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Mon Mar 5, 2018, 12:01 PM

Trump Today

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.....
William Butler Yeats; The Second Coming; 1919.

Like many people, I keep up on the “news” by watching various television sources, and reading newspapers, books, and things on the internet. These often provide a wide range of opinions, or interpretations of the news. I've never sought to limit myself to exposure to opinions that I agree with.

There are numerous topics other than news about current events that I explore through television, books, and the internet. The evolution of life on Earth, archaeology, anthropology, the environment, sociology, psychology, and U.S. political history are all fascinating fields of study. Being retired allows me the opportunity to go at my own pace, satisfied in recognizing that I can only cover a tiny fraction of what is known about such topics. “It's a small world, but you can't eat in every restaurant,” a high school girlfriend once told me.

Like all human beings, I am a product of genetics and environment. (In fact, all organic life on and of Earth is. Genetics and environment are like the yellow and blue that combine to create green life.) So my limited understanding of life around me – and thus, my opinions about issues such as the current administration – are going to naturally different than other people's. And that's a good thing, because if we were all the same, humankind would soon degenerate.

We are currently spectators of the process of a type of degeneration taking place within the White House. Considering that the current administration was largely populated by corrupt figures to begin with, this is hardly surprising. And the decay brings to mind the old saying that a fish rots from the head down – for Donald Trump is a degenerate.

“It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings,” Sandra O'Connor Day noted in March of 2006. A curious comment from one who selected Bush-Cheney in 2000, but true, nevertheless.

The list of people shed by the administration in thirteen month's time continues to grow. The combined slimy group has been hung out to dry, like a snake skin that still bears the stench of Trump. We have yet to see a single person leave due to conscience ….for this White House lacks conscience.

The presidency creates something of a bubble for every person in that position, even in the best case scenarios. As everyone knows, Trump has become more isolated – both physically and emotionally – within the White House over the past few days. Hence, his outburst about tariffs. I heard on critic on television say that since Trump has damaged everything domestically, he is now targeting foreign affairs. I think most of the world's people are convinced that he has damaged international relations since he was a candidate.

Trump's personality make-up – his character, resulting from genetics and environment – does not due well in isolation. This is particularly true when he is under pressure. Indeed, any one thing (for example, being made fun of on SNL) will fester in his mind, until he lashes out. This obvious lack of impulse-control is because his outbursts come not from his brain's frontal lobes, but rather, from the reptilian stem of the brain. Trump in isolation rapidly becomes a lizard, attacking imaginary flies.

When the perceived insults add up, they create a synergy. Thus, the president who boasts of being a “counter-puncher” becomes enraged when Jeff Sessions counter-punches him, by dining with the president's “enemies.” And no enemy poses as much of a threat of Robert Mueller. Reports indicate that Trump is willing to shed Ivanka and Jared from his White House, sacrificing them in a feeble effort to protect himself. (Reptiles are not noted for their parenting.) This intensifies the isolation.

The danger is obvious. Everyone on this forum already recognizes this. Trump will surely seek to increase both domestic and international tensions – in an effort to protect himself from the inevitable. His brain-dead followers are likely to crawl out from under their rocks, and react from their own reptilian impulses. These are the ones Trump has called “good people.” Petty dictators – and Trump is by definition petty – try to use such unrest to clamp down on their opposition with “emergency actions.”

To counter this possibility, it is vital that we focus upon the methods described in the Bill of Rights' Amendment 1, and in preparing for the 2018 elections. There is a great battle at hand. Let's kick their asses.

