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    On the Trump Effect: Breaking Our Traumatic Bond

    Donald Trump is creating a "traumatic bond" with our country, as all narcissists do. He wounds us and then he pretends to have the answers that will heal that wound. He offers to "make American great" while he is currently ripping it apart.

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    On February 7, 2016 I wrote a piece for this site entitled, "The Cult of Whiteness: On #OscarsSoWhite, Donald Trump, and The End of America" That was only a month ago, before a black protester was punched in the face at a Trump rally, and another rally was canceled in Chicago for fear of even greater violence. Now I, like most of the people I know, are watching what is happening in this election with increasing horror, sometimes feeling powerless over the phenomenon that is Donald Trump.   

    And let be clear: when Donald Trump talks about the "good ol' days" what he is referring to is the Antebellum South or pre-Civil Rights Movement America. When he says "these people are bringing us down," "they contribute nothing," and they are "disruptive" and "troublemakers", that is code for "welfare queens" and "uppity niggers."

    When he speaks about people being "carried out on a stretcher" or "ripped out of that seat before all this political correctness" and that once upon a time "they were treated rough and when they protested once, they wouldn't do it again" he's talking about the lynching of black Americans, apartheid, crosses burning on front lawns, and the use of racist terror and retaliation to control resistance.

    I would love to see a panel or news program that brings together both survivors of the Holocaust and Southern Jim Crow to talk about what is happening in our country right now and to guide us. We can't go backwards now, and we may have to take to the streets.  And yet, I was thinking today: if this is how Trump The Candidate responds to those who demonstrate at his rallies, how will a "President Trump" respond to those who publicly protest his policies?

    What we are witnessing with Donald Trump and his relationship to his followers is a textbook example of pathological narcssism in action. This has moved beyond simply casting a vote for a political candidate. Something is happening at these rallies that is both mesmerizing and deeply fascinating.

    Donald Trump is creating a "traumatic bond" with our country, as all narcissists do. He wounds us and then he pretends to have the answers that will heal that wound. He offers to "make American great again" while he is currently ripping it apart. He uses grandiose generalizations on his audiences and they get high on his bromides and promises, as he talks about winning and how everything is going to "terrific". It is a corrupt love affair – the kind that is always too good to be true.

    If you've ever been in a romantic relationship with a pathological narcissist then you know that they are incredibly charismatic, that the relationship gives you a "lift" that is almost like a drug and it is wonderfully exhilarating – until it isn't.

    Then one day you assert yourself, you disagree, you criticize his behavior and he turns on you. His reaction may range from ridicule to abusive language to outright violence. Pathological narcissists will do anything, ANYTHING, to keep from feeling the deep shame that is at the core of all narcissistic behavior. This is one of the reasons why Trump is so dangerous as a leader. We can't have a president who sees disagreement of any kind as a personal affront. This will be the end of American diplomacy – what little we have left.

    What Trump is offering his audience is very similar to what Jim Jones preached to the People's Temple before they moved to Guyana in 1978 and were mass murdered by him (I will not call it suicide). The Guyana tragedy, over 900 people, was the largest single loss of American life due to a deliberate act until 9/11 in 2001. Before the tragedy, unspeakable things occurred in Jim Jones' "church" and in Jonestown because people were under his hypnotic control and as a result of his encouragement.

    The man who punched the protester at Trump's rally is responsible for what he did and I hope he is punished, but Donald Trump threw that punch – it was absolutely his force and rage behind it. And we are going to see acts that are similarly out of control in proportion to Trump's megalomania if he isn't stopped through voting.

    My point is, Trump is not offering political ideology, like Clinton, Sanders, or even, to a very limited extent, Cruz. He is creating a religion, with himself at the center, as both God and Jesus Christ (as martyr). When we compare Trump to Hitler, it is not Hitler "the politician" we should focus on, but the charismatic leader who moved and excited audiences with his nationalist pride while using military force to act out his nefarious and genocidal plans. Some were delighted in Germany when Hitler came to power ("winning" "stability" "leadership" "strength"), others were indifferent to the plight of the Jews, but there were also many that were bewildered by what was happening around them until it was simply too late. (I wouldn't be surprised if Donald starts initiating children's groups soon on his behalf – Trump's Youth.)

    We've come too far, even with all of the disappointments and setbacks we face on this planet, to have to live through this again. The only way to end a relationship with a pathological narcissist is to stop returning his calls.

    #WeveBeenHereBefore  #NeverAgain  #WeShallOvercome  #Silence=Death

     

    More By Max S. Gordon:

    Bill Cosby, Himself: Fame, Narcissism and Sexual Violence

    The Cult of Whiteness: On #OscarsSoWhite, Donald Trump, and The End of America

    Maybe Yesterday, But Not Tonight: A Black Homosexual Speaks To Governor Mike Pence

     

    Image by Darron Birgenheier via Flickr and a CC license

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