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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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trump13Not a surprise.
 

Donald Trump has completed his first ever speech to Congress as President. And almost every major claim made in it appeared to be false.
 
He appeared to wrongly claim that he was responsible for a vast reduction in the price of the F-35 jet, as well as falsely characterizing a report into the problems of immigration.
 
The President’s speech made contested claims about the value of immigration, his success in office, his plans for tax reform, and healthcare coverage.
(Independent)

In college I took a semi-advanced math class, sophomore year. On the first exam there was one of those crazy-hard questions at the end, designed to separate the “A’s” from the “A-‘s,” I suppose. I was about out of time anyway, and rather than make an effort I just scrawled “I don’t know.” When the exam was graded, while I had done OK on the rest of it, in response to my silly remark the professor wrote “There is no bliss in ignorance. Only ignorance.” I don’t remember how to do integrals of infinite series and whatever else got done in that class, but I do remember that.
 

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