(When) Donald Trump held his 2020 re-election campaign kickoff rally in Orlando. It was nothing new: Trump has held dozens of such events since becoming president. His “speech” was repetitive and monotonous. That was precisely its appeal: For Trump’s supporters and other members of his political cult, white rage, violence, bigotry, nativism and lies are entertaining, cathartic and even life-affirming. Throughout the rally Donald Trump engaged in scripted violence and stochastic terrorism, telling his followers that the Democrats were going to hurt them and only he can protect them. Trump wallowed in racist lies about threatening and dangerous “illegal aliens” and how the Democrats want to let them run amok, raping, killing and otherwise preying upon “real Americans” — primarily meaning white women. Trump played his goon card, bragging that his ICE shock-troops would round up millions of “illegal” (black and brown) immigrants across the country in the upcoming weeks. Trump’s people howled in delight. Eros, desire and violent lust are central to fascism. This is the libidinous aspect of political devotion between and among the followers and the leader in a cult of personality. Trumpism is no different. Trump’s political carnival featured the usual attractions. Men pranced around shirtless in charismatic ecstasy at the thought of seeing Donald Trump in person. Women paraded about as deranged versions of Lady Liberty, apparently as teleported to Orlando out of a dark mirror universe. Trump’s masses were of course festooned in his MAGA regalia. Overt white supremacists, or a close approximation thereof, marched in the streets outside the rally. There were plenty of right-wing extremists inside the Amway Center as well. This includes both honest, overt and unapologetic members of the White Right as well as those white conservatives who largely agree with the tenets of white supremacy, but choose to translate their hate into vaguely more palatable terms, such as “Make America Great Again” — or, as in Trump’s new version,”Keep America Great.” Evidently inspired by the Great Leader, one Trump fan assaulted a local news reporter.
One cannot be a good person and continue to support Donald Trump. This is especially true of Trump’s most devoted acolytes. Tuesday’s rally, and the Trump presidency more generally, are teachable moments about history in real time, especially for those who wonder how millions of people in Germany and elsewhere were beguiled to their own mass destruction by the rise of a charismatic authoritarian leader. It can happen here; In the form of Trumpism it is happening now. Where is the mass resistance to Trump’s movement and his assault on American democracy and freedom? Why have some Americans chosen to surrender? How can psychology help to explain Trump’s assault on reality? How has the Mueller Report fueled Donald Trump’s apparent mental illness and other abhorrent and dangerous behavior? Can Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives be compelled to impeach Donald Trump? Will there be violence from Trump’s supporters if he is forced to leave office? In an effort to answer these questions, I recently spoke with Dr. John Gartner, a former professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. Gartner is also the founder of the Duty to Warn PAC, an organization working to raise awareness about the danger to the United States and the world posed by Donald Trump. Gartner was a contributor to the 2017 bestseller book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” Along with two other expert mental health professionals, he wrote the recent USA Today op-ed “President Donald Trump’s poor mental health is grounds for impeachment.”
When dealing with a political figure who faces allegations of sexual assault, financial misdeeds and obstruction of justice, it is difficult to sort out the greatest damage to our public life. But a strong case can be made that it is the assault on truth. This was again on display during a recent interview of President Trump by NBC News’s Chuck Todd. When asked his reaction to losing the popular vote in 2016, Trump returned to the narrative that he had been robbed of a popular-vote victory through fraud. “I’ll say something that, again, is controversial,” said Trump. “There were a lot of votes cast that I don’t believe. I look at California . . . Take a look at their settlement where California admitted to a million votes.” Trump’s claim is not just “controversial.” It is a whole-cloth fabrication by the most ambitious fabulist in presidential history. The “settlement” to which Trump was apparently referencing was a judicial order for the state of California to remove about a million inactive voters from its registration list. This can in no way be interpreted as a million fraudulent votes cast for Hillary Clinton in 2016 (which still would not have won Trump California or the national popular vote).
