Dissecting the mind of Trump

I am one of many individuals around the world who continues to wonder, and of course to worry, what has become of the United States of America (USA) with Donald Trump as its president.

It makes one even wonder more if Trump really meant what he said when he made popular his rallying cry, ‘Make America Great Again’ (MAGA).

Or could it be that, for a populist president like Trump, what he wants his slogan to be, absolutely, is ‘Make Trump Great Again’ (MTGA).

It is for this reason that I reprinted here a very engrossing and thought-provoking article I found published in POLITICO Magazine and authored by Ms. Bandy X. Lee and Mr. Tony Schwartz because I want to share with you how ably and aptly they have dissected Trump’s mind and persona that only confirmed, without any doubt, who we truly believe Trump is and what his ambitions are as the leader of the greatest nation on Earth.

In a way this piece is comforting.

Inside the Mind of Donald Trump

He’s grandiose, deceitful and paranoid—but don’t let him drive you crazy.

By BANDY X. LEE and TONY SCHWARTZ

July 27, 2018

Why is President Donald Trump behaving in ways that seem ever more irrational, impulsive, self-destructive, dangerous and cruel? Many Americans have been shocked by Trump’s behavior, most recently by his taking the side of a known enemy in Vladimir Putin and Russia over his own intelligence community.

It isn’t possible to reliably diagnose any individual from a distance, but it is reasonable to flag clear, observable signs of impairment and to make inferences based on repetitive patterns of behavior. There is a significant difference between diagnosing a specific disorder and analyzing the meaning of the qualities Trump exhibits, such as paranoia, grandiosity, lack of empathy and pathological deceit. Trump’s behavior, we believe, is the predictable outgrowth of this psychological disposition, exacerbated by the stress of the intensifying criminal investigations he faces.

Our assessment is based on descriptions from those who have worked with him, his own voluminous responses to real situations in real time, and above all by our unique vantage points. One of us is a forensic psychiatrist who has treated more than 1,000 individuals with characteristics similar to Trump’s. The other spent 18 months shadowing, observing and interviewing Trump in order to co-write The Art of the Deal.

Trump’s increasing grandiosity is evident in the superlatives he uses to refer to himself—“stable genius” among them—and in the way he has consolidated his power by getting rid of aides and Cabinet members who have challenged his authority. Because no person or circumstance can possibly satisfy his needs, nearly everyone in his life eventually becomes expendable, and he becomes more and more isolated.

Trump’s growing paranoia is reflected in the vitriolic comments he has made about a range of perceived enemies, including Democrats and Republicans, allies in the G-7, the intelligence community, the news media and immigrants. His hunger for absolute power is evident in his bizarrely admiring words about despots, including North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte. His frequent lies reveal his need to redefine reality when the truth doesn’t serve his needs.

Given Trump’s volatility, incuriosity and severely limited attention span, his decisions are not significantly influenced by reflection or analytical reasoning. Because he cannot tolerate even the mildest criticism, he is largely immune to learning and growth. Instead, unable to regulate his emotions, he reacts angrily, and often with threats of revenge, to any challenge to his authority. Even success provides him with only momentary satisfaction.

Trump’s psychological disposition has profound implications for our personal, national and international security. Unfortunately, Americans remain deeply reluctant to talk openly about mental health or to recognize how profoundly it can influence behavior. Because the president’s level of mental impairment is so unusual to observe, it is difficult for most of us to understand what catastrophic desperation such people can feel to fill their own inner sense of emptiness.

Trump described to Tony a cold father with whom his relationship was “almost businesslike” and a mother who was mostly uninvolved in his life. Through Bandy’s work interviewing men who were deprived in childhood of the love and support necessary to develop a core self, she concluded that the stable internal center that holds their beliefs, principles, attachments, loyalties—and even their capacity for humanity—never gets well established.

Instead, most such men become almost completely dependent on others for their sense of self-worth. They become hypersensitive to slights. In the most extreme cases, their envy can prompt them to take sadistic pleasure in tormenting perceived enemies, and those they think are getting more respect than they are. In Trump’s case, his need to demonstrate over and over that he is worthy of admiration overwhelms his capacity to focus on nearly anything else.

