July 8, 2024

The mysterious Trump "theys". Do they even exist? Plus Joe and Mika do a better interview than Stephanopoulos. Biden shows defensive lack of self-awareness. By Hal Brown, MSW

I had a reaction to the article shown above in RawStory (link). It decribed a discussion on Morning Joe from this morning.

Joe Scarborough pounced on the fact that Biden hasn't been afraid to get out in front of crowds while Trump has been nowhere to be seen. He didn't mention the tsunami of rage posting on Truth Social. He said that Trump's advisers are afraid to put him out there for fear he'll start on a crazy rant. 

From RawStory, with my bold:

Sitting next to co-host Mika Brzezinski, Scarborough began, "Where is he? Why are they hiding him? Are they afraid that he may go out and talk about World War II coming or Barack Obama being president, or will he go, 'Ah, ya ya ya'"

Continuing in that vein, he exclaimed, "Are they afraid to let him talk? Allies are going, 'Oh, Joe Biden, what are they hiding? What are they scared of?' And Donald Trump, he's burrowed down in Mar-a-Lago, theywon't let him out. He's a prisoner in a gilded cage because they're afraid he may actually open his mouth. The irony."

"So what are they doing with Donald Trump?" he asked. "They're keeping him out of sight until the Republican convention maybe — who knows?" he added. "Maybe his handlers, maybe his bosses will let him out this week, but right now, they're saying 'No, no, man, you have to stay right there. You can't talk, people hate you, independents hate you, swing voters hate you. Just be quiet, and you may win this thing again.' It's kind of crazy."

Who are the “they” who can do this to Trump? Who are his bosses and his handlers? If he had them they’d be like my mother was with my grandfather. He who lived with us and did something that was dangerous. After driving my father - who never learned to drive - someplace my mother was told he drove the wrong way down a one way street and people were honking and waving at him said he said happily “they know me, they know me.” My mother took his license away and never let him drive our car again. She was the "they" able to control an aspect of my grandfather's behavior. 

He was a lovely man but he was too old and perhaps in the very early stages of dementia so it was unsafe for him to be behind the wheel of a car.

Trump only drives a golf cart where he's unlikely to hurt himself or anyone else, but who can take Trump’s cell phone away and keep him from crazy posting on Truth Social and stop him from calling the media or having rallies? I want names! 

I don't think there is any human being who can tell Trump what to do unless you want to believe he really has been a Manchurian candidate (or Moscow candidate) and Putin has something he can use to blackmail him, or worse, send him to the Mar-a-Lago down under:

And then there's President Biden:

Later this morning Presdient Biden called in to Morning Joe. He sounded fine but didn't give a forthright answer to Joe asking about a previous repsonse to the question about how he would feel if he lost. He gave the same answer. He said that losing wasn't an option. He didn't say simply what I think Joe was giving him an opportunity to say. He could have, and should have, said "I would feel awful and fearful for the fate of democracy in the country we love so much."

In response to Mika's question abut his cognitive ability and a need to take a neurological test he again touted his past accomplishments and when she said that if she or someone she knew had a night like he did at the debate she thought a neurological assessment would be in order. Here, again, Biden deflected. 

Any clinician will tell you that past accomplishments aren't diagnostic when it comes to assessing a patient's current congitive condition except as they show what a person was as compared to what they are in the present.

Mika did an excellent job holding Biden's feet to the fire when she asked about all the people saying he should step aside. "I dont care what those big names think"was his response. Again, this lacked self-awareness and candor. He could have, and I think should have said, that he respects these people and he's only human and of course their opnions bother him. Instead he said "I am not going to explain anymore about what I should or shouldn't do, I am running."

I can't say I saw signs of demientia or a significantly aging brain from this interview. What I did see was defensiveness and a lack of candor which to me is indicative of a lack of self-awareness.

Given every chance to address the issues raised by his debate performance Biden defiantly deflected the questions which could have been answered by saying how dismayed he was by this. He could have said "Mika, Joe, I wouldn't be human if this didn't cause me a lot of distress."

Trump is an egomaniac. In this interview Biden showed himself to be egotistical. Trump has absoultely no self-awareness. Biden is demonstrating blind-spots in awareness of his weaknesses. Consider what psychological blind spots are:

Blind spots in psychology are hidden areas of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that can negatively impact our decision making and relationships. These blind spots are often caused by cognitive biases and defense mechanisms, making them difficult to identify on our own.  Reference

This doesn't alarm me as much as it saddens me.

Trump has no empathy. Biden has a surplus of empathy. But he is demonstrating that he has diffculty looking critically at himself. Instead of being open to saying he responds like most people do to being attacked by people he respects he either changes the subject or dares them go against him by seeing if they can mount a successful challenge at the convention.

It is very telling that in the Stephanopoulos interview he said he never watched a replay of the debate. If you did a recorded presentation which was widely panned wouldn't you want to view it to see where you went wrong? 

I wrote an entire blog about this here.


I may see the importance of self-awareness differently than many people. I was an insight oriented psychotherapist for 40 years. I often focused on helping clients look inward and gain self-awareness. Overcoming their resistance to doing this was frequently a challenge especially if self-esteem was built on seeing themselves in less than realistic ways. Admitting to parts of yourself you'd rather not see can cause anxiety but ulimately is part of personal growth or what is sometimes called self-actualization.

You can read this and previous blogs on two websites. One may look better than the other because of how the platforms present the page.

Read on the WordPress Stressline.org


Read on the Google Blogger platform HalBrown.org This version has a Disquis comment section which makes it easy to post links and images.

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