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On the Trump Effect: Breaking Our Traumatic Bond

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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.

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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‘Don’t Say Gay’ Florida GOP Lawmaker Quits One Day After Pleading Not Guilty to Federal Felony Fraud Charges

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Joe Harding, the Florida Republican state representative who authored the highly-controversial and some say unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law has just resigned, one day after pleading “not guilty” and assuring his constituents on social media he is working “for a fair and just resolution” to federal felony fraud and money laundering charges.

Harding’s resignation also comes one day after he was stripped of his committee assignments, and is effective immediately, Florida Politics reports.

The charges involve a COVID-related Small Business Administration loan for $150,000, according to the Dept. of Justice, which notes if convicted on all charges he could get 35 years in prison.

READ MORE: Worse Than It Looks: On the Same-Sex Marriage Bill Many More Republicans This Time Really Showed Up – to Vote No

“I want the public and my constituents to know that I fully repaid the loan and cooperated with investigators as requested,” Harding told his constituents via Facebook on Wednesday. “On advice from counsel, I will be unable to say anything more specific about the legal proceedings until a later date and refer any questions or concerns related to this matter to my attorney. I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers as we work for a fair and just resolution. Thank you, and may God bless you.”

Also on Wednesday Harding shuttered his Twitter account.

In another statement Harding wrote: “To my many colleagues that have reached out to me, including many I have deep policy disagreements with, thank you. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside you for the past two years.”

Florida Politics notes Harding ended his statement with a bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11-12. That verse can have several different meanings depending on the version of the Bible.

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Biblical Conservative’ Republican Likens Bestiality and Polygamy to Same-Sex Marriage in Angry Speech Against Bill

Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded to news of Harding’s resignation via social media: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”

Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.

“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics notes. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Worse Than It Looks: On the Same-Sex Marriage Bill Many More Republicans This Time Really Showed Up – to Vote No

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Respect for Marriage Act a second time, approving even stronger religious liberty protections after the legislation was changed in the Senate. But this time was different – this time Republicans really showed up, in even bigger numbers, to vote no.

And it’s worse than it looks.

The bill once again did pass, and will now be signed into law by President Joe Biden.

But how we got here does not bode well for the future of civil rights.

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Biblical Conservative’ Republican Likens Bestiality and Polygamy to Same-Sex Marriage in Angry Speech Against Bill

On July 19, the bill passed the House 267-157, with 47 Republicans voting yes and all 157 no votes also coming from Republicans.

On Thursday the bill passed in a 258-169 vote, with just 39 Republicans voting yes and all 169 no votes again coming from Republicans.

Just looking at the overall vote totals, comparing the vote in July to the vote on Thursday, it’s easy to think eight Republicans (47 minus 39) switched their yes vote to no.

It’s a bit more complicated.

And it’s the no votes that are striking. Because in reality, this time a lot more Republicans voted no.

READ MORE: Watch: Speaker Pelosi Excitedly Announces House Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Protection Bill – 169 Republicans Vote No

Eight Republicans who did not vote in July showed up this time to vote no. Only one who did not vote in July voted yes on Thursday.

Another six Republicans switched their vote from yes in July to no on Thursday.

Two who voted yes in July did not vote on Thursday.

One switched from no to yes.
One switched from yes to present.
One who voted no in July is now deceased.

Republicans on the House floor on Thursday made their message clear.

Republicans like Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, a former anti-LGBTQ activist who worked for an organization created to block same-sex marriage. She literally cried own the floor begging her colleagues to vote no. And Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, who said practically everything wrong in society can be traced back to same-sex marriage.

Here’s the breakdown. (If they are not listed they voted no.)

Here’s how we get to eight fewer yes votes:

Bentz Republican Oregon Yes to No
Mast Republican Florida Yes to No
Meuser Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Perry Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Salazar Republican Florida Yes to No
Van Drew Republican New Jersey Yes to No

Owens Republican Utah Yes to Present

Kinzinger Republican Illinois Yes to Did Not Vote
Zeldin Republican New York Yes to Did Not Vote

Herrera Beutler Republican Washington No to Yes

Here’s how we get a lot more no votes:

Babin Republican Texas Did Not Vote to No
Burchett Republican Tennessee Did Not Vote to No
Diaz-Balart Republican Florida Did Not Vote to No
Finstad Republican Minnesota Did Not Vote to No
Hartzler Republican Missouri Did Not Vote to No
Lucas Republican Oklahoma Did Not Vote to No
McKinley Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No
Miller (WV) Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No

Gallagher Republican Wisconsin No to Did Not Vote

Sempolinski Republican New York New Member to No
Yakym Republican Indiana New Member to No

Brady Republican Texas No to Did Not Vote
Walorski Republican Indiana No to deceased

 

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Kellyanne Conway Serves up Some Alternative Facts About Herschel Walker’s Failed Election Bid

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Kellyanne Conway, a political strategist who also served as White House advisor to former President Donald Trump, recently delivered critical remarks leveled at Republican senators.

According to Conway, Republican lawmakers did not stand behind Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker in the days leading up to the state’s highly publicized election runoff.

Walker, who was endorsed by Trump, lost the election by less than 100,000 votes.

On Wednesday, December 7, Conway appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” where she voiced her concerns about the election.

According to Mediaite, Conway also “railed against Walker’s fellow Republicans for abandoning him.”

“To the 49 Republican senators, where were most of you?” Conway asked while appealing to other Republican lawmakers to support members of the party. “Why weren’t you in Georgia?”

Conway continued:

“They all should have been because they should’ve been there in some form, town hall, in person, saying the following: ‘I serve in the United States with Raphael Warnock. He’s a terrible senator. He doesn’t represent Georgia. He’s not fit to serve. He votes with Joe Biden. He voted for the Inflation Reduction Act that doesn’t do that. He said nothing when they pulled out of Afghanistan. He said nothing that Joe Biden has been to Delaware 174 days and down to the border zero days.’ That’s what needs to happen. Where were the other senators to say, ‘I want Herschel Walker, not Raphael Warnock in the Senate with me?'”

Conway’s remarks come shortly after another prominent conservative went on a rant about Walker; however, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) perspective is starkly different from Conway’s.

Speaking to far-right influencer Steve Bannon, Greene said that Walker’s campaign rarely reached out for assistance; something she describes as “insulting.” During the interview, Greene insisted, ″They only asked me a couple of times in my own district, which I find extremely insulting.”

 

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