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.
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. Â Â
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. Â And yet, IÂ 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 â€“Â 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 â€“Â 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 â€“Â 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 â€“Â 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 â€“Â 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 Â #NeverAgain Â #WeShallOvercome Â #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 BirgenheierÂ via Flickr and a CC license
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‘On Standby’: Experts Say Manhattan Hush Money Grand Jury Delay ‘Not All That Surprising’
In a last-minute surprise move the grand jury examining the Manhattan District Attorney’s hush money case against Donald Trump was called off after being told to show up Wednesday afternoon, leaving some to wonder why. Many anticipated jurors would be voting on a possible indictment of the ex-president, one he wrongly claimed would come on Tuesday.
“The grand jury has been told to stay home today. They’re on standby for tomorrow,” an unnamed senior law-enforcement official said, Politico reports. A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told Politico, “We can’t confirm or comment on Grand Jury matters.”
Meanwhile, CNN’s Paula Reid reports, “Sources tell CNN that prosecutors have been in touch with an attorney for at least one witness, and they signal that they’re leaving the door open for that witness to potentially come back to give additional testimony.”
“One of the big questions right now is whether this grand jury has actually completed its investigation or whether they will need to hear from additional witnesses.”
READ MORE: Jim Jordan’s Attack on Manhattan DA Will ‘Backfire’ and Allow Democrats to Expose Coordination With Trump: Columnist
Reid says it’s also possible prosecutors are “taking a moment to really consider the historic weight of indicating a former U.S. president.”
Reid: Sources say that prosecutors have been in touch with an attorney for at least one witness, and they signal that they’re leaving the door open for that witness to potentially come back.. pic.twitter.com/0QYsQOpWkG
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 22, 2023
Experts are offering insight on the delay, with some pointing to tying up “loose ends,” others suggesting security concerns, and others say delays like this are to be expected.
Top national security attorney Brad Moss commented on Reid’s CNN report, saying: “Interesting. Makes sense.”
Overnight, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance wrote, “Wherever the truth lies about what’s going on in Manhattan, that timeline suggests there may not be an indictment tomorrow or even this week.” After news that the grand jury would not meet Wednesday broke, she pointed to that remark and wrote: “This now looks like it will be the case.”
That echoes a little noticed Fox News report from Monday that indicated any possible indictment would not come before next week.
READ MORE: Trump Calls for Congress to Investigate NY AG After Judge Refuses to Delay $250 Million Fraud Trial Against Ex-President
A law enforcement “source said law enforcement does not expect the former president to be arraigned until next week as the Manhattan grand jury – which has been meeting secretly to hear evidence for weeks – has another witness on Wednesday. A virtual option was apparently ruled out as the DA is opposed to it.”
Could security be the reason for the delay? On Tuesday, award-winning reporter Carol Leonnig said law enforcement agencies are investigating “chilling” threats, including against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
“I have received copies and screenshots and internal documents and emails flagging concerns about specific protests, investigations into specific online threats that have been made that are not yet determined to be ‘credible and likely to occur’ but have been chilling nonetheless in terms of the threats that have been made about killing certain people,” said Leonnig, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House.”
Former New York prosecutor Tristan Snell, who successfully helped prosecute the New York Attorney General’s case against Trump University, pointed to security measures as a possible reason for the delay.
“Most likely reason: all the law enforcement coordination and security logistics that are being worked out, including with NYPD and Secret Service,” Snell offered. “They don’t want to indict and then have a long gap between indictment and arrest/arraignment.”
He also noted, “part of the security is to ensure the GRAND JURORS themselves — 23 regular New Yorkers, doing their civic duty — are protected from a defendant who incites violence.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said: “Based on what we know publicly, there are plenty of loose ends that prosecutors may need to tie up, so delay is not all that surprising.”
Watch the CNN video above or at this link.
Image: Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock
Jim Jordan’s Attack on Manhattan DA Will ‘Backfire’ and Allow Democrats to Expose Coordination With Trump: Columnist
Republican House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan‘s unprecedented attack on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg this week will “backfire” on the GOP, according to a Washington Post columnist who spoke with House Democrats.
