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Destroying Our Country From Within: Trump's Assault on America (Part One)

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Too Much and Never Enough Front Cover
Too Much and Never Enough Front Cover
(Image by (From Wikimedia) Simon & Schuster, Author: Simon & Schuster)
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Recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel asserted that Europe must prepare for a future in which the USA is not a world power. As Mary Trump makes clear in her best-selling new book about her uncle Donald Trump -- Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man America's extraordinarily rapid internal disintegration and international decline is directly attributable to the diseased mind of its current President.

Having earned a PhD in clinical psychology, Ms. Trump claims to "have no problem calling Donald a narcissist - he meets all nine criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)." But she adds, "the label only gets us so far."

She notes, "A case could be made that he also meets the criteria for antisocial personality disorder, which in its most severe form is generally considered sociopathy but can also refer to chronic criminality, arrogance, and disregard for the rights of others."

The "chronic criminality" aspect is quite on the mark. According to Pulitzer Prize winning author, David Kay Johnston, Trump hired "mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment buildings in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by Mafia chieftains Anthony 'Fat Tony' Solerno and Paul Costellano." That allegation is contained in a January 2019 article in Newsweek that addresses the question of whether Trump still has ties to the mob.

Moreover, when examining the question of Trump's chronic criminality, one cannot overlook his defrauding of students (for which he paid a $25 million settlement) at bogus "Trump University," his $2 million fine for using his so-called "charity" funds for his 2016 political campaign, his illegal hush money payments to a porn star (which helped to land Michael Cohen in jail), the allegation of rape by E. Jean Carroll and of sexual assault by others, his obstruction of justice during the Mueller investigation, his probable violation of the emoluments prohibitions in the Constitution, his attempt to bribe Ukraine's leader into announcing an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter (for which he justifiably became only the third U.S. President to be impeached) and the probable tax fraud uncovered by the New York Times in its Pulitzer Prize winning article about the Trump family's finances, which might finally land Trump in jail. (see https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html ).

Yet, it should arrest the attention of every American when the man who runs his administration as would a mob boss morphs into the American version of Fascist "Il Duce" Mussolini. Recently, in an obvious attempt to frighten Americans into buying this unindicted criminal's reelection pitch of "law and order," America's "Il Duce" brazenly violated our Constitution by sending a paramilitary, consisting of a "vast array of federal law enforcement agencies that has grown in scale and increasingly come to resemble military troops," into Portland Oregon. (Emily Badger, "How Trump's Use of Federal Forces in Cities Differs From Past Presidents," New York Times, July 23, 2020).

Brian Williams, on the 21 July 2020 edition of his show, "The 11th Hour," was less diplomatic. "And when we say "feds," what we mean is no name tags, not easily identifiable, militarized, camo-wearing, quasi-secret police force that our friend Steve Schmidt has called "federal stormtroopers" and "jackbooted thugs." Why? Because, as Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law, had written in the July 24, 2020 edition of the Los Angeles Times, "Federal law enforcement personnel cannot be used to enforce state and local laws. It's basic to the Constitution state and local governments have the police power; federal officers are limited to enforcing federal law." When Trump's stormtroopers stray beyond the limits of protecting federal property, they are violating the law and should be arrested.

In fact, Justice "William Rehnquist noted, in a 2000 decision curbing the central federal role in the Violence Against Women Act: 'Indeed, we can think of no better example of the police power, which the Founders denied the national government and reposed in the states, than the suppression of violent crime and vindication of its victims'" (Emily Badger, New York Times, July 23, 2020).

A second aspect of Donald Trump's sociopathy is his arrogance. When writing about Donald's arrogance, Mary Trump recounts that, by the time Donald was twelve, "the right side of his mouth was curled up in an almost perpetual sneer of self-conscious superiority, and [his older brother] Freddy had dubbed him 'the Great I-Am,' echoing a passage from Exodus he'd learned in Sunday school in which God first reveals himself to Moses."

Nevertheless, it requires a special type of arrogance to publicly lie or misstate matters more than 20,000 times over the short course of the last three and one half years. Many of Trump's lies are tactical. Either they are designed to "flood the zone with sh*t" (as Steve Bannon so memorably characterized them), in order to avoid accountability through the sheer volume of lies, or they are self-aggrandizing. The self-aggrandizing lies have allowed Donald to "fail upward," as Mary Trump calls it, largely because too many people, especially those in the national media, have failed to confront him about them. As Mary Trump sees it, from early childhood on, "lying was primarily a mode of self-aggrandizement meant to convince people that he was better than he actually was." Yet, one also gets the impression from Ms. Trump's book that Donald Trump actually enjoys lying.

For example, Trump has lied repeatedly about graduating at the top of his class at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Yet, an examination of the official commencement program for the 1968 graduation ceremony exposes his lie by showing that Trump graduated without receiving any scholarly honors whatsoever. Mary Trump simply piles on when she informs us that Donald even hired Joe Shapiro to take his SATs for him

In March 2016, when asked who he consults with consistently on foreign policy Trump arrogantly responded: "I'm speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I've said a lot of things."

On January 6, 2018, after bragging that he was a very successful businessman (an obvious delusion, given his bankruptcies, the annual allowance the banks shoved down his throat, and the $413 million his father had to give him to keep him afloat), a top TV star, and President of the United States on his first try, Trump called himself a "very stable genius."

Clinical psychologist Mary Trump finds him neither stable nor a genius. "His pathologies have rendered him so simple-minded that it takes nothing more than repeating to him the things he says to and about himself dozens of times a day - he's the smartest, the greatest, the best - to get him to do whatever they want."

When considering that part of his sociopathy that addresses Donald Trump's "disregard for the rights of others," one finds ample and dreadful evidence. Consider his repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that consumed his first year in office. Without ever guaranteeing that a suitable replacement would quickly follow such a repeal, Trump was willing to end the insurance coverage of millions of Americans - and seeks to do so today, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic - primarily because of his pathetic and racist psychological obsession with President Obama and his signature achievement. Due to his raging inferiority complex vis-à-vis Obama, Trump, like Sisyphus, seems condemned to push his "blame Obama" rock up the hill, only to see it repeatedly roll back down.

(Trump has not forgiven Obama for the humiliation he was forced to endure when the President roasted him at the 2011 White House correspondent's dinner. Obama began with the following: "Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald." He added: "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"

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Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San (more...)
 
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