Peter Wehner Explains The Inexplicable

Like most Americans today, I occupy a bubble. My friends, family, colleagues and neighbors all tend to see political reality largely the way I see it.

So I was taken aback–floored, really–by a conversation I had during a weekend visit to New Buffalo, Michigan. Our daughter and son-in-law had treated us to the visit and a tour of the 1932 World Fair’s “Homes of the Future” sponsored by Indiana Landmarks. We were staying in a lovely Bed and Breakfast, and while I was getting coffee, I chatted with a guest who turned out to be from Carmel, a suburb of Indianapolis.

What began as a cordial exchange devolved when he mentioned that he “loved” President Trump. (I’m sorry to report that I didn’t bite my tongue; I suggested he’d been drinking the Kool-Aid, and he stomped off.)

This encounter bothered me immensely. Here was a person who was obviously comfortable financially, who didn’t look like someone who ignored the news, or was mentally incapacitated. Why would he “love” this pathetic excuse for a human?

My husband’s theory was that Trump justifies the guy’s probable racism, but the exchange was still rankling when I read Peter Wehner’s column in Monday’s New York Times, titled “What’s the Matter with Republicans?”

One might hope that some of the party’s elected officials would forcefully condemn the president on the grounds that there is now demonstrable evidence that he had crossed an ethical line and abused his power in ways even beyond what he had done previously, which was problematic enough.

But things are very different today than they were in the summer of ’74. Mr. Trump was on to something when he famously said, during the 2016 campaign, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, O.K.? It’s, like, incredible.” What most people took to be hyperbole turned out to be closer to reality.

Wehner–who was formerly a staunch  Republican–then asked the same question I had asked: why? What would account for continued fealty to someone who is not only a demonstrably unfit President, but a truly repulsive human being with what Wehner accurately describes as “a mobster’s mentality”?

Why, then, are so many Republicans yet again circling the Trump wagon rather than taking this opportunity to denounce what the president did and declare some independence from him by doing so? Why has Mr. Trump, an ethical wreck of a man both before and after he reached the White House, earned such fealty from Republicans?

Wehner says it isn’t policy, and I agree.

Understanding the close compact between Mr. Trump and the Republican Party starts with acknowledging the false hope many establishment Republicans placed in the shady real estate mogul as he rose to power. They misdiagnosed the individual they were dealing with, assuming that Mr. Trump would “grow in office” and that they, the “adults in the room,” would be able to control and contain him. At the outset of this unholy alliance, they were convinced they would change Mr. Trump more than Mr. Trump would change them. But the transformation turned out to be in them, not him.

Wehner acknowledges that politicians’ self-interest is threatened by the loyalty of the GOP base to Trump. But what accounts for the devotion of that base–of people like the man I had encountered?

As a conservative-leaning clinical psychologist I know explained to me, when new experiences don’t fit into an existing schema — Mr. Trump becoming the leader of the party that insisted on the necessity of good character in the Oval Office when Bill Clinton was president, for example — cognitive accommodation occurs.

When the accommodation involves compromising one’s sense of integrity, the tensions are reduced when others join in the effort. This creates a powerful sense of cohesion, harmony and group think. The greater the compromise, the more fierce the justification for it — and the greater the need to denounce those who call them out for their compromise. “In response,” this person said to me, “an ‘us versus them’ mentality emerges, sometimes quite viciously.”

“What used to be a sense of belonging,” I was told, “devolves into primitive tribalism, absolute adherence to the leader over adherence to a code of ethics.”…

As the psychologist I spoke to put it to me, many Republicans “are nearly unrecognizable versions of themselves pre-Trump. At this stage it’s less about defending Trump; they are defending their own defense of Trump.”

“At this point,” this person went on, “condemnation of Trump is condemnation of themselves. They’ve let too much go by to try and assert moral high ground now. Calling out another is one thing; calling out yourself is quite another.”

And then there’s that shared racism….

 

41 thoughts on “Peter Wehner Explains The Inexplicable

  1. “And then there’s that shared racism….”

    I would strongly suggest, at this point, it is more shared anti-Semitism, as it is much safer physically than racism. Give it a few more months and it will become much clearer. Don’t forget Trump jump-started his campaign with an anti-Semitic outburst and then DISPLAYED his ability to overcome the impotent defense raised by, George Soros’s funded, Move-on.

