Home

You Are Done, Mr. Trump

9 Comments

You are done, Mr. Trump. No argument. Thus far, the Republican party has been willing to put up with your minor — what shall we call them? Shortcomings? Indiscretions? Many of your supporters even applaud you for “telling it like it is,” and “saying what everyone thinks but is afraid to say.”

You know, your traditional American values of contempt for blacks, Hispanics, women, Muslims, disabled and overweight people; your inciting violence, your purposely undermining confidence in our elections, your trying to intimidate voters by sending goons to “watch” polling places.

I’m even afraid to put up a Hillary sign in the yard here in New Hampshire, lest I attract a rock or a bullet through my window.

But now you’ve gone too far, Mr. Trump. You’ve said the “P” word, and Republicans didn’t know you were like that. They are shocked, just shocked! 

News Flash: It's Who He Is

News Flash: It’s Who He Is

Your non-apology points out that you said the “P” word ten years ago when you were young and less mature, a mere sixty years old. And besides, former President Clinton has said and done bad things, too (and, by the way, was impeached for them). And furthermore you claim, “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am.”

Right, we’ll just leave that there with the pile of rape accusations and sexual harassment lawsuits waiting in the back room.

It’s not flying anymore. It’s over. You’re done. Now it’s all about damage control for that Grand Old Party that chose to focus on hate and fear and division a few decades ago and is paying the price today.

Your Friends are Bailing

Everyone is bailing on you now. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan doesn’t want to stand on the same stage with you. Ouch. In the bright red state of Utah, there’s a total insurrection, a senator calling for you to step down, and a GOP candidate running specifically on the platform of deadlocking the electoral college and getting rid of you.

Your Vice Presidential candidate is pretending you don’t exist: he’s perfected the “kindly old grandfather who is deaf when he wants to be” act and pretends he isn’t drowning in your cesspool. (Psssst — I think he’s after your job, Donald.)

Even your buds over at FOX News call your comments “crude” and “lewd.” After all, Roger Ailes has set the standard there, and . . . oh, never mind.

Pharisee: A Self-Righteous Person; A Hypocrite

At least you still have the right-wing evangelicals. Because, you know, God is a guy, and if God didn’t intend men to grope women, then why did He give men hands to begin with?

No, seriously, I can see where these evangelicals are coming from. The Family Research Council (FRC) says their support for you was never based on shared values anyway.

WHAT???? WHAT??? The “family values” lobbyists don’t care about values??

Sure enough, the “Christian public policy ministry” FRC website says that Trump demonstrates “an understanding of the importance of values voters in the general election” and has “a desire to work with them.” It never says he shares their values.

Wonder why people are leaving the Christian church, FRC? Look in the mirror.

FRC was busy yesterday promoting #BringYourBibleToSchool day, so perhaps they didn’t have time to carefully review the P-word video. I suggest they take a listen. Also, #ReadYourBible.

No argument.

#UnfitForOffice

** I know that this post will lose me some of my Christian followers. That makes me sad, but it’s inevitable. Still, please, please, in this election and every day, ask yourself that over-used but profound question: What would Jesus do?

Day eleven of my daily blogging pursuit

Trump’s Disagreement with Reality

7 Comments

Trump’s Disagreement with Reality

You can disagree with a policy. You can disagree with an action. You can disagree with an interpretation or an assumption or even a worldview. But when you disagree with reality, you are either lying to others or lying to yourself.

Which category Mr. Trump’s disorder falls into is a mystery to me: probably both. I am not a psychologist (if I were, this election would have exploded my head months ago), but I am fascinated by what must go on in that orange head. 

One of my favorite moments during the presidential debate Monday night was Hillary’s line, “Donald, I know you live in your own reality.”

Bingo. I think that’s quite true.

A Big, Beautiful Wall

The Republican candidate’s brain seems to function like a second or third-grader’s. It’s motivated by wanting people to notice him and praise him, wanting to appear grand while always knowing underneath that he’s never going to be good enough to please Daddy.

I think he got emotionally stunted in elementary school and simply never grew into an adult who accepts and operates within reality. He does not have a moral center because he never matured enough to develop one. Instead, he built a “big, beautiful wall” around himself so that nothing and nobody could hurt him. He built it out of money and denial and meanness. And behind his wall, he hides from reality and launches tweets at anyone who disagrees with him.

Sadly, I believe his emotional immaturity and false reality ballooned into a personality disorder. At least one. But there I go again, trying to diagnose him. I have a terrible need to understand this entity that is threatening my country and the world.

