‘Trump is going to snap’: a rejoinder

The post I wrote two days ago in the first hour after waking up has proven to be hugely popular and so is generating a lot of responses. Thank you to everyone who has liked, shared and commented so far. I’m endeavouring to reply to all the comments on the site but it’s beginning to get a bit out of hand. I want to be sure in myself that I haven’t misled anyone with what I wrote. In particular I’d hate to be responsible for any sense of complacency. Here are some nagging reservations I have about what I wrote, plus some stuff I missed out.

  1. A lot of people are saying that Pence is worse: more rational, more stable, but with an equally psychotic agenda. Some of the things he stands for and has implemented in relation to women’s rights would make the Taliban nudge each other and raise an eyebrow. He would (try to) be the President from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. I can see this point but also think that while he may not be strictly speaking mentally ill as Trump appears to be, he does at least have some respect for the USA as an institution, while Trump doesn’t. I think it does show that the resistance movement has to be against not just the figurehead but the whole women-hating climate-lying agenda.
  2. It’s not inevitable that Trump will break down; there is an element of wishful thinking in what I wrote. However, the events on Sunday at the CIA suggest to me that he’s unable to cope without a cheering or baying crowd. He got that at his rallies and he gets it on Twitter but being President doesn’t work like that. I suspect that whatever happens we will see a lot less of him in public. His Government is (already, after four days) adopting a bunker mentality. They’re banking on using social media as their chief means of communication with their supporters. So much for the internet making the world a more democratic place.
  3. The men who are telling Trump what to do seem to be frontloading his Presidency with a wishlist of items (abortion, climate, restrictions on the press) which any ‘normal’ Republican President would be much more careful about. They’re also allowing him to play with his new toy by humouring him over things like his wall. They don’t care about the consequences for his mental stability if there is a popular revolt on any of these issues – they’re using him as a buffer.
  4. The most dangerous aspect of Trump’s Presidency is his censorship of all mention by the Federal Government of Climate Change. As I feared, he’s following the example of the Florida Governor Rick Scott. I pray that it backfires. It represents the singlemost authoritarian measure yet taken by any government as part of the corporate conspiracy to let the planet burn. Mussolini himself said that fascism is when corporate power and the State become inseparable. Climate denial was always going to have to lead to fascism at some point because it pits the interests of corporations against those of human beings.
  5. Anyone who was at all ambivalent on the question of the climate now needs to see and reflect on the similarity between a government banning citizens from talking about politics and prohibiting them from talking about the weather. In response we have to overcome the social taboo on talking about Climate Change. Every time we change the subject we are cooperating with Trump and Pence’s agenda.
  6. I live in Italy, so in relation to Trump I’m basically limited to ranting online. If you live in the US and you want to push Trump over the edge into total mental incapacity while helping destroy the openly psychotic agenda of this Republican Party, please join together with others offline to protest what it’s trying to do on climate, refugees and women’s rights. Facebook and Twitter are good for organising protests, but they are not in themselves forms of protest.
  7. There’s a lot of significance in the fact that upon leaving office former Presidents open their own libraries. Even George Bush did so. If you go there you will doubtlessly find a section dedicated to biographies of his predecessors. Trump, on the other hand, has never read a biography of a former President. He’s never read any books about former child stars either. He’s just doesn’t read books, period. He probably hasn’t even read the pieces of paper those five scumbags have been getting him to sign this week. There’s a genuine possibility that his reading age is no higher than that of an 8th grader. What this means for his present role is that he doesn’t have any idea what a President is or what he’s supposed to do. He has no reference points. He’s got a vague idea that he’s in a powerful position in relation to something called the United States, but he wouldn’t be able to draw its borders on a map. The reason he’s not enjoying the job is that he’s basically a kid. He thought it was a game, or a best a game show. He does not have the knowledge or the level of intellectual and emotional maturity to grasp such a complex series of interrelated concepts and tasks. Explaining a notion like ‘conflict of interest’ to him must be like trying to get a dog to understand the principles of the Slow Food Movement. No wonder he can’t get the White House staff to stop leaking stories about how nuts he is. This stuff is just so f*cking funny. And the most important thing about it is, is that the “alt-right” idiots think he’s some sort of Godhead, a Randian Supermensch. They actually think he’s smart. Which would be almost inconceivably hilarious if it weren’t for the damnable fact that this coalition of misanthrope trolls, frat boys sociopaths and outright Hitler-worshippers is now in the perfect position to wipe our species off the face of the earth for good /end of rant.

