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andym's Journal
andym's Journal
August 29, 2020

The D (dark) factor and Trump: framing the election between light (Joe) and dark (Trump)

Psychologists have postulated there is a dark factor, correlating with dark elements of personality: narcissism, ego, selfishness, sadism etc.
Trump seems to embody the D factor, as revealed by his behavior and Mary Trump's book. Joe Biden was right to cast the election as one between light (himself) and darkness (Trump), and I think in conversations with others that should be emphasized as much as anything why you support Joe and not Trump.
The frame: The election is between light and dark.

Here is an article:
A website: http://www.darkfactor.org/

A quiz you can take to determine your D score: https://qst.darkfactor.org/

These are the nine traits that comprised their D-factor:

Egoism. The excessive concern with one's own pleasure or advantage at the expense of community well-being.
Machiavellianism. Manipulativeness, callous affect and strategic-calculating orientation.
Moral Disengagement. A generalized cognitive orientation to the world that differentiates individuals' thinking in a way that powerfully affects unethical behavior.
Narcissism. An all-consuming motive for ego reinforcement.
Psychological Entitlement. A stable and pervasive sense that one deserves more and is entitled to more than others.
Psychopathy. Deficits in affect, callousness, self-control and impulsivity.
Sadism. Intentionally inflicting physical, sexual or psychological pain or suffering on others in order to assert power and dominance or for pleasure and enjoyment.
Self-Interest. The pursuit of gains in socially valued domains, including material goods, social status, recognition, academic or occupational achievement and happiness.
Spitefulness. A preference that would harm another but that would also entail harm to oneself. This harm could be social, financial, physical or an inconvenience.

I've added a poll, in case you want to self-report your own D-factor if you take their quiz. We can all guess that Trump is close to 9.

August 25, 2020

Trump's convention offers misleading portrait of his presidency

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 5:02 AM ET, Tue August 25, 2020

Had Donald Trump conducted the kind of presidency portrayed on a truth-bending but stylistically sound first night of the Republican National Convention, he might not be in such a desperate fight for a second term.

The President was presented as a statesman and an inspiration, an almost benevolent force, a friend to Black Americans, an unparalleled hostage negotiator and a shield against an assault on American values who is riding high after a coherent first term in a package designed to appeal strongly to conservative voters. It was an impression of Trump that was often at odds with the reality of the most turbulent divisive presidency in generations -- one that critics see as a threat to American democracy itself.
Trump's most high profile defenders had to project onto Democrats the faults that his accusers see embodied in his approach to politics.
It was a night marked by constant tension between the more aspirational approach of Haley and the full bore anger of the President's son. In many ways, the well-produced opening night exhibited far more discipline than Trump typically shows himself -- most recently in a divisive monologue in North Carolina on Monday morning that contained corrosive claims not backed up by evidence that Democrats were trying to steal November's election. The convention version of the President also bore little resemblance to the daily drama of assaults on the rule of law, divisive racial rhetoric and erratic leadership that fueled Democratic warnings he's a threat to US democracy.

And a slick convention video presented a misleading picture of a pandemic in which nearly 180,000 Americans have already died, exacerbated by Trump's negligence and prioritizing of his political ambitions over science.
Such contradictions pointed to a truism about Trump that may explain his current deficit to Biden (he is down nine points in the CNN Poll of Polls.) The scripted, presented version of the President offered on Monday and in set piece events like the State of the Union address is not authentic and is very likely unsustainable.
More at the link.
It's a propaganda fest straight out of Orwell's "1984" or "Animal Farm" designed to rewrite history and trick wavering conservatives into believing Trump is some kind of conservative hero. I almost expected Trump to say it's "Morning in America" as he speaks directly from the "shining city on the hill"-- from Reagan's two most famous optimistic speeches.

August 9, 2020

Trump as Incompetent manager: re: executive orders

Even though Trump has been President for 3.5 years he still doesn't understand how the federal government works or interfaces with the state governments as evidenced by his executive orders (EOs).

There is no way that Trump will be able to get the unemployment money to the states without many months of work-- in the meantime the unemployed will suffer. That's because they can't route the money through the usual unemployment insurance channels. Furthermore, states just don't have the extra funds to chip in $100/week. And what about the businesses that were promised the money to keep their doors open that he is now rerouting to the unemployed-- will they close and add to the unemployment ranks?

This is what Pelosi and Schumer mean when they way that Trump's EOs are "weak and unworkable"-- never mind the serious consequences of taking funding away from SS temporarily or the EO's constitutionality.

The states will probably challenge Trump in court over their Trump mandated contributions--no need for the Democrats in Congress to do it, btw. Just wait until the unemployed don't get their money, etc.


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