To make any sense of the presidential election which concludes Tuesday, we must acknowledge that Donald J. Trump seized upon the fears and anger of voters and exploited them like the television con-man he is.
Trump voters, not Trump himself, have understandable fears and angers. Trump preys upon those emotions by promising to be their savior.
Trump is no savior. He is a documented narcissistic abuser of women, minorities, and, let’s face it, all of us within the sound of his voice and the vision of his hand-clapping cheer leader.
In an August 2014 issue in Psychology Today, Carrie Barron, a medical doctor, wrote an essay entitled If You Are the Target of Narcissistic Abuse. Troubled about Trump two years later, that title caught my attention.
We are all targets of Donald Trump’s “narcissistic abuse”. He and his gang of enablers, those Trump-backing Republican politicos and media conservatives who are even now counting their pieces of silver from a future Trump administrations.
This democracy and all its inhabitants are targets of Trump’s abuse.
Dr. Barron’s thoughts are pertinent to understanding what we are experiencing. She writes:
Mental Health professionals used to harbor the notion that narcissists were insecure and frail deep down. Their trumped up attitude was viewed as off-putting and the job was to help them tone it down so others would like them more. And life would be easier for them. Strangely, narcissists were frequently people who at first glance, did not convey the compelling qualities that might explain extreme self-love.
Things have changed. Current thought challenges the notion that narcissists secretly suffer from low self-esteem or insecurity. Or that they suffer as much as we thought in the ways that we thought. Recent findings indicate they take pleasure in successful manipulations.
Putting down unsuspecting, soft-hearted souls in their midst is a sport. They truly believe in their superiority even if objective evidence does not back it up. One psychiatry professor of mine did say, “They make everyone around them feel badly but they don’t feel badly themselves.”
We now have Trump and his enablers dangerously close to the nuclear button and the naming of Supreme Court justices.
We are having to accept the gift of Trump from a Tea-Party-weakened Republican Party and a main stream media which first laughed at him as a usurper.
Out of the glare of the media madness and shallow campaigns, we have experienced leaders like Richard Falk, one of the wisest among us, who continues to call for thoughtful public understanding of global problems.
Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, Falk says in a short film, Re-imagining the Future, “[T]he unregulated way the world economy has been operating has contributed to global inequality of a dangerous sort…creating a lack of confidence in the fairness of the way in which politics are organized.”
Trump’s racist credentials have been well-established since he stepped from that escalator and announced he was running for president.
As a candidate, Trump continued to push the widely-discredited Obama birther racist lie, until he dropped it just before entering the hot spotlight of debates with Hillary Clinton.
Racism has served Trump well. He is also an equal-opportunity exploiter, as Todd Gitlin, writing for billmoyers.com, explains.
Gitlin highlights a companion tool in Trump’s anger-hate toolbox by raising the question: How do we account for the hatred and sheer vileness directed at Hillary Clinton by Trump supporters.
Gitlin believes “Sheer, unbridled Hillary Clinton-hatred has to be a big hunk of the answer. Or to put it in one word: misogyny”.
The sad thing about his campaign is the way the Trump voters have had their anxieties and fears exploited. They are right to say the system is not fair.
Donald J. Trump established his racist credentials when he began his presidential campaign appealing to believers of the absurd Barack Obama birther lie.
As a candidate, he continued to push the birther racist lie, popular with his racist fans and conspiracy theorists, until he dropped it before the hot spotlight of his debates with Hillary Clinton.n one word: misogyny.”
With the election a week away, Trump displayed his misogyny in a Miami, Florida, rally where he assailed Clinton and Katie Tur, an MSNBC correspondent assigned to cover his campaign.
Misogyny is not a favorite word in our political conservation or in the media. But Wikipedia offers a quick definition: “hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification”.
Wikipedia’s definition of androcentrism fits Trump’s behavior which has been demonstrated repeatedly: Androcentrism is “the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing male human beings or a masculine point of view at the centre of one’s world view, culture, and history”.
Katy Tur’s experience with the Trump campaign and with Trump himself, is a vivid example of a woman encountering androcentrism. In an April essay for Marie Claire, she revealed that the Secret Service had taken steps to protect her after Trump called her out at an event in December.
Finally, our choices Tuesday are Trump, Clinton, two independent candidates for the ideologues, and wasted write-in votes for Colin Powell or someone’s first grade teacher.
Meanwhile, Clinton has been consistently wrong from her side of the political aisle with her pro-Israel, anti-BDS bellicosity. Assuming she will prevail over Trump’s narcissism on November 8, there will be opportunities to call her out for her lack of fairness regarding the Palestinians under an evil occupation.
We will also need to count on progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to help on the Palestinian front and to play leading roles in dislodging Clinton from her Wall Street handlers.
Watch for her early appointments and stay tuned for a progressive reading of who she puts in critical positions in government.
Assuming a Trump loss, at your Thanksgiving dinner with those Trump voters at the table, remember that their anxieties are real and understandable. They were not given much of a champion on whom to place their concerns.
The picture of Hillary Clinton at top is a Getty image.