Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Final pre-election election post

I know that both candidates are highly flawed persons. And that each one’s primary flaw – the psychological one – is a kind that fuels and rewards rather than weakens and destroys. Unlike alcoholism or depression or anxiety, or anorexia or PTSD or borderline personality that can kill, Trump’s narcissism and Clinton’s power lust give them great internal and external dividends. This is infuriating, a moral wedgie to justice. To me, the candidates’ fact of turning shit into roses is as wrong as a child rapist, out of prison, transforming his reputation by becoming an FBI profiler.

Possibly both candidates have pluses in addition to their dysfunctions. I don’t mean adventitious ones like Trump’s paying workers to build his vanity palaces. I mean acts such as Clinton’s good works for children and women. Purposive ones.

What may aggrieve me the most is this: Clinton is praised for her virtues, Trump is adulated and respected for his defects: His ascendancy comes entirely from them.* The loyalty he wins is entirely one-half the country’s intoxication with his narcissistic, bigoted character.

I am not being naïve in labeling the positives of Clinton. I believe her career of service is like the oyster’s forming a pearl to sequester some irritant that has intruded into its shell. Clinton’s childhood was (pardon this bleaching of the historical rose) harshly abusive and stunningly abandoning (see Her life has been a perpetual running from and mother-of-pearl-coating her past. Nevertheless, the benevolent character that grew from it is as real as she is able to be, next to the cold fire of her childhood truth.

Trump’s good qualities are harder to find. He may have loved a pet in his childhood.** He showed some compassion during a meeting with a terminally ill boy.*** But such gifts, any gifts, are not on the résumé he has given us. One can justifiably wonder if they are ego-dystonic to him. We see only the ego-syntonic boor, the mirror-enclosed braggart, the child who thinks he’s a grown-up, the characterological condemner. And these, only these, are why he may win, or lose by a slim vote.

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* I suppose this cant be completely true, as some followers would claim their allegiance is to Trumps policies. I believe that for the most part, this claim would be false: Trumps stances are superficial, changeable, and largely unfaithful to conservative ideology. Therefore, underneath whatever policy endorsements exist, there is a more honest, and unfortunate, endorsement of his character.

** This is speculating in a vacuum.

*** I can no longer find the source, but I am pretty sure I read an article that described Trump’s meeting, at hospital, with a terminally ill boy. The child wanted Trump to say to him “you’re fired!” but the candidate couldn’t bring himself to say such a harsh thing to a dying boy.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.