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Adamantium
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27 Jan 2017, 9:58 am

Trump is very good at making provocative statements and the legacy of his campaign speeches among those who oppose him is profound anxiety about how he will use the power of the presidency and a range of very strong negative emotions including, for some, fear and outrage.

This has resulted in a lot of hyperbolic speech about him and overinterpretation of stories from his first days as president: ascribing to him decisions he can't have made and policies he can't have directed.

This in turn has resulted in people who are to some degree favorably disposed toward Trump looking on the anti Trump people as dishonest or deranged. This can lead to mockery with predictable results of futile non-dialog and non-communication.

I think there is a lot to worry about and oppose in President Trump, so much so that we don't any hyperbole in responding to it or discussing it. I implore people on both sides and anywhere in the middle to focus on what's really happening and leave the hyperbole, mockery and name calling behind. There is plenty to talk about without bringing imaginary events or hyped up emotional responses into it.

I am concerned by descriptions of Trump's narcissism that seem to fit well with his speech and behavior. I'm not suggesting Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but a high degree of narcissism as described by his ghostwriter and a psychologist who wrote about him for the Atlantic.
Donald Trump's ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz, on Donald Trump
Pschology professor and Psychobiographer Dan McAdams on the mind of Donald Trump

The knee jerk reaction from the right is to dismiss everything these reports say without examining them and look for ways to attack the authors. Instead of doing that, consider that they might be honest appraisals of the personality of a man they have studied closely. I think you will be surprised at how well some of the characteristics they describe fit the actions and words of the man. Will he really pursue conservative policies and goals?

The knee jerk reaction from the left is to demonize him and view every action anyone takes in government as a sign of his personal evil and an existential threat to our way of life and perhaps all life on earth... but that is hyperbole. Looking at the real man, another picture emerges. Again, I think looking at what we can learn about his personality from Tony Schwartz and Dan McAdams will be a useful lens for understanding and predicting his reactions and also for strategizing about how to pursue liberal policies and goals during his administration.

I think these ideas are directly applicable to two issues that have been in the news this week: the Wall, the size of the Crowd at the inauguration and the claim that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in the election.

I would love to have an ongoing discussion about these real issues of Trump in action and how his personality may be influencing his decisions as President, but I'm not at all confident that a civil and reasoned discussion is possible in the current climate.

Since optimism has a better success rate than pessimism, I'm opening this thread in the hope that such a discussion might take place in it. Thoughtful views from all political perspectives welcome.


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leejosepho
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27 Jan 2017, 10:12 am

Adamantium wrote:
I think there is a lot to worry about and oppose in President Trump...
I implore people on both sides and anywhere in the middle to focus on what's really happening and leave the hyperbole, mockery and name calling behind.

I think other people call the shots and it makes no difference who actually holds the office, but I do think we need to try to figure out the reality of all of that and/or how such a man could ever even end up there.

Edit: Here is what someone has said on another forum...
Quote:
Strong emotions are good, but are we here to try to solve problems, or just discharge our anxieties about what other people say? To me, that is the strongest objection to Trump. He reacts only to his emotions, without thinking them through. If you attack someone else you will only provoke them into greater anxiety and less ability to think clearly. This leads not to solving anything, but to a downward spiral...

https://forums.psychcentral.com/5476561-post35.html


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Last edited by leejosepho on 27 Jan 2017, 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Adamantium
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27 Jan 2017, 10:28 am

leejosepho wrote:
Adamantium wrote:
I think there is a lot to worry about and oppose in President Trump...
I implore people on both sides and anywhere in the middle to focus on what's really happening and leave the hyperbole, mockery and name calling behind.

I think other people call the shots and it makes no difference who actually holds the office, but I do think we need to try to figure out the reality of all of that and/or how such a man could ever even end up there.


How he was elected is a different subject I think, though his personality certainly prepared him to work the media brilliantly in the primaries and campaign.

Who holds the office does make some difference, despite the permanent government, I think.


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jrjones9933
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27 Jan 2017, 10:39 am

Trump has a tremendous ability to make people cheer, and get them excited. He has a problem with the truth, to the extent that he contradicts himself frequently.