    He was their HERO from the get-go.

  2. We live in deeply scary times and I find my own mental stability on edge because of Trump and the clan that adore him.

  3. LOL, Doug! Good point.

    It’s not by accident that Donald Trump’s 1st wife Ivana said that he was a fan and student of Adolf Hitler. You know fiddler bamboozled the German population, he hypnotized them into gross sin. Mass murder of women and children in the millions. Of course the starting of a 2nd world war, stealing properties of Jewish German citizens, and properties Stolen/confiscated outside of Germany, (Lebensraum). This was taken from the American movement called Manifest Destiny.

    It had been so long since anyone had told the Germans how wonderful they were, how entitled they were, and that they had someone who was an advocate for them. Adolf Hitler was a lunatic, but he was their lunatic, he was their strongman, he was repugnant to many in Germany. After a while, through his rhetoric, they fell in love with him! It didn’t matter that he was a thief, it didn’t matter that he was a psychotic mass murderer, it was the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ on a grand scale.

    Trump recognized this, he knew that his followers were ripe for the pickin, that’s why he made his statement that he could stand in the middle of the street and shoot someone and they wouldn’t care. Exactly the same thing with Trump’s idol Adolf Hitler, he murdered millions and the German citizenry turned a blind eye. Many of those people that Hitler murdered were neighbors of those people turned a blind eye.

    The book that Donald Trump kept on his nightstand was called “My New Order” a collection of speeches by Adolf Hitler, this was brought out in court by Ivana Trump during their divorce proceedings.

    As Doug said in the above comment, not so dissimilar to pimp turning out prostitutes. There is a huge element of the Stockholm syndrome in that effort.

    The people look at Trump right now and say, they don’t like what he does, they don’t like a lot of what he says, in the past they wouldn’t have had anything to do with him, he’s a CAD, he is a race baiter, he’s a mentally ill narcissistic grifter with the power of the United States government behind him. BUT, He’s the James Bond villain his followers always envisioned themselves to be.

    But, Donald Trump is their strongman, he is their grifter, he is their Stable Genius! What do many of his followers see in themselves when they look in the mirror? Instead of a psychological loser, they see Genghis Khan combined with Fabio and Stephen Hawking, just like their Messiah Donald Trump!

  4. Interesting historical point. At their beginning the Republicans thought they could control the new President. He was better than all of them and they came to fall under his control. That was Lincoln. Now as we come to the end of the Republican Party, we are at the exact polar opposite. They still thought they could control 45, but he was more evil than all of them and they have fallen under his control.

  5. Growing up in a “staunch Republican” family was difficult for me from childhood; not understanding hatred of “other people” they had never met and had done nothing against them. They simply “staunchly” maintained their beliefs; the same was true of their view of poor people living nearby among what could only be termed as “trash”. There is a difference which is easy to discern; how do they take care of their family on limited income and how is it they are so willing to share what little they have with others…no matter the income level of those they share their little with. Why the Republicans only want to add to the coffers of those already overflowing has no basis in fact, logic or common sense. They simply have one-track minds and are now trapped in the current administration’s tunnel with that Trump train headed directly at them.

    IMO; this condition remains “Inexplicable” but easily identifiable between the struggling Democratic party against those “staunch Republicans”. Yesterday’s news conference with Trump and the President of Finland is not the worst we will see; nor is the Ukraine situation, It is not the beginning of the end of Trump’s madness, it is but a sample of his continuing power over the cuckoo’s nest that was once OUR White House, the seat of OUR democracy and once the source of leadership for the world…no matter which party was in control.

    “What began as a cordial exchange devolved when he mentioned that he “loved” President Trump. (I’m sorry to report that I didn’t bite my tongue; I suggested he’d been drinking the Kool-Aid, and he stomped off.)”

    Don’t be sorry about not biting your tongue, Sheila; at least you voiced your opinion after listening to his. My Trump infested neighborhood, primarily Catholics, have viewed me at their enemy since the 2016 campaign began and we have never talked about politics…or religion. They only know my yard signs for 14 years; they had never posted yard signs till the “Trump for President” signs flourished. My “Hogsett for Mayor” went out on October 1st.

