Bully for You
ME, MYSELF, AND I
The ability to admit you are wrong takes an element of humility and confidence. You have to have the capacity to know that you are human and fallible. This is where the rub comes in with many people. They may mouth the words but they find it hard to realize they can be wrong. You can tell when someone is only mouthing the words when they do not necessarily change their thinking. This is where the confidence part comes into play. Confident that you will struggle to get at the truth. Confident that you are will be loved even when you are in wrong. Confident that your wrongness as a rule is no greater or lesser than anyone else’s.
A narcissist is someone whose needs are filled when they are the center of everyone’s thoughts and needs. It is exhibited in the belief that you know better than anyone else. Because of who you are, you share none of the fallibilities of everyone. And thus, why care what anyone else thinks except to use them as tools for your agenda. So the confession of an error is impossible because it would mean allowing someone or something else to take priority. At all costs a narcissist cannot let someone else become priority. So when Trump says Comey is a showboat who does not place him in the center of attention he is stating he is unsettled by Comey’s ability to garner attention. He is viewed as competition in the arena of attention gathering therefore he must go.
Now many people will proclaim that Trump is a man of supreme confidence. This is not true. Trump needs to convince you that he has confidence. So he boasts. The brags are not from a position of confidence but a need for you to perceive him that way.
Narcissists need all things to point toward them. Trump does not care if the news about him is good or bad. As long as the news is about him, his needs are filled. This is why the Russian investigation drives him nuts. It would mean that the rule of law is more at the center than he is. It would mean that he has been wrong. It would mean he has to share attention with investigators and such. Why does he admire strong male rulers? Because they demand attention and are the center of their sphere. This is something to which he aspires. Trump does not want power for power’s sake; he wants it because he needs the focus it puts on him. Trump is not ruled by monetary interests per se but because of two things he is used to—the comforts it brings him (two scoops of ice cream instead of one) but more importantly his money brings a sphere of influence that places him at the center of his world. The more money he makes, the bigger the center of attention he creates for himself.
We have elected a President who does not read because that would mean letting an author become the center of his attention. Instead he reads his own press. We have elected someone who does not need long security briefings because this would make his and others’ attention focus on the briefings and the presenters of those briefings. We have elected someone as President who must tear down all the accomplishments of his popular predecessor so that attention focuses on himself. How pleased his inner core must be that we are talking less and less about Obamacare and more and more about Trumpcare. I do not imagine he cares what is in the policy as long as it is called Trumpcare. We have elected someone as President who has no social or political moorings except those that create the most confusion and controversy, so that all eyes are on him and his next move.
And so we have the Republicans in a bargain with the devil. They so want to be in control they will sacrifice anything(?) to be able to legislate. Trump’s impeachment will only happen when the Republicans do a cost\lost evaluation of Trump’s Presidency and determine they will lose any chance of legislative agendas if he continues. Only then will they begin the process of impeachment.
So we are stuck with a President who has no moorings and does not read or listen to others, who can and will do anything he chooses. And we are stuck with Republicans who, as long as they can legislate, will allow anything to go. So the priorities are coming from a total narcissist and republicans who will sacrifice anything as long as for the first time in a while they can govern anyway they want. What could go wrong?
Due to being out of town next edition on Tuesday feel free to enjoy the Archives
When Paradigms Trump Love
We all have our own paradigms which we think and live by. These paradigms await us in the culture we are born into and the very air we breathe at birth. Paradigms are useful unless they become a substitute for loving one another. What I mean is if we believe in free market and justify corporate actions even when it keeps some poor and some wealthy or discriminates by only placing in poor neighborhoods corporations that pollute (there are no smoke stacks in gated communities) then the paradigm fails.
One of the saddest deeds we as a country have committed is our treatment of the Native Americans. We often self-righteously worked with the paradigm they needed to be civilized or become more American (meaning white) or we would be forced to remove them or terminate them. This civilization was always for their good because we had a better way. But even a casual observer can see that civilizing Native Americans was only an avenue to take their lands. Do not be hunters be growers because it takes less land to farm than hunt. We told them to create your own towns do not scatter throughout the land. Our programs were to destroy their culture by forcefully removing their children to schools where they could not speak their native tongues of practice their native cultures. This was enforced by severe physical punishment. If the end result of the ‘civilizing’ program is white people ended with more land and the Indians with less land and living in poverty than your motivations have been made clear.
Interestingly with the black community the paradigm was the opposite we did not say you need to be white but instead you are less than white and could never achieve a civilized state. Therefore we could justify slavery and Jim Crow.
The reason I bring this up the paradigm we use for Latino immigrants (that seems to be who we are most concerned about) is they are here illegal, criminals, and a drain on our society. The end result is they are afraid to report workplace abuses and thus they work cheaper and under worse conditions than other populations in the United States. This also makes it less likely they will participate in the political process. If the paradigm separates a child from its parent by deportation it is wrong and the paradigm needs to go.
But we live in mean times when paradigms trump love and are touted despite their consequence. As I write this the United States House of Representatives just passed a healthcare bill to replace Obamacare. It does not cover pre-existing conditions, maternity leave, and leaves over twenty million Americans without healthcare. It also gives billions of dollars of tax cuts to people making over $250,000 a year. Some are suggesting this is the largest redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich our country has ever done. The picture of over fifty Republicans laughing and celebrating is all white and male with a few white females present. The paradigm is not working.