I would expect to see his popularity fall, as people gradually figure this out, but instead it seems to be stabilizing. If he was an illogical cheerleader, appealing to people to work hard and sacrifice, I would not object, but his biggest applause lines have always come from attacking people or making threats.

Keeping the hyperbole out was more difficult than I expected, but good idea.


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28 Jan 2017, 2:26 am

I have major problems with his immigration, economic, civil liberties, and criminal justice positions, but have chosen to put those aside for the moment in the hopes that his judicial appointments and some of the legislation he can sign will advance causes I believe in in a way that wouldn't have been possible under a Clinton administration. My fear is that he will so poison the GOP brand that we'll be looking at a major backlash and single party rule for some time in the future, but I'm hoping that he'll surprise me on that one.

I think the major problem with much of the criticism of him is that the (loosely defined) left has attempted to put him into several of their favorite boxes, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, when they could have just stuck to the much stronger cases for his general temperamental unsuitability and mercurial nature, to say nothing of his odd relationship with the truth, and been much less vulnerable to having every criticism dismissed as "that's what they always say about Republicans".


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28 Jan 2017, 2:45 am

it is too much to expect that he will terminally poison the GOP brand, but that would make me feel like a reprieved prisoner if that did happen.



jrjones9933
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28 Jan 2017, 2:59 am

Dox47 wrote:
I think the major problem with much of the criticism of him is that the (loosely defined) left has attempted to put him into several of their favorite boxes, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, when they could have just stuck to the much stronger cases for his general temperamental unsuitability and mercurial nature, to say nothing of his odd relationship with the truth, and been much less vulnerable to having every criticism dismissed as "that's what they always say about Republicans".

It stings because it sounds true.

I feel like the labels were and are justified, but it does seem like they backfired. I don't think we did it out of any strategy, though. The pain is real. I can't imagine a Democratic candidate holding back criticism of perceived bigotry, and we gang up against it not because of groupthink but because of overwhelming agreement that minority groups need to have solidarity for obvious reasons.

So, I don't know if we can put together the kind of coalition that will last, and I can't make any predictions about 2018. I have no idea what Trump and his people will do, and I have no idea what the new Democratic leadership plans to do, and I don't even know how much any of those people know about what they themselves plan to do. Rumsfeld cubed level confusion. Unknowns which are neither known nor unknown, or something.


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EzraS
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28 Jan 2017, 3:25 am

Adamantium wrote:
Trump is very good at making provocative statements and the legacy of his campaign speeches among those who oppose him is profound anxiety about how he will use the power of the presidency and a range of very strong negative emotions including, for some, fear and outrage.

This has resulted in a lot of hyperbolic speech about him and overinterpretation of stories from his first days as president: ascribing to him decisions he can't have made and policies he can't have directed.

This in turn has resulted in people who are to some degree favorably disposed toward Trump looking on the anti Trump people as dishonest or deranged. This can lead to mockery with predictable results of futile non-dialog and non-communication.

I think there is a lot to worry about and oppose in President Trump, so much so that we don't any hyperbole in responding to it or discussing it. I implore people on both sides and anywhere in the middle to focus on what's really happening and leave the hyperbole, mockery and name calling behind. There is plenty to talk about without bringing imaginary events or hyped up emotional responses into it.

I am concerned by descriptions of Trump's narcissism that seem to fit well with his speech and behavior. I'm not suggesting Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but a high degree of narcissism as described by his ghostwriter and a psychologist who wrote about him for the Atlantic.
Donald Trump's ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz, on Donald Trump
Pschology professor and Psychobiographer Dan McAdams on the mind of Donald Trump


One problem I have with claims made against Trump, is they are virtually the same claims that have been made against other presidents. For instance I did a search on "Obama is a narcissist" and got several hits. Here's an article from Big Think titled, "Barack Obama - Narcissist or Merely Narcissistic?" http://bigthink.com/articles/barack-oba ... rcissistic

I already knew ahead of time I'd find articles like these, because in every case where I have used an accusation made against Trump and applied it to other presidents or presidential candidates, I always get hits. I've yet to find a president going as far back as Ronald Reagan, who hasn't been accused of most of what I see Trump being accused of, especially the accusation of being a dictator/Nazi/Hitler. That one especially has been applied to virtually everyone.