Is Trump’s determination to inhabit his self-blown truth bubble a psychological compulsion or a political ploy? That is an interesting question, but an academic one. Each explanation reinforces the other. Most of Trump’s boldest lies are devoted to protecting himself from facts that diminish him. So, his net worth must be exaggerated, no matter what his tax returns might say. His inaugural crowd must be larger than Barack Obama’s, no matter what aerial photographs clearly show. He was cheated out of a popular vote victory, no matter what the evidence indicates. Sometimes Trump’s self-serving deceptions are hard for followers to keep straight. The Mueller report, for example, was both dismissed as the illegitimate work of Democratic agents and embraced as complete vindication on matters of collusion and obstruction. Even though the explanations are inconsistent, they are unified by Trump’s broader purpose: the bending of reality to serve his self-perception.
Some kind of personal pathology seems to be at work. Trump’s epistemology is not so much relativistic as solipsistic. He has a bottomless need to project himself as wealthier, stronger, smarter and better than he actually is. This is a sign, not of strength, but of psychological fragility. Desperation for the illusion of mastery is the evidence of deep brokenness. It indicates a hunger for affirmation that reality will never fill. This encourages both self-delusion and the spinning of elaborate, self-serving lies. Why should these attributes bother us in a president? Because narcissism is not merely a stronger form of personal ambition. It is a different and distorted way of perceiving the world. Part of psychological wholeness — and of responsible political leadership — is the ability to consider reality from someone else’s perspective. But Trump seems incapable of escaping the small, dark cell of his own immediate needs and desires. He can’t see the world from the standpoint of an ally or an enemy. He seems immune to empathy for a minority facing prejudice, or a refugee fleeing from oppression, or a migrant child separated from his or her parents. And Trump appears to accept no moral standards external to his interests. Every principle or truth is judged in relation to the welfare of his person. There is apparently nothing he won’t say to maintain the mythology that he is the winningest winner there ever was or will be. This means that he careens from crisis to crisis without moral guardrails.
Trump is not only speaking a series of lies. He is inviting millions of loyalists to live in a political reality conjured by his deceptions. Any news critical of him is “fake.” Any agitprop that supports him — even by the purveyors of conspiracy theories — is to be believed. And any election he might lose is fraudulent. Not long ago, I sat on a plane next to a knowledgeable and articulate Trump supporter. The talk turned to the Mueller report, and I mentioned that Robert Mueller was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery in Vietnam. “How do you know that?” snapped my conversation partner. I sputtered something about reading it in multiple, reliable sources. She remained unconvinced. Trump is not only speaking a series of lies. He is inviting millions of loyalists to live in a political reality conjured by his deceptions. Any news critical of him is “fake.” Any agitprop that supports him — even by the purveyors of conspiracy theories — is to be believed. And any election he might lose is fraudulent. Not long ago, I sat on a plane next to a knowledgeable and articulate Trump supporter. The talk turned to the Mueller report, and I mentioned that Robert Mueller was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery in Vietnam. “How do you know that?” snapped my conversation partner. I sputtered something about reading it in multiple, reliable sources. She remained unconvinced. How is any political conversation or policy discussion possible when citizens inhabit separate universes of truth and meaning? This is Trump’s most dangerous innovation: epistemology as cult of personality.
Credible Accounts of a Rape
This is a MUST-READ & no comments from me are necessary. We’ve posted the whole article from nytimes.com/2019/06/26/
I am simply disgusted by what’s happening in America. My political differences with this president and his accomplices in Congress — and now on the Supreme Court — are only part of the reason. Indeed, those differences may not be the lesser reason, and that, for me, says a lot. For me, the reason is that the country, or large segments of it, seems to be acquiescing to a particular form of evil, one that is pernicious and even playful, one in which the means of chipping away at our values and morals grow even stronger, graduating from tack hammer to standard hammer to sledgehammer. America, it seems to me, is drifting toward catastrophe. Donald Trump is leading us there. And all the while, our politicians plot about political outcomes and leverage. Republican politicians are afraid to upset him; Democratic politicians are afraid to impeach him. One thing that should never be underestimated is a politician’s clawing instinct toward self-preservation. These disciples of flexibility have learned well that the trees that remain standing are those that bend best in the storm. Trump is to them a storm. But, to many of us, he is desolation, or the possibility thereof. But, because nothing changes, because he is never truly held accountable, too many Americans are settling into a functional numbness, a just-let-me-survive-it form of sedation. But, that is where the edge of death is marked. That is where the rot begins. That is where a society loses itself.
