It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

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On Friday, Huffington Post announced somberly that Trump’s presidential run is over, because pussygate and polls and everyone is fed up with him beyond the point of no return.

Yesterday, they wondered why Republicans continue to support their Agent of Destruction.

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The seesaw of hope and fear-infused incredulity is characteristic of this campaign, as Democrats, liberals, and anti-Trumpists continue to be perplexed by the man’s unsinkability in spite of his glaring, and proven daily, lack of competence and character, and a slew of scandals revealing just how unsuitable he is for this job or any other involving power over human and other sentient beings.

The current polls show Hillary leading by four points in some places, and Trump inching ahead in others (barely, but).

Obviously, this ain’t over until the Orange Menace skulks off the stage raving about rigged election and nasty media, to plot his revenge and comeback in the shiny bowels of his gilded cage.

And even then it won’t be over.

That’s because Trump/ism is a symptom of a larger disorder that is destroying our country and the world; and unless we address it, our downward spiral of self-destruction will continue to its unthinkable but predictable finish.

It is apparent, or should be, that Trump has been chosen not in spite of his character defect, but because of it.  His pathology makes him inherently destructive, and destruction is what his supporters — who encompass a much wider swath of the population than liberal pundits realize — want.

Pathological leaders, who share the same character defect, that of narcissistic psychopathy (or malignant narcissism), are elected (if not violently usurping power) for the specific purpose of inflicting mayhem and destruction under the guise of “law and order” and making their countries “great again.” The latest example is the Philippines’ Duterte.

Power-hungry narcissistic psychopaths creep up like mushrooms after the rain in places where people are fed up with ineffective and/or corrupt governance, but they are not really selected to fix the problems as much as to annihilate the existing social order and its supporters.

Interestingly — and we really should pay attention to this, but of course we won’t — the number of these pathological leaders appears to have been increasing since the Cold War, just as admiration for Hitler and strongmen like him continues to grow around the world.

This is a sign of a deepening sickness afflicting human race and the humanity’s desperate response to it, rooted, as it always is, in the (Freudian) death instinct.

It manifests in such dramatic ways for specific emotional and spiritual purposes, some less positive — like scapegoating others to avoid feeling guilt for our own past transgressions; and others more so — like allowing our shadow to break through so we can acknowledge it and work with its contents. The latter has a potential to enable necessary, meaningful growth, while the former (scapegoating to avoid guilt) pushes us deeper into ignorance, thus preventing change and development.

Unfortunately, it is always the former that’s involved in the deadly love affair between a pathological leader and his supporters.

Psychoanalyst Hanna Segal, who was, among other things, a critic of George W. Bush and the American war industry, described this affair as follows:

The group chooses its leader according to its orientation. Groups under the sway of psychotic mechanisms tend to select or tolerate leaders who represent their pathology. But not only do those groups choose the unbalanced leaders; they also affect them. The groups thrust omnipotence on their leaders, and push them further into megalomania. There is a dangerous interaction between a disturbed group and a disturbed leader, increasing each other’s pathology.

If not interrupted (by the sane portion of society), this mutually rewarding relationship, which assures destruction promised by the leader’s character defect, has to play out to its dark fruition.

A horrible fact of life and one we loathe to acknowledge is that the wounds inflicted by these leaders never truly heal; in many instances they become chronic and as seemingly incurable as the defective characters of the “inflictors.”

Yes, it can happen here. If it could happen in the heart of civilized, post-Nazi, post-Communist late 20th century Europe, it can happen anywhere. It’s just a matter of time and our complicity, willful and not.

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26 thoughts on “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

  1. >>> “It is apparent, or should be, that Trump has been chosen not in spite of his character defect, but because of it. His pathology makes him inherently destructive, and destruction is what his supporters — who encompass a much wider swath of the population than liberal pundits realize — want.”

    Bingo! – a terribly unfortunate sign of the times, I believe.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Emma, you should write for a wider audience, e.g., Huffington, Mother Jones, et al. You most definitely have a way with words that vividly get the point across without outright offending (of course, in the case of Trumpists, they would feel offended by anyone who criticizes their “leader”).

    The thing that most baffles me is how his supporters continue to cling to his every word. He can make the most outlandish statements and they absolutely and totally believe him. If it’s pointed out he’s in error (or outright lying), their automatic reaction is it’s the “liberal media.”

    I commented elsewhere that I’m seriously concerned for Hillary’s life if she gets elected because I don’t think he’s going to stop. He thrives on the spotlight and once it’s swung in another direction, he’s got to do something to bring it back upon himself. I worry that there are some in his camp who would consider it their duty to eliminate “the problem.” It’s happened before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Nan.

      You’re right to be concerned — we are not dealing with entirely normal people but rather Trump cultists who see in him their savior, father, and messiah rolled into one.

      The more pathological (and charismatic — and sometimes there is no difference between those two) a leader, the greater devotion he inspires. I have a post, in a draft form so far, on some less well known religious / spiritual cult leaders who are narcissistic psychopaths (as they almost always are). They are really jaw dropping in their pathology, in ways that make Trump look nearly acceptable, yet people flock to them like moths to flame. Once within their sphere of influence, they are brainwashed into believing and doing anything.

      There is a glitch, a defect in our psyche which makes this collusion possible and so frighteningly common. I have always wondered about it, since early (yes 🙂 ) childhood; and for a long time I thought I was defective because I couldn’t believe and follow the way others around me did (whatever / whoever there was to follow).

      I did send some of my writings to those and a few other places way back when, but they were not interested. Their loss. 😉

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      • ” for a long time I thought I was defective because I couldn’t believe and follow the way others around me did (whatever / whoever there was to follow).”

        I had the exact same problem, I suspect many of us who frequent the WP community we are a part of did as well. I can vividly remember being more of a spectator to events in my life, analyzing, observing, but not participating, in many activities, social beahiors, or spectacles I happened to be close to. I never could get on board with what was going on. I had become such an observer of humans I damn near went to jail on one occaision simply because I went along with some people I knew just because I knew they were going to get in trouble, and I went wih them solely to be witness in court for them if need be. Bad idea. I was young and dumb at the time 🙂

        But the behavior aspect, the followers, it is such a creepy and sometimes scary aspect of human behavior…Stephen King could probably write a good book about it.

        But for those of us who can see what is happening in front of us, this is no book but a nighmarish reality.

        If there were no followers, where would religion be today? Where would wanna be dicators be? No mobs in the streets. No suicide bombers.

        Makes me wonder sometimes if we descended from herd animals… Because there is the trait, the tendency to follow without thinking it through.

        Great post as per the usual 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, shell.

        Your anecdote made me chuckle. It shows prescience and kinda good judgment, combined with loads of empathy. Slightly misguided, but a good egg nevertheless. Youth, eh?

        Many of of The Followers are motivated by the eternal and universal human needs, I believe — for belonging and meaning. And for transcending our own limited existence. Ideally, those strivings should be accompanied by discernment, but that comes with age and experience, and sometimes it does not come at all.

        “If there were no followers, where would religion be today? Where would wanna be dicators be? No mobs in the streets. No suicide bombers.”

        Most definitely. Our tribal, herd-like nature is a double-edged sword.

        We, The Observers, tend to live parallel lives — parallel to humanity — for reasons of temperament (introversion) and sometimes difficult life experiences. It helps us see some things more clearly, but others not so much (from what I’ve noticed of myself). Pluses and minuses to everything.

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  3. Pingback: The Absurdist (possibly) in Chief | good marriage central*

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