The Trump dilemma

Don’t get me wrong. Trump is not the dilemma to which I’m referring. His behaviour is no longer a quandary. With every word he utters, with every tweet, he confirms that his mental state continues to deteriorate to the point where commentator after commentator expresses astonishment and alarm at his outlandish reactions to the social and political environment in which he finds himself. He has become predictably unpredictable.

Read any article about him, listen to any comment, and you will hear the same assessment. Trump is dangerously insane.

Writing in Stat Justin A. Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center and author of Trump on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (Avery/Penguin Random House, September 2018), gives this assessment after hearing him speak on Fox and Friends as far back as September 2018.
This half-hour revealed how destabilized the president can become and showed many of the disturbing patterns seen elsewhere in Trump’s actions and writing. Three of the most striking were his deep-seated feelings of victimhood, repeating himself, and difficulty answering questions or staying on point.
Writing in Salon in April, David Masciotra says:
The United States of America is now an abusive household. Donald Trump is the lunatic authority figure stalking and traumatizing the victims – the American people. It becomes increasingly evident, that with Trump's every social media post, public utterance and policy directive, our president suffers from a severe form of mental illness. His insanity threatens millions of lives, and has become particularly dangerous during the most devastating public health crisis in the last 100 years.
If you still need more evidence, read an article by Bess Levin in the March 13 issue of Vanity Fair: The 12 Most Insane Moments From Trump’s National Emergency Presser: Germ-Swapping, Corporate Sponsors, “Big Words”.” Here is an extract:
On Friday afternoon, Donald Trump addressed the nation for the second time this week, and if you chose not to watch in an effort to protect your mental health, the quick summary is that it went as well as you might have expected, if you expected the press conference equivalent of a flaming bag of dog crap wrapped in the used bed sheets of a coronavirus patient. While his remarks didn’t cause the markets to have their worst trading session since Black Monday like they did on Wednesday, the address was somehow even more chilling.
Every day more evidence of Trump’s deranged mental state emerges: A report published by CNN from Carl Bernstein – who broke the Watergate stories with Bob Woodward, shared claims from those in Mr Trump’s inner circle that the President was “delusional” and ill-prepared for phone calls with world leaders. In addition, he was “abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies” – including Scott Morrison. Here is some of the CNN report:
Bernstein’s lengthy report claims Mr Trump “regularly bullied and demeaned” leaders of nations including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Australia, in ‘numerous’ phone calls.

“Everything was always personalised, with everybody doing terrible things to rip us off – which meant ripping ‘me’ – Trump – off. He couldn’t – or wouldn’t – see or focus on the larger picture,” one US official reportedly said. Another reportedly called the phone calls “abominations”, while a German official said they were “so unusual” and “very aggressive”.
So if Trump is not the dilemma to which this article refers, what is?

To my mind, the most disturbing dilemma is: Why did voters in the US vote him into office, as they may well do again in November? They must know him by now; they must have read or heard the damaging assessments that are emerging day after day, the most recent being that of his former national security adviser, John Bolton in The Room Where it Happened.

There has to be an explanation. The purpose of this short piece is to canvass your opinion. Please let us have your considered views in Comments.

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Philip Pryor

14/07/2020
  1. Trump seems to have characteristics some known examples, in being neurotically psychopathic, with tendencies to bipolar, other sublevels of inner turmoil, all best explained or rejected by experts. As he was a seriously defective candidate, the wilfulness, projection and empty hopefulness of enough voters to get him in is stunnngly awful. But the nation is sick and in denial of its past, history, culture, progress. It came from European scraps and outcast leavings, rebels, misfits, upstarts, irris, wilful domineering types, too many of them, persuading themsleves of a nirvana, a paradise, an eldorado place, to be grabbed by the keen and righteous who could thus escape the confines of class, poverty, subjection, religious intolerance, royal oppression. Freedom is a wonder, to be able to do what you bloody well and an overwhelming drive to some. So, murder, theft, occupation, slavery, domineering, acquisition followed, Here we are, with the first huge powerful artificial modern nation in overbearing and irri decline, under a Trump. Yukko.

Stephen Fitzgerald

14/07/2020

The Republican Party is the political arm of big business and the president represents the corporate elite who back him. He was chosen for being a showman and a front man, not a statesman. Let's consider Trumps 800 million donated election funds and, his ensuing shadow cabinet. From an article by Robert Weissman at Huff Post: “President-Elect Donald Trump‘s cabinet and top nominees draw more deeply from an extremist faction of the corporate class than any in memory, and ly in history. We are witnessing the wholesale corporate takeover of the American government”. A profit driven corrupted political system is the petri-dish and Mr Trump is the result of a festering disease eating the heart out of American society.