Ahem.

I apologise if you leave a comment and I don’t get round to responding – my wife is due to give birth any day. Feel free to email me via the Contact page.

“You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world. That is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided.” (Franz Kafka)

“Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.” (Antonio Gramsci)

140 thoughts on “‘Trump is going to snap’: a rejoinder

  1. Thank you for your heartfelt deep thought words of wisdom, especially in these days before your wife gives birth. I truly wish the best for you and your growing family 🙂 May Peace and Love fill your Heart and Life.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree that people must protest outside the White house and in person as much as possible. He cannot handle watching people oppose him and disrespect him. He will not be able to handle the 1st amendment rights of free speech that challenge him and his decisions. He will fall.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Two interesting essays. I agree about Pence, although many of my friends feel he’s more dangerous. Pence would roll back certain human rights fifteen years, but that’s probably the worse he could do, and a Democrat administration would bring those rights back quickly. Trump could get us all killed. That’s the difference.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, I’ve said that the only thing mitigating the insane agenda is Trump’s utter unfitness and utter disdain for doing the work required to implement it. Pence is a true believer, more capable and disciplined.

      Like

  4. You have no illsusions. I appreciate your analysis and your humour. Bless you, your family, your newborn child.

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  5. Your comments and additional comments were not only astute but offer a little hope. All the English and History books that I read through high school and college are flooding back into my mental file cabinet at an alarming rate. Thankful we live far from the madding crowd because I think it’s going to get really bad very quickly. Looking into a solar pump for water and purchasing supplies for a year. Ciao!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for these articles. I’m wondering what the resulting “breaking” will look like for trump. I hope it’s an implosion (as opposed to an explosion). Wishing you a healthy baby and a speedy delivery (for your wife)… peace

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve heard some speculation, probably not serious, that trump is illiterate. I’m reserving judgment, but I’ve never seen any evidence to the contrary.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. First, thanks for your 2 delightful and compelling articles/biography. I think that if we are awake, we all have a very complex journey. Your talent and achievement is your ability to identify and constructively share the stages and dimensions of your change and growth. I think that ‘narcissism’ is indeed a very deep and constantly turbulent pool of existence. My progressive awareness of my own narcissism has informed me of how seductive such a state, and its construction can be. One has to devote enormous amounts of energy and time in justification and defense of all the postures and scenarios created. I think that being immersed in narcissism is an attempt to rectify wounds and wreak vengeance upon the supposed perpetrators while seemingly achieving the desire for supremacy. I wish I could agree with your prediction that Trump will soon disintegrate, but history has shown us some very long-lived narcissists – the oldest living one perhaps being Robert Mugabe and not mentioned in the following article: http://thenarcissisticlife.com. Trump will probably inspire more and more research on narcissism; so many nuances and variations remain to be described as the diverse range of famous personae suggests.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for your comment. I hope you’re right. I think though that Mugabe is a man of some intellectual prowess who was once inspired by idealism, neither of which are true of Trump.

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      3. His first wife, Ivana, has “famously” said that he used to keep Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” next to his side of the bed. I would not be at all surprised to find out that he does indeed read certain things, and he’s ashamed of what he reads, and so downplays that particular subject. However, that does not mean he reads with any depth or concern to actually learn anything, or for intellectual stimulation, etc. I think if it’s true he has read Hitler (and I suggest reading “Mein Kampf,” it’s horrible and disturbing, but very interesting as a piece of history as well as a warning that yes, Hitler’s vision can rise again) that he has his own very dark and disturbed thoughts about what Hitler’s words “mean.”