While our elected officials and much of the news media have avoided the topic of Trump’s mental health, it is clear that our adversaries have carefully studied his psychological weaknesses and determined how to use them to their advantage, as we saw during his negotiations with Putin and Kim Jong Un. Ironically, our own intelligence community does just this sort of analysis about foreign leaders.

Trump’s grip on reality will likely continue to diminish as he faces increasing criticism, accusations, threats of impeachment and potential criminal indictments. We can expect him to become more desperate, more extreme in his comments, more violent in his threats, and more reckless and destructive in his actions. His latest extreme threat to Iran is one example, and he is likely to return to similar threats to North Korea if he feels that Kim Jong Un is making him look weak and unsuccessful.

So how can we hold onto our own mental health in the face of the danger Trump poses? First, don’t use logic or rationality to try to understand or counter Trump’s statements and behaviors. He is driven not by reason but by negative emotions that are infectious. Trump thrives on creating fear and sowing confusion. He lies without guilt. Don’t match his emotion with your own.

Second, be clearer than ever about your core values, beliefs and principles, and rely on them for guidance and comfort, especially when you are feeling most triggered and fearful. Challenge every day the natural inclination to feel overwhelmed, fatigued or numb in the face of Trump’s behavior. This is what people with his psychological inclinations count on. Trump is aware that whatever he says repeatedly—no matter how outrageous—many people are more likely to believe, or at least to stop resisting.

Lastly, recognize that fear is your enemy. Holding onto the opposites of realism and optimism is the best antidote. James Stockdale, a Navy vice admiral, was imprisoned for eight years in North Vietnam and tortured repeatedly. What he said afterward about how he survived is relevant for anyone dealing with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness: “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Bandy X. Lee is assistant clinical professor in law and psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and a project leader for the World Health Organization.

Tony Schwartz is the chief executive of The Energy Project and the co-author of The Art of the Deal.

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From 3 to 4 proverbial wise monkeys

 

We have been used to looking and/or hearing about the 3 proverbial wise monkeys.

They are actually described as a pictorial maxim that, together, embodies the proverbial principle of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

We have seen them as usually small statuettes of three monkeys, one covering his eyes, another his ears, and another his mouth.

Somehow there seems to be a moral lesson taught by the gestures made by the 3 wise monkeys and that is for people to be prudent in how to react in what they see, in what they listens to, and in what they say.

There are actually various meanings ascribed to the gestures of the wise monkeys, but what is important is that one has to learn to accept the consequences and be responsible for his decision about what he sees, what he hears and what he says.

The problem, however, is that with the advent of information technology the 3 proverbial wise monkeys have already become 4.

Surprised?

You shouldn’t be really because the reality is that the 4th one is the sum of the first 3, meaning that he sees nobody, hears nobody and speaks to nobody.

That is who we are now and what we are getting to be now in this generation.

No moral lesson learned from the 4th monkey except showing clearly the decaying of human values.

A kiss was all it was

 

A kiss planted by President Rodrigo Duterte on the lips of Bea Kim, a Filipina said to be married to a South Korean with whom she has two children, while on an official visit to South Korea has initiated a controversy among the many seemingly prude critics and feminist bigots in this country.

Whether the smooch was made on the lips, the cheeks or on the forehead for the world to say the fact is all it was, was a kiss.

So why make a big fuss about it and make it appear like it was a sinful act?

Because it was Duterte who did it, he who has been labeled as misogynist by women’s rights advocates and by some preachy opposition politicians?

For one to be tagged as misogynist, he is one characterized to be strongly prejudiced against women.

Now, is Duterte living up to this disparaging description when he has a wife and daughters to reckon with in the family?

What I am just saying here is that one has to understand where Duterte comes from and learn to know and appreciate him, warts and all, for he is not the traditional or conventional leader that one expects him to be.

Duterte himself has admitted that he is not and can never be presidential in any manner, shape and form. Sadly, this is what his critics from the political circle and the women’s right advocacy groups expect him to act.

Well, what you see is what you get about Duterte and this is what makes him tick with the Filipino people.

But when some entity or group of people look at events beyond the context of having fun and connecting with the crowd by pure entertainment  as Duterte is used to doing when meeting with his countrymen abroad, then that is the time when problem arises.  It could even get worse, as it happened in South Korea, when malice is imputed.

Duterte is not a comedian but he uses his antics to make people laugh and identify himself with them and this is what endears him to the people.