Peace, H2O Man

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 45 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trump Today (Original post)
H2O Man Mar 2018 OP
dalton99a Mar 2018 #1
H2O Man Mar 2018 #15
eleny Mar 2018 #28
H2O Man Mar 2018 #29
eleny Mar 2018 #30
el_bryanto Mar 2018 #2
Shipwack Mar 2018 #9
erronis Mar 2018 #11
H2O Man Mar 2018 #17
kentuck Mar 2018 #3
Hortensis Mar 2018 #13
H2O Man Mar 2018 #20
malaise Mar 2018 #4
H2O Man Mar 2018 #21
cilla4progress Mar 2018 #5
H2O Man Mar 2018 #22
cilla4progress Mar 2018 #24
H2O Man Mar 2018 #25
cilla4progress Mar 2018 #27
smirkymonkey Mar 2018 #6
H2O Man Mar 2018 #23
malthaussen Mar 2018 #7
H2O Man Mar 2018 #26
Stonepounder Mar 2018 #8
H2O Man Mar 2018 #31
Stonepounder Mar 2018 #38
gademocrat7 Mar 2018 #10
H2O Man Mar 2018 #32
gordianot Mar 2018 #12
H2O Man Mar 2018 #33
Hekate Mar 2018 #14
H2O Man Mar 2018 #34
calimary Mar 2018 #16
H2O Man Mar 2018 #35
spanone Mar 2018 #18
H2O Man Mar 2018 #36
many a good man Mar 2018 #19
H2O Man Mar 2018 #37
malthaussen Mar 2018 #40
KY_EnviroGuy Mar 2018 #39
H2O Man Mar 2018 #41
KY_EnviroGuy Mar 2018 #42
H2O Man Mar 2018 #43
KY_EnviroGuy Mar 2018 #44
H2O Man Mar 2018 #45

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 12:06 PM

1. "We have yet to see a single person leave due to conscience"

An important observation that hasn't been mentioned by the media

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 08:01 PM

15. Sam Nunberg's melt-down

today provides a good example. Last week, when thought he could help nail Jared, he talked about his great respect for Team Mueller. Today, when informed he will be in front of the grand jury on Friday, he's having a brat attack. He claims they want him to testify against Roger Stone. Well, if Roger didn't break the law, there's nothing he could testify to that could hurt poor Roger.

A bunch of low-life scum.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 10:46 PM

28. My take is that Stone engineered Nunberg's demonstration albeit with a sober script

But that aside, Nunberg was there with Trump and Stone early on in the campaign. He was one of the in crowd shaping the early days of MAGA and "Lock her up!". Trump's choice. After all, Trump and Stone go way back.

As this group shaped what was to become the administration so will it mold & rot. And we need to support as best we can candidates around the whole country to see that the decaying mass gets dropped into a dumpster and buried with the onion peels.

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Response to eleny (Reply #28)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 11:20 PM

29. I agree,

and I think there was more than alcohol fueling Sam's curious behavior today.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #29)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 11:23 PM

30. Yup, I agree with you, too

Whatever else he was downing I think fear was mixed into his cocktail.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 12:09 PM

2. I worry about when Trump really does fall apart

I do think he might "postpone" the 2020 elections.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 02:04 PM

9. Why wait until 2020?

Maybe it’s just my tinfoil hat, but I half expect him to use any “blue wave” in the upcoming midterms as “proof” of Russian interference, and declare them all null and void.

Who would stop him? The Republican Congress? The Supreme Court (with their many army divisions behind them)?

Even though the “True Believers” that probably are only 30% (at most), it would get ugly.

Maybe I should just check my meds....

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Response to Shipwack (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 02:15 PM

11. I think your meds are perfectly calibrated. The 30% supporting the overthrow of democracy

Just like the 2% that support the NRA's support of assault weapons for everyone.

And the NRA (National Russian Army) controls congress through money, blackmail, and fear.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 09:06 PM

17. I do not think

Trump will be in office at the last quarter of 2019. But I do believe that there is nothing that he would not try to do to save his own skin.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 12:15 PM

3. We have "degenerated" more than we realize in the last year or so.

It's like a virus, affecting every American.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 02:17 PM

13. Nuts to that. I have not "degenerated." Like millions

of Democrats, what's happened has strengthened my commitment to what the right is trying to destroy. Every Tuesday now illustrates this happening in increased turnout in the kind of local special elections that most people never notice. This'll be nothing to what happens November 6.

Btw, tomorrow's Tuesday and we're in primary season!

Too many seats, primaries and special elections, in too many states to list. Texas is being watched for three Repub-held seats that are all possible flips in this conservative state.