  6. I appreciate the psychologist’s explanation. But what happened to people being able to say, “I was wrong”?

  7. You’re assuming the political class has a sense of ethics, to begin with…I’d say that is a stretch. We can rationalize and justify any wrongdoing s human beings. The stronger our moral compass, the harder it is to do so without inflicting negative self consequences.

    The political class has no moral compass. They are money and power grabbers. They get elected only to sell off their positions to the highest bidders. The more power they accumulate, the higher the price.

    Remember, we now have a Kakistocracy — a government of inferior people. They don’t serve the people; they serve the Oligarchy. They have to convince the people they care come election time, but they don’t.

    If you’re a sociopath or psychopath, this comes more easily. For those who do have a conscience, there is alcohol and drugs to numb out that tingling sensation of right vs. wrong.

    As Doug points out, our political class has become prostitutes, and with groupthink, they can rationalize or justify their actions. “We do what we have to do to survive on Capitol Hill.”

    Trump is nothing but a two-bit con man, but that’s what the GOP has become and much of the Democratic Party as well. Shysters and con men and con women chasing the almighty dollar.

    “The lure of easy money…”

    And then there is that racist thing.

  8. As Todd suggests, today’s politicians, especially Republicans, are the best that the bribing class can get for what they choose to spend on their functionaries in government…at all levels. Who, for example, can consider some goon like Kevin McCarthy as ethical, intelligent and meaningful?

    It’s just the cost of doing business: bribery = profits. Pure, Friedman-like capitalism.

  9. Maybe we need to elect a clinical psychologist as POTUS to heal this mindf**k we’re going through now? Therapy for 330 billion of us. Just a thought, there’ve been worse thoughts since we all started having these nightmares…

  10. LOL, Doug! Good point.

    It’s not by accident that Donald Trump’s 1st wife Ivana said that he was a fan and student of Adolf Hitler. You know Hitler bamboozled the German population, he hypnotized them into gross sin. Mass murder of women and children in the millions. Of course the starting of a 2nd world war, stealing properties of Jewish German citizens, and properties Stolen/confiscated outside of Germany, (Lebensraum). This was taken from the American movement called Manifest Destiny.

    It had been so long since anyone had told the Germans how wonderful they were, how entitled they were, and that they had someone who was an advocate for them. Adolf Hitler was a lunatic, but he was their lunatic, he was their strongman, he was repugnant to many in Germany. After a while, through his rhetoric, they fell in love with him! It didn’t matter that he was a thief, it didn’t matter that he was a psychotic mass murderer, it was the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ on a grand scale.

    Trump recognized this, he knew that his followers were ripe for the pickin, that’s why he made his statement that he could stand in the middle of the street and shoot someone and they wouldn’t care. Exactly the same thing with Trump’s idol Adolf Hitler, he murdered millions and the German citizenry turned a blind eye. Many of those people that Hitler murdered were neighbors, most turned a blind eye.

    The book that Donald Trump kept on his nightstand was called “My New Order” a collection of speeches by Adolf Hitler, this was brought out in court by Ivana Trump during their divorce proceedings.

    As Doug said in the above comment, not so dissimilar to pimp turning out prostitutes. There is a huge element of the Stockholm syndrome in that effort.

    The people look at Trump right now and say, they don’t like what he does, they don’t like a lot of what he says, in the past they wouldn’t have had anything to do with him, he’s a CAD, he is a race baiter, he’s a mentally ill narcissistic grifter with the power of the United States government behind him. BUT, He’s the James Bond villain his followers always envisioned themselves to be.

    But, Donald Trump is their strongman, he is their grifter, he is their Stable Genius! What do many of his followers see in themselves when they look in the mirror? Instead of a psychological loser, they see Genghis Khan combined with Fabio and Stephen Hawking, just like their Messiah Donald Trump!

  11. Let’s not forget there’s a conservative news/information sphere that’s been around for decades now. They’ve worked very hard to demonize everything that isn’t themselves.

    When all your media (for, again, decades) says “you can only trust US. Everyone else lies to you. Everyone else is out to get you. We’re your only defender” it’s pretty hard to listen to the other side. Add to that the fact that conservative news only reports that Trump is a wunderkind.

