Why everyone who tries to analyze Trump with their forebrain continues to be wrong.
On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 10:55 AM, <email@example.com> wrote:
Dear Dr. M.,
Muchas gracias for your nice words about Trumposaurus Rex. Coming from a psychoanalyst, it’s high praise. You boiled down what I was trying to say into its essence: We need to understand Trump through our own psychopathology, not his.
Remember that gruesome scene in Hannibal when Ray Liotta, skull exposed, eats his own fried brain fed to him by Anthony Hopkins, and he thinks it tastes good? Well, I’m feeling like Julianne Moore witnessing it.
Trump narcissism, boasting, outrage, whining, lying, insulting, shouting, bullying charm is catnip for the media. But incredibly, they don’t understand the business they’re in. They think they’re dissecting his actions and informing us. But they, especially the obsessed CNN, are really providing a conduit for his hindbrain to talk to our hindbrains. During our waking moments, we try to ignore and suppress what our hindbrain is singing to us, but it’s always there, whistling its seductive 500 million-year-old tune: “Feed me!” The media are feeding us a part of our brain we don’t get to taste otherwise.
That’s why everyone who tries to analyze or predict Trump’s path to the Presidency with their forebrain has been and will be wrong. Remember when everyone thought he was a joke? Remember when Trump trailed by 10% in all the polls to … everyone? This level of amnesia and denial would be astounding unless we understand it as a kind of brain defect, an aphasia, that is usually an evolutionary advantage but every once in a while blinds us to dangerous realities. We’re trying to peer into the jungle with eyes trained to see only urban architecture and orderly streets and mostly well-behaved humans.
Worse, the jungle we’re trying to see is inside us, and we spend most of our time trying to deny that we’ve crawled out of it. Furthermore, the essence of reason and civilization is to declare that the jungle exists only in others, not in ourselves. Yeah, we got that lizard under control, man. It’s those Others you gotta watch out for. This is the flip side of the tune Trump is singing, and all you liberals out there should begin with a little introspection of your own hatreds before condemn the other half of the electorate. The noise of rational chatter of the smart class is unrelenting, deafening … and wrong, all wrong, compulsively, utterly, laughably, tragically wrong.
Even this morning, after Trump had secured the Republican nomination and his two remaining opponents had conceded to him, I flipped channels for an hour listening to the talking heads stumble around somewhat dazedly – and with not a little edge of fear -telling themselves the same comforting stories about how the carnage will surely end. Trump still doesn’t have a chance. The RNC á la Paul Ryan is running away from him. There will be a Third Party on the right. The Republican Party is dead, anyway. Trump will never raise enough money to win, and if he does, he’ll be a liar. He has no ground game. He is unprepared. He doesn’t understand the rules of engagement. He can’t win a debate against Hillary because he gets his foreign policy from the New York Post and his domestic intel from The Enquirer. Hillary’s ahead by 10 points. The numbers show one thing indisputably: HE CANNOT WIN.
Not learning from your mistakes is one thing. But sticking your hand on the stove and wondering where the smell of burning flesh is coming from is another. These were the same folks who said the same thing on CNN every day for the months since Trump started his march. The clutching at straws of reason and spreadsheet confidence that Hillary will obviously win isn’t stupid. It’s a brain pathology.
This also explains the blind bigotry of all the reasonable people. They still imagine anyone who would vote for Trump is an unwashed, illiterate, stupid, sexist, bigoted white man. Guess what? They’re dead wrong. The numbers show it. Everyone has a lizard brain, and the Trumposaurus is singing its song, summoning it from the jungle. Like most of our acts performed under the influence of our lizard nature, we prefer to do it in the dark. You don’t know anyone who is voting for Trump because your friends just aren’t admitting it.
So is there a pathway out of this pathology? You’re the doctor, tell me. As an amateur, I don’t think so. We just don’t have the tools to speak to and activate that part of our brains. Anyone who has tried to beat Trump at his own lizard game, as Hillary is doing with the latest trashmouth ad yesterday, has lost. Think Romney, Rubio, Cruz, Bush, and all the other bodies littered on the side of the campaign Clinton team spliced together so effectively. Trump should take the ad as his own victory video, adding only triumphant laughter. Use your forebrain, and you’ve brought whistles and bubble pipes to an episode of Game of Thrones.
I see no sign that most people have any chance to break down their civility and acknowledge the lizard within, especially on the Left where tolerance and soft speech is prized. Like Clinton the Wonk, they’re still trying to do well on a tough math test, sharpening their pencils and studying their notes, while Trump, who couldn’t pass my freshman comp class, is staging a joyous, cheerful, psychopathic spree. It’s like watching a bad episode of CSI Miami: the team never figures out how to catch the serial murderer because they’re stuck in the lab looking at maps and charts and DNA samples while he’s out stalking the streets merrily doing his thing .
I don’t think Hillary has a chance. Dr.M., I’ll buy you dinner if I’m wrong. The Trumposaurus will do to the nation what he has just done to the Republican party.
May 5, 2016