Now none of that proves or disproves accusations made against Trump, but it does go to show that there is nothing new about these types of accusations being made against a President of the United States.



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28 Jan 2017, 3:40 am

Howdy. I have to say that I think President Trump is the best thing since sliced bread. I think its very entertaining how everyone is tearing him apart piece by piece and dissecting him under a microscope - including his personality. I don't recall any of this happening with Obama -a Marxist and a card carrying Communist. President Trump may be confident or I would say "cocky" because I have worked around some doctors and pharmacists who act the same way, but he isn't a narcissist. Trump cares too much for family and his country and the American people to be a narcissist. I find it funny because Obama comes across as the perfect narcissistic personality, but you guys can't see it.

I will say this, I didn't vote for Trump for his personality - I voted for him to get things done and if he does those things, I will vote for him again. So far, I haven't met any of my patients or my friends who are Republican having any problems with what Trump is doing or has done -its only the Left that has a problem and now he's even being psychoanalyzed. Ridiculous. I think all of this is driving the Left nuts because Obama was a radical Leftist and now everything is being put back the way it should be with security, allys, the border. Obama had made such a mess out of everything, that to put it all back is a total shock to the Left. I'm fine with everything Trump has done so far and impressed. I can see how he has gotten where he is - hes a real go-getter.


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28 Jan 2017, 3:47 am

nurseangela wrote:
Howdy. I have to say thast I think President Trump is the best thing since sliced bread. I think its very entertaining how everyone is tearing him apart piece by piece and dissecting him under a microscope - including his personality. I don't recall any of this happening with Obama -a Marxist and a card carrying Communist. President Trump may be confident or I would say "cocky" because I have worked around some doctors and pharmacists who act the same way, but he isn't a narcissist. Trump cares too much for family and his country and the American people to be a narcissist. I find it funny because Obama comes across as the perfect narcissistic personality, but you guys can't see it.

I will say this, I didn't vote for Trump for his personality - I voted for him to get things done and if he does those things, I will vote for him again. So far, I haven't met any of my patients or my friends who are Republican having any problems with what Trump is doing or has done -its only the Left that has a problem and now he's even being psychoanalyzed. Ridiculous. I think all of this is driving the Left nuts because Obama was a radical Leftist and now everything is being put back the way it should be with security, allys, the border. Obama had made such a mess out of everything, that to put it all back is a total shock to the Left. I'm fine with everything Trump has done so far and impressed. I can see how he has gotten where he is - hes a real go-getter.
How can you say Trump cares for the American people when he gave money to Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi politicians who according to his set of beliefs exploited Americans?

And then he and took away American jobs sending them to Mexico.

How can you say he cares for them?



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28 Jan 2017, 3:49 am

Well, politics is a personality disorder zoo - and narcissism in particular is strong in a lot of politicians. I saw some study that said the presidents with the most sociopathic traits were in fact Kennedy and Bill Clinton, which is rather surprising considering their politics.

Of course people will fling these accusations around, and there is often a bit of truth in it - but you have to consider the source. In Trump's case, his autobiographer, who had a lot of intimate knowledge of the guy, went to the rather extreme strep of warning people against him. For him, it has a professional cost. A bunch of psychiatrists, who generally don't go around armchair diagnosing people, have stepped out of their comfort zone to point out his pathological behavior - and I think the reason they are doing it is a combination of real alarm and because it's so bloody obvious. Most narcissists hide their behavior better.

Generally, when people risk their professional standing to say something, they have good reasons for saying it.
As for the article by Vaknin, he does not have a background in psychiatry, but is a writer and serial fraudster. Vaknin was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder early on, but went on to be diagnosed a sociopath. Vaknin has nothing to lose by armchair diagnosing US presidents.


