Showing posts with label Mainstream media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mainstream media. Show all posts

December 12, 2022

The normalizing of delusional sociopathic grandiose narcissism

 The normalizing of delusional sociopathic grandiose narcissism
By Hal Brown

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I was a practicing psychotherapist for 40 years before retiring, the first 20 of those I work as the director of a small mental health center. I have posted numerous articles online about the dangerous psychopathology of Donald Trump. 

There are myriad examples of people in the news who demonstrate by their behavior, their actions and words, that they, to put it bluntly, have one or all of their hinges so loose that if they were the door on the jam it would be hanging and about to fall.

Creative Commons Flickr

I don't have to tax my brain by coming up with a list of clinically deranged people in public life. Just a look at the stories on various websites will provide many examples. A Salon article by one of my favorite columnists, Amanda Marcotte, this morning offers a list of five:

Of course these five are just losers even though Trump could actually become president again. We still have winners like Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Loren Boebert who are still in the House and now that the GOP controls it have even more power.

From Elon Musk whose unhingedness knows no bounds as he just yesterday tweeted "My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci, a sentiment supported by said Rep. Greene who is saying that if she was in charge of the January 6th attack on the Capitol the crowd would have been armed (something that could end her in front of a grand jury), to Ye and Herschel Walker (who I wrote about here) 

There are enough people to be analyzed for in a PhD dissertation titled "Abnormal psychology as manifest in people in public life."

In some ways it is more disturbing to know that there are so many ordinary citizens who embrace the Big Lie and the conspiracy lunacy of QAnon. There are uncountable millions people not just in this country but around the world who, if objectively assessed by mental health professionals, would be diagnosed with one or more psychiatric conditions listed in the DSM-5.
There are several hundred diagnostic categories in the DSM  and new ones are periodically added, for example:

  • Binge Eating Disorder.
  • Caffeine Withdrawal.
  • Cannabis Withdrawal.
  • Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder.
  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder- DMDD.
  • Hoarding Disorder.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder – PMDD.
 "According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about one in five adults lives with a mental disorder (any mental illness in the US, and about one in 18 American adults has a serious mental illness. Some psychiatric conditions may be temporary, occur occasionally, and never return again." Reference includes entire list.

It should be obvious that most people with psychiatric disorders actually suffer, thus the term "suffering from" one or another disorder. There are other people who don't suffer themselves. They make  people in their lives including family, friends, and co-workers, suffer. Just consider the number of books about being married to a narcissist.

Of all of these the two most relevant disorders to consider when looking at the people I am writing about are what is now called antisocial personality disorder but is often referred to by the previous name, sociopathic disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. Some people meet enough of the criteria for having both and would be considered to be malignant narcissists. This diagnosis never made it into then DSM but in my opinion and the opinion of many mental health professionals including, notably, Dr. John D. Gartner, the founder of the Duty to Warn society, Donald Trump has this disorder. Gartner wrote about this in 2017:
If any single person could be described as causing an extreme and dangerous mental pathology as becoming normalized it is Donald Trump.

Gartner is, as far as I know, the only mental health professional critical of Trump to appear on Fox News. In 2017 he was on "Watters World" in an interview which, to put it mildly, did not go well. Here's the video:


Full disclosure: Dr. Gartner and I have had a relationship since the formation of his Duty to Warn society. 

Currently the media, with some notable exceptions like MSNBC which regularly has clinical psychologist Mary Trump on and others experts discussing Donald Trump, reports the behavior of Trump and people like those mentioned above as if it is normal. 

I have followed the media closely since 2017 to see whether any mainstream publications addressed the issue of public figures like Trump, Taylor-Greene, Herschel Walker by interviewing mental health experts. 

Salon stands out for having Chauncey DeVega who often publishes interviews with mental health experts like psychiatrist Lance Dodes like "Trump is a dangerous sociopath — but he's sane enough to stand trial" and Psychiatrist Bandy Lee says White House officials told her Trump was "unraveling".

Of course, Salon with its progressive slant, can't be considered mainstream the way USA Today can. As far as I have been able to tell USA Today is the only widely circulated publication to publish a story about Trump's dangerous psychopathology.

It is about time that the mainstream media, including publications that the far right fringe considers to be fake news like The New York Times and The Washington Post, have regular columnists who are mental health experts who can analyze the behavior of public figures based on their knowledge of personality.

It is about time dangerous psychopathology stops being normalized by the media. It must be called out for what it is.

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October 7, 2022

Mainstream media fails to warn that Trump aspires to be a fascist warlord

Mainstream media fails to warn that Trump aspires to be a fascist warlord

by Hal Brown

Comment on my stories on Facebook (here) or on Twitter (here). Stories that pique my interest through the day are down the page.

Salon's Chauncey DeVega once again tried to sound the alarm about just how dangerous Donald Trump is. Unfortunately Salon's alarm bell isn't nearly loud enough to wake democracy loving Americans  up so they do something to stop it.

His message can be summarized in just the first two and the last paragraphs. 