Ballotpedia election calendar here.
https://ballotpedia.org/Elections_calendar

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Response to kentuck (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 09:09 PM

20. Right.

Erich Fromm used to speak about how a sane person has difficulty in an insane society. It's NOT that the sane person is wrong, bad, insane, degenerate, etc. ....as the first response to your post mistakenly assumed. It's that they seek to exist in an insane environment.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 12:17 PM

4. Excellent post

my good WaterMan

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Response to malaise (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 09:11 PM

21. Thank you,

my Wonderful Sister!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 12:19 PM

5. Oh H2O man,

you speak my heart.

In fact, just now, on another thread, responding to the revelations yesterday about Mueller's grand jury subpoena listing LISTING trump as a target..my comment was that it must take STEEL for Mueller to pursue truth knowing that an outcome could be the spurring of a second American revolution.

This may sound inflammatory, but what else do we suppose will be the result if/when Mueller makes his official report of what all know to be true?

How are you living your days through this H2O Man? For me, I am making sure my loved ones are in safe places. Making sure we all continue to have fun, and highlighting that. There is an irony for me personally in that I am fortunate to have a lot of good happening in my family's lives right now; the things we can control. I am trying to take care of the beings for whom I am responsible - family, pets, land I care for, wild things in my range. Activating politically as much as I can afford to be seen in my conservative corner.

I am struggling to balance awareness of the political reality with continuing to be aware of the beauty in the world, natural, for sure, as well as human. It would be so easy to spin out of control. It feels sad, scary, and dangerous here. With the world, too, spinning toward fascism (Italian elections over the weekend), not to mention the natural systems breaking down. Which I believe is at the heart of it...which our species knows intuitively.

I don't know what else to do.

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Response to cilla4progress (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 09:27 PM

22. Many years ago

(so long ago that I was actually young!), a Clan Mother told me that when the world spins faster and faster, and distant things begin to spin out of control, to make sure to take time -- alone, or with family and friends -- and inhabit a slow-moving space for a period of time. And to do so as often, and for as long, as needed before stepping back in to fight the Good Fight. I am fortunate in that I can do this.

I also get strength from being able to interact, from time to time, with young people. I sense a new wave of powerful energy in many of the college students I've been meeting with. And those I've seen in the media, these amazing high school students. I tell them that a lot of people my age were and are committed to social and environmental justice ....that things would actually be much worse, if we hadn't engaged in the struggle. And we're still here, doing our best. But we aren't handing off a very good world to their generation.

I suggest that examine issues for themselves, as young people. Consider what us older people say, evaluate our tactics, but do not accept any of it on face value. Come up with the solutions they determine are required, then dig in for a long and difficult struggle. Think for themselves, and act for others. Fight the Good Fight.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #22)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 09:48 PM

24. Yes, I agree.

I live in the countryside and have animals so I’m fortunate to have access to the slow pace, too.

You are clarifying for me why I feel so desperate to move to Montana near my 25 year old daughter. It was as you say uplifting and inspiring to have her and her friends around as young adults.

Thank you.

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Response to cilla4progress (Reply #24)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 09:57 PM

25. Very good!

My second-youngest is 24. She lives in Boston now, and while I don't see her as often as I'd like, we talk on the phone and internet 3-4 times each week. She's very active in political-social issues there. But there are times when I suspect she misses the slow pace around here. I love when she and her friends visit.

I'm down to two dogs, three cats, and two rabbits. (I also have a pond, with lots of fish, etc, that is a great place to hang out much of the year.) I was thinking ....both of my dogs (brothers) are smarter and more capable of serving as president than Trump. Very smart -- went to the best schools! Okay, I home-schooled them. How in the heck did this happen to our country?

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #25)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 10:33 PM

27. Ugh

I don’t know.

Yes, I am very grateful that our daughter shares our progressive values!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 12:19 PM

6. K&R

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 09:27 PM

23. Thank you!

Much appreciated.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 01:00 PM

7. It's been like that poem for a long time, though...

... most of this century, at least.