Chairman Jordan, who has no constitutional oversight authority over an elected county district attorney, demanded Bragg hand over documents and communications and testify before Congress about his criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s hush money payoffs and business practices. Some believe an indictment could come as early as Wednesday afternoon.
“If Jim Jordan and MAGA Republicans attack the Manhattan DA’s potential indictment of Trump, Democrats will use the proceedings to draw attention to coordination between House Republicans and Trump’s legal team, Dems tell me,” The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent said Wednesday via Twitter. “This will backfire on the GOP.”
Sargent adds House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin told him: “This is an extreme move to use the resources of Congress to interfere with a criminal investigation at the state and local level.” Raskin likened “GOP ‘political culture’ to ‘authoritarian dictatorships.'”
READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter
Sargent says Democrats “can use this against the GOP.”
He adds: “Trump’s lawyer sen[t] a letter to Jim Jordan urging an investigation into any charges against Trump, the NYT reports. Dems will use any hearings that Jordan holds to shed light on coordination between Trump’s legal team and House Republicans, aides tell me.”
In his Wednesday Washington Post opinion column Sargent calls on Democrats to “marshal some serious creativity in response” to Republican attacks.
“The extraordinary move by House Republicans to insert themselves into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation of Trump provides Democrats with an opening to do just that,” he says.
Sargent says “it’s not clear that Jordan, the Judiciary Committee chair, has thought this through. The course of action signaled by the letter — also signed by Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) — could go sideways for Republicans in unforeseen ways.”
READ MORE: US Secretary of State Denounces Uganda’s New ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill
Raskin is an attorney, constitutional law professor, and was the lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of Donald Trump. He has become a leading voice for American democratic values and in the fight against the MAGA Republicans.
“If and when there is an indictment, we will be able to reconstruct all the facts of this case in a way that makes sense to the American public,” Raskin told Sargent, who explains: “The aim, he noted, would be to ‘show the justice process is working, and there is no call for extraordinary intervention by the U.S. Congress.'”
Sargent warns, “A Trump indictment will unleash months of information warfare around a numbingly complex matter never before litigated in the public arena. Democrats sometimes undervalue the importance of sheer creativity in politics, and as ugly as the GOP response has been, Republicans are responding to unprecedented circumstances with new innovations. Democrats must meet them on that battlefield.”
US Secretary of State Denounces Uganda’s New ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is publicly denouncing Uganda’s latest Anti-Homosexuality legislation, which is being called a “Kill the Gays” bill for its capital punishment penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”
The legislation passed in a nearly-unanimous vote and now heads to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni‘s desk.
“The Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the Ugandan Parliament yesterday would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation,” Secretary Blinken said via Twitter Wednesday morning.
Uganda, a far-right religious country has a long history of targeting and marginalizing its LGBTQ citizens, including passing a modified “Kill the Gays” bill that was signed into law in 2014, only to be overturned in court on a technicality. That law was drafted and promoted with the aid of American far-right evangelicals.
READ MORE: Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case
Ugandan lawmakers on Tuesday passed legislation that makes being LGBTQ illegal, proscribes the death penalty for certain same-sex acts, and decades or life in prison for identifying as LGBTQ. It also requires anyone with knowledge of another person being LGBTQ or engaging in same-sex acts to be reported to the government.
“All but two of the 389 legislators voted late on Tuesday for the hardline anti-homosexuality bill, which introduces capital and life imprisonment sentences for gay sex and ‘recruitment, promotion and funding’ of same-sex ‘activities’,” The Guardian reports.
“A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality and is liable, on conviction to suffer death,” the bill states.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, in a statement warned: “If the bill is signed into law, it will render LGBTIQ+ people in Uganda criminals simply for existing, for being who they are. It could provide carte blanche for the systematic violation of nearly all of their human rights and serve to incite people against each other.”
READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter
One of the two Ugandan Members of Parliament who voted against the bill, Fox Odoi-Oywelowo, calls it “ill-conceived,” and says parts are “unconstitutional.”
He says it “reverses the gains registered in the fight against gender-based violence and criminalises individuals instead of conduct that contravenes all known legal norms.”
President Museveni, who signed into law a modified version of the 2014 “Kill the Gays” bill, will now have to decide if he wants to sign this version as well.
Image: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock
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