    So, Trump upsets the “other” side. The side of the evil people. Trump trolls those horrible people who are “ruining this once great nation”. Trump is a hero! Trump delivers a right wing supreme court. Trump dismantles regulations. Trump appoints ALL the judges that were blocked during the Obama years.

    The idea that any of these Republicans disapprove of a single thing Trump does seems pretty laughable. I get why they love him. He “owns libs” and provides generational right-wing judges. The news (they trust) only reports him as a hero. Why wouldn’t rank and file voters get behind him?

  12. Part of Donald Trump’s Profile:

    There was no better place to learn how to play the anti-Semitic game than the University of Pennsylvania. Both of us are Penn graduates. You can understand Trump much better if you can understand what it must have been like for a jerk like him to be among the Jewish students at the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce. It’s important to understand that its worldwide reputation comes from the graduate school, not the undergraduate which Trump attended as a TRANSFER student.

    When I was an undergraduate in the Wharton School it was more than 50% Jewish. It was called the “democratic bus” as it was the only Ivy League school, at the time, that didn’t have a Jewish entrance quota.

    However, there was a quota, especially in the foremost honor society which didn’t allow any Jews. That was the social climate when I attended and I’m sure it wasn’t much different when Trump was a student. So he learned very early that he could play it both ways, in other words, he could have his “cake and eat it too.”

    That’s why Senator Joseph McCarthy has been his idol all along. It’s the combination of having Jewish advisors along with extreme anti-Semitism.

    He’s a living fraud from top to bottom. You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand him.

    I would suggest that Congress subpoena his undergraduate record from the University of Pennsylvania as a STARTER.

  13. There seems to be many aspects to the Trump appeal, racism being the biggest draw. But he also appeals on the same level as the characters of The Godfather where ruthlessness alone is the answer to all challenges. The main character in that film does terrible and unspeakable things to other people who are in his way and ….gets away with it. Trump lies and cheats and steals and gets away with it. So, naturally he appeals to those who would like to do ruthless things to those in their way, and appeals to people who either would like to lie and cheat and steal or people who already do so. Like attracts like.

  14. Why and however we arrived at this point, here we are, so now what? We really do not have time with hot Octobers and a melting and increasingly treeless planet to spend our time and substance with a petulant child in the Oval Office who denies the obvious and who throws sand in the wheels of our democracy in every imaginable fashion. Let’s kick him out without further adieu and, among other constructive things, plant trees. In such connection, the Irish have just announced that they are planting a gazillion trees (do they have room?), and with the continuing destruction of the Amazon rain forest under the tutelage of a Trump-like Brazilian dictator, this, among other things, is what we should be doing in our race for survival, quickly and massively. Breathing is apolitical.

    Admission > Yes, I am influenced personally as well as well as by survival instinct. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year centering on trees (The Overstory) was written by Richard Powers. He is my nephew.

  15. Thanks, Sheila, for sharing this explanation of their bizarre defense of 45. It all makes sense now, but it still is no excuse for their hateful behavior.

  16. “The Overstory is a novel by Richard Powers published in 2018 by W.W. Norton. It is Powers’s twelfth novel. The novel is about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests. Powers was inspired to write the work while teaching at Stanford University after he encountered giant redwood trees for the first time.[1] On 20 September 2018, The Overstory was shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize.[2]

    On 15 April 2019, it was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.”

    Gerald; the above is copied and pasted from Wikipedia. It reminded me of the fight here to save a grove of trees in Crown Hill Cemetery from needless destruction; maybe someone on the blog remembers the outcome. Republicans denial of anything scientific or regarding our environment is one of the “Inexplicable” issues regarding life and death, including their own. Thanks for this information, Gerald, our green spaces are constantly shrinking due to development while entire neighborhoods, including infrastructure, are deteriorating due to ignoring the more than 14,000 abandoned buildings in Indianapolis. Neighborhoods where crime rates are soaring and we have daily shooting reports on local news.

  17. Sheila,
    Excellent points today, and just remember for every Trump Supporter you hear from there are 10 in the closet.
    Just like racism and homophobia it is not talked about.