Richard Leggatt

14/07/2020

I felt the need to make a few changes, I hope you it?
"A flaming bag of dog crap, mixed with cats vomit, and wrapped in the used bed sheets of an incontinent imbecile with explosive diahhrhea."

Stephen Fitzgerald

15/07/2020

Wash, bleach and sanitize those bed sheets at the November election... America will heal when Trump and his enablers are gone. To change the world for the better, we can only hope that other Western countries being abused by conservative leaders get behind all good Americans and follow their lead.

Ad Astra

17/07/2020

Folks

Once again, I thank you all for your comprehensive responses to this piece, which add so much. I have enjoyed reading all of them.

Bruce Bilney

20/07/2020

Subject: CVD

Greetings All

What an amazing convulsion the world is going through! 

For Australians, the convulsions started in late November, when we started to writhe in the claws of the worst wildfires the world has ever seen. But then Covid-19 kicked in, we had the Dunny Roll Wars, and we really don’t know ourselves at all now.

One thing I do know: Aussies aren’t so cocky any more. A lot more thoughtful I would hope. But a whole less hopeful I would think.

For many of us, I think, “shit just got real”, in the immortal words of young Ricky Baker, in the hilarious feel-good 2016 Kiwi movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople. https://www.bing.com/search?q=hunt+for+the+wilderpeople&filters=ufn3a22Hunt+for+the+Wilderpeople22+sid3a22751839d1-bff8-a736-5246-023b42226e7722&form=WNSGPH&qs=MB&cvid=8e84c300bfec40baa8f50ffef68bf79f&pq=hunt+for+the+wilderpeople&cc=AU&setlang=en-US&PC=HCTS&nclid=9DB0E3376CD049792DBAE41D78417103&ts=1592350373490&wsso=Moderate If you haven’t seen it, well do! It will make you feel a bit better.

But for many, shit has always been real. Coloured people, racial minorities, people with disabilities, poor people. And really, it includes most of us each in our own way, or at least, we are only one personal tragedy or crisis away from shit all our lives. And we watch the rorts of the politically privileged, we witness the greed of the hyper-rich and the sycophancy of their flunkies .. and think, if only their wealth and power and access to information could be redistributed ..

But I started this to write of the matter of MASKS. I started writing it weeks ago but got discouraged for whatever reasons. But I’ve been yelling about masks since the beginning of the pandemic. I can’t believe the attitude and advice of medical authorities worldwide about what seems to me the most obvious – and urgent – of all no-brainers, viz., the wearing of simple masks in public, as in China people do routinely: for other reasons hitherto, but currently of course especially due to The Virus. China, the virus first made its presence felt, after initial hesitancy, squashed the pandemic within a couple of months, by using its absolute Governmental powers, enforcing lockdowns, with everybody as it appeared to me wearing masks..K

Then Italy became a hotspot, then the rest of Europe including Britain! and Scandinavia, with Sweden and Norway providing a fascinating contrast in that, while Norway has taken the virus seriously, with shutdowns, school closures, and many wearing masks, Sweden has not, and has paid hugely in terms of cases and deaths. And of course dear little New Zealand has been utterly sensible and had almost no cases at all. No dominance by Murdoch, a female-led, intelligent Labour Government .. 

Let’s go back. Since the beginning I have encouraged everyone in close social situations to wear masks. Why am I so certain of my grounds to do so? It’s so obvious! Viruses spread from one to others mainly via DROPLETS*, sprayed from one’s mouth or nose in coughing sneezing or animated conversation. They may be rebreathed directly by those close around, or of course, those droplets may also land on objects all around, such as supermarket items. Probably most of all, they may be transferred via one’s own hands. K Yes, I know I didn’t need to say all this – but it’s the very obviousness of it all that so perplexes me. 

Here’s a parable about a parable. I saw a movie recently an old monk was telling a parable to his young understudy, about finding a way. . .. Long ago, when Man walked over rocky land, he used to wish that ver he wanted to walk could all be covered with something smooth and soft animal skin so it didn’t hurt his feet. Then he invented leather shoes, and that was just as good .. 

Well in the case of The Virus, The Authorities have always insisted Wash Your Hands Often and Keep Your 1.5m Distance. Now, everyone knows that both are often impossible - covering the world with leather. K Well I say, masks “distance” you from others around you. And better than 1.5 meters, which I think is ridiculously inadequate anyway. 

They stop you getting viruses on your hands in the first place! Masks stop you spraying any droplets at all! 