Recovery is an Option, Mr. Trump

I wonder sometimes if the reason the man creeps so deeply into my psyche is that I can relate at some level. I struggle against the very same bugaboos that haunt him, the need for praise and recognition, the belief that my way is the only way, the insecurity that drives grandiosity — all driven by fears.

But I’ve worked crazy-hard to recover from my brokenness. It’s meant humbling myself and accepting hard truths. Through spiritual pursuits and practices, honest relationships, psychotherapy, and twelve-step recovery for various emotional addictions, I have escaped the house of mirrors with no true center where I used to live and am coming into an entirely new reality. One where I am good enough: beloved, even.

I get how emotional pain can leave you stranded in your own reality, isolated and afraid. I am sad for you, Donald.

Let’s Face Reality

But what of Trump’s followers? That’s a harder question and one that I  hesitate to address because I don’t want to come across as telling anyone that my reality is correct and theirs is incorrect. There’s enough of that going around, and it’s part of what’s bringing our country down.

14522916_10210183812462436_6874383037775797971_n

But please just take a big, self-reflective breath and think about this: How could you hear a man interrupt a woman over and over with “I never said that,” and “That’s not true,” and “Wrong, wrong,” without googling to find out who is telling the truth? Do you just assume that the male is always right? Or do you actually hate Clinton so much that you don’t want to know the truth — so much that you would vote for a pathological liar over her? Yes, I grant you, she is not honesty personified. And she’s secretive. Almost all politicians become like that.

But, but . . . Donald is sick. Unwell. Unbalanced. How could you watch the debate and deny that reality?

Imagine the man who turned up at that debate talking to FOREIGN LEADERS, for heaven’s sake! Tell me, didn’t you feel even the teensiest bit of relief when Clinton spoke directly to the rest of the world, trying to reassure them that we have not lost our minds, that we will stand by our agreements and will not catapult into an alternate universe? To me, it felt like an adult had finally entered the room to restore order.

I don’t agree with all of Clinton’s policies or actions, but I want a grown-up in the White House. One who doesn’t make faces and yell and interrupt and insult people and live inside a second-grader’s fortress of lies.

In response to a WordPress word prompt: disagree.

Predictably Unpredictable America

3 Comments

Unpredictability. Not my favorite thing. It feels dangerous, risky. I don’t mind being seen as unpredictable myself, mind you — that seems charming, whimsical, youthful, fun. But I want to be in charge, I want to know what to expect next. I cherish the illusion that I can somehow control what happens around me, which of course is a fantasy. One never can. Especially these days.

A truck might plow through a celebratory crowd, or your office holiday party might turn into a killing field, or you might be held hostage or murdered at a night club. Or your kid could be shot at her elementary school or your husband be shot by a rogue policeman.

Or a mentally unbalanced, completely unqualified orange man who is also a pathological liar could be elected president. Anything can happen in 2016.

trump_stop

Like most people I know, I cringe when I fire up the computer each morning or turn on the radio. What awful thing has happened? In fact, the bad news — the violence and hate and racism and vitriol — has now become completely predictable.

We feel uprooted, unprotected, aghast at our world.

But maybe, just maybe, being uprooted is precisely what we need.

As the good-hearted but disengaged people of America become jarringly aware of what is happening to our collective human spirit, perhaps they will be shaken loose from their complacency. Perhaps the orange vomit of hatred that is polluting our nation has finally caught the attention of the millions of people who have been privileged enough to ignore the simmering hatred up until now. The shock of Orange Man’s success may finally disrupt the status quo.

“We have seen the enemy, and he is us.” (Walt Kelly, from the Pogo comic strip.)

At the same time, an old geezer from Vermont has awoken the sleeping masses of young people in America with a call to get involved and fight the corruption and corporate control of our nation’s political and economic systems. Who saw that coming?

Unpredictable.

I don’t know what will happen, but I think there’s a chance that as we all stand mired in this putrid, stagnant swamp, some of us will sense a new but ancient stream moving somewhere deep below, and we will thrash and kick and roil the muddy waters and make waves until we bring up fresh, clean water that everyone can drink.

I Can’t Tolerate Tolerance

5 Comments

I Can’t Tolerate Tolerance

I was talking to some folks about Orlando this morning, and the sense of helplessness and sadness and even despair that many of us feel in the wake of yet another preventable tragedy. People look at the National Rifle Association’s power to completely override common sense and they say, “Could our country be any more broken?” and then they look at Donald Trump and realize that our country is way more broken than anyone ever imagined.

America, “land of the free,” is now held hostage by paranoia, anger, and division, all fueled by fear and hatred of “the other.”

