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The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump

Siúil a Rúin

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I think this issue has been raised in the past, but I do think it is front and central for the issue of Trump support. In the U.S. there are deep, culturally instilled psychological issue relating to toxic and damaged masculinity (also toxic and damaged femininity, but that doesn't relate as directly to Trump). The microcosm I saw in the person I lived with I think does serve to project onto some percentage of people in shared experience, but I will note it is a projection from an individual case.

He had a very toxic relationship with his father, who was harsh, "kill'em' all" type mentality. He described his father as a sociopath, and my friend didn't trust him. He was even driven to attempted suicide during his youth in response to terror of getting in trouble with his father. I met him and he was odd and disturbingly harsh and disapproving. The conspiracy theories provided a projection of that distrust in authority, and in an oddly ironic manner, the embracing of Trump enabled a connection and approval with his father. Trump is an icon for the dysfunctional, toxic masculinity father figure in the U.S. There are many details and nuance of Trump's presentation that resonate at a deep psychological level, even his divisive positive and negative language to define those who accept or reject him. When people embrace this Trump, it reconnects them to their toxic fathers. It enables people to embrace what they hate and become it. Somehow that needs to be address, but how? How would you?
 

ceecee

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During the six years I lived with a Trump supporter and eventual Q-Anon extremist, we did engage in debates that moderated his view at the time although I think he is now beyond reach. The time period where some moderation and dialog occurred was in the earlier phases on Trump and Q-Anon 2013-2018, so I am left wondering about communication.

There is a point of radicalization in which people are beyond reach for communication and I have a hope the 1/3 of Republicans are outside of that. It is important for a society to have conflicting views - I recognize it's important to listen to perspectives that make me uncomfortable or are unfamiliar. I also have a hope there is a percentage of that 2/3rds who are not fully radicalized but going along with their friends and family, so that it might be possible to get through a little.

Politics involve a lot of ego and identity (even in people who deny it. It is often subconscious ego investment. I did call the people beyond reach 'lunkheads', but anytime there is someone with any reasoning capacities, respect and listening is necessary as a first step to dialog. We have to find a way to not shut down communication from the other side. The first step is to start by investing focus in the least radicalized and work backwards from there. Also, actually having respect anytime it is possible and not embracing ego superiority whenever possible. As a person who grew up believing absurdities I try to remind myself I'm not above radicalization, even though I value and practice reason. Being caught in it developmentally does inspire some compassion.

I'm not really sure that communication combats the incredible effectiveness of propaganda. The entire idea with this particular strain is to erode any sort of trust and force everything to be questioned. Reason doesn't apply here as the true believers inhabit an imaginary reality, reinforced by decades of right wing media, especially talk radio, right wing punditry and GOP politicians. The 1/3, I know a few individual R's I would put there. But even they don't want to talk about the 2/3 so I'm not sure where you go at that point.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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This is one of the more disconcerting things of modern politics to me, since I'm older and can remember times when it didn't matter as much what political party you were part of -- these kinds of violations would generally bring reprisal and punishment of some kind (although we still had our scandals), even end one's political career. It's why I feel much more on edge nowadays, because it now seems that a sizable enough group exists to undermine even a flawed punishment process. People are getting away with this crap in broad daylight.


When would this be?

Even the "hope and change" guy was eager to sweep the misdeeds of the previous administration under the rug because it would damage the sanctity of institutions or something like that.

Probably we can trace this all back to Ford pardoning Nixon. That seems to be when the decision was made that "preserving the sanctity of institutions" was the most important thing, more so than holding people accountable and upholding the principle of equality under the law. Why would these people moderate their behavior? It helps them get votes, and we've shown as a society we don't want to hold them accountable for any of it.
 

Totenkindly

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When would this be?

Even the "hope and change" guy was eager to sweep the misdeeds of the previous administration under the rug because it would damage the sanctity of institutions or something like that.

Probably we can trace this all back to Ford pardoning Nixon. That seems to be when the decision was made that "preserving the sanctity of institutions" was the most important thing, more so than holding people accountable and upholding the principle of equality under the law. Why would these people moderate their behavior? It helps them get votes, and we've shown as a society we don't want to hold them accountable for any of it.

