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Praise Donald Trump

Let us now praise Donald Trump. One of the basic characteristics of the person alternatively described as a “sociopath,” a “psychopath” or a “malignant narcissist” is extreme resistance to people and to information that do not fit with his extreme view of his own importance and his right to have the world bend to his wishes and his liking. That person is completely self-centered, willing to do anything he can get away with which advances his own interests, as he may define them in the moment. His reaction to opposition will be denial, anger, and destructive impulses.

Americans now have a President who lives in a world of “alternate facts” which is congruent with his pathological self-importance. Given that Donald Trump has great power over all of us, for the present and the immediate future, it makes sense to make the best we can of that reality. Regrettably that means playing along with this powerful narcissist’s views of himself, when that can be done within acceptable damage limits. Congressional Republican leaders, who I bet have psychologists advising them about handling Donald Trump, did that with their extravagant praise of his leadership in getting the federal tax overhaul passed by Congress.

Those of us who believe that protecting natural systems – the air, the ocean, the land – is the most important challenge our civilization now faces have choices. We can continue to limit our comments to attacks on the Administration’s extreme assaults on the planet, or we can also add a conscious effort to praise whatever Donald Trump and his agents do which advances, or is at least compatible with, preservation of natural systems. We cannot applaud efforts to maintain or increase burning of coal and other hydrocarbons, but we can give vocal support to efforts, even though they are inadequate, that may diminish releases of greenhouse gases into Earth’s air and water with carbon sequestration and other technologies.

Such praise of Donald Trump will, hopefully, limit destructive uses of his presidential powers against individuals, groups and ideas which challenge the worldview of Donald Trump – that his immediate wants, opinions and needs are the most important part of the Universe, even the only thing that matters. The man might even be manipulated by psychologically-adept leaders into actions which will be kind to the planet and to our children and grandchildren.

There is a fine diagnostic guide to Donald Trump in the recent book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” a collection of essays by 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts put together by Brandy Lee, M.D., M. Div.

Happy Holidays, and let’s do the best we can in 2018.


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