You call your God Allah? Other! Your skin is darker than mine? Other! Are you speaking Spanish? Other! You are sexually attracted to someone with the same type of genitalia as your own? Other! You are a hunter? Other! You are a vegan? Other! You are a {Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party, Democratic Socialist}? Other, other, other!!!

I don’t need to tell you that candidate Trump stokes these sentiments. He’s like some sci-fi monster that feeds on other people’s fear and anger and grows more and more grotesque and powerful with each hateful Tweet, Facebook post, and blog. He can’t abide truth or tolerance — they make him grow smaller and lose his magical powers to control people.

photo (50)

He’s like the opposite of Jesus, whose power and influence in the world grows stronger each time someone chooses love over fear and compassion over judgement. Each time someone chooses tolerance over division . . . but wait. Tolerance?

Teaching Tolerance

Why yes, of course. Isn’t that what the solution is? “Teaching Tolerance,” they call it. Well, I’m sorry, but I call B.S. on that. Jesus never said, “Tolerate one another.” Jesus said to love one another. And so have many other spiritual sages throughout human history. Loving someone is more than just putting up with them, just tolerating their existence. That may be a necessary beginning for some people, but I think we should aspire to more than tolerating one another.

Be the Change

“Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” Jesus said.

Maybe that’s the place to start — maybe we have to learn to love ourselves before we can properly love others; embrace ourselves, not just tolerate ourselves. We need to look honestly at our inner thoughts, motivations, and promptings, especially the ones that we don’t like, or that confuse us or make us feel ashamed. We need to talk about them with someone else. Pray about them if we are praying people. Let the darkest stuff out into the light so we can see it and heal it if need be.

We can’t change what happened in Orlando, but we can change ourselves. Be the change we want to see in the world, as Gandhi said.

It’s worth a try, right? Because people who shut off or hide parts of themselves can turn into angry people. They can have heart attacks. They can fall into depression. Some of them might buy guns. They might hurt other people emotionally or physically. They might vote for Donald Trump.

Dreaming of Peace on Memorial Day

1 Comment

Many blessings on my military friends and their families — I’m sorry our nation keeps sending you into harm’s way. As this thoughtful video from Veterans for Peace suggests, I am also remembering and honoring civilian casualties of war and their loved ones this Memorial Day:

I pray for peace on this day of all days, and I hope that world leaders will take President Obama’s words at Hiroshima to heart:

“We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story, one that describes a common humanity, one that makes war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted.”  

 

** A footnote to my politically conservative Christian friends posting articles that criticize the president’s speech as “cowardly” or “an apology”: Setting aside whether or not one thinks an apology would have been appropriate, he did not make one, FYI. And I wonder which part of his actual remarks you think Jesus would disagree with?

Related:

http://bloggers4peace.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/kozo-cheri-asks-that-you/

Bloggers for Peace

 

Election Eve Musings

2 Comments

ELECTION EVE MUSINGS

I’m voting for Bernie in the Maryland primary tomorrow, and I’m excited about it. Lord knows it’s rare for me to be enthused about a candidate. I doubt I’ll be as enthusiastic come November, but voting for a woman will be huge, even if I’d prefer a more progressive woman — say Elizabeth Warren. Who knows? Maybe Clinton will tap Warren for V.P. It would be a sure way to engage Bernie fans like myself, but I doubt it will happen.

I know my support for Bernie has some of my more “pragmatic” friends bent out of shape. And I found this on my car windshield the other day:

13010825_10208832633163798_5326394519366298502_n

Whatever — I’m just done with business-as-usual.

I’m sure this post will annoy some Bernie supporters, too. I’m sorry, but the math just doesn’t look good for our guy.

I’ve become somewhat of a cynic in recent decades. I am not hopeful when it comes to the future of the American political system. Too much corporate money in both parties, and it seems elections can’t be won without it.

Still, on a sunny day when the birds are singing and perhaps I’ve had a glass of champagne, I can imagine a day when the right leaders will rise up and organize regular people to overturn this dysfunctional system.

Bernie has started the conversation. He’s definitely pulled Hillary to the left, and some go so far as to say he has “made the Democratic party safe for liberals again.” Maybe. It is great that Hillary mentions climate change and campaign finance reform and even Citizens United, but they aren’t her top priorities and she will swing back to center during the general election. That’s just reality.

Why Not?

On the hopeful side, there are now millions of new voters — including many young people just forming their political consciousness — who have embraced Bernie’s boldness and ask, “Why not?” In Bernie’s stump speeches, I hear an echo of the words of Robert F. Kennedy that formed my own adolescent political consciousness in 1968, “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.”

So I’ll savor the moment tomorrow when I step into the voting booth, punch the Bernie button and think, “Hell yes — THIS!”

