a clear and present danger.”

 

There can be no doubt that Clinton used the term with full knowledge of its implications. A “clear and present danger” is a term of art that proceeds from a doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court to determine under what circumstances limits may be placed on First Amendment freedoms of speech, press and assembly.

 

Hillary’s statement was courageous not because she was the first to say it. Others have been saying it since before Trump was elected. It was courageous because Hillary Clinton knows very well that Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist — a man without moral limitations — who now wields the power of the presidency. That Trump is vengeful and vindictive is beyond question. He can suffer no criticism, no wound to his ego, without reacting emotionally. His reaction to Hillary’s recent condemnation appears to be the already infamous retweet of the golf ball video. It was a reaction that reflects an impulsive choice by Trump that finds delight in the thought of violent retribution. In the video, Clinton is struck down by Trump’s golf ball as she boards a plane. Trump saw the video and liked it enough to retweet it. And that is worrisome …

 

We are quick to honor the courage of soldiers, police officers, and firefighters for whom the risk of injury or death in the service of others is readily apparent. But we tend to overlook the courage of political leaders who take a moral stand, boldly speak truth to power (including the power of the electorate), and are prepared to suffer the consequences that may result. At least, we tend to overlook their courage until those political leaders suffer the actual consequences of taking that moral stand … then we name elementary schools and post offices after them. Or erect statues. Too often posthumously …

 

With regard to the malignant narcissist who currently occupies the Oval Office — Mad King Don — Hillary Clinton knows perfectly well what #45 is capable of. Yet she is still willing to sound the alarm for the rest of us.

 

Most educated people are aware that Trump is a narcissist. But there are profound differences between classical narcissists and malignant narcissists. Classical narcissism includes symptoms such as poor self-identity, inability to appreciate others, a sense of entitlement, a lack of authenticity, a need for control, intolerance of the views and opinions of others, emotional detachment, grandiosity, lack of awareness or concern regarding how their behaviors might affect others, minimal emotional reciprocity, and a desperate need for the approval and positive attention of others. Sound familiar? Both types demand that the world conform to their self-image and created reality. Both types crave an unending supply of admiration, adulation, and praise. Both types are capable of vicious retaliation when their self-image is injured, their reputation impugned, or their created reality threatened. Narcissism demands to be mirrored and refuses to be challenged. By anyone. For any reason.

 

A malignant narcissist, on the other hand, suffers not only from the elements of narcissistic personality disorder, but also from anti-social personality disorder. In some ways, malignant narcissism is a blend of narcissism and psychopathy. A person with malignant narcissism represents a danger to others because their behaviors have the potential to destroy social groups, families, communities and nations. Malignant narcissists are shallow, petty, thin-skinned, punitive, hateful, cunning and angry. They cannot self-regulate emotionally and espouse beliefs that swing from one extreme to the next based on the requirements of the moment, or how they think an expressed belief might “play” with a listener or audience. They rank others based on superficial standards and often view them through a primitive binary lens (strong/weak, best/worst, winner/loser, smart/dumb, rich/poor, ugly/pretty). A quick overview can be viewed below:

 

 

Therein lies the clear and present danger that Hillary has spoken to and which also includes a danger to herself.  Every human being has fears, doubts and misgivings. Every human being suffers from social anxieties to some degree. But narcissists of all stripes create a personal, alternate “reality” that they live in to accord with an image of themselves that they want to maintain, which itself is a defensive screen to protect a fragile, injured ego within.

 

When the classical narcissist experiences fears, doubts and anxieties — particularly when they arise out of criticism from others — they react in defensive ways that serve to protect their fragile ego and maintain their alternate “reality.” However, a classical narcissist’s reactions need not be pathological. They might write a nasty letter, deny sex to their spouse, withdraw from a social group, or abandon a marriage or family. While such actions are anti-social, they are not pathological. And while the classical narcissist is self-aggrandizing and self-serving, they do not necessarily lack a moral code and generally recognize that society upholds a moral code to which all members of society are expected to adhere.

 

Malignant narcissists have no moral code and do not recognize the presence of a moral code in others. The normal rules of behavior and social interactions don’t apply to them. They have no emotional attachments to others of the kind that inform and modify their behaviors. They routinely and arrogantly violate interpersonal boundaries of weaker, more vulnerable individuals and those of lower social status. When others behave morally, they interpret that behavior as self-serving or self-gratifying. They recognize that society upholds a moral code, but they view the application of that moral code as weak and inconsistent — hence, the social code informs their behaviors only as to which code violations they can expect to get away with while escaping punishment. They have no emotional self-inhibitions in terms of how their behaviors might discomfort or harm others and very little impulse control.

 

The malignant narcissist believes that they occupy a special place in the world, that they are superior to others, and therefore deserve and demand special treatment. When they aren’t accorded special treatment, they can easily become enraged and feel that what is their due is being denied them. And having poor impulse control, they may act out of rage without fully considering the consequences to themselves and others. Gratification of rage is more important than consequences to themselves or harm done to others.

 

The malignant narcissist processes information about the world through the filters of their own delusional thinking and created reality. They fail to form normal emotional bonds with others, fail to develop normal social behaviors in groups, and fail to enter into and maintain normal human relationships. Yet they still require emotional gratification from others, just as classical narcissists do — that unending supply of admiration, adulation and praise. And when they don’t get the emotional gratification they crave, they react negatively, petulantly, even violently.

 

For some, their delusional thinking may be so extreme that they lie compulsively and extravagantly and believe the lies themselves simply because having said them now makes them a part of their created reality. Then they become enraged if their lies are challenged with evidence and facts, typically discrediting the evidence and facts presented as themselves fabrications and falsehoods. This pattern of behavior can easily devolve into gaslighting, as applied to both individuals and groups.

 

The malignant narcissist is a simplistic anti-social being in a complex social world. Their anti-social behaviors produce negative feedback from the larger society, which is then countered with negative reactions from the malignant narcissist, which in turn produces more negative feedback. A self-generating, self-reinforcing negative feedback loop forms, in which the malignant narcissist must struggle constantly to maintain control while finding fewer and fewer options for doing so. Regardless, control of a negative feedback loop is precisely the opposite of what the malignant narcissist desires — precisely the opposite of maintaining the continuing supply of admiration, adulation and praise they desperately need to feed their fragile ego and fill the emotional black hole within.

 

Worse, it erodes the foundations of the delusion created world — the alternate “reality” — they live in and produces a fluctuating self-esteem, or emotional disequilibrium. Over time, that reality becomes narrower and narrower and the explanations and justifications needed to maintain emotional and psychological equilibrium in a world that seems to be crumbling around them become ever more illogical and bizarre. At some point, the malignant narcissist crosses over into the purely pathological in their thoughts and actions. No one, not even the narcissist himself, can control his need to protect his ego and maintain at all costs the alternate “reality” he has created to defend it.

 

And if the cost of doing so means he has to undertake the most extreme measures, even incinerating the planet, so be it. At least his name will live on forever. Lesser beings like you and I will be forgotten. But he will be remembered. And never again can his greatness be challenged because is it written forever in history like a ragged scar across the face of time.

 

Therein lies the clear and present danger manifest in the Trump Presidency. Hillary has named it. She has done so forthrightly and courageously.

 

We’d be fools not to listen.

 

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