“We live in an age of unprecedented disinformation, misinformation, and outright lying by those in power.” – Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation
Some in the mainstream media are still trying to “normalize” Trump. Trump is not normal, his behavior is abnormal. Just as one is capable of knowing when a child is sick without being a doctor, anyone can see that Trump’s behavior is sick without being a psychiatrist. He is flat-out abnormal, his behavior is abnormal. Any rudimentary amount of research by real journalists would reveal (from long-ago) that Trump has a history of lying – all his life – to the point that it is justifiable to classify him as a pathological liar. Some members of mainstream media might want to review the “Code of Ethics,” by the Society of Professional Journalists – because trying to normalize what Trump is doing, and denying who Trump really is and the kind of person he is – is unethical. They should also read “Avoiding questions about Trump’s mental health is a betrayal of public trust,” by Lee Siegel, Columbia Journalism Review; February 22, 2017. It’s disturbing that what is blatantly obvious to even layman, is that Trump’s narcissism is excessive, his paranoid delusions are clear, yet during the entire election process, Trump’s mental instability was only hinted at, if at all, by the vast majority of media outlets.
Trump obviously has extreme narcissism, and many concur that he has Malignant Narcissistic Personality Disorder – which has no cure (some argue that he also has traits of sociopathy, some say psychopathy). Any president with these personality traits would be an intrinsic threat to the United States; Trump has repeatedly demonstrated that he is a clear and present danger to the United States. For example, his refusal to act on or speak against the Russian interference on our 2016 election has been characterized as a “dereliction of duty”* (recall that Putin complimented Trump, and Trump must have constant praise**). Attempts by media outlets to “normalize” Trump are enabling this threat. This is a display of the absence of journalistic ethics that is absolutely needed at this critical time.
The bottom line is that attempts to normalize Trump, to regard him through the lens of past presidential behavior, is misguided and constricts the ability to perceive the reality unfolding before their eyes. It is critically important that Trump not be seen through the lens of “another American president” in any way, but seen as the person he really is; they need to strip away preconceived notions of what they think a president must be and how a president must behave – once and for all. They must stop trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. To repeat: Trump is not normal, his behavior is abnormal. Just as one is capable of knowing when a child is sick without being a doctor, anyone can see that Trump’s behavior is sick without being a psychiatrist.
“President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List,” by David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson, New York Times; June 23, 2017
“Against Normalization: The Lesson of the ‘Munich Post,’” by Ron Rosenbaum, Los Angeles Review of Books; February 5, 2017
“‘Explaining Hitler’ Author Breaks Silence: Trump Uses ‘Mein Kampf Playbook’ to Normalize Tyranny,” by David Edwards, Alternet; February 8, 2016
“A Public Manifesto” – Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism
Also see, “Trump Accused of Dereliction of Duty as Russia Scandal Gets More Dire For Republicans,” by Sarah Jones, Politics USA; June 29, 2017
[**] “To keep Donald happy, Trump’s staff has to ensure he’s always receiving praise and adulation,” by Hunter, Daily Kos; February 22, 2017
“Report: Donald Trump’s Handlers Planted Friendly News Stories to try and Prevent His Twitter Meltdowns,” by Jay Willis, GQ; February 22, 2017
“Trump Invites His Employees to Praise Him during Cabinet Meeting,” by Igor Bobic, Huffington Post; June 12, 2017
“Bill Moyers: All of Donald Trump’s Lies,” by Bill Moyers, Alternet; June 28, 2017
Some recommended publications:
“A mentor in shamelessness: the man who taught Trump the power of publicity,” by Michelle Dean, The Guardian; April 20, 2016
Excerpt: Trump was recently asked about what sacrifices he’s made and he goes on a narcissistic self-aggrandizement. This is a direct quote. “I’ve worked very hard, created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures, I’ve done, I’ve had, I’ve had tremendous success.” “Those are sacrifices?” Trump responds with Yes.
“The moment of truth: We must stop Trump,” by Danielle Allen, The Washington Post; February 21, 2016
Excerpt: “Like any number of us raised in the late 20th century, I have spent my life perplexed about exactly how Hitler could have come to power in Germany. Watching Donald Trump’s rise, I now understand. Leave aside whether a direct comparison of Trump to Hitler is accurate. That is not my point. My point rather is about how a demagogic opportunist can exploit a divided country.”
Danielle Allen is a political theorist at Harvard University and a contributing columnist for The Post.