Donald Trump aspires to be a warlord. He publicly admires despots, tyrants and other authoritarian leaders who kill their enemies and take away the rights of anyone who oppose them. Mental health professionals have repeatedly warned that Donald Trump is likely a sociopath with an erotic attraction to violence and mayhem.

He has repeatedly shown that he has no regard for the rule of law, democracy, human rights or other restrictions on his behavior. He encourages his followers and allies to engage in acts of terrorism and other violence on his behalf. The most notable example came, of course, on Jan. 6, 2021. To this point, Trump has been limited by his cowardice. He prefers to have others engage in violence on his behalf instead of directly ordering such acts or participating in them himself.

This was the lead story in Salon this morning:


By way of 
comparison this was the lead on FoxNews' website this morning:


Alas, Salon's influence is less than nil when it comes to swaying opinion among the people whose eyes to the growing menace of Trumpian fascism in America couldn't be more tightly closed.

The story has been cross-published on RawStory (here) where it is trending and has, as of this writing, 167 comments. 

I have written extensively about Trump being a dangerous malignant narcissist who revels in violent fantasies. In fact just the other day Trump's writing about Mitch McConnell having a "DEATH WISH" prompted me to write this story showing him as I think he fantasizes himself:



I am alway interested in what other mental health professionals have had to say about him, particularly the only one who knows him up close and personal. Chauncy DeVega quoted Mary Trump in his story.

I wanted to put her words into an illustration showing an angry Trump so I looked "angry Trump" up on DuckDuckGo and the Salon article came up first:
Click above to enlarge

Here are the words I wanted to highly with the photo:

Chauncey DeVega concludes his article as follows:
Aspiring warlord Donald Trump has told America and the world exactly what he and his movement intend to do. Unfortunately, the mainstream news media and other hope-peddlers have deluded themselves into thinking that it's all a misunderstanding or harmless hyperbole. We should take Trump at his word. On these issues, he does not prevaricate or tell lies. It will do no good to protest that you couldn't possibly have known. We all knew this was coming, and now it's here.

If the crisis to democracy isn't here right now it certainly is around the corner. Like Putin having amassed his troops for their so-called military exercise on the borders of Ukraine, Trump has readied his soldiers to do battle.  The signs are there. How big do they have to get?

Whether it's the Boy Scout motto, Miguel de Cervantes, or the proverb "to be forewarned is to be forearmed" the message is the same...


Afterword:

The proverb "to be forewarned is to be forearmed" should be applicable to Donald Trump.  For proverb and idiom mavens (from this website):

Many idioms that have no obvious source are often referred to, for no good reason, as 'old proverbs'. 'Forewarned is forearmed' has a genuine claim to be called such, as it dates from at least the end of the 16th century, and could be much earlier. The Latin saying 'praemonitus, praemunitus' loosely translates as 'forewarned is forearmed'. There's no evidence to show that the English proverb is merely a translation of the Latin though. The two sayings could easily have originated independently.

The meaning of the proverb is quite straightforward and literal - so long as it is understood that forearm is here the archaic verb meaning 'to arm in advance', rather than the noun forearm, that is, the part of the arm between the elbow and wrist. The saying is so straightforward in fact that it was originally simply 'forewarned, forearmed'. It is found in that form in Robert Greene's A Notable Discovery of Coosnage (a.k.a. The Art of Conny-catching), 1592:

"forewarned, forearmed: burnt children dread the fire."

Stories of the day that piqued my interest.


This article came out in February. It is now even more relevant than it was then:


The hypothetical look into what happens if Trump goes to prison


Here’s Hoping Elon Musk Destroys Twitter, by Ross Doughat (NY Times, Subscription)

The essay begins:

“I strongly supported Obama for President,” Elon Musk tweeted late last month, part of the spree of ideological comments accompanying his continuing takeover of Twitter, “but today’s Democratic Party has been hijacked by extremists.” Around the same time, he set the social-media platform ablaze by reposting a cartoon showing a stick figure comfortably on the center-left in 2008 redefined as a right-wing bigot by 2021 because the left-wing stick figure had raced way off to the left. Then this week, he expressed the same kind of thought in the abbreviated style for which the site is famous: “Twitter obv has a strong left wing bias.”

And now, at last, we have the news that he’s likely to allow Donald Trump to tweet freely once again.

All of these comments and promises align the country’s richest man with the rightward side in our culture war. But though I don’t know Musk — I’ve never interviewed him or hung out with him in any secret billionaire lair — I think I know enough about him, and I know enough Silicon Valley people like him, to suggest that neither his tweeted self-descriptions nor the criticisms being lobbed his way capture what’s distinctive about his position and worldview.

A term like “conservative” doesn’t fit the Tesla tycoon; even “libertarian,” while closer to the mark, associates Musk with a lot of ideas that I don’t think he particularly cares about. A better label comes from Virginia Postrel, in her 1998 book “The Future and Its Enemies”: Musk is what she calls a “dynamist,” meaning someone whose primary commitments are to exploration and discovery, someone who believes that the best society is one that’s always inventing, transforming, doing something new.