Eh, I think Ford made the wrong call for the right reason (i.e., I understand his logic, I just think it was more important to punish the crime), and then he lost the election in part because of it (so he got punished for doing that). So the people actually wanted Nixon to pay for Watergate and the coverup ... which isn't even close to what Trump got away with for four years and no one is holding him accountable for.
 

Virtual ghost

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When would this be?

Even the "hope and change" guy was eager to sweep the misdeeds of the previous administration under the rug because it would damage the sanctity of institutions or something like that.

Probably we can trace this all back to Ford pardoning Nixon. That seems to be when the decision was made that "preserving the sanctity of institutions" was the most important thing, more so than holding people accountable and upholding the principle of equality under the law. Why would these people moderate their behavior? It helps them get votes, and we've shown as a society we don't want to hold them accountable for any of it.



Yeah, that is stupid. Since the best way to preserve the sanctity of institutions is to prosecute obvious crooks.
Everything else is just a bag of nonsense.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Eh, I think Ford made the wrong call for the right reason (i.e., I understand his logic, I just think it was more important to punish the crime), and then he lost the election in part because of it (so he got punished for doing that). So the people actually wanted Nixon to pay for Watergate and the coverup ... which isn't even close to what Trump got away with for four years and no one is holding him accountable for.

That's a valid point about him losing the election. But I still kinda think that this really set a bad precedent.

- - - Updated - - -

Yeah, that is stupid. Since the best way to preserve the sanctity of institutions is to prosecute obvious crooks.
Everything else is just a bag of nonsense.

Sure, but that's American civil religion for you.
 

ceecee

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Eh, I think Ford made the wrong call for the right reason (i.e., I understand his logic, I just think it was more important to punish the crime), and then he lost the election in part because of it (so he got punished for doing that). So the people actually wanted Nixon to pay for Watergate and the coverup ... which isn't even close to what Trump got away with for four years and no one is holding him accountable for.

The right sees what Trump did in his presidency as vindication for Nixon. That's how toxic American conservatism is and how poisoned the adherents are and it's why people need to pay more attention. Conservatism in it's current state has no place in the US in any form it should be stood on and never allowed to rise up again. I don't like calling it fascism because it's not but I don't think there is an accurate term at the moment. The Democrats have a stake, financially and otherwise, to shore up a functional GOP and to donors - it's the perfect foil for doing little to nothing (courts/R's/can't do it/don't have the votes) in addition to maintaining the flow of donor $$ and anonymity provided by a corporately owned SCOTUS.
 

Virtual ghost

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Probably some of you already saw shocking results of this poll.







I mean if this is true that means that something like 35% of the country is for disintegration of the country (the south will probably go first in this scenario).
 

ceecee

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Probably some of you already saw shocking results of this poll.







I mean if this is true that means that something like 35% of the country is for disintegration of the country (the south will probably go first in this scenario).

I saw but I don't find it shocking at all.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I think this issue has been raised in the past, but I do think it is front and central for the issue of Trump support. In the U.S. there are deep, culturally instilled psychological issue relating to toxic and damaged masculinity (also toxic and damaged femininity, but that doesn't relate as directly to Trump). The microcosm I saw in the person I lived with I think does serve to project onto some percentage of people in shared experience, but I will note it is a projection from an individual case.

He had a very toxic relationship with his father, who was harsh, "kill'em' all" type mentality. He described his father as a sociopath, and my friend didn't trust him. He was even driven to attempted suicide during his youth in response to terror of getting in trouble with his father. I met him and he was odd and disturbingly harsh and disapproving. The conspiracy theories provided a projection of that distrust in authority, and in an oddly ironic manner, the embracing of Trump enabled a connection and approval with his father. Trump is an icon for the dysfunctional, toxic masculinity father figure in the U.S. There are many details and nuance of Trump's presentation that resonate at a deep psychological level, even his divisive positive and negative language to define those who accept or reject him. When people embrace this Trump, it reconnects them to their toxic fathers. It enables people to embrace what they hate and become it. Somehow that needs to be address, but how? How would you?

Yeah, those people are fucked up.
 