        Also, best wishes on your new life with your wife and baby. I have very much enjoyed and learned from what you’ve written, so I do hope you’ll come back to it.

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    1. I’m thrilled to have found a write with such insight and commentary. Thank you for putting into black and white the feelings and concerns that have been floating around in my subconscious. We shall continue to protest, write, call, tweet, and march because this is #NotNormal and can never become so. Congratulations to you and your beloved on the birth of your child!

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    2. I was wondering the same thing the other day when he was about to sign his first executive order and couldn’t find the signature line. It had to be pointed out to him. As a businessman , he’s probably signed a gazillion documents, but those are usually tape-flagged by attorneys to tell the client where to sign (my boss used to say, “Treat ’em like monkeys.”), so he just had to scrawl it out. Hmmmm.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. On Christmas Eve, he was shown singing Christmas carols at Midnight Mass. The article said that he sang the first verses to all the carols, but not the less-familiar following verses, and I gasped. He can’t read. Not well enough, anyway. He’s memorized the first verses, but not the subsequent ones. HE CAN’T READ.

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  8. Your link to the eichenwald piece says it shows Trump has no close friends. But the words friend or close don’t appear anywhere in that list of tweets. ://storify.com/clair3/kurt-eichenwald-s-tweets-listing-his-findings-from

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    1. Thanks for letting me know. That’s weird as I remember his tweetstorm fairly clearly. I apologise, it was certainly in the long article just before the election, which is no longer available online. Thanks again, I’ve removed the link.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You have just lifted a weight from my heart… Intuitively it has seemed obvious to me that a BabyMan who’s never had a monent’s experience as a public servant, who berates and belittles even the bravest, the most respected & the most talented among us, who clings to Money = True Importance even in the face of disastrous climate consequences, who has zero compassion for women, immigrants, the elderly, handicapped, LGBT community, etc. etc. etc., who’s raised sons who believe slaughtering innocent, magnificent creatures is great fun… It has seemed OBVIOUS that such a BabyMan is COMPLETELY unfit to lead ANY country and that his impeachment cannot be too soon! Forgive the lengthy rant… I just want to thank you for sharing your intelligent, sensitive, courageous insights… The glimmer of hope they provide is ENORMOUS for all of us currently trapped in a narcissist’s nightmare. What joy you have ahead of you! All best to you and to your wife and baby!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I heard one person who worked closely with Trump for a time as having the temperament and mental stability of a nine year old —he then stressed that he was “not kidding”. Is it possible Trump has ADD with perhaps a streak of autism?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. One guy who worked closely with Trump for a time said he had the mental capacity and temperament of a nine year old. People laughed and he had to stress that he wasn’t kidding. Could it be that Trump has ADD and possibly a streak of autism?
    .

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  12. Well, the Republican Party was, to put it lightly, irritated that Trump became the Presidential candidate after 40 years of carefully working likes snakes in the grass to get control of ALL branches of government under their control. Using stock ALEC legislation around the country to gerrymnder districts and and create voter suppression rules, the RNC achieved national control of ALL the branches of the Federal Government, including the House of Representatives and States around the country — then Trump.

    So now the question is, whom uses whom?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pretty sure Trump’s reading level is probably on par with the majority of Americans averaging at about 7 th grade. 12th grade is most likely giving him too much credit considering he brags about never reading any books. Most fiction from America is written to that grade level so it’s probably safe to assume. This saddens me deeply as I am American, a very avid reader and realize the value of what can be gained through reading and other scholarly persuits.
    That being said, great article and I appreciate the additional rejoinder as well. It was nice to see how your thought process was explained and brought some extra clarity to the subject. I think you have a very keen insight about Trump and will not be surprised if/when he snapps. Keep up the good work!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What you said about the Alt Right makes me think back to a college communications class where we had a discussion of Archie Bunker. The professor told us that the KKK and Neo Nazi groups thought Archie was smart and a hero.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooh, Archie Bunker! Yet another character/person I would rather have as POTUS over the Commander-in-Pee.

