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    • Down to you
      Joni with an introspective late-night tune from Court and Spark:
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    • The Fall of the USSR
      The best book on both successes and failures of the Soviet Union is Mancur Olson’s “Power and Prosperity.”  If you haven’t read it, you should.  The second best is Randall Collins essay in Macrosociology. The great problem with most critiques of the  USSR is that they do not explain its successes.  In the 20s and […]
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Endurance 

Nice song by three dudes from New Jersey who call themselves Arizona. 

This goes out to everyone whose sweethearts can’t be with them. 

Pigs, Fleas and Trump

Let’s revisit narcissism, shall we?  

I’m no professional but I’ve had a lot of personal experience dealing with people who are on the narcissism spectrum. I’m beginning to know a narcissist when I see one or when I detect one delivering their special brand of attention by proxy. 

Not everyone who exhibits narcissistic tendencies has full blown narcissistic personality disorder or NPD. It’s a spectrum disorder. In fact, it’s not a bad thing for us to have some degree of self love or mean people will take advantage of our selflessness. And it’s not uncommon for people who are living with narcissists and who are having their own issues to display some narcissistic tendencies. They usually subside when the crisis resolves itself. You can tell a narcissist from a codependent by how much guilt and contrition they feel when they hurt someone else. Narcissists with NPD don’t give a fuck. They can fake it for awhile but it never lasts. 

Donald Trump has NPD. There’s really no question about that. Is there anyone here who doesn’t understand what I’m talking about?  Don’t be shy, raise your hands. He’s the overt type. Bernie Sanders looks like he may be skirting close to the edge of NPD as well but let’s put him aside for now. 

Given what we know about Trump and his severe character problems, what can we understand about the people who follow him?  I’ve wondered this for awhile. I think we have got it wrong about them being too stupid for their own good. No, if you’ve ever had an interaction with a Bush supporter or a Trumpster and they’ve reveled in your distress and told you to deal with it because their side won, then you know that there’s something else at work here. 

This video from Ross Rosenberg unpacks it for you: 


So, what he’s saying is the reason why Trumpsters will follow him no matter what is because they identify with him. They don’t have the visceral negative reaction to his behavior the way you do. They see nothing wrong with him disrespecting women, poor people, the disabled, the sick, Muslims, etc. WE feel pain, they do not. 

Trump is a pig and he attracts piggish people. They don’t feel empathy the way we do. They want to win. They like control. And for the conformist, conventional person who has always colored inside the lines, Trump and Pence validate their lifestyles, make them feel virtuous and special, and give them the control over others they always wanted. Trump and Pence make their narrow minded, judgemental meanness acceptable. 

If you’re living with one of these people, you’re going to get dirty. It’s not in your nature but it can make you feel out of place if you’re surrounded by them. To stay in their good graces, you may have to jettison some of your own values or become apathetic. Of course, everyone has choices…

It’s pointless to defend ourselves. They like controlling the vertical and horizontal and pissing us off and causing us distress. It’s what they live for. They’re absolutely delighted with our anger. We can’t win this argument because they DID win. The only thing we can do is disengage. We can observe them but not get down in the mud with them. As long as they’re in control, they’ll follow Trump to the ends of the earth. There’s nothing he can do that will turn them away. 

The allies had to fire bomb Dresden and invade and subdue Berlin before Germans gave up in WWII. They need to be completely conquered before they give up and they’re going to be nasty, difficult and personal before they surrender and go away. Expect this and don’t let it get to you.  

We need to accept their character disorder and stop trying to figure out how to appeal and placate them. Sure, there were people who Trump deceived. Those people are drifting back over to our side. It is the hard core narcissists who remain firmly in his corner. They’re in every branch of government and they’re quickly solidifying their hold on power. We are going to have to work extra hard next year to get at least one chamber of the legislative branch back. It’s going to be a difficult and very expensive struggle. But we don’t have a choice. 

If you’ve been watching the Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll get an idea of what we’re up against in the latest episode called The Bridge where Offred attempts to talk another Handmaid off a bridge because she sees nothing but despair for the foreseeable future, surrounded by Pence-esque covert narcissists in religious clothing. Offred tells her it won’t last. Someday, Gilead will be over and they’ll go dancing and drinking and singing karaoke. 

And that’s all true. This phase of our history won’t last, especially if we are determined to overthrow the people who took over our government by aggressive and uncompromising measures. We didn’t put up enough of a fight. We were too nice and believed it couldn’t happen to us, underestimating the people with character disorders who were determined to stop at nothing to take control. 

But we can get our country back if we don’t let them rattle us and concentrate on the task at hand. 

We can set it right again. The bad thing is that once we do, we’ll know who those people are. They’ll still walk among us and we’ll never be able to let our guard down again because they don’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves. 

Deploy your shields.