Virtual ghost

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Trumpism evidently had it's rise in US. However it tried to reshape many things globally. In other words it tried to reshape my country as well. Therefore during the Trump era we got this far right populist party of true patriots. Which had some links to out diaspora in North America and some people even came here to take their part. However the party had it's flash on the Croatian scene and then through the political contain it started to fade as the loses lined up one after another. However now the party is on the brink of complete dissolution. Founder quit the function just like that as well as the chunk of leadership. Ratings also aren't that good and the party is half-irrelevant at this point. Also there are some serious finance related investigations around the party, as well as some photos with "questionable people". So this is evidently a plane that is losing the distance from the ground. If the incoming convention doesn't fix anything that is probably it and this will end as all our collapsed parties, fragmentation and fade out. This was simply our part in the global populist wave from a few years back, however as that is sorting itself out in the big picture this balloon kinda popped. Especially since it probably needs to some degree outside support, as well as topics from outside in order to have a shoot against our center right. That is evidently much larger and more established party, which didn't even hide that they want their own voters back. Since closing this flank on the right for them is of strategic importance. Plus the progressives/greens are literally stronger than ever and they are pushing out the center left (and they are getting stronger than them in the polls). What means that they took a part of that "anti-establishment cake". The politics of the country is evidently in the phase of being remade but perhaps a lesson or two can be made out of this. After all the less proxies the original has out there the weaker it will be. Especially since there are communication lines between diasporas and homelands (and our center right seems to be friends with the Democratic party much more).
 

Totenkindly

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I saw but I don't find it shocking at all.

I don't find it shocking either.

Honestly, if there was a way to truly just sift out some of these folks into their own collective and letting them sink themselves rather than dragging down others with them... well, I've been fantasizing about doing it. I don't really want to see the country split, but the reality also is that we are not really a collective any longer that is capable of working together. A marriage would have divorced many times over at this point. You can't save a marriage that at least one of the partners doesn't want to save and/or simply wants to dominate without accommodation.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I don't find it shocking either.

Honestly, if there was a way to truly just sift out some of these folks into their own collective and letting them sink themselves rather than dragging down others with them... well, I've been fantasizing about doing it. I don't really want to see the country split, but the reality also is that we are not really a collective any longer that is capable of working together. A marriage would have divorced many times over at this point. You can't save a marriage that at least one of the partners doesn't want to save and/or simply wants to dominate without accommodation.

This is where I'm at.
 

Stigmata

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I don't find it shocking either.

Honestly, if there was a way to truly just sift out some of these folks into their own collective and letting them sink themselves rather than dragging down others with them... well, I've been fantasizing about doing it. I don't really want to see the country split, but the reality also is that we are not really a collective any longer that is capable of working together. A marriage would have divorced many times over at this point. You can't save a marriage that at least one of the partners doesn't want to save and/or simply wants to dominate without accommodation.

As depressing as this reality is, I agree. How do you even begin to unite a country in which roughly 40% of citizens refuse to accept reality and subscribe to conspiracy theories, all while supporting individuals who wish to undermine our democracy?

When the ideological differences between both sides have become so vast that you can't agree what reality is, how does it work? We've completely lost whatever sense of underlying commonality that once existed beyond the political/social ideological differences, and I don't see how we'll ever get it back.

The right likes to point what they perceive as "poorly managed blue states" at every opportunity, yet without New York, California, New Jersey, and Connecticut subsidizing their state budgets with federal dollars, it'll be interesting to see how long before states such as Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee go bankrupt.
 

Totenkindly

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U.S. Justice Dept says IRS must provide former President Donald Trump's tax returns to Congress

The U.S. Justice Department on Friday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to hand over former President Donald Trump's tax returns to a House of Representatives committee, saying the panel has offered "sufficient reasons" for requesting the material.

Also

Trump Pressed Justice Dept. to Declare Election Results Corrupt, Notes Show

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump pressed top Justice Department officials late last year to declare that the election was corrupt, even though they had found no instances of widespread fraud, so that he and his allies in Congress could use the assertion to try to overturn the results, according to new documents provided to lawmakers and obtained by The New York Times.
 

Z Buck McFate

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The right likes to point what they perceive as "poorly managed blue states" at every opportunity, yet without New York, California, New Jersey, and Connecticut subsidizing their state budgets with federal dollars, it'll be interesting to see how long before states such as Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee go bankrupt.

Something tells me they'd find a way to claim they're not bankrupt and they "only seem bankrupt because <insert fresh bombastic lie about how blue states used up ALL THE money before splitting and now they're actually trying to pin the mismanagement on the red states." There's truly no floor with these psychos.
 
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