Welcome to the USA: a place where bad ideas never die

This article was first published on Open Democracy Transformation.

Watching from Europe, the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the United States seems like a ‘Fall of the Soviet Union’ moment in history. The ‘Fall of America’ moment we are currently witnessing – with world-leading infection and mortality rates and a disastrous lack of federal leadership – is of a different nature. It can be understood, not as the end of a bad idea, but rather as the pyrrhic victory of a whole set of bad ideas long present in U.S. culture which have grown to define the country in the last few decades.

It is hard to look at this list of terrible ideas without seeing a nation in terminal decline. Looking on from Europe, Trumpism has revealed the U.S. as a place where such ideas never die, and his Presidency is a disaster because it is based on a coalition of people who passionately believe in them. Continue reading here.

 

Joining up the dots shows the true depths of Trump’s dangerous narcissistic pathology

There has only been one headline worth printing since Donald Trump was elected president. That headline is “Donald Trump suffers from a dangerous incurable narcissistic disorder which makes him incapable of empathy and reason. He is a grave danger to the US and the world.”

Instead of stating this disturbing fact, the evidence for which is voluminous, the mainstream media have over the last three years led America down the rabbit holes of normalising him and trying to understand him as you would a psychologically healthy human being. But Donald Trump is not a psychologically healthy human being and reporting on him as if he were, empowers him and disempowers people of reason. Acknowledging his pathology is fundamental to reversing this imbalance. Continue reading here.

Dangerous Case

Impeachment as a struggle to save democracy — from the pathological cult of Donald Trump

There are many different ways to view the Trump impeachment process, but perhaps the most important, if least recognized one is to view it as a part of struggle to preserve American democracy from destruction at the hands of predatory individuals utterly lacking in conscience.

Paul Rosenberg has written a must read article that makes sense of Trump’s angry narcissistic fog, the Republican Party’s capture by Trump ideologues, and why Trump’s core supporters are willing to accept authoritarianism over democracy. Read on here.

Disordered Minds - Ian Hughes

Three reasons why we need to talk about the mental health of political leaders

As the impeachment investigation and its fallout continues, Trump’s mental health is now receiving increased attention. Discussing the mental health of political leaders, however, remains deeply controversial. Still, as I’ve argued in Disordered Minds, there are compelling arguments for why we must talk about the mental health of political leaders. Read more in my most recent article for The Conversation here.

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photo credit: Spencer Means The Carlottesville Terrorist via photopin (license)

 

Book Review – How To Be A Dictator: A timely look at narcissistic authoritarianism

In my review of Frank Dikotter’s new book How To Be A Dictator, I argue that history only makes sense if we understand the psychological pathology that underlies it, and our own propensity for partaking in such pathology. We need a clear-eyed understanding of history as a recurring series of monumental follies, led by cretins who duped or forced millions of us into humiliating childish submission. Only then can we hope to avoid the repetition. Read my review here

Dikotter

Trump has put the American public into a state of ‘collective madness’

Raw Story spoke with Ian Hughes, Ph.D., author of “Disordered Minds,” which explores how a small proportion of people with dangerous personality disorders are responsible for most of the violence and greed that scars our world. He also contributed tto “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” edited by Bandy X. Lee. Read the interview on Raw Story here.

Disordered Minds - Ian Hughes

Unpicking Donald Trump’s psychopathology helps explain the toxic reality facing America – Euronews View

Two hypotheses – if true – would explain America’s alarming descent into bitter division and moral confusion.

The first hypothesis is that President Trump’s divisive behaviour is a result of a narcissistic disorder. There is plenty of evidence to support this hypothesis. Current estimates are that narcissistic personality disorder affects around 1% of the general population, meaning that there are over three million people in the United States with the disorder.

The second hypothesis is that this dangerous minority exercises a malign influence on society disproportionate to their numbers. If there is hope in our present situation, it lies in the fact that the current occupant of the White House is opening our eyes to the reality that individuals with dangerous personalities can plunge entire societies into division and moral confusion. Creating a collective understanding of this fundamental truth is the first essential step to recovery from the collective madness.

Continue reading here….