Tuesday, November 08, 2016

2016 - Worst Presidential Election [Ever?] - Still Only One Choice We Can Live with as a Nation

"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." ~ Douglas Adams


What follows is an expansion of my penultimate Facebook post before I deactivated my page last week. Some of the comments to the original post were disturbingly blind to what I was trying to say. So I am saying it again, here, with more words and (hopefully) greater depth and span.

Here is the original post:
I used to believe that political differences should not be a reason to unfollow or unfriend someone. I am questioning that perspective.

This feels like one of those times in history where people will look back and ask where you stood when hatred and ignorance were chosen to lead the nation, when a ruler was chosen who brings division and destruction, bigotry and violence.

This is truly a "lesser of two evils" choice. One choice is evil as usual. The other choice is evil on a scale that we have not seen since the first half of the 20th Century.
To be clear:

Clinton is corrupt, greedy, and dishonest. She is politics as usual.

Trump is racist, sexist, hateful, narcissistic, greedy, and quite possibly a sociopath. Electing Trump is on par with the elections of Hitler and Mussolini, both of whom promised to make their respective nations great again.

What these two dictators from the 20th Century share with Trump is hatred -- of the "other." Oh, and they all three share many traits of the sociopath/psychopath.

Says Tony Schwartz, who was the "ghost writer" on their joint book (they split the advance and the royalties, nearly unheard of for a ghost writer), The Art of the Deal, the 1987 book that made Trump famous:
“I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.” 
If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.” [The New Yorker, June 25, 2016]
Emphasis added.

Respected Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner considers Trump a "textbook" narcissist, one of the primary traits of the sociopath.
According to a number of top U.S. psychologists, like Harvard professor and researcher Howard Gardner, Donald Trump is a “textbook” narcissist. In fact, he fits the profile so well that clinical psychologist George Simon told Vanity Fair, “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops.” This puts Trump in the same category as a number of infamous dictators like Muammar Gaddafi, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Saddam Hussein. [Raw Story, January 12, 2016]
Trump is very clearly a narcissist, and his behavior, lifestyle, and collection of ever-younger wives shows this in stark, very public detail.

But is Trump a sociopath or a psychopath?
Sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage. They are likely to be uneducated and live on the fringes of society, unable to hold down a steady job or stay in one place for very long. It is difficult but not impossible for sociopaths to form attachments with others. Many sociopaths are able to form an attachment to a particular individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general or its rules. In the eyes of others, sociopaths will appear to be very disturbed. Any crimes committed by a sociopath, including murder, will tend to be haphazard, disorganized and spontaneous rather than planned. 
Psychopaths, on the other hand, are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust. They learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them, and will appear normal to unsuspecting people. Psychopaths are often well educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature.
So, based on this, he is a little of both--impulsive and reactive, but also able to charm and manipulate. This makes Trump a frightening prospect as president of the most powerful military on the planet.

And, no doubt, the anti-Clinton folks have dozens of examples of how corrupt she is, how she stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders (I believe she did), and how horrible she would be as president. Sure, I don't like her, either.

As I said, lesser of two evils.

Given the two options, I have more faith (belief without proof) that Clinton actually does care about some of the social causes she has taken up over the years (women's rights, children, families).

While, in my mind, there is no doubt Trump cares about no one and nothing but himself--his actions and words have proven it repeatedly over the last several decades.

Electing Trump may be looked back on one day as the moment America picked up a gun, stuck the gun in its mouth, and pulled the trigger. Let's not go there.

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