The Biggest Lie of the Last Debate


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One of the biggest lies in the last debate came from Trump, obviously, in a slew of his other lies, which are so habitual for the man that lawyers dealing with him come in pairs to better withstand the torrent of his whoppers and remain anchored in reality.

No, it was not “Nobody respects women more than I do,” one so obvious that it elicited guffaws from the audience; nor any other of old and tired ones he’s been regaling us with this past year.

It was this, below, and no one noticed it (although Michael Gerson came close):

I’ve visited so many communities. This has been such an incredible education for me, Chris. I’ve gotten to know so many, I’ve developed so many friends over the last year.

Yes, he’s visited many communities. No, this has not been an education for him, incredible or other, as the man is incapable of learning. And most definitely he has not “developed” friends, as he is even less capable of friendship and forming close relationships with human beings.

One is tempted. You’ve developed many friends, you say. What are their names, Donald? What are their stories? Their needs and dreams? Friends know each other’s names, stories, needs and dreams.

Donald Trump, like other people with his character defect, does not have friends. He has associates / sycophants and a trophy family with movable members, all parts of his narcissistic supply. His relationships with them are transactional, based on an exchange of goods — adulation and other services for financial support and related perks.

They are most definitely not based on empathy, compassion, and mutual understanding of the human (i.e., non-mercenary) kind, with deepening knowledge of each other’s characters and needs, reciprocal care, and a desire to help each other in development. There may be people within his close circle who had such desires for him at one time, but had to give them up as they saw his lack of empathy and capacity for growth and change, and had to protect themselves from his callousness, abuse and exploitation.

Those people would not be his family, however, as his family appears to be infected by the incurable and deadly disease of Trumpitis, manifested so clearly in their empty and/or hardened — distrustful and contemptuous — faces. Apparently Trumpitis kills the soul; and if we allow it, it would do to America what it has done to members of the Trump clan.

Abuse and exploitation of others come easy to people without a functioning conscience, most of whom are psychopathic and/or narcissistic, as their lack of empathy and guilt makes it natural, for them, to treat others like objects. This manifests in their actions, of course, but also in their words.

Trump’s language of objectification — and that’s apart from his other open expressions of blatant disrespect and derision for others, especially those who are weaker or not sufficiently adulatory toward him — has been amply demonstrated in this election season.

Objectification of others is the root of all evil. There really is no other. Greed, lust, pride, aggression, self-seeking are problematic sources of much misery, but in themselves they fall under the common shortcomings rubric. When combined, however, with dehumanization / objectification of others, they become truly devilish.

Evil is just that: Treating others as things to use for one’s whim/wish/need fulfillment, to be discarded and/or destroyed when they no longer serve that function, as is the natural consequence of objectification.

For Trump, people exist solely as such things/props in his personal psychodrama. He does not know or understand them, nor cares to acquire such understanding. His assessment of others is black-and-white nasty or nice, based on how well they fulfill the function of providing him with adulation and a sense of power. The nice ones are those who submit and sing songs of his praise; the nasty ones are those who refuse to do so.

Even when he’s trying to sound appreciative, he cannot come up with better, more detailed and elaborate descriptors of others beyond amazing or tremendous or something equally pat and meaningless. That’s because his understanding of others is as shallow as his self-knowledge and his self-knowledge is as shallow as his understanding of anything else about life. And that shallowness comes from a lack of conscience.

In her brilliant 1941 essay mentioned in the last post, Who Goes Nazi?, Dorothy Thompson presents a gallery of human characters assessed on their susceptibility to Nazism. She briefly sketches their life stories and possible (and plausible) reasons why they would, could go Nazi — or not.

In that room full of people, many of whom would go Nazi in a heartbeat, there is only one character who, as she says, is a born Nazi:

I think young D over there is the only born Nazi in the room. Young D is the spoiled only son of a doting mother. He has never been crossed in his life. He spends his time at the game of seeing what he can get away with. He is constantly arrested for speeding and his mother pays the fines. He has been ruthless toward two wives and his mother pays the alimony. His life is spent in sensation-seeking and theatricality. He is utterly inconsiderate of everybody. He is very good-looking, in a vacuous, cavalier way, and inordinately vain. He would certainly fancy himself in a uniform that gave him a chance to swagger and lord it over others.