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28 Jan 2017, 3:57 am

Shahunshah wrote:
nurseangela wrote:
Howdy. I have to say thast I think President Trump is the best thing since sliced bread. I think its very entertaining how everyone is tearing him apart piece by piece and dissecting him under a microscope - including his personality. I don't recall any of this happening with Obama -a Marxist and a card carrying Communist. President Trump may be confident or I would say "cocky" because I have worked around some doctors and pharmacists who act the same way, but he isn't a narcissist. Trump cares too much for family and his country and the American people to be a narcissist. I find it funny because Obama comes across as the perfect narcissistic personality, but you guys can't see it.

I will say this, I didn't vote for Trump for his personality - I voted for him to get things done and if he does those things, I will vote for him again. So far, I haven't met any of my patients or my friends who are Republican having any problems with what Trump is doing or has done -its only the Left that has a problem and now he's even being psychoanalyzed. Ridiculous. I think all of this is driving the Left nuts because Obama was a radical Leftist and now everything is being put back the way it should be with security, allys, the border. Obama had made such a mess out of everything, that to put it all back is a total shock to the Left. I'm fine with everything Trump has done so far and impressed. I can see how he has gotten where he is - hes a real go-getter.
How can you say Trump cares for the American people when he gave money to Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi politicians who according to his set of beliefs exploited Americans?

And then he and took away American jobs sending them to Mexico.

How can you say he cares for them?

Regarding the jobs, he was a business man and did the same thing every other company has done. Now his job is President and he is bringing them back.

One thing bothered me when he was at the Catholic Charity dinner - he said that "he used to be one of them." and there were all Demos in the room. His actions will tell me if I can trust him. I'll just say that he'd have to do some outlandish crap for me not to vote for him again.


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28 Jan 2017, 4:03 am

I can't say that I viewed Trump as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder before observing his behavior during the campaign. Given that, it's possible I encountered the idea somewhere rather than reaching the conclusion entirely on my own. I'm pretty sure I first knew Trump as the pageant promoter; I saw him schmoozing the contestants in their ball gowns and thought, what a lucky creepy dude. It was a long time ago and I didn't really pay attention to the women's reactions; the way he moved in and put his hands on their waists put me off for some reason. I thought of that again when I watched the first R debate.

I don't even know the official diagnostic criteria. I have my own, which are simpler and have good enough predictive value. I formed this impression early on in the campaign, no hyperbole.


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nurseangela
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28 Jan 2017, 4:08 am

You know whats really weird? Obama snorting coke and having sex with men during his college days.


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28 Jan 2017, 4:09 am

Personally I usually try to view claims like a judge would and rule out anything that falls under such conditions as being circumstantial evidence, anecdotal evidence, hearsay, conjecture and speculation (not to mention mountains of sensationalism). It seems like most if not all the stuff I see people accusing him of falls into those categories. Plus a great number of things said against Trump have been by way of prognostication. Now if he's as bad as many claim, it shouldn't take much time now that he's in office for there to be solid evidence. So far I haven't seen any.



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28 Jan 2017, 4:14 am

I really hope congress is working on impeachment stuff now, rather than later.

Trump is a huge danger that needs to be stopped! People love to think he's doing good with immigration, jobs, etc.. but he really isn't!

To build the wall- he is basically going to RAISE prices on stuff we buy from Mexico. This tax will make the poor suffer more. Sorry but it's not easy for every store in America to simply buy American grown food, American-made clothing, etc. Plus let's not forget how many wealthy people are ADDICTED to buying stuff from other countries. A tiny tax wont matter to most of them. So once again- Trump ignores the lower class!

As for jobs- the pipeline nonsense will add tons of temporary jobs, not many permanent ones! Plus as I've pointed out many times- THEY LEAK! Many pipeline leaks aren't even cleaned up all the way! This is horrible. Why doesn't congress just pay to clean up these messes? Oh that's right- because it's a cost and they would rather find ways to make money for themselves. Greedy jerks!

Trump's companies are being run by his sons (apparently) but a blind trust should be required, period. He will just use the presidency to help himself! Case in point- the pipelines! He has money in at least one, if not more. Huge conflict of interest. I ask- why is this alright to people? Trump shouldn't be making profits by being president! It's pure greed but not surprising.. since most politicians are corrupt greedy people that don't actually help AMERICANS that they should be.

All of these are real issues, that way too many people either ignore or simply don't believe.