      …seriously, I’m down to like Emperor Palpatine, Voldemort and Eric Cartman at this point for people I MIGHT take Benedict Donald over.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My dad (Eastern European born, no education past 6th grade – although he could speak 5 languages) would watch that show, laugh and say, “You tell ’em, Arch!” and I would say, “Ya know, he’s actually the butt of the joke, Dad,” and he’d say, “Ah, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

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  15. I believe most republican politicians despise him. But through him they are getting everything they wished for. Once that is complete they will pick and find “the straw that broke the camel’s back” and say “Oh My God, he has crossed the line this time…” and impeach him. Hope it is before WW 111

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This sounds right. Paul Ryan is backing Trump in order to get legislation passed. BUT, Ryan does not understand you will never achieve positive results when working from a negative, much less a negative which is threatening to destroy the country and its allies.
      Trump will not go soon enough to save us from the harm he has done.

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  16. very informative pieces. I have to say im deeply concerned about WHAT is the trigger, and maybe he will reach for his own trigger in response, if you catch my drift. Im perfectly serious, someone who becomes totally unbalanced and worse angry and depressed in his position, could well just decide to take us all with him.
    There is one element that is being overlooked a great deal though, and that is the role that the GOP now has to play.
    Basically the best solution is to remove him as soon as he has fulfilled enough of their ambitions to satisfy them- so called front loading as you put it. well yeah, at some point however he may realise hes being played. that will not be a nice day for anyone.
    i just hope in all honesty he has enough sense to realise the job isnt for him!
    if not, we may be seeing the end of everything for good in my view. hate to be pessimistic, but all those nukes are under his control, and his alone….

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  17. I have thought these things for months now. I have wondered about the grand explosion of Trump’s tender ego and how magnificent the fireworks will be. It will not be a whimper, I assure you. My faith in the power of voices raised carries me through these dark days because I know that all darkness ends in light. Even dark nights bring bright tomorrows. So, I wait. And I hold onto your precious words like a lifeline. Please keep writing. We are watching and in need of sanity in this most grave hour.

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  18. It has occurred to me over the past couple of days that he might quit the job. A stunning thought, as I don’t believe it’s ever happened. The consequence would be chaos but it would settle. It would probably be for the best.
    I’m alarmed at the willingness I’m seeing in so many to drive this man over the edge. Purposely. Storms of criticism (and marches) clearly rattle him badly but obviously he’s not going to listen so the only purpose for engaging in these actions are to hurt him. It’s personal.
    I’ve said for as long as I’ve known who he is – 20 years, probably – that he stands for everything I’m against. Still true. But to see a mob with torches and pitchforks racing to burn his house down with him in it frightens me even more than he does.

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  19. some one who doesn’t read books would not understand how the world turns. He has a distorted view of the world, having lived a privileged life in an Ivory tower. Maybe by the grace of God, he will have this nervous break-down and forced to resign. This option would be best than facing impeachment. Congrats for your brand new baby. Wishing you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh THANK YOU! and blessings on your little one on the way. I have two young boys and I am really scared about how unstable everything feels with Trump in office. Your take on the man reads pretty solid to me. I hope the silver lining is the uprising of people across the globe to stand for accountability, acceptance of those who are different from us, and caring for each other and the future of our planet.