It is pure coincidence that this character’s name starts with a D. Could have been David, for all we know. Or Dennis. But he too is an obvious narcissist bereft of conscience, like that other D whose tantrums and dangerous ambitions we are forced to endure today. Thompson nails his chief characteristics, including sensation-seeking and poor impulse control (which make focusing on anything for longer periods of time impossible — thus inability to learn), his vanity and desire for adulation, exploitation of others, grandiosity and a lack of conscience manifested in his lack of empathy, shame and guilt.

Any of those traits, but most especially the latter, predispose one to Trumpism Nazism. Conscience-based character defects, like narcissism and psychopathy and their whereabouts, are the very pathology that makes people susceptible to influences of authoritarian thugs and their ideologies.

In his WaPo column, Gerson asks:

What explains [Trump’s] pervasive shallowness? Laziness? Lack of curiosity? Who knows?

It is exasperating to hear that “Who knows?” question today. Because if after over a year of intense and relentless exposure to a nearly archetypal narcissistic psychopath it is still unclear that his shallowness is a predictable manifestation of his character defect, then we, collectively speaking, are not seeing what we should. That, of course, means that we remain blindly vulnerable to manipulations of these characters and the mayhem they inflict on humanity. And we are not learning the lessons we are meant to learn.

Gerson’s throwing his hands up like that suggests the biggest lie of this last debate as well as the whole debacle of 2016 election: That no one knows. That we don’t know.

We are past any excuses for our ignorance. If Thompson could get it, 75 years and several bloody world catastrophes, caused by leaders with this character defect, ago, then we should be well aware of it today.

That someone like Trump is so close to American Presidency is a sign from forces of the Universe & Co. that America is in dire trouble and must mend its ways ASAP. It is as though those forces (and please don’t ask what exactly they are) not only held a mirror, in the form of The Orange Menace, to our lives and collective psyche, but shook us forcefully and repeatedly to make us open our eyes. Yet we refuse.

There is a profound significance to Trump’s candidacy. He is so clearly a manifestation of our shadow, and so extreme because we’ve kept sweeping our problems under the rug, pretending they don’t exist for so long that we need an extreme reminder, a warning, of just how far we are on the path of self-destruction.

Whether we will heed that warning is another matter. Who knows?

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16 thoughts on “The Biggest Lie of the Last Debate

      • Wow. I hadn’t seen that. That surely must have pissed ‘Lil Donnie off to no end. Just imagine how hammered his ego is getting these days. SNL skits, countless accusations of sexual assault, and dwindling chances of him winning the Presidency, all brought on by his own childish behavior. Yeah, it couldn’t be happening to a nicer fella.

        Liked by 2 people

      • If Donald Trump is in this election for the “little guy” or to #MAGA my ass is a Chinese typewriter.

        He was all good with those SNL skits as long as he was leading. He can only be self deprecating insofar as he is in a winning position. If he’s on the back foot it’s a big insult and bruises his fragile, though inflated, ego. That thing is like a balloon – full of hot air and easily burst.

        The line that got to me the most, and which I already knew since I was married to a Donald Trump type, was this one:

        “Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.” -Omarosa Manigault

        She seriously needs to listen to her own words. And this is the kind of person she wants to go to bat for?!?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks, Ruth. And, oh, boy… Yes, I have seen this. I have also seen his Comedy Central roast from 2011, which is well worth watching for educational purposes (one of which could be learning to deal with a massive cringe factor it induces — if one is into that kind learning, that is).