This was a time for laughter and not for retribution, which Duterte is also wont to make.

This is exactly what happened when Duterte asked an unidentified audience member to kiss him in exchange for a book he was handing out.

Since when has kissing been ‘sickening’ and a ‘despicable display of sexism and grave abuse of authority’ when the recipient herself was forewarned not to take it seriously as it was just for fun, a gimmick in fact?

Ms. Kim was game enough and went along with Duterte’s strategy of entertaining his countrymen, saying later that the kiss did not mean anything and it was done to make the audience giddy.

So the question is: if the kiss on Ms. Kim’s lips did not scandalize her, why would it matter to a group of sanctimonious people?

 

Scandalous Jinggoy never learns

Former senator JinggoyEstrada

I am talking of course about former senator Jinggoy Estrada, who until today and after spending 3 years in detention for plunder and graft charges relative to the scandalous P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), seems to have never learned to change his old ways.

The reason why I am emphasizing his individuality and ethos is because Estrada, an actor and a failed senator, is contemplating again in running for senator, and to think that he is just out on bail momentarily.

As if the plunder and graft charges against him are not shameful and degrading to his persona, enough to put him at the higher pedestal of corrupt government officials, it, however, shows no negative effect on him as he continues to beguile Filipinos with impunity.

Take for instance Estrada’s application for a travel motion to go to the US from April 21 to May 31, 2018. Accordingly, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan granted the motion on March 26 since it is a simple travel motion that the court almost always grants for defendants.

The problem, however, is that the scheming Estrada, not contented with just the travel motion request to the US, flaunted it as having been invited to speak in Michigan on Philippine affairs, and it was upon the invitation of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG).

It was even reported that Estrada attached an invitation from William Dechavez, identified in the letter as USPGG president.

Apparently, this grandstanding by Estrada was debunked by no less than the incumbent USPGG president himself, Mr. Rodel Rodis, who issued a statement, saying: “I can confirm that there is no planned USPGG event on May 20 in Michigan. I communicated with Mr Wllie Dechavez, our USPGG Michigan chair, and he made no plans for this event as he is in the Philippines for a vacation and he has not been in touch with his members in Michigan.”

If this is not another reprehensible and dastardly act by Estrada, worthy of condemnation and boycott on his senatorial run again, I do not know what is.

Because of this fraudulent turn of events, the Ombudsman prosecutors told the Sandiganbayan: “With this information, the prosecution is constrained to pray that the Honorable Court hold in abeyance the issuance of the travel authority of accused Estrada since accused appears to have committed material misrepresentations in his motion, thus openly violating one of the terms and conditions of the court in allowing an accused to travel.

They added: “Allowing accused Estrada to travel to the United States with the consequence of making him beyond the reach of the Honorable Court, despite the falsity of the purported invitation letter, may constitute a travesty of justice.”

Jinggoy with President Duterte at the Palarong Pambansa 2018.opening.

Yet, unabashedly, Estrada continues his odious quest for a slot in the PDP-Laban senatorial slate for 2019 by working hard to be under the good graces of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Look how Estrada tries hard to ingratiate himself to the president by showing his slavish subservience – shaking the president’s hand and bowing so low.

Cambridge Analytica a non-factor in electing Duterte president

Long before Cambridge Analytica, a British political data firm, got embroiled in controversy of scandalous proportion when it was alleged to have secretly and inappropriately made a Facebook data breach and harvested personal contents from some 87 million users, including, it said, over a million in the Philippines, to influence the country’s 2016 presidential election result, the way it is said to have catapulted America’s Donald Trump to the presidency, the majority of the Filipino people by then had already decided that, for a change, they will no longer be voting for a traditional politician.

It was no surprise therefore that when then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte finally declared his candidacy for president, the Filipinos went crazy rooting for him. Their prayers were answered. They now had an out-of-the-box candidate, a no-nonsense one at that, whose track record in governance is something most politicians should be envious about, but whose heart really beats for the Filipino people and whose dream is to make the whole country a livable place, in the same manner Duterte made Davao City a comfortable place for the Davaoeños.

Senator Antonio Trillanes and President Rodrigo Duterte

The reason why I am saying that Cambridge Analytica has nothing to do at all with Duterte being elected president stems from the fact that opposition senator and known Duterte basher, Antonio Trillanes, has been reported to be filing a resolution calling for a Senate probe into the role of Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 presidential elections, the same way the British firm is being accused now of capturing Facebook users’ data to corrupt the minds of the Americans into making the controversy-laden Donald Trump their president during the 2016 US presidential election.