  18. Dumb people, too dumb for literature, too dumb for higher education. If you were that dumb and uneducated, and your formative experiences were in small town middle American, you would believe in authoritarianism, social structure over empathy, and belief over reason. Indiana is dumb. Middle America is dumb. “I love the poorly educated.”

  19. A look to the political future:

    I’ll never forget George Bush’s response to my exposing his activities in The Alarm Report which was filed with the Dallas City Council in 1991. See http://www.TheAlarmReport.info. Within months Bush had cut off ALL aid to the State of Israel.

    Is anyone dumb enough to expect the Jewish leadership to do anything about the anti-Semitism of Donald Trump? Trump has precedent on his side, in addition, to his recent gift to the City of Jerusalem.

    We all need to remember that, historically, anti-Semitism has shown to be much more VIRULENT than racism.

  20. Excellent, Gerald, very thought-provoking.

    Over It, I remember when Trump said that, but that doesn’t explain all of it. The Stockholm syndrome? Maybe legends in their own mind? Maybe self-aggrandizement?

    One thing’s for sure, history constantly repeats itself, humankind never learns from history’s stop signs because the next generations never feel it applies to them.

  21. Maxim Gorky used to repeat the Communist mantra that there are two truths: the empirical truth and the higher truth of communism. Beware the power of ideology to delude. Is Trumpism less or more rational than Stalinism or Hitler’s Nazism?

    It is also a cautionary tale for us all. When we agree with our clan, are we agreeing on the “truth” or just confirming mutual ideological correctness?

    When we vilify our “other”, what have we accomplished? I find, when I do it, I have diminished myself and not much more.

  22. I have spent much of my life trying to figure out the world events at my birth: Why did Germans fall for Hitler? How are they different than “we” are? What makes us special such that we would never do what they did?

    Now I know. We are all susceptible to conditions and culture and advertising/fake news/propaganda/brainwashing. We were lucky enough for most of my life to have escaped the combination of those that turned us into lunatics led by a lunatic.

    There were many exceptions in Germany, Schindler comes to mind, and there are here and now too. Now we have leadership as effective as Republicans have: Nancy Pelosi and Greta Thunberg. We have others emerging from a pack of prospects. Elizabeth Warren for example.

    Finally we have some, admittedly not all, of our Constitutional democracy left to fight this war with.

    Now it’s up to us.

  23. I was truly shocked to hear on NPR yesterday that Trump has received $125M dollars in the first quarter fund raising for re-election. Who would give this guy money for any reason? U.S. banking concerns wouldn’t and don’t. Who would trust him enough to endow his efforts to retain office amid the obvious evidence of incompetence and malfeasance? It is one thing to publicly support him. It is quite another to send him money to stay in a position of power. Delusion, vengeance for loss of status or racism require some learned basis. Who educated them and when? I could almost pity them if they weren’t destroying our collective good in their own self-interests.

  24. Several years ago, I read a novel about some new plague striking humans. The book went through the biology of bacteria and/or a virus that attacks healthy cells. Various plagues were discussed – the Black Death, etc. The book explained it was not so much European firearms that defeated the Native Americans but diseases.

    The bacteria or virus could launch an all out attack, which simply overwhelmed the hosts ability to fight it off, or an attacker could “trick the host” into ignoring it before it is too late. The “trick” is to find the attachment point in a healthy cell.

    So how do you explain why a financially secure Hamilton County resident would love President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence. Perhaps it was the big tax cut the already wealthy received. We have the loyal followers of President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence in the “poor” counties in Indiana that regularly vote for the GOP.

    I would say it too simple to blame one thing or another like racism or anti-Semitism for the popularity of President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence among the GOP base. The GOP has been clever if nothing else in finding “attachment points” across the spectrum: Greed, Racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, guns, anti-science and Male dominated Authoritarian Religion.

    These are the ties that bind the GOP from the financially secure in Hamilton County to the financially struggling in the poor counties of Indiana. As we have discussed many times here the odds of de-coupling the true believers in President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence are nil.

  25. Just another note as we search our collective minds for Why – President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence are still attracting a following we have this:

    Trump administration’s war on science has hit ‘crisis point’, experts warn.