To go Freudian for a moment, I wonder if Donald Trump has a superego at all? Lack of one would explain both his reptilian reflexes and his unchecked ego: the man simply lacks any governor at all. (And Freud should have thought of a better term than "superego," since Trump's ego is surely super)

But I submit Mr Trump does answer the question of the poem's last two lines:
"What rough beast... slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 10:06 PM

26. I agree.

Trump is a symptom -- a severe, dangerous one. But a symptom of the sickness that has infected our society for a long time. He could not have been elected at any previous time, for it required the exact degree of decay that surfaced in 2016.

By no coincidence, there are other historical examples of psychopaths rising to power in similar circumstances. They appeal to the darkest impulses of at least one or two military leaders, which helps them consolidate the power to do severe damage to the social structure. And they count upon the gross ignorance of those prone to violence within the population to assure "emergencies" needed to restrict the rights of their political opposition.

Regarding the super ego, the sad truth is that no, he does not have brain functioning that allows for that. As the old saying about psychopaths goes, he knows the words, but can't carry the tune.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 02:03 PM

8. And what rough beast, its hour come round at last

slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

.......

Or much preferably, slouches toward alienating Congress to force impeachment and imprisonment?

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Response to Stonepounder (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 11:56 PM

31. I think that

Trump will drop out in 2019. A majority of Democrats in the House will move to impeach him. He'll resign before the Senate convicts him.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #31)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 01:56 AM

38. From your mouth to God's ear!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 02:08 PM

10. Agree with you, H2O Man.

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Response to gademocrat7 (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 11:57 PM

32. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 02:16 PM

12. I expect Trump to make an unexpected exit.

His increasing alienation of those who actually work for him is not a good sign and he is becoming increasingly isolated. The one real talent Trump has is to create enemies the day is coming he will realize his paranoia is realized and his debts are due.

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Response to gordianot (Reply #12)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 11:59 PM

33. I agree!

He'll want to spend more time with Ivanka -- especially if Jared is incarcerated.

On a more serious note, he is a coward by nature. He'll fold.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 05:40 PM

14. KnR H2O Man

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Response to Hekate (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 12:00 AM

34. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 08:06 PM

16. Another wonderful think piece, H2O Man.

I saved it for slower savoring a little later today.

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Response to calimary (Reply #16)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 12:00 AM

35. Thank you!

Much appreciated!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 09:08 PM

18. K&R...

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Response to spanone (Reply #18)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 12:01 AM

36. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 09:09 PM

19. This is the first time I could fully grok

This is the first time I could fully grok the meaning of that Yeats stanza. It perfectly describes our current situation though I hope he's wrong about the best lacking conviction. This will truly be the test of our times.

Trump is radioactive and no one who could possibly help is getting anywhere near that. I fully expect that his exit strategy is to put us on the brink of a major crime against humanity that he will leverage to negotiate a deal that lets him resign with no jail time and his fortune mostly intact.

Thanks for your OP. I have found it regenerating.

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Response to many a good man (Reply #19)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 12:07 AM

37. Thanks, many a good man!

As a student of Irish history, I think it's worthwhile to compare some of the dynamics of 1919 Ireland, with the current situation in the US. I believe that in this context, Yeats was referencing the equivalent of some of today's public leadership in government, corporations, etc, who hail to take steps to put the worst in check.

It's curious: like Nixon, Trump is only worried about saving himself. He will gladly sacrifice anyone and everyone else. Why do even the slime bother to try to protect him?

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Response to many a good man (Reply #19)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 10:51 AM

40. "The best lack all conviction" is one of those tricky lines...

... which allow for the "best" to be discovered because they show conviction. Which, IMO, will be few of those who traditionally are called "best" in a government.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 02:48 AM

39. Thanks, H2O Man for creating a good review.

Most of us raised in the gentle country simply can't perceive people like tRump existing, much less elected to public office. Therefore, people like us study to try and understand "what the hell is this THING?".