The Authorities have always been so equivocal about the usefulness of masks, so grudging in admitting their effectiveness, that, in Australia, most people don’t bother wearing masks at all. No-one in my local supermarket, no-one in the Casino I’m told .. I went masked into my local library and the staff stared at me an alien! K When I went to Adelaide by tram for the BLM rally, I was the first masker aboard, then joined by one other man, and five more young people in a group. Seven, in a packed tram. All seven were going to the rally. No-one else did, they all went shopping. At the huge rally nearly all were wearing masks, and masks were being distributed for free to those who had none. Social distancing was impossible but I felt safer there than on the tram or in my supermarket – simply because nearly everyone was masked. We were being more responsible than the ambient population! But of course the RW Media tried to paint us as risking bringing Armageddon down on us. It’s true, I and many others had to wrestle with our consciences, but on balance I had to act on a matter of deep principle. In fact, given that I knew many would be staying away by reason of the virus, I thought that we BLM demonstrators might be very few .. But I was staggered by the size of the crowd! As one on racism – and on masks. These were real good people! We, the entire crowd, were totally *woke* as us groovers to say.

But WHO, and authorities worldwide, including nearly everyone here, continue to vacillate. NOW, they’re starting to admit that masks ‘stop 65 to 80’ of transmissions – as though that figure is, meh, not perfect enough! Dog Albitey, that would be Death to the virus if it were maintained! It only has to infect >1 persons per person to flourish, and we only have to keep it <1 person per person for it to be defeated .. To decrease rate of infection even by 10 would be marvellous, 65 decrease would mean it would wither away the Triffids, in a few weeks. K But still, those Authorities .. OHH they griped at first We’ve got to save them all for the medics .. Dammit these are things that can be made hand over fist by any number of factories, at rates which make your head spin ..

..And Ohhh they grumbled We don’t think masks are necessary at the moment .. and we don’t think they’ll help much .. Now, with a new and very serious scattering of outbreaks they are finally admitting they might .. 

Then they moaned Ohhhhh but masks will make you touch your face more often .. WHAT? The very fact of a mask on your face makes you aware of NOT touching your face which of course is a nearly-unconscious act most of the time.K .. Ohhh they grizzled But the masks have to be made of special stuff, 3 dense layers all different .. I say BULLSHIT ! It’s not necessary. These simple masks don’t have to be airtight, or anything it – all they have to do is to STOP DROPLETS being sprayed out the front of your face! and droplets getting from others to you - though actually that is secondary.

I’ve done tests: Three layers of strong KITCHEN PAPER stop ANY penetration of water droplets from an instant spray from a household mist-sprayer - imagine imitating a vesneeze. So when masks were impossible to buy, I was making my own, with those 3 layers of paper, 2 big rubber bands loosely fitting to ears, and 3 staples. Took me 3 minutes to design and 2 more to make. And the first one fitted fine. I even drew an elephant’s face on it .. ??

Now, at long long last, the more responsible of The Authorities are finally espousing masks. Everything I’ve said all along has been dragged from them admissions from a tax evader. It’s been as though they’re scared to say what I believe many of them actually think. They’ve finally admitted that any barrier is better than none – a scarf or a sock or pairs of knickers I saw online today, women in a supermarket, stripping off their underpants and putting them on their faces .. 

What I don’t understand is WHY? Why’s it taken so long? They’ve always said Sneeze into your elbow .. ! Oh charming! There you are, wearing your snot elbow and dutifully bumping your colleagues with it .. Oh that’s all right, but no not a mask, never mind promoting handkerchiefs back in my day, nor even tissues to sneeze into, nope, only your elbow will do. Urgh!K Well at last, in the last day or so, Dan Andrews and others have actually started demanding that people wear masks whenever in social situations. It’s taken six months.

I must say, though, the mask debacle is not alone in baffling me. In this tinder-dry land of ours, people are still building homes amid forested country. They buy fancy new cars, play-stations and electronic toys worth thousands, everything that you could want. Except for one commodity: a firefighting pump and water tank! When I bought a fire-prone house that was the first thing I did, buy a Honda petrol-driven pump and I practised with it until I was confident I could start it within 2 pulls and use it effectively. Do you ever see any government encouraging the populace to do wise? Never! YTF not? K And they reckon Scummo’s dreadful Government leads Labor 53-47. What is wrong with Australians? 

*Medical authorities have been humming and hahing about the possible role of “aerosols” saying that some few cases may have been caused by submicroscopic particles which would not be filtered by masks, and they’ve been using that as an excuse not to support masks because masks are not a guarantee of safety .. They don’t really have much evidence for aerosol spread but in any case there is no doubt that the vast proportion of infections come through droplets.  

How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?