    Safeguards meant to ensure that government research is objective and fully available to the public have been “steadily weakening” under recent administrations and are now at a nadir under Trump, according to a report released on Thursday by the National Task Force on Rule of Law and Democracy.

    “Politics is driving decisions and has been for some time,” said Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican who was formerly administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Whitman co-chairs the taskforce with former US attorney Preet Bharara.

    “Right now, any finding that seems to be restricting business, especially the energy industry, appears to be destined for elimination,” Whitman said.

    The report recalls how government reports were edited to downplay the link between carbon emissions and climate change under the George W Bush administration, as well as improper changes to a study on the impact of fracking on drinking water during Barack Obama’s presidency.

    But the group warns that the problem has escalated under Trump due a combination of hefty campaign contributions from special interests, the appointment of unqualified cronies to senior positions and the reluctance of Congress to act as a proper check.
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/oct/03/science-trump-administration-crisis-point-report

  26. JD,

    The donor money to Trump is from the super-rich who got their trillion dollar windfall tax cut. They have money to burn, so why should it surprise anyone that they’d give Trump a drop of blood or two?

  27. JD- It’s also the fossil fuel industry,
    those who don’t want government telling them what to do, the banks AND those pro lifers.
    Most of it is greed greed greed.

  28. John Neal (thank you) reminded us of the communist aphorism that claims “there are two truths: the empirical truth and the higher truth of communism”.

    Neal also reminds me of those many times in my life in which I sensed the truth of something, but every attempt to explain it to someone else failed. I, too, was aware of a greater truth playing hide and seek in the ether, a truth even greater than science, greater than religion, greater than God, greater than what my eyes saw and my ears heard, and great enough that if ever put into words, it would be understood by all, stop all disputation and instantly create pan-agreement.

    In college, I met other students who sensed the same thing, but together the sum and multiple of our minds could not invent rhetoric clever or accurate enough to describe any part of that greater truth.

    Since college, I have met multitudes of individuals who sense the existence of this greater truth, and all are tormented by the frustration resulting from our failure to put it—or any part of it—into effective words.

    And now I am tormented by the thought that that greater truth was not truth at all. Maybe it is not even a thing of the mind, but rather some tantalizing memory from instinct, or worse, it may be a trick of insanity. But there it is.

    And there it is also among the deplorables—THERE ARE TWO TRUTHS: THE EMPIRICAL TRUTH AND THE MUCH HIGHER TRUTH OF IGNORANCE. The deplorables are even less able to put it into words, but they, especially Trump, poke at it with absurd statements; and they feel it move every time the rest of us flinch, which reconfirms its existence…and its close crony association with ignorance.

    Perhaps, that great truth is that we, all of us, as well as the sum of us, are too ignorant and too foolish to govern ourselves; therefore, if we are to be governed at all, we must submit to authoritarianism. And maybe the awkward assertions coming from the mouths of Trump and the deplorables—and the pitiful, effete response coming from so many progressives—are the best expression of that truth we shall ever see.

    We may not be able to explain that greater truth, but it—whatever it is—must be dealt with…or empirical truth will be lost to it forever.

  29. The psychologist’s comments are on the mark.

    Trumpers are in a cult, a personality cult to be specific. I have conservative, non-Trumper friends, who think if he does or says non-conservative things, his base will abandon him. Hogwash. No matter what he says or does, conservative or liberal, it is okay with Trump’s cult followers. Just think about it a second…Trump just congratulated the Chinese President on 70 years of Communist rule, which rule involved the suppression of human rights and the killing of millions of people. And how did the Trumpers respond? They applauded. Think that they would have done the same if Obama or Hillary did that? Nope. But then they would not have thought it right if other Republicans did that as well. But when “Dear Leader” does it, that makes it okay.

    Not sure what will eventually break the Trump fever. Two things give me some hope. First of all, Trump has nowhere near majority support in this country. Unless the Ds nominate someone far, far left like a Warren or Sanders, Trump should lose badly in 2002. Second, Trump is not a bright man. Imagine the damage he could cause if he not only was immoral and corrupt, but he was also intelligent? Thankfully we don’t have that with Trump.

  30. It’s the mark of our times that centrist but progressive politicians like Bernie and Warren are now considered left wing extremists.

    I think that that description has the same origin as the notion that Hillary was dishonest.

  31. Ms. Kennedy’s response was refreshingly honest. Living in Indianapolis, a rapidly diversifying, moderate-liberal bubble, I still underestimate the reaction that criticism of Trump brings in the least likely individuals. After two years of screaming into the void trying to rationally argue with my well educated, well traveled upper middle class white friends, that yes, he IS that dangerous, I threw in the towel after Mueller. I had driven my husband to distraction as I raged, Elvis like, at the televised Trump rallies. Outrage followed outrage so I tuned him out. I rarely utter his name, even in my own home. However, like Ms. Kennedy, I continue to make assumptions about upper middle class whites based on educational level and level of sophistication. Big mistake. Trump’s true base I am convinced, has always been the white upper class, and the rich. I am far more likely to get an “Amen” to my Trump criticisms from white working class people, which honestly, is now most of us. When I say working class I mean people of all educational levels that don’t have financial “portfolios,” or vacation houses, or their children’s college already paid for by kindergarten. Nurses, teachers, attorneys, doctors, (yes not all doctors make astronomical salaries), warehouse workers, journalists, restaurant workers, small business owners, parents with young or teenage children both working outside the home. What I see consistently in Indiana are people of all races and ethnic backgrounds who are overeducated for their jobs, and grossly underpaid. Trump is not addressing the hopes and dreams of Americans he is so self- focused he is letting this great time of innovation and economic growth stagnate. Increasingly he is alienating broad swaths of America’s people. The plurality of America does believe in science and climate change, does want to keep America open to immigrants, does want an America that still exists, at least in their dreams, as a forward- looking leader in global relations. As a shining city on a hill, a place that at least still strives toward liberty and justice for all, no matter often we stumble and backslide. Trump,I believe, has reached the tipping point of a very patient citizenry. He is not America, no President is America, and no President is above the law. His distorted kinglike view that his needs are paramount and the peoples needs are a distant second have run their course. I always believed, even at his worst, that our nation would survive him. It finally appears we will. The psychologist’s take is brilliant. It’s quite human to double down on bad judgements if the alternative is devastating to our self image. But that doesn’t mean we have to listen to or sympathize with the die- hards, I chose simply to disengage from them. History is moving on. Trump fever is coming to it’s natural conclusion. He of all people should have realized the dangers of over- exposure in the entertainment industry. Apparently he thinks we all desperately need and live for him as much as he lives for himself. He greatly underestimated his captive audience. He’s still entertaining, he is still delivering the circuses. It’s the bread he’s ignoring at his peril, both the physical bread on our tables that is increasingly more expensive due to wage stagnation and trade wars, and the spiritual bread that sustains the soul of America.

  32. Kimberly,

    “Trump fever is coming to its natural conclusion.”

    Terrific evaluation. However, I would only add that we can’t wait for its “natural conclusion.” We need to make it happen as soon as we are capable of bringing it about.

  33. No, Pete, Bernie and Warren have always been left wing extremists. There has never been anything remotely moderate about either one of them. At least, Bernie admits to being a socialist. Warren is a socialist.

    This election is so very important. It’s about the survival of our Republic. That’s why it is important the Ds not nominate a candidate so far out of the mainstream that Trump could actually beat him/her. Pretty much anyone not named Bernie or Warren fits the bill.

    This election is about the survival of our Republic. That’s why it is important

  34. Paul,

    “No, Pete, Bernie and Warren have always been left wing extremists. There has never been anything remotely moderate about either one of them. At least, Bernie admits to being a socialist. Warren is a socialist.”

    I disagree. Elizabeth Warren is a “little d” democrat which you aren’t. She’s by far the best Democratic Party candidate, especially now that Bernie’s age has caught up with him. As a Republican, I’m sure you don’t want to see her in the “ring,” where I’m sure she would prevail over the likes of an “asshole” named: Donald Trump.

  35. Or, as Shakespeare succinctly put it, “Pride, which out of daily fortune, ever taints the happy man.” Coriolanus Act IV

  36. I believe SOCIOPATHIC MONSTER would be the most professional way to describe our, for now, sitting President: Donald Trump. I’ll leave it at that until there is a noticeable change which is totally impossible.

Comments are closed.