    Like

  21. I’m a former English teacher, and I have to wonder why you think he probably can’t read above the 8th grade level? This is a very interesting possibility. It would honestly change everything we know about him as a person and, frankly, his followers.
    I wish your wife well in her upcoming labor and delivery! Congratulations!
    As someone told me after I gave birth “This will be your greatest challenge and greatest reward.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! That’s very encouraging. I’m basing that on the fact that he’s proud of never having read a book. I originally wrote 5th grade but someone complained, which was fair enough, so I changed it to 12th grade, but then someone pointed out that the average reading age in the US is 7th grade level, so I changed it again. I think I’m being generous.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Yep, agree, and grateful you write with such clarity. I, too, think he might quit the job, as that is what sociopaths do when they get anxious about their perceived performance. How soon?. I posted this myself just the other day in response to “White House sources say Trump was ‘visibly enraged’ at the size of the Women’s March:” rawstory.com
    “Once the sociopath exposes the monster within, if nothing happens to him to curb such displays, he now will increase his rage outbursts. Eventually, even the loyal workers will steer clear. No one will want to go near him for fear of being the provoker of the next raging tantrum.” Increasing the pressure through protest and criticism is, indeed, the way to get him gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I think it would be funny if all the celebrities he seems to hate, yet cannot ignore, developed a “schedule of ridicule” – perhaps a different famous person on a different topic each week. I’m all about driving him to the brink as soon as possible. The man cannot bear to be mocked by Hollywood.

    Happy birthing, mommy! Congratulations, daddy.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I think ridicule would just make Trump feel persecuted for his unappreciated brilliance and cause him to harden his position and lash out dangerously. Say what you like about him, he’s at least mastered the Dunning-Kruger principle.
    He should be flattered and praised for the few things he accidentally gets right, and any excuse to tie what he’s doing to saving us from climate change with his insight and decisiveness would cause him to do those things deliberately. Use the Putin effect on him.He can be played like a deck of cards.
    The important thing to remember is that he’s shown no sign of actual principles. Use that to guide him in the direction you want.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Alec Baldwin will have an entire episode of Saturday night live to lampoon him on February 11th. Good times! An whole hour of sketches ridiculing and lampooning Hair Dumbpf will likely get the bugs marching around in that dead fox he has on top of his head. Keep up the good work, and welcome to the wonderful world of parenting. Best wishes for you and your wife with the new baby.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. This is one of the reasons why the Women’s March on Washington was so important. The worldwide success of the march must just be killing him! These type of marches need to continue. The last line in your previous posting: Our job is to increase the tension.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not to be hated, then. I can see how he might feed off opprobrium for a while but ultimately he’s a child in an adult world. Interesting btw that something as dauntingly complex as Lacan becomes of use in trying to make sense of the times we’re living through. We need to dig very deep pools of wisdom in order to get at insights that might help explain what is happening. Coming across people and media trying to treat Trump as just another president is bizarre.

      Like

    2. Btw my Lacan is largely refracted through Zizek, I’m ashamed to say. I’ve read bits and pieces of the man himself but after three pages my head’s in pieces. The poet William Bronk has a similar effect. Like feeling my brain turn on itself.

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      1. I had two friends who were senior psychoanalysts in Pittsburgh. The woman was a child training analyst and the man was an “adult” analyst and a devotee of Lacan. The woman said to him and me “Lacan is crazy, isn’t he?” The man replied, “What difference does that make?” For a writer being crazy may not be an impediment. For a president…

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      2. Ha ha ha Lacan definitely stretched the boundaries of reason, and then twisted them round his little finger. As Pynchon apparently once wrote in a letter, ‘why should things be easy to understand’? Trump defenitely doesn’t qualify as a mad genius, or an idiot savant for that matter. He’s just dangerously deranged.

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  27. I really wish I shared your “optimism” about Trump’s impending meltdown and the GOPs ability to control him somewhat. But the fact that he survived all of the attacks against him through the long electoral process makes me fear he may be more resilient than we suspect. I also wish I had more faith in the checks and balances in the system to prevent irrevocable damage to many critical institutions, but it appears to me that a large segment of the population has essentially “lost its mind.” Regardless, I enjoyed your article and the follow-up immensely.

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    1. Thank you! I think we shouldn’t give up hope of a breakdown. The pressure of having so many difficukt things to do will get to him. Apparently the entire White House staff of the State Department just resigned. To deal with crises like thst – and they’re going to start piling up now – requires a level of psychological well-being that he clearly doesn’t possess.

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  28. While I sort of agree with what you’ve written, you left out something that’s much more important: How to force the Republican Congress to impeach Trump, based on Constitutional violations (the emoluments clause). Now, Congress has no motive to act. Men will sell their souls for power and in this case have done so.