Take for instance the latest sexual accusation against Trump: Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll alleges that Trump sexually assaulted her in 1995 or 1996 in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. Carroll doesn’t call it rape, but rape is what she describes.Carroll writes that Trump “pushed her against the wall, pushed his mouth against her lips, then pulled down her tights, unzipped his pants and forced his ‘fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me,’” as The New York Times reported it. Don’t just keep reading. Don’t just think that you’ve heard this before. Don’t just think that this kind of “behavior” is baked into how people feel about Trump. Go back and read that last paragraph. Read it slowly. Place yourself — or your mother, or your wife, sister, daughter, cousin, girlfriend or friend — in that dressing room. Imagine the struggle. Imagine the violation. Imagine the anger. And now remember that the alleged perpetrator is now the president. And, remember that Carroll is by no means alone; a chorus of other women have also accused Trump of sexual misconduct. But, Carroll’s account stands out for its brutality and severity.
And yet, her account landed like one more body on the pile in a mass grave: reduced by the multitude of other accusations rather than amplified by them. There was media coverage of Carroll’s accusation and social media discussion of it, but it never truly sufficiently sunk in and gathered the gravity it deserved. Then Dean Baquet, executive editor of The Times, even said this newspaper “underplayed” the article it published on the accusation. And Trump, in his swelling depravity, responded to the allegations by telling The Hill: “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, O.K.?” Well, sir, which type for you is rape-worthy? To you, America, I ask: What is the breaking point? Is there a breaking point? Does nothing now matter that used to matter? Do we simply allow this accusation to pass like all the others, using the limping excuse that whether or not the man who sits in the Oval Office is a sexual predator or not, he was sufficiently litigated in the 2016 election? A sickness has settled on this country. We are stuck in a stupor. People have settled in themselves that the only remedy is at the ballot box in 2020, mostly because that is what they are incessantly being told. And just a few days on from the rape allegation, the news of the moment has shifted. We eagerly anticipate a sorting to emerge from the Democratic debates, anticipate Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress and anticipate Trump’s performance in Asia.
There are other crises, other emergencies, other traumas. Trump is waging war on immigrants, waging war on the environment, and has hinted at waging war on Iran. How to weigh one woman’s tale of victimization — or that of multiple women — by Trump against a world being driven into chaos by Trump? Mustn’t our concern shrink relative to our concern for the rest of humanity? In a life in which the human capacity for outrage is limited and wanes, mustn’t we aim it at the most egregious offense? I say that this allegation, if true, is the most egregious offense. Not the most deadly or having the most consequences for future generations, but absolutely the most revelatory about character, privilege and abuse of power. This would be an act of the most intimate violence performed by the man who is now president himself, flesh to flesh, not with the numbing distance of a signature on an executive order or an offense screamed out at one of his rage rallies. This president acts as if he is above the law, or is the law. He lies and he cheats and he bullies. He is hateful and rude and racist. He talks about women to whom he is attracted as if they’re objects to be possessed and about women who dare to challenge him as enemies who must be destroyed. Carroll’s allegation fits the behaviors that have been established or alleged. America owes it to itself to deeply ponder it, and possibly hear sworn testimony about whether it’s true. Or, conversely, America can simply sleepwalk its way to the polls in 2020 hoping the world is still intact when it opens its eyes.
No other story so clearly illustrates that Trump is horrible. Look collectively at the facts! E. Jean Carroll confided in two friends right after the rape (see links below), around 20 other women have accused Trump of sexual abuse, plus Trump himself was caught on tape bragging how he abuses women. Added up, that provides lots of credible evidence. Those who really examine this case outside of Trump’s cult, the conclusion has to be a rape likely happened!