        I have so many thoughts on this that they would / should probably make a separate post. But their gist is that:

        1. Trump has been collecting these and any other grievances all his life, feeding his percolating and irrepressible desire for revenge for a loong time; his presidency would be a culmination of that desire as well as an opportunity to finally get back at everyone who’s humiliated him, ever; so watch out, America and the world;

        2. most people, including psychologists who spoke and wrote about Trump, do not fully understand the depth and strength of his need for punish others for his humiliations; Dan McAdams, for example, who wrote Trump’s personality profile for The Atlantic, remarked there that Trump is not a person to seek revenge (I’d have to find the exact quote) — an observation (one of so many) illustrating how blind even experts are to the full manifestations (and meaning) of character defects like narcissism and psychopathy (now *this* should and likely will make a post some day here);

        3. it is not right to humiliate people, not even narcissistic psychopaths who invite such humiliation through their provocative, hurtful and humiliating (of others) behaviors; and maybe not especially narcissistic psychopaths, because it just fuels their pathological desire for power; once they achieve that power (and even when not), they make it their mission to get back at the world. If there is any hope at containing the damage these people do, we must treat them with dignity (yes) and fairness accorded to everyone else — that does not mean being blind to their destructive behavior, but not engaging them on the same low, tit-for-tat level, as tempting as it is (and it naturally is, because their purposely, though un/subconsciously evoke these reactions in others);

        4. there are numerous examples of The Important People of America (TM) playing with Trump and humiliating him all his life — typically, as they invited him to their Very Important Functions, they looked down at and ridiculed him — and he was well aware of that, despite appearances to the contrary sometimes. When I read their recollections of this behavior — like Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter in “Donald Trump: The Ugly American” http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/10/graydon-carter-on-donald-trump — I wince as much over Trump’s boorishness as that of his exalted and cultured hosts who do not appear to be in any way better than he is (and maybe are even worse); Graydon Carter does not come through very well there, IMO;

        5. oof, sorry for the screed; shouda been a separate post…

        Like

  1. Quote: “There is a profound significance to Trump’s candidacy. He is so clearly a manifestation of our shadow, and so extreme because we’ve kept sweeping our problems under the rug, pretending they don’t exist for so long that we need an extreme reminder of just how far we are on the path of self-destruction. ”
    After all is said and done about the Donald, the inescapable truth of his character is America. Not just of this century, but of its inception, from the slave trade to the burning of witches to the genocide of native people who owned, and still own, this land; the annexation of 2/3 of the territory of Mexico, the bloody over-turning of Central and South American, and Caribbean democratic republics into US corporation-controlled banana republics ruled by violent and vile dictators, to a “manifest destiny” in the creation of a global hegemony which has caused the current endless war condition in which the inside of the country rots while the world burn. America cannot escape itself, what it has always been and what it will be until it destroys itself in the very near future. Bigoted, racist, misogynist, homophobic, greedy, selfish, lying, narcissistic, hateful, ignorant and innately violent: Trump is America. He doesn’t have to “win” the presidency, he is the figurehead of the nation while Killary Klinton (We came, we saw, he died) represents the Greater Empire, the war machine of the Globalists. Neither of these two can change the essential character of America. It’s the concept of America that has to be destroyed – and will be.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Sha’Tara, you seem confident that America will destroy itself. How do you think this will happen? And can you offer a timeline?

      I do think it may implode at some point, but I don’t see it actually destroying itself. Now if you’re talking about outside forces playing a role because of its leadership, then that may very well be a feasibility.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Because of its endemic social and political rot it is a foregone conclusion that America is going to destroy itself as a global power, or “Hegemon.” Many factors come to play in this. One of course is bankruptcy due to the demands of the military and banksters, the insatiable dragons that have become completely free of fiscal accountability. Two, the final breakdown of democracy and resultant turmoil and uprising of minorities and breaking away of territories and states. Three, the possibility that powerful houses such as the Rotshchild may find a new nest in the East, or in Russia to which they may drag their carrion prey, abandoning the US sinking ship, or even turning against it. Four, the possibility of nuclear war and nuclear winter. Five, environmental catastrophe brought on by climate change, fracking, coal mining and the increased use of pesticides and herbicides, destroying the land’s potable water supplies and turning massive areas of arable lands into deserts, drastically reducing the food producing capacity. Take your pick: any or all of the above are a sword of Damocles dangling by a thinning thread over the head of America. I have no time frame, no one could. Some or all of the above will take place beginning today and its cumulative effects could finally absorb the Hegemon in 200 years. One has to sense the inevitability of it, and perhaps such a “sense” is the particular curse of Cassandra type visionaries.

