Donald belongs in therapy, not the White House. Republican failure to deal with the problem has implications for its future well being.
I’d like you to read this set of characteristics.
- Glibness and Superficial Charm
- Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
- Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
- Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
- Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
- Shallow Emotions
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
- Incapacity for Love
- Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
- Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
- Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
- Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
- Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
- Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
- Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
Other Related Qualities:
- Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
- Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
- Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
- Conventional appearance
- Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
- Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim’s life
- Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim’s affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
- Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
- Incapable of real human attachment to another
- Unable to feel remorse or guilt
- Extreme narcissism and grandiose
- May state readily that their goal is to rule the world
Okay, now these:
- Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- Exaggerating your achievements and talents
- Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
- Requiring constant admiration
- Having a sense of entitlement
- Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
- Taking advantage of others to get what you want
- Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Being envious of others and believing others envy you
- Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
1. They tell you blatant lies.
You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.
2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.
You know they said they would do something…you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.
3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.
They know how important your kids are to you, they know how important your identity is to you. So that is one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you did a disservice by having those children. They will tell you that if only you weren’t _____________, you’d be a worthy person. They attack the foundation of your being.
4. They wear you down over time.
This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what hit it.
5. Their actions do not match their words.
When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing. It is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.
6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.
This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter.7. They know confusion weakens people.
Gaslighters know that all people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.
8. They project.
They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so repetitively that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.
9. They try to align people against you.
Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as “____________ knows that you’re not right,” or “___________ knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. The gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want. Isolation gives them more control.
10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.
This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter – because it’s dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.
11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be right, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn more to the gaslighter for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all.
I’m guessing you know where this is going. The first set of characteristics comprise the clinical definition of sociopathy. The second set is for narcissism. And the third is for a term we’ve heard more and more of lately, gaslighting.
Writing pieces like this is always frustrating. The audience that will see and read it understands the point, and at best I’m providing some more detail and nuance to what they already know. So preaching to choir. The audience that needs to read it won’t, and if they did they’d reject it without even considering the possibility that a liberal writer might have their best interests in mind, even if he disagrees with them on a number of things. So, howling in the wilderness.
But the point remains: we have elected a man who is mentally ill and handed him the keys to the economy, to our foreign policy, to energy and environmental policy, and a lot more. Most worrying, we have handed him the launch codes.
I don’t mean this colloquially. All of us say, from time to time, that X is crazy, or Y is nuts, or Z oughta be locked up. What we usually mean is that this person behaves unconventionally, sees the world differently from us, is perhaps a tad odd, and so on. That isn’t what I am saying. Let me be clear about this. I am saying, as have any number of others, many of them experts in clinical psychology, that the president of the United States is legitimately, certifiably mentally ill. He needs serious professional intervention.
When push comes to shove, there isn’t much the Democrats can do to stop him, even if they were trying (and here I’m looking at the Vichy leadership of invertebrates like Chuck Schumer). They don’t have the votes even if they did have the will, and a policy of permanent filibuster isn’t going to work forever.
This means stopping Donald is down to the Republicans. We know, those of us who were awake during the campaign, that many (if not most) do not like Donald. They do not think he is a real conservative. Some think he’s irresponsible or worse, and there can be little doubt that, if speaking honestly and off the record, any number would agree with every word of the diagnosis above. But the GOP gets in line and stays in line. They are psychologically wired for authority and rebelling against the head of their party is something many probably can’t fathom.
But it needs to be done. For the good of America, and for the good of their party (not that I care about that – this isn’t concern trolling, it’s merely pointing out where we have a shared interest). What Donald is doing is potentially destructive in ways it might take a generation to recover from, and when he’s through our place in the world’s politico-economic pecking order will be damaged beyond repair. This is perhaps the best case scenario.
However, his agenda isn’t sustainable and the reactionary uprising will eventually be quelled. How long it will take I can’t say. How many casualties will be taken there’s no way of knowing.
What we can say with some confidence is that when the pendulum swings back it will do so with a vengeance, and those who stood with Donald will be done. Forever. Losing their power, their financial standing, their influence – again, best case scenario.
The GOP couldn’t beat Donald at the ballot box but the establishment has the power now. Introduce articles of impeachment and let’s have done with it.
President Pence is an utterly horrible thing to contemplate, but right now it’s a decided step in the right direction. For all of us.