The reality is that it was the intense hunger of Filipinos for a fearless and selfless down-to-earth Filipino leader with political will that made Duterte an overwhelming choice for the presidency.

The majority of poor voters who gave Duterte a margin of 6 million votes over his closest rival are proof enough that Cambridge Analytica was a non-factor, for they were not relishing in having a Facebook account.

Thus, I find Trillanes’ move for a Senate probe a mere grandstanding and purely nothing but a witch-hunt.

For not finding anymore culpability to spew barbs at Duterte, the way the latter continues to get support, trust and high approval ratings in his performance as president, Trillanes somehow thought he has found a bomb to be used against Duterte in the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

Soon Trillanes will come to realize that the bomb is a dud after all!

The worthless Aung San Suu Kyi

 

Aung San Suu Kyi

I have written already a few pejorative articles about the ‘once upon a time human-rights icon’ and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, especially in the light of the unceasing brutal killings and displacement of the Rohingyas, a Muslim minority group from Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state, and I will not stop disparaging and letting the world know how worthless she is as a leader in her own country.

While the whole world knows what is happening to this massive, senseless human tragedy happening in Myanmar (formerly Burma), yet this two-faced winner of the prestigious Nobel peace prize continues to negate the bestiality committed by her own government against these hapless people and has the gall instead to call these reports as fake news.

This time my way of discrediting Suu Kyi is by sharing with you this seemingly insulting article by Huffpost which is short of telling her that she is a bogus leader and winner of the Nobel prize and does not, therefore, deserve the admiration and honor bestowed on her.

Be more informed about this pretentious woman.

Please click at this website: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/us-holocaust-museum-aung-san-suu-kyi_us_5aa022f4e4b0d4f5b66cd500.

Trump covets Xi Jinping’s status

 

China President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump

This is of course about the latest development in China where its ruling Communist party enthusiastically announced it would lift the two-term limit for the presidency, setting the stage for limitless authoritarian rule for President Xi Jinping.

Although the party wants it to appear that the ordinary Chinese folks were the ones clamoring to end the rule that limited Xi’s stay in power for just two terms, the fact is that it was China’s legislators who bulldozed this idea into becoming a constitutional amendment with immediate approval by the body.

This, after Xi recently consolidated his power and moved to change the rules so he could effectively become “emperor for life.”

The truth also is that this does not bode well for many in China who find their present ‘people’s democratic dictatorship’ government more to their liking rather than slide back and be under an autocratic government again as in the dark days of Chairman Mao Zedong (Mao Tse Tung).

China Communist Party (CCP) considers itself to be the only and true representative of the entire Chinese people. The CCP does not allow any other political power to challenge its rule, on the ground that they only represent some people, not all. Other political parties in fact do exist in China (quite a few), they are officially sanctioned and anyone can join freely. But they can only offer suggestions to the ruling party, and do not have real political power.

China has been a republic, hence has had a constitution for over 100 years. The content obviously changed throughout time. Currently it is on its 12th version. This recent revision/amendment that US President Donald Trump seems to covet will become the 13th version.

It is very ironic that a 21st century leader like Trump, who is suppose to emulate those before him in leading the nation and espousing the principles and ideals of freedom, justice and equality in a democratic world, is now singing hosannas to a would-be despot in China, the way he has been showing his high regard for Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan and even our very own president, Duterte.

“He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great,” Mr. Trump said of Xi to the Republican donors, at a luncheon at Mar-a-Lago. Then he went on seemingly to express interest in doing the same thing in the United States so that he too could rule forever. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”

A joke? Not really!

For one who is very much a narcissist, Trump wants badly to be among those he supports and admires most whose common peculiarity is that they have the power to do what they want done, good or evil in the eyes of some, yet continue to have high performance and trust ratings.

Sad to say that the bastion of democracy that is America does not does not and will not grant Trump the luxury of being thought highly of. He simply lacks the temperament and the acumen to be a competent leader of the free world worthy of praise and high expectations for peace and stability throughout.

Being uncomfortable with democracy Trump has no other recourse but to covet Xi’s status.

SAD!!!