By Nate Thayer
November 10, 2016
Malignant Narcissists have a personality disorder which causes easily defined behaviors. They do not have normal human feelings. They have no empathy. They are grandiose and power-hungry and control freaks. They are pathologically self-absorbed to the detriment of others. Often, they are sadists who take pleasure in other people’s suffering. Since they don’t have normal human feelings, they do and say things that are, irrational, baffling, and confusing. And they have a pathological need for constant attention.
America just elected one as leader of the Free World.
But those outraged at the election of Donald Trump should quit insulting the nearly 50% of the Americans, who voted Trump in, as hate mongers, racists, homophobes, uneducated, misogynist, or somehow unqualified to use their power and right as citizens to choose one’s own government.
They are not. Or no more than you or I.
Donald Trump is an idiot and an embarrassment. But those who voted for Trump knew that and they don’t and did not care. Even electing a pompous, unqualified narcissistic bully who is capable of starting WW3 was deemed worth it.
This is the point: The presidential election was a Molotov cocktail thrown into the perceived belly of the beast– the entrenched Washington and Wall Street political and moneyed corrupt elite powers who were deemed unworthy enough to blow them all up.
They have an excellent point.
Like a collective non-violent suicide bomber, the American voters were not voting “for” anyone. The mass of people between Washington and New York and California are tired of being ignored, insulted, marginalized and deprived of their piece of the pie.
And, most importantly, of not being listened to. Well, now they have everyone’s attention. That is a good thing. That is what the unfiltered will of the people as expressed through democratic voting and institutions is meant to be.
But because Trump was voted into power does not, for one, mean people voted for Trump or, for two, that people support the despicable man who Donald Trump is.
It was not a secret cabal of the Ku Klux Klan or misogynistic and clueless cheerleaders for a caricature of an unqualified and dangerous man who voted for Trump. The decisive portion of voters were just like you and me–the same people that supported Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, the Tea Party, put Obama in office, and Reagan before him, or no one at all.
Garrison Keiler wrote yesterday Trump voters “only wanted to whoop and yell, boo at the H-word, wear profane T-shirts, maybe grab a crotch or two, jump in the RV with a couple six-packs and go out and shoot some spotted owls. It was pleasure enough for them just to know that they were driving us wild with dismay.”
With all deserved due respect to Mr Keiler, the above is a significant part of the nut of the problem: He wasn’t talking to anyone who disagreed with him. He was dismissing those who do–and mocking them as having unworthy opinions.
I would argue that Keiler and the many, many of his elite cohorts who are comfy with agreeing with that analysis and returning to their cocktail parties are guilty of the intellectually lazy first refuge to demonize “others” when one can’t wrap one’s head around—or are totally ignorant of—the travails and frustrations of the lives of others.
The larger problem is perhaps partly a result of social media where discussions and listening and conversations are more than rare: nobody actually talks to each other anymore. Or they whip themselves up into a frenzy by preaching to the choir.
Demonizing and dehumanizing and simplifying and mocking the motivations of others whose lives and struggles we don’t understand—reducing them to cartoon caricatures–is usually because one doesn’t make the effort to listen and understand those that disagree with them. That is a big part of the current state of political discourse.
That is what fuels wars. One has to go no further than the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Cambodia, and North Korea in recent history to see extreme examples of just that.
42% of women voted for Trump and 54% voted for Clinton. But specifically 53% of white women favoured Trump compared with 43% for Clinton. Does any white mother, daughter, sister, wife, or grandmother in America not know exactly what kind of man Trump is? Of course they do. I am guessing that no one would allow their young daughters to be alone with the man if they had any say so.
They didn’t care because they were not voting for Trump, they were voting to blow up the system they perceive as having ignored them.
Did the 29% of Hispanic voters who supported Trump—a greater percentage than the 27% who voted for Romney in 2012—vote for him because they supported building a wall on the Mexican border and to throw out 11 million illegal immigrants in America? Of course not.
Did the 51% of voters without a high school diploma who voted for Trump to Clinton’s 45% do so because they were uneducated? Of course not. That is insulting. No one made that argument four years ago when President Obama got 64% of the votes from that same group compared with Mitt Romney’s 35%.
18% of voters who supported Trump said he was not qualified to be president but still voted for him.
Pause for a second and re-read the above sentence and absorb the very disturbing implications.
20% of those who said he did not have the temperament to lead the country also still voted for him. Why? Because they were not voting for Trump, they voted against the entrenched power elites.
It is the deeply divided partisan American electorate who are, in the wake of the elections, unwilling to listen to each other and have a conversation that are now exacerbating and fuelling the hostility and divisions in the U.S.—not, at this point, Trump.
Here is the rub: Donald Trump is not going to build a wall. He is not going to throw out 11 million people who live in America. He is not going to ban Muslim immigrants. He is not going to abolish trade agreements. And he is not going to bring jobs back from Mexico or China to the American heartland. And Trump knows it. And I suspect those voted for him knew that when they did so.
Trump is not going to “Make America Great Again”. That is because America is already great. He has already, and will likely further, make it worse. But, in a way, he has made it better already.
And that is because of the strength of the institutions of democracy. Trump has no power to carry out almost all of his ridiculous and unobtainable and hateful rhetoric that put him in power.
The impenetrable independent judiciary responsible for implementing the rule of law will not allow it. The separation of the actual lawmakers from presidential powers—the U.S congress, most of whom already know Trump is a few Fruit Loops short of a nutritious breakfast—must agree to most of the decisions Trump proposes before they become policy.
The ship of state will be fine—though its reputation–and therefore influence–might well be irreparably tarnished, certainly in the eyes of the world.
But Trump’s rhetoric did succeed because it represented one, very long, 16 month Middle Finger to those whose arrogance and corruption, largely based in Washington and Wall Street, has festered and disgusted the citizenry to the point they just said “fuck it. We need to destroy the village to save it”.
Most Americans—save the 1%–share this view or have fantasies of doing the same. At least those who voted for Trump had the balls to actually do it. How did what Bernie Sanders base of support represented really differ that much at the end of the day? Not much.
So we all need to deal with it now, stop yelling and screaming at each other, and start listening. Respect democracy, respect the voices of your political opponents, stop insulting them, and respect democratic institutions. And have faith in them.
America remains a beacon of hope, and those who voted against Clinton and what she represented to them are as much an equal part of that beacon as you or I.
Everyone should listen very, very carefully or no one will be better off.
That is all I will have to say on the topic.