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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Of an ambidextrous US establishment -- I

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People should no longer think nationally. We must unify and fight American threats if we are to sustain as a human race and not go extinct by self-destruction. Oppenheimer said, "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds" when he saw the power of the atom-bomb he had helped to create. Put a blindfold on, all you will be able to do is hear. No race, sexual orientation, or faith would be seen.

 We must learn to be blind to one another's differences and get along peacefully or else the mathematical equation to our end will be extinction by our own hands because we cannot accept each other's differences. The more people put a label on someone's differences the further you actually divide us by labeling them as different.

What we see is that the US president Trump is the inflamer. He is the vain rhetorician. His speeches are all alarmist, fear-baiting and divisive, per usual. His eyes are hidden in shadows from the brim of a "Make America Great Again" ball cap.  His grandiose and unbelievable claims are nothing new in the history of oration, though.

In the 16th Century, the French writer Michel de Montaigne wrote an essay called "On the vanity of words" about the art of deceitful rhetoric. His first example concerns two figures of ancient Greece. Even when beat in wrestling, one man always persuades the spectators that he had no fall and carries away the prize."

How about what Montaigne also wrote about this style of rhetoric, "Tis an engine invented to manage and govern a disorderly and tumultuous rabble...In those where the vulgar or the ignorant, or both together, have been all-powerful and able to give the law ... and where the public affairs have been in a continual tempest of commotion, to such places have the orators always repaired."

 In short, the more power American people give Trump, the more Trumps there will be in the future. Narcissism, disagreeableness, grandiosity-a psychologist investigates how his so-called extraordinary personality might shape his presidency. It is Donald Trump playing Donald Trump. There is something unreal about him. People all over the world should uncover the man behind this rogue actor's mask.

As brainy social animals, human beings evolved to be consummate actors whose survival and ability to reproduce depend on the quality of our performances. We enter the world prepared to perform roles and manage the impressions of others, with the ultimate evolutionary aim of getting along and getting ahead in the social groups that define who we are.

But Trump seems supremely cognizant of the fact that he is always acting. He moves through life like a man who knows he is always being observed. If all human beings are, by their very nature, social actors, then Donald Trump seems to be more so-above or beyond the human or demanding more than human power or endurance, in this one primal sense.

Many questions may arise about Trump, about his platform, his knowledge of issues, his inflammatory language, and his level of comfort with other independent and sovereign nations.

His personality is certainly extreme by any standard and particularly rare for a president and many people who encounter the man-in negotiations or in interviews or on a debate stage or watching that debate on television-seem to find him flummoxing. He plays his role in an outgoing, exuberant, and socially dominant manner. He is a dynamo-driven, restless, and unable to keep still.

In domestic politics, he is widely recognized to be cunning, callous, cynical, and Machiavellian, even by the standards of American politicians. Empathy is not his strong suit.

 All these sound a lot of intolerable ferocity in him. You have to add the ebullient extroversion and the relentless showmanship. Dishonesty and deceit brought down Nixon and damaged the institution of the US presidency. It is generally believed today that all politicians lie, or at least dissemble, but Trump appears extreme in this regard.

His basic personality traits suggest a presidency that could be highly combustible. One possible yield is an energetic, activist president who has a less than cordial relationship with the truth. He could be a daring and ruthlessly aggressive decision maker who desperately desires to create the strongest, tallest, shiniest, and most awesome result-and who never thinks twice about the collateral damage he will leave behind.  He poses to be tough, bellicose, threatening, explosive, but everything of him is based on lies and deceitfulness only.

He is one of the most unfit men we know of to become president of the United States, a dangerous man who cannot speak in a civilized manner because he chokes with rage, a man whose passions are terrible. Disgust is a primal response to impurity.

On a daily basis, Trump seems to experience more disgust, or at least to say he does, than most people do. An American strand of authoritarianism may help explain why the thrice-married, foul-mouthed Donald Trump should prove to be so attractive to White House.

For Trump, the concept of the deal represents what psychologists call a personal schema-a way of knowing the world that permeates his thoughts. Cognitive-science research suggests that people rely on personal schemata to process new social information efficiently and effectively.

By their very nature, however, schemata narrow a person's focus to a few well-worn approaches that may have worked in the past, but may not necessarily bend to accommodate in the changing circumstances. A key to successful decision making knows what your schemata are, so that you can change them when you need to. But he is remarkably narcissistic. So, we should discard him.


The writer prefers to be known as a most ordinary senior citizen of the country

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