We all know he exhibits symptoms of psychopathy, but his ego goes far beyond that characteristic. I found this article in Raw Story (originally from AlterNet) quite interesting:

The psychological condition that really explains Donald Trump’s twisted worldview
AlterNet
03 Mar 2018 at 14:24 ET

See: https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/psychological-condition-really-explains-donald-trumps-twisted-worldview/

It's all about "wins" and he can't stand to lose or "not win", as proven by his actions. He does not seem to care if an action is or is not the right thing to do, but if it's popular with his base and/or creates new chaos, then it's a win on his brain's scoreboard.

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #39)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 11:55 AM

41. Thanks!

Bandy Lee's book, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President" is perhaps the single best resource .....at least in my opinion. I recommend that interested people buy or borrow the book. Not every contribution to it will likely be of value to the lay person, but the majority absolutely will.

I'm retired, but have been in closer contact with old co-workers since Trump's election, than I had been in the previous decade. This includes the forensic team that I worked with (psychiatrists, psychologists, & social workers from our clinic). We all recognize the personality type that Trump is, and the dangers he poses. This includes the characters of those he selects to surround him. There is good reason for concern, to say the least.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #41)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 06:41 PM

42. Thanks for that reference, now in my wish list!

H2O, as an amateur psychologist in retirement (from engineering), I enjoy studying human behavior in an effort to better accept my fellow man and all our strange behavior and foibles around the globe. This study began as an important part of my alcohol recovery program beginning in 1990 (for self-knowledge), and I've used those same tools to help me understand and accept others. It provided invaluable relief during the wars Iraq and Afghanistan in an effort to understand those cultures.

I learned that if I don't have at least a modest understanding of behavior strange to me, then that invites fear and resentment. Picking up bits and pieces of understanding from folks like you is like gold. One of my longest lasting endeavors is trying to understand the mindset of the typical Republican, and I'm still working on it.

It helps to occasionally remind myself that all those born into humanity are essentially normal, and those we declare to be odd are simply a ways off the Bell Curve center. Redheads, psychopaths, left-handers (like me), light and dark, short and tall are all normal parts of our wonderfully diverse species! Unfortunately, some of our least desirable attributes tend to be the most deceptive and destructive, as in the case of tRump and his associates. Each time he announced a cabinet appointment, my jaw dropped in amazement in that possible no worse person could have been chosen!


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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #42)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 08:57 PM

43. Right. Well said.

Two other books that I'm sure you would enjoy were authored by Erich Fromm -- who is quoted several times in Dr. Lee's book. His 1955 "The Sane Society" and 1973 "The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness" are simply amazing. He was, as you likely know, a psychologist and sociologist. Those books focus upon how a society becomes "dysfunctional" -- much in the manner of a family -- and how a psychopath attracts right-hand assistants and followers that find license to become brutal. In that context, it was impossible for Trump to pick anyone but the absolute worst person for almost literally every position.

I've always liked normal people. But I love the "abnormal" folks. People on the margins of society, often by choice. And I had the benefit of two outstanding mentors -- Rubin Carter and Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman -- who taught me to look at both individuals and groups in a manner distinct from what the larger society measures by.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #43)

Thu Mar 8, 2018, 04:49 AM

44. Thank you again, H2O.

I appreciate your book recommendations and gracious thoughts. I'm very anxious to get a copy of Dr. Fromm's "The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness", as I think it will shed some more professional light on my amateur musings about mankind.

LOL, one Amazon reviewer said "This book helps me to understand Mike Pence.".

I've worked with a big variety of folks in my recovery program, including people of all faiths (and none), ones with sexual issues, bi-polar folks and a few that probably were just outright psychopaths. Those experiences taught me a lot about the extremes in our species and how to accept and deal with those variances. I'm forever grateful for that experience.

I assume you're speaking of Rubin Carter the boxer (I looked him up), and if so, I'm sure he was quite a character to have met and studied. He's from the school of hard knocks, for sure - and I don't mean from boxing.

Peace!.......

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #44)

Thu Mar 8, 2018, 10:23 AM

45. Yes.

I was friends with Rubin for 40+ years. A unique character.

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