        What people, especially “Americans,” should realize is that “America” is a made up concept. It’s not a nation in the real sense of the term. Americans are not a people but essentially refugees from all over the planet who have peopled an area of the globe and made an artificial construct through violence and greed. America is not a nation because it is nameless. It is the only such entity on the planet that remains nameless to this day. It is therefore illegitimate in a world of nations. It is an empire made up of 50 small nations, 5 territories and even its “capital” is a separate country, thus constituting an alien government. The only reason such a conglomerate has survived this long is because of massive military intervention and theft of resources… literally everywhere it’s goon squads set foot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Quite a dim picture, but most likely fairly accurate … sad to say.

        A couple of things you wrote stood out to me —
        One of course is bankruptcy due to the demands of the military and banksters, the insatiable dragons that have become completely free of fiscal accountability.
        And …
        Americans are not a people but essentially refugees from all over the planet who have peopled an area of the globe and made an artificial construct through violence and greed.

        To me, these two factors, more than any of the others, will bring about the demise you speak of. The environmental catastrophes you mention will also play a major role.

        It’s depressing to think this is the country we’re leaving to our kids and grandkids. But perhaps a visionary will arise among them and turn things around. We can always hope.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. The last paragraph is especially true. That the sweeping under the rug of our real problems is the cause of this extremism. People have been saying that they hope he gets elected to put us into turmoil and reset the clock on our country. I disagree. It would cause devastation and destruction, pain and horror. I believe that a bit of ingenuity could solve some of our problems as a nation. We just have to be motivated enough to think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “It would cause devastation and destruction, pain and horror.”

      Absolutely, polymath. People with his character defect are inherently destructive — this is one lesson we must learn. They are congenitally incapable of grasping and internalizing human values (which are embedded in a conscience), and therefore incapable of creating anything of value. The term “naturally born destroyers / killers” applies to them, whether their defect is actually inborn or not (we cannot tell for sure).

      But this is the reason why people vote for them. Trumpists are not interested in building anything (the country, world, life) of value(s) — their desire and mission is to vengefully destroy the people and institutions they blame, rightly and wrongly, for their misery. And then come what may, hell or high water. Trumpists are driven mostly by the same motives as Trump: a desire / need for revenge for their humiliations (a.k.a narcissistic rage). They would deny it when asked, of course, although this is rather obvious to anyone but them.

      There is a day-old column by Timothy Egan in the NYT which is worth reading. In it, he says this:

      ‘To understand how Trump got this point you have to understand who is shaping Trump’s worldview. The architect of the candidate’s last-gasp attempt to bring the country down with him is Steve Bannon, the former head of a fabulist, far-right website — Breitbart. Bannon is not much of a Republican.

      “I’m a Leninist,” he said in a conversation recounted by Ronald Radosh in The Daily Beast. “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down and destroy all of today’s establishment.”’

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/21/opinion/campaign-stops/american-gut-check.html?_r=0

      This is what Trump/ism is all about.

      As to how we can possibly save ourselves from destruction: I believe that we have the knowledge, or the basics of it, in the shape of science and technology and understanding how to start applying them to our problems. What we lack is will and heart, though mostly the latter (because the former comes easily when the latter is in place).

      Specifically, we, generally speaking, lack a conscience. We are too selfish and greedy, and unwilling to overcome these weaknesses to look and grow beyond them. Trump/ism is a wake-up call for us to do just that. We’ll see how that’ll go.

      Liked by 1 person

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