Bobby Kennedy, 1963

Bobby Kennedy, 1963

— Kennedy photo from public domain, courtesy Wikimedia

Trump: Psychopath or Sociopath?

24 Comments

Today I’m pondering contrasts. One in particular is on my mind: What’s the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath? This isn’t normally a question one must address when judging presidential candidates, but — well, it’s 2016.

As you may know, I have been fixated on Orange Man for months. I stay up late into the night, watching YouTube videos of him inciting violence, reading expert analyses about why in God’s name anyone would support him, and watching endless debates and pundits.

By the way, people, speaking of contrasts: They are pundits, not pundints, OK? Even pundits sometimes toss an N into the word and call themselves pundints. It’s like “nuclear.” There’s no U. It’s not nuculure. (I’m looking at you, George Bush.)

But I digress – pronunciation is a less interesting obsession than the mental health of orange people.

My Sleaze Addiction

At any rate, I find myself researching the difference between dangerous personality disorders — in contrast to what I should be doing, which is getting ready for a call with a financial planner and preparing for a congregational care meeting tonight. Or going out for a walk to celebrate the contrast between winter and spring. Birdsong! Azaleas! Warm breezes! No, I’m sitting on my couch, wandering among psychology websites. 

So that my time isn’t completely misspent, I thought I would share some findings with you, in case you are also following the adventures of Orange Man.

(Happily, after his rant about penis size and his tweets comparing his sexy-model-wife with Ted Cruz’s regular-person-wife, I am less fixated on the guy. Too much sleaze. Instead I’ve become fascinated with online trash-talking Democrats, Hillary and Bernie supporters abusing one other with juvenile taunts and accusations. But that’s another post.)

Hot-Headed or Cold-Hearted?

It’s not clearcut, but my hunch is that Orange Man is a sociopath. The two disorders have a lot in common, and diagnosticians lump them together as “antisocial personality disorders.” But WebMD (the website my apparently twenty-year-old doctor pulls up whenever I ask her a question) says the following:

People with both disorders “have a poor inner sense of right and wrong. They also can’t seem to understand or share another person’s feelings.” But here’s a difference: “A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to . . . A sociopath typically has a conscience, but it’s weak. He may know that taking your money is wrong, and he might feel some guilt or remorse, but that won’t stop his behavior . . . a psychopath has less regard for others . . . he sees others as objects he can use for his own benefit.”

Hmmm. Orange Man doesn’t seem to have a conscience, but his mind is such a mysterious muddle to me, I’m not sure.

Muddled synapses in the Orange Brain

Muddled synapses in the Orange Brain

Did he feel bad when he backtracked from his wish to  “punish” troubled pregnant women? Or just make a political calculation?

I think this next excerpt is more telling, also from WebMD:

“It’s not easy to spot a psychopath. They can be intelligent, charming, and good at mimicking emotions. They may pretend to be interested in you, but in reality, they probably don’t care. Sociopaths are less able to play along. They make it plain that they’re not interested in anyone but themselves. They often blame others and have excuses for their behavior.

Some experts see sociopaths as ‘hot-headed.’ They act without thinking how others will be affected. Psychopaths are more ‘cold-hearted’ and calculating. They carefully plot their moves, and use aggression in a planned-out way to get what they want. If they’re after more money or status in the office, for example, they’ll make a plan to take out any barriers that stand in the way, even if it’s another person’s job or reputation.”

Alligator? Crocodile? Either way, you had better be careful!

Alligator? Crocodile? Either way, you had better be careful!

A Chilling Reality

An orange sociopath with traces of psychopath, maybe? He’s surely hot-headed and blames others for his behavior. (He actually said of Ted Cruz on national TV, “He started it!”) But — what if his hot-headed, reckless behavior is all a cold-hearted plan calculated to appeal to hot-headed and reckless voters? Or maybe he’s just a megalomaniac, which the dictionary defines as a “pathological egotist, someone with a psychological disorder with symptoms like delusions of grandeur and an obsession with power.”

You can decide for yourself. I am not being snarky here. It is clear that Donald J. Trump is not a well man. It’s chilling, once you look into it. Here are some characteristics of sociopaths, selected from R. Preston McAfee’s website:

  • Glibness and Superficial Charm
  • Manipulative and Conning — They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
  • Grandiose Sense of Self — Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
  • Pathological Lying — Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt — A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
  • Shallow Emotions — When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
  • Need for Stimulation  — Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
  • Callousness/Lack of Empathy — Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
  • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature — Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
  • Irresponsibility/Unreliability — Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
  • Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility — Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

Thanks to WordPress for today’s writing prompt, contrast.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: