The Trumpology series of columns are also published on Capitol Hill Blue where I am a columnist, and are informed by my 40 years of experience as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist. I worked in Michigan as Mason Mental Health Center director and Middleboro, Massachusetts in private practice. Opinions on Trump come from my understanding of psychiatric diagnosis, psychology, and psychopathology. I consider Trump to be a sadistic impulsive malignant narcissist.
My friend just brought me a copy here in the coffee shop at Willamette View, the liberal senior place where I live (shown in photo), and the first thing I thought was that the National Enquirer was having a psychotic break.
The cover is laid out in National Enquirer format with their usual typeface, colors, and sensational headlines. The only difference is that instead of making hateful and outrageous claims against Hillary, it is all pro-Hillary.
The 2016 presidential race has been one of the most exhausting shouting matches in recent memory.
The ruckus appears to be obscuring what elections are about: creating a marketplace of ideas so voters can choose among those candidates and proposals that offer the best hope for the future.
In some ways, this year's marketplace looks more like a half-stocked convenience store. It offers, in Donald Trump, the least-qualified, least civil presidential candidate we hope we'll ever see, and a candidate of extraordinary qualifications (and considerable flaws) in Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Some ideas about what to write about the election are kind of bouncing around in my mind. While it’s midmorning for the majority of you it’s just after 6:00 AM here in Portland (the one where it’s 6:00AM). The coffee cup is on it’s first Keurig.
I woke to the great map top of the page on Kos…www.dailykos.com/... and found a graphic to express how I felt about it.
I’m not sure about the words Trumpageddon and Trumpocolapyse because I’d use those to describe what it would be if Trump won. Of course Trump would at some mental level perceive this landslide loss this way.
On the news now just briefly was the idea of sending people to Mars who would never return. Alas I won’t be alive when they do it. If it was possible now and Trump won I’d try to sign up if my dogs could come along.
A morning thought was what Obama pillow talk must be like when they discuss Donald Trump, the man responsible for the birther movement.
I imagine Michelle waking up and saying “Barak, you’ll never what I dreamed you did to Trump.”
What I’d give to hear about that dream.
If I was tasked to provide therapy for the Obama family now it would be play therapy. I’d have them freely draw what they’d fantasize happening to Trump, or make PlayDough figures of him and have go with the playroom kid’s tool set.
As I write this the TV is showing a discussion of Alex Jones and his paying people to disrupt Clinton rallies. I handle this by writing that he and his miserable hoards are disgusting paranoid evil miserable cesspool dwelling trogoldytes.
Hell, my recommendation as a therapist for any of you who is overwhelmed by Trump and worries that he might just win and talking it out with like-minded friends isn’t doing it for you, try the play therapy.
PS: Check out my friend Howard Covitz’s story “Call It By Its Right Name”
www.dailykos.com/… This remind me of another health way to deal with your feelings engendered by Trump which even psychotherapists like Howard and I find helpful : writing about it on Daily Kos. I should have thought of this right off, since I was engaged in doing it as I was writing this story. In fact, journal/writing therapy is well recognized and was something that helped me cope after the death of my wife.
In his OpEd today, David Brooks writes about “the essential loneliness” of Donald Trump in “Donald Trump’s Sad, Lonely Life.” Brooks say he sometimes find himself “experiencing feelings of deep sadness and pity” as he pictures Trump as a deeply isolated and lonely person. As a psychotherapist I feel no sadness or pity for Trump. I have no sympathy for the Devil. Why should I?
Trump seems incapable of that. He is essentially adviser-less, friendless. His campaign team is made up of cold mercenaries at best and Roger Ailes at worst. His party treats him as a stench it can’t yet remove.
He was a germophobe through most of his life and cut off contact with others, and now I just picture him alone in the middle of the night, tweeting out hatred.
Trump breaks his own world record for being appalling on a weekly basis, but as the campaign sinks to new low after new low, I find myself experiencing feelings of deep sadness and pity.
Imagine if you had to go through a single day without sharing kind little moments with strangers and friends.
Imagine if you had to endure a single week in a hate-filled world, crowded with enemies of your own making, the object of disgust and derision.
You would be a twisted, tortured shrivel, too, and maybe you’d lash out and try to take cruel revenge on the universe. For Trump this is his whole life.
Brooks has his own psychological analysis:
Trump continues to display the symptoms of narcissistic alexithymia, the inability to understand or describe the emotions in the self. Unable to know themselves, sufferers are unable to understand, relate or attach to others.
To prove their own existence, they hunger for endless attention from outside. Lacking internal measures of their own worth, they rely on external but insecure criteria like wealth, beauty, fame and others’ submission.
In this way, Trump seems to be denied all the pleasures that go with friendship and cooperation. Women could be sources of love and affection, but in his disordered state he can only hate and demean them. His attempts at intimacy are gruesome parodies, lunging at women as if they were pieces of meat.
Don’t worry if you had to look up alexithymia. I did too even though it is considered a psychiatric term. It means simply difficultyinexperiencing,expressing,anddescribingemotional responses.
I forgive you for skipping the more technical definition:
Alexithymia is a personality construct characterized by the inability to identify and describe emotions in the self. The core characteristics of alexithymia are marked dysfunction in emotional awareness, social attachment, and interpersonal relating. Furthermore, individuals with alexithymia have difficulty in distinguishing and appreciating the emotions of others, which is thought to lead to unempathic and ineffective emotional responding. Alexithymia is prevalent in approximately 10% of the general population and is known to be comorbid with a number of psychiatric conditions.
I added to my psychological assessment of Trump’s overall this morning after I read about his inability to understand what other people would find funny:
This is about how difficult it was for writers to work with him when he was the subject of a Comedy Central roast.
“One thing that stuck out to me during rehearsal,” Larsen (executive producer) said, “is he would always poll the people around him if they thought it was funny. He never really seemed to have a grasp on what was funny and why it was funny. He was always looking at others to validate if it was funny.”
“I have done this a long time and nobody blacks out punchlines,” said Jesse Joyce, one of the writers. Scrapping punchlines represents “a classic lack of an understanding of how a joke works,” he added.
What people find amusing tell us a lot about them. The meanness of Trump, his taking pleasure in other people’s discomfort or pain which could be defined as sadistic is illustrated by this:
Trump made a few lackluster attempts at cracking wise. He changed a joke meant to slam MacFarlane from: “The only way you’ll ever draw a crowd is with a pencil.” Trump’s revision: “The only crowd you’ll attract is flies.”
I could treat Donald Trump if he became my client because I would engage in the intellectual discipline of empathy. It would be difficult. For most therapists, I’d say for all effective therapists, empathy comes naturally. But there are rare instances where you really have to work on putting yourself in a client’s place so you can, as the saying goes, walk in their shoes.
For example, I’ve had abusive men in therapy who had little insight and blamed their wives for their own behavior, but I still had to try to grasp their experiential world. When some of the men were Trump-like in having little ability to appreciate the pain (emotional especially) they were causing their wives, all I could try to do was work on convincing them that behavioral change would benefit them if they valued their marriage and family.
When I was working in a clinic I knew that their wives were in therapy with a colleague who was counseling them so they had the self-esteem to get out of the marriage. I can’t count the times when I had men drop out of marital couples therapy because they felt I was siding with their wives. However, when men and women (or in a few cases same sex couples) were both willing to admit they needed to change, my success rate was excellent. I could tell what the chances were by whether or not they both came in willing together for the first session. In all modesty I was a very good marriage counselor.
There’s about as much chance of my becoming Trump’s therapist as there is of a Zombie Apocalypse. Besides I’m retired and would have to renew my license, and he couldn’t afford my fee.
I listened to the exchange with Cooper on the radio and without being distracted by visuals it was more disturbing and reprehensible, and unhinged in a way that my psychotherapist friends and I can’t figure out — from a neurological perspective nobody can figure out what’s wrong with his brain… does he have weird seizures under pressure? We have put our collective psychoanalyst minds together on the content of his ISIS escape. To go in a split second from minimizing what he said on the bus to ISIS cutting people’s heads off and drowning them in cages and ranting on about that until brought back to the subject. Then back on the bus topic he avoids answering the question about whether he ever did any of the things he bragged about he uttered a lot of blather before said he did not. I think he was working up the guts to make that lie and reckless fool realized that he had to lie — although he hinted that other women may make allegations which he would deny.
A Freudian could say that his instantly leaping to the example of beheading could symbolize unconscious castration anxiety. This using the example of being drowned in a cage could symbolize death in the womb.
Huffington Post called Trump a “monster schmuck.” It is true that he is a monstrously contemptible and detestable person who is the captain of the basket of deplorables.
However, there are two meanings of the word “schmuck” which most adults familiar with Yiddish slang know.
One is the simply the dictionary definition which is how the word is commonly used, i.e., a foolish or contemptible person, or as Wiki defines it:
"Schmuck", or "shmuck", in American English is a pejorative term meaning one who is stupid or foolish, or an obnoxious, contemptible or detestable person. The word came into the English language from Yiddish (שמאָק, shmok), where it has similar pejorative meanings, but where its original and literal meaning is penis.
However the second meaning from it’s Yiddish origin is penis. I obviously don’t know the size of Trump’s penis, although it would be pleasant to discover from the wacky Doctor that he needs Viagra. I just want to call him a little big schmuck because it puts him in his place in two ways.
It is interchangeable with saying a man is a prick. I know from personal experience that some Jewish adults thought it was vulgar in the fifties. It was commonly used as a minor insult — he’s a jerk, he’s a prick, he’s a schmuck, were all pretty much interchangeable— among my Jewish peers and as a general putdown by lots of other kids, girls as well as boys.
Since Trump when mocked for having short fingers assured us that in the other department he was well endowed.
This is yet one of the extraordinarily surreal aspects of Trump’s candidacy. Can you believe that a major news source would have the headline “Donald Trump defends the size of his penis?”
"He's always calling me Little Marco. And I'll admit he's taller than me. He's like 6'2, which is why I don't understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5'2," Rubio said in Virginia on Sunday. "And you know what they say about men with small hands? You can't trust them.”
Trump responded by saying:
"Look at those hands, are they small hands?" the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination said, raising them for viewers to see. "And, he referred to my hands -- 'if they're small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there's no problem. I guarantee.”
Trump is one of those insecure males who enjoys bullying and being his version of machismo.
He is a man who wants everyone to admire him because he has a big penis.
While I can find no science to correlate hand (or foot) size with penis size, we know that urban legend and school yard wisdom has it that one can do this.
That Trump “would go there” suggests, not necessarily that he is embarrassed about the size of his penis, though it could, but that he feels he needs to assure people that he is a manly man in every way.
Rule 1. Men need to carry a moniker like Hose or Rod or Dick or, of course, Donald. Think of all the great Donalds you know ... starting with me. Don't ... I repeat Don't ... Don't ever let your son think his name is Rinse, Jr. Try calling him Hose'emDown-Don (long names with lots of initials do the trick). My Dad used to tell me every morning: Hose'em Down, Don and then he'd chuckle. So, that's Rule 1. and really important.
Rule 2. From an early age, teach your son what to call little girls. The Little Guy must come to realize that being a Guy has power. Calling your sister, Sis, is for Sissies. That Dokteur (Freud) from Vienna said that boys need to have pride in their penises ... Phallic Narcissism, he called it.
What help most are two things:
Teach your little guy that he has the biggest penis since Alex Phallics, the First Prince of the Weimar Republik and no other man's is as big. To settle the matter, tutor him in calling his boy playmates by endearing names like ... Little, Lyin', Crooked, Wee-Wee-Macher and Phyllis. He's gotta learn early how to make other guys feel small.
In the German language the word Schmuck means "jewelry, adornment". The etymology of the pejorative meaning is a matter of some disagreement.
The lexicographer Michael Wex, author of How to Be a Mentsh (And Not a Shmuck), writes that the Yiddish term and the German term are completely unrelated. "Basically, the Yiddish word comes out of baby talk," according to Wex. "A little boy’s penis is a shtekl, a 'little stick'. Shtekl became shmeckle, in a kind of baby-rhyming thing, and shmeckle became shmuck. Shmeckle is prepubescent and not a dirty word, but shmuck, the non-diminutive, became obscene."
According to Leo Rosten in "Hooray for Yiddish!", the pejorative use of the German "schmuck" derives from Schmock, which is closer to the original Yiddish word: and the transition of the word from meaning "jewel" to meaning "penis" is related to the description of a man's genitals as "the family jewels".
Because of its generally being considered a vulgarity, the word is often euphemized as "schmoe", which was the source of Al Capp's cartoon strip creature the "shmoo". Other variants include "schmo" and "shmo".
In Jewish-American culture
In Jewish homes in the United States, the word normally has been "regarded as so vulgar as to be taboo".Lenny Bruce, a Jewish stand-up comedian, wrote that the use of the word during his performances in 1962 led to his arrest on the West Coast, "by a Yiddish undercover agent who had been placed in the club several nights running to determine if [his] use of Yiddish terms was a cover for profanity".
In The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten wrote: "Never use schmuck lightly, or in the presence of women and children", which was a common view among Jewish people who felt a connection to the language, and who still viewed it as an obscene reference to a penis.
In popular culture
Although schmuck is considered an obscene term in the Yiddish, it has become a common American idiom for "jerk" or "idiot". It can be taken as offensive, however, by some Jewish people, particularly those with strong Yiddish roots. Allan Sherman explained in his book The Rape of the A*P*E* that, if a word is used frequently enough, it loses its shock value and comes into common usage without raising any eyebrows.
The term was notably used in the 2010 comedy film, Dinner for Schmucks, in which the plot centered on a competition among businessmen to see who could invite the biggest idiot to a monthly dinner. In her review of the film for the New York Times, film critic Debbie Schlussel took issue with the movie's use of the term "schmuck", and with its use of Yiddish at all, adding: “The more correct title would have been ‘Dinner for Schlemiels'.” She added, "At The New York Times, where the word is still considered potentially offensive, the title of [the] film may be mentioned only sparingly. Still, advertisements for the movie would probably pass muster", and suggested that the main characters in the film might be more appropriately called "shmendriks".