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  29. Also, Richard Willmsen, here’s another factor. Trump is not making the decisions about policy. That’s being done by others: I suspect Bannon.
    So when top state department staffers resign, Bannon will replace them.
    That takes a lot of pressure off Trump.
    One more thing. We all want to see Trump in the rear view window, but is that best?
    Would it not be best if Republicans and Democrats were forced to work together to get rid of him?
    What nation can survive when half the population hates the other half?

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  30. I’m not sure why we should be afraid of him breaking down more than allowing him and the Republicans achieve what they are working towards. At least their credibility will be in question if he comes apart. Clearly he is not capable of analyzing the Bills that he’s signed so far and will continue on this irresponsible path dragging all of us through the muck with him. Pence is obviously more concerned about how he appears to the public. Trump will drive himself over the edge with or without the public complaints. He has so much insecurity which means he is paranoid and in his head not out with us most of the time. His staff and co-conspirators will become less and less accommodating of his outbursts and will step back and let him sink himself.

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  31. I’m floored by your writing (don’t feel like you need to respond… becoming a father… yeah, it takes preparation for sure). I just began blogging about Big Donny T. only a day ago and began another post, but I doubt I’ll hit the eloquence, the thoughtfulness, and like you said in your first post, the ability to slow down, revise, and produce quality writing, the way you have between these two.

    I’m ready for you to step forward as our godhead. Thank you for writing this. It means volumes to me and mine.

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      1. Click my link and read “Civil War.” if you’re interested. The next series is more or less about reaching out and having genuine, productive communication with Trump supporters. I don’t know if we can get rid of this guy (read: psychotic f!ck) if we don’t have a little more support. Swing states, baby!

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      2. Not to out myself as a bad person, but I’m actually a classroom teacher with students present (working hard, no less). Will watch later and get back. Keep ’em coming! If you haven’t seen the Dutch response to Trump, you should search for that one. Pretty hee-larious.

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  32. Thank you for your painfully brilliant analysis and commentary on the Donald Trump phenomenon and it’s hoped for denouement. I find myself in, just about, complete agreement, with the analysis and it’s prescriptions for action. During the election campaign, I observed and, subsequently, made public comment on what appeared to be the behavior associated with an over the top, narcissistic personality disorder. Since then, I’ve become aware of patterns of behavior that are more troubling and suggestive of an underlying psychotic disorder. As a grand father of two infant children, I feel compassionate concern for the well being of his son. As a concerned citizen, I am taking every opportunity, in concert with others, to be involved with initiatives that seak to hold Trump, Senators and Congressman accountable for their actions or inactions. Best wishes!

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  33. Congratulations on the impending arrival! Narcissistic rage is a thing, and I fear you are right – Trump’s is coming. My concern is that it will make things worse, not better. There must be a lot of people out there like me who have been intimately acquainted with this personality disorder, suffering quietly from PTSD as this dangerous farce plays out.

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  34. Just discovered you! Well written and thought-provoking.
    I’ll be following your comments with interest – albeit slightly detached as Brit also living in Italy, but fearing for the future.

    Like

      1. Term time, Bolzano (Dina is a teacher of English). Holidays in Abruzzo, provincia di Chieti, where Dina’s family live. Not a long way from Rome!

        Liked by 1 person

  35. Pertaining to point #2., the fact that he already knows he has to bring paid clappers to his meetings and speeches is evidence that he has found out quickly that he won’t get the kind of crowd approval he’s become accustomed to at his rallies.

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  36. Best wishes to your spouse, your baby, and you. You three will now be a new planet, with I hope, orbiting grandparents and such.
    Besides Lecan and the Portuguese artists, the lessons you cite are currently conveyed in the somewhat secularized AA practiced here. Besides the foundational HOW (honesty, openness, willingness) and having other AAs listening to you, some new things are recovery from terminal uniqueness, taking Step 10 seriously, and combatting contempt before investigation.

    Liked by 1 person

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