“A Psychological Divide: Irrationality, Psychopathy and Trump’s Cult,” by Ken Levy, CounterPunch; February 2, 2017
Excerpt: Individually, most of Trump’s supporters are probably not psychopaths. But the collective group is psychopathic … While many predict that Trump’s followers will eventually be disillusioned and abandon the ‘Trump Train,’ their prediction is naively optimistic. Cults don’t operate rationally; cult members do not change their core beliefs and behavior on the basis of facts and evidence. Instead, they blindly follow their leader wherever he and his inner circle decide to go … If the 60% who do not support Trump want to avoid calamity, they need to start talking not merely about how to resist Trump and win the 2018 elections but also how to de-program millions of people.
“The Brainwashing of My Dad Trailer” (4:59)
“The Cult of Trump,” by David Dillard-Wright, Alternet; December 12, 2016
Excerpt: The disturbing part about the religious narrative now interacting with American politics is that the next logical phase in the evangelical story is one of an end-times cosmic battle. The Dear Leader/Savior Figure must now battle the Forces of Darkness, which, in this case, means that Trump must defeat liberal democracy or die trying. Now cult figures do not usually succeed in their objectives – they usually leave themselves some sort of ‘out clause.’ For Jim Jones, the ‘out clause’ was spectacular violence. For ‘Moses’ David Berg of The Family International / Children of God, the “out clause” was simply to blame the Whore of Babylon (i.e. the rest of society) for the implosion of his “kingdom” under a wave of sexual abuse allegations. But Trump will have something these other cult leaders did not have: access to the full resources, both public and covert, of the United States Government.
“Trump, the Man and the Image,” by Mark Singer, The New Yorker; July 11-19, 2016
“Mark Singer on the Perils of Profiling Donald Trump,” by The New Yorker, March 11, 2016 [Embedded video 14:00]
“Does Donald Trump Have a Soul?” by Harry Cheadle, VICE; June 28, 2016
“A Psychologist Analyzes Donald Trump’s Personality,” by Dan P. McAdams, The Atlantic; June 2016
“Trump offers praise for Iraq’s Saddam Hussein,” by the Times of Israel, Raw Story; July 6, 2016
Excerpt: “Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy. Really bad guy,” Trump said on Tuesday in a campaign speech in North Carolina. “But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorists [sic] — it was over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism.”
“Donald Trump is ‘willing to inflict pain on people,’ says reporter who provoked his wrath,” by Rob Hasting, iNews; July 11, 2016
Excerpt: “Part of the key to his success is his refusal to acknowledge certain inconvenient realities, to fool certain people,” says the 65-year-old journalist. “I really did everything I could to understand what he actually did in his business – how he used other people’s money rather than his own, and how his casino holdings were failing.”…
“He’s sick. He’s willing to inflict pain on other people. He’s mocked a disabled reporter from The New York Times. He talks about torture – ‘we’re going to do it’ – and we’re going to bomb the s**t out of Isis and we’re going to kill their families, kill innocent people, waterboarding; all these totally discredited things that were used after we invaded Iraq. Trump talks about it because it’s like throwing red meat to these people with conservative values. To be able to discuss torturing people with that kind of enthusiasm tells us something about a person.”
“Americans are some of the most ignorant people on the planet. The lack of curiosity or knowledge about the rest of the world, on the part of the average American, is shameful. It’s tragic… Trump is reflective of that general condition. But he didn’t invent it. He is just part of that phenomenon.” [Emphasis added]
“Donald Trump by Donald Trump,” by Billy Johnson, Newsweek; June 17, 2015
“Lawrence On Donald Trump And ‘The Women He Hates” | The Last Word | MSNBC” (9:20)
“Unspeakable Ecocide and the Perils of Trump,” by Paul Street, CounterPunch; February 9, 2017
“The Management of Unleashed Insanity,” by Todd Gitlin, Common Dreams; March 17, 2017
“Noam Chomsky: Trump’s First 100 Days Are Undermining Our Prospects for Survival,” by C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout; March 28, 2017
“Noam Chomsky: Trump’s Threat to Human Civilization is More Immediate than We Realize,” by Jacob Sugarman, Alternet; March 29, 2017
“Chomsky says Republican Party is ‘The Most Dangerous Organization in World History’,” by Subir, Daily Kos; November 14, 2016
“Chomsky: Trump’s Win Puts Government in the Hands of the ‘Most Dangerous Organization in World History’,” by Tom Boggioni, Alternet; November 14, 2016
“Former Republican judge calls for Donald Trump to be ‘impeached and removed with all haste’,” by Samuel Osborne, Independent; February 16, 2017
“We cannot afford to sit back while Trump Threatens America’s Democracy,” by Kenneth Roth, Huffington Post; February 21, 2017