But does it take courage to call for the investigation of a credible allegation of rape? Apparently so! Most GOP politicians in DC have become sniveling cowards bowing at the feet of their leader. But credit two GOP senators so far that understand rape is a horrific crime, so accusations of rape deserve to be looked into (see more links below). There is one link below calling the prez Teflon-Don, since nothing sticks & too many crazed cult members who worship his every word excuse his despicable behavior. So check out all these articles with excerpts posted below the last link in this section. If you happen to get any broken links, you could probably find the articles through the search engines. Those who still believe Trump’s denials & don’t even bother checking out these articles, they just don’t want to know the truth…
2 friends speak out in corroboration:
Two Republican senators said Tuesday the rape allegation made against President Donald Trump by writer E. Jean Carroll should be explored to determine the veracity of the allegation against the President — even as many Senate Republicans sidestepped questions over the matter and defended Trump. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa said both Trump and Carroll should be questioned about the alleged assault. “I think anybody that makes an accusation like that, they should come forward,” Ernst said when asked if Carroll should be believed. “But obviously there has to be some additional information. They need to interview her. They need to visit with him.” Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah said there needs to be an “evaluation” but that he didn’t know what entity should conduct it, “whether it’s Congress or whether it’s another setting, I’m not sure.” “It’s a very serious allegation,” Romney said. “I hope that it is fully evaluated. The President said it didn’t happen and I certainly hope that’s the case.”
Trump Lies about Special Counsel
Circle July 17th on Your Calendars
Two Nights of Debates
Former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron said Monday that he left the network favored by conservatives because “right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation.” Cameron made the remarks in a promotional video about why he joined Front Page Live, a website whose goal is, in part, to serve as an antidote to the conservative Drudge Report. “What’s a former Fox guy doing here on Front Page Live partnering with progressives?” Cameron, who worked at Fox News for more than two decades, said in the video. “Well, it’s about facts, not partisanship.” Cameron, now Front Page Live’s chief political correspondent, said he joined Fox News in its early days because the “idea of fair and balanced news appealed to me.” “But over the years, the right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation. I left,” he added before noting that he has “unique insight and understanding of how the right operates and literally 30 years of covering Donald Trump.” Cameron said his job at Front Page Live will be to “inform — that’s it” and touted the new website as “a powerful resource for anyone who wants real facts over partisan propaganda.” Cameron retired from Fox News in 2017 after serving for 22 years as one of its chief political correspondents. He said in an email to colleagues at the time that he was “immensely grateful for the relationships, experiences, and many lessons over the last two decades,” TVNewser reported. Cameron told The Washington Post that he had a lot of “respect for the people that try to do journalism” at Fox News. He added that he kept his “personal beliefs very very to myself” during his time at the network.
The Supreme Court on Thursday concluded that partisan gerrymandering—the increasingly effective practice by which the party in power in a given state (most often the Republican Party) draws electoral maps to retain that power—is not an activity the judiciary can check or restrain, as it “present[s] political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.” While advocates for the purging of partisan gerrymandering from our democratic process will read John Roberts’ majority opinion as a sickening blow, they have found an ally in Justice Elena Kagan, who issued an impassioned dissent—joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer—to Roberts’ ruling. “For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities,” Kagan began. “And not just any constitutional violation. The partisan gerrymanders in these cases deprived citizens of the most fundamental of their constitutional rights: the rights to participate equally in the political process, to join with others to advance political beliefs, and to choose their political representatives.”
In her dissent, she wrote that partisan gerrymanders “debased and dishonored our democracy.” Kagan directed barely contained fury at the majority’s reasoning, which she stopped just short of calling cowardly and irresponsible. “The majority’s abdication comes just when courts across the country, including those below, have coalesced around manageable judicial standards to resolve partisan gerrymandering claims,” she wrote. “In giving such gerrymanders a pass from judicial review, the majority goes tragically wrong.” Theorizing that the court’s decision came about because the justices paid “so little attention to the constitutional harms at the core,” Kagan went on to enumerate what she saw as the violations the court brushed aside: the decrease in the value of some votes, which should be protected by the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause; and the “disfavored treatment” of voters just because of their political views, in violation of the First Amendment. “Is that how American democracy is supposed to work?” she asked.