President Trump's first days in office were alarming for several reasons. He immediately began attacking the press, while intentionally stating falsehoods such as he would have won the popular vote, but for "3 to 5 million" fraudulent votes. Or, maybe they weren't intentional falsehoods? Since most of those falsehoods are easily debunked, such as the size of the crowds at Friday's Inauguration and Saturday women's march.
Then you have the CIA meeting, where he stated that it was the lying media that made up his dispute with the intelligence community, whereas it is easy to check Trump's speeches and Twitter messages for all to see he was the one that criticized the intelligence community for their findings that Vladimir Putin's intelligence services wanted him elected.
So could it be that he is delusional, the words of Mother Jones' David Corn? Or is it possible that he only listens to news from the likes of Breitbart, The National Inquirer, Fox, and Russ Limbaugh that cater to his voters, not the mass media that reports to the rest of US?
No, it is far more likely that he believes his success in business, such as it is, was due to his bullying tactics, tactics that browbeat investors and lenders to such an extent that he can no longer rely on U.S. investors and banks to finance his projects. So he doesn't care--and may even have contempt for--facts or truths or any kind that don't further his agenda.
A New York Times reporter on Lawrence O-Donnell's MSNBC Last Word said it reminded her of the behavior of dictators, such as the current Russian and Chinese autocrats who considered all news as grist for their propaganda mills.
I have written about the bully mentality several times that has led to increased bullying in school, and even gun violence. It is a mentality that attempts to impose a bully's version of reality on the real world for the sole purpose of domination. President Trump has always acted the bully, which is the reason for his history of lawsuits and bankruptcies, so that facts are only useful in so much as they support his positions.
Evidence of Trump's bullying tactics also comes from his words on Twitter and elsewhere, reports Groff Beattle, a professor of Psychology at Edge Hill University who specializes in gestures, has discussed how Trump uses the body language and mannerisms of a bully, such as the exaggerated use of his hands.
Also comments such as "mentally sick", "dummy", "looser" or "looked disgusting" are all examples of bullying language on Trump's Twitter. Trump's bullying tactics include calling President Obama the founder of a terrorist organisation and insinuating that Clinton took drugs prior to a debate. Furthermore, he has mocked the disability of reporter Serge Kovaleski, portrayed immigrants and foreigners as dangerous people, rapists or "criminal aliens", and demonstrated a significant lack of respect for women generally.
How does one oppose such destructive behavior? First, remember that bullies have to prey on the weakest, and avoid confrontation with those stronger because of their own insecurities. Trump preyed on naïve students and the elderly in his Trump University scam. And he stiffed workers and employees when building his Trump Casinos either by paying them less than was contractually agreed to, or not at all.
Combine it with his case-study narcissism that requires he be constantly in the limelight. So standing up to such a bully means the news media should ignore his tantrums, rather than commenting on them. Remember that he makes such outrageous lies to gain even more attention.
Psychology Today has posted a list of bullying behavior, a list that fits President Trump like a glove:
- Uncontrolled anger and unpredictable irritability, frequently directed at the weakest people ('safe targets') or those perceived as a future threat
- A sociopathic ability to control their own image - the selective ability to look like a different person to different audiences - for example, being aggressive to 'subordinates', while being charming and helpful to others
- Having little status outside of work, bullies wield the power that their job gives them with vicious zeal
- Running 'witch-hunts'
- Gratuitous domineering behaviour - sometimes physical
- The ability to make the unreasonable seem reasonable, even to the victims
--Projecting their own inadequacies onto others
- Making irrational accusations
- Publicly putting people down
- Sadistic enjoyment in humiliating others
The list is endless of President Trump's bullying tactics, and the responses are well known. There is even a government website, https://www.stopbullying.gov/ to help understand what the bully mentality is all about. How sad it is that this US President, the most powerful person on earth, is setting such an example of his own weakness and insecurity.
Harlan Green © 2017
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