If you think this sounds uncontroversial, think again. First, the dynamist may not care where novelty and invention spring from: Unlike the purist libertarian, he might be indifferent to questions of public versus private spending, happy to embrace government help if that’s what it takes to get the new thing off the ground — and happy to take that help from regimes like Communist China no less than from our own. And he may be willing to risk much more than either the typical progressive or the typical conservative for the sake of innovation. Political principle, social stability and moral order are all potentially negotiable when discovery alone is your North Star.



My comment:

Full disclosure: I have a Twitter account which I primarily use to try to promote stories I post on my blog. I fully expect Musk to allow Trump to resume tweeting. Aside from the negative of handing a victory of sorts to Trump, there are two positives. The lesser is that if he personally invested money in Truth Social that is gone since that platform will immediately go under. The greater positive is that every time he tweets something off the wall or outrageous (which will be most of the time) there will be numerous sarcastic, scathing, and snarky replies, some with contemptuous, mocking, and ridiculing illustrations which will be posted in articles about his tweet.

Related from BuzzFeed

We were on...
"Have you ever had a friend who’s had one of those on-again-off-again relationships, like a less cute Ross and Rachel situation?"



 Excerpts:

.... it was easy to imagine Republicans launching apoplectic broadsides in response to Biden’s sweeping and progressive pardons. The public would inevitably hear tired clich├ęs about Democrats being “soft on crime” and failing to appreciate the seriousness of “gateway drugs.”

And yet, in the wake of Biden’s announcement, the Republican National Committee had literally nothing to say about it. The National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee were silent, too.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also completely ignored the developments.

To be sure, it’d be an exaggeration to suggest that all Republicans sat on their hands. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who routinely complains that not enough Americans are behind bars, made sure to register his disapproval yesterday. So did one of Fox News’ prime-time hosts.

But by any fair measure, the GOP apparently thought that the smart election season move yesterday would be to let Biden’s pardons go unmentioned.

My own opinion on this is that the timing coming prior to the November elections is smart. Biden has been characterized by the Right as being old and out of touch with the younger generations which these days seems to mean anyone not on Social Security. In the case of marijuana there are numerous potential voters left, right, and center who have used it in the past or who currently used it. Whether any of them are inclined to vote Republican might change their mind based on this issue alone is hard to say. However, it can't hurt and it may very well help some Democrats in close races.


Excerpts:

"...if God Himself actually tells you (to kill someone), and He’s like, 'Hey, I am the ultimate governor of all of life, and I have judicially said that person is going to die, and I’m telling you to do it,' yeah," Winger said. "Now, historically, as a Christian, do I expect this to happen? Not really.

He later backtracks:

 "So, as a Christian, in principle, if God tells you to kill someone, yes, you should. It’s God."

"But in practical reality, I really don’t expect this to happen," he continued. "Not that there could never be an exception, but if anybody comes up to me, and says, 'God told me to kill so-and-so,' my default is to think they’re probably wrong, because there’s a lot more weirdos out there than there are people that God is telling to do something like that. There’s my answer."

Basically he's saying that it is "weirdos" who hear God telling them to kill people. In fact, anybody who actually hears voices whether they believe they come from God or a teapot is mentally ill. It doesn't matter whether the voices tell them to adhere to Christian values or run naked in the street, they are still auditory hallucinations.

This is bad news for the FBI and in particular Trump appointee FBI Director Wray:


Read article about this in RawStory. It isn't just Director Gray that is under fire. Attorney General Garland is also being harshly criticized for the way is, or isn't, handling the documents investigation.

You probably don't read The Bulwark. If you don't look at from time to time you miss stories like this:


Excerpt:

Masters was asked, point blank, if he thought the 2020 election was “stolen” or “rigged—in any way, shape, or form—enough to keep Donald Trump out of the White House,” and Masters replied:

I suspect that if the FBI didn’t work with Big Tech and Big Media to censor the Hunter Biden crime story, yeah, I suspect that changed a lot of people’s votes. I suspect President Trump would be in the White House today if Big Tech and Big Media and the FBI didn’t work together to put the thumb on the scale to get Joe Biden in there.

Trump is 'daring the DOJ to come and get him' over more missing documents: NYT's Haberman...


She said ""The Trump team is basically daring the DOJ, once again, to come get him and we'll see what the DOJ does."

I am very skeptical this comes from Trump's team of lawyers telling him what they know is in his best interests. It may be another "team" of sycophants. If he hears it from his lawyers they are telling him what he wants to hear. I think this comes form Trump and is absolutely predictable because he is a malignant narcissist with seriously impaired judgment. He revels in the thought of a confrontation where he, in his grandiose delusional state, which he thinks he will win. He's bought into his own propaganda, into the iconography produced by artists hawking their wares to his cult.




Here's a name from the past that I bet you forgot about:

Harvey Weinstein’s Second Trial For Rape And Sexual Assault Charges Begins Next Week. Here’s What You Need To Know.

After being convicted of sexually assaulting two women in New York, the former movie producer is facing criminal charges related to five other women in Los Angeles.


Oregon news: 


This is bad, very very bad...




The malignant megalomaniac's Memorial Day message

 By Hal Brown. MSW I wonder if Trump pays attention to the meager number of people who "like" his posts considering that 3,020  pe...