Watching the funerals of John Lewis and John Hume over the last few weeks has evoked sad memories of my father’s passing, but it has also served as a reminder of the hard lessons that these two figures have taught us about the role of moral leadership in progressive social change.
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“Non-Violence” by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd. | Wikimedia Commons/Francois Polito. GNU Free Documentation License.
Despite the deep hole he’s in, Donald Trump could still win re-election, as we are constantly reminded. If he loses, some observers warn, there could be considerable trouble, even violent resistance. But perhaps the biggest problem facing us in the medium-to-long term is what happens if Trump loses. In particular, what do we do to undo Trumpism? Not just to counter the destruction Trump has wrought, but the decades-long preconditions that made his election possible, if not almost inevitable.
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To better understand the threat that Trump’s mental pathology poses, Random Lengths turned to Ian Hughes, a physicist, trained psychoanalyst and author of the 2018 book, Disordered Minds: How Dangerous Personalities Are Destroying Democracy, which describes how leaders with dangerous personality disorders — incapable of feeling the full range of normal human emotions — have repeatedly managed to build power bases largely comprised of similarly disordered supporters: Adolf Hitler’s Germany, Joseph Stalin’s Russia, Mao Zedong’s China and Pol Pot’s Cambodia.
This article appears on Random Lengths News. Continue reading here
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.
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.
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.
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.