All the Snowflake King’s Men

On Tuesday, January 9, 2018, California US Senator Dianne Feinstein released a full transcript of Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson’s extensive 21-hour testimony before 3 Congressional committees. According to her, “The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice. The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.” The move follows a decision by Republican Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham, who after months of testimony, issued a criminal referral for Steele, alleging the committee had reason to believe the former spy has lied to the authorities about his conversations with the press regarding the dossier. His spokesman, Taylor Foy called it, “confounding” that Feinstein released the transcript “unilaterally” over the Republican majority’s objections. Well, of course, she did because she knew the Republicans were cover up that testimony to protect Trump’s ass. But according to Foy, “Feinstein’s unilateral decision was made as the committee is still trying to secure testimony from other witnesses, including Jared Kushner. Her action undermines the integrity of the committee’s oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony relating to the independent recollections of future witnesses.” By releasing the transcripts against objections from Republican colleagues, Feinstein didn’t cause much harm. She broke no law. Though Simpson testified in a closed session, he wasn’t a government official. Nor did he discuss classified information or anything about anyone’s private life. Besides, Simpson had already called for his testimony’s full release. What Feinstein violated was the normal rules of Senate decorum, which Republicans had been using to cover up a key point that debunks some of their own talking points about this matter.

Simpson’s testimony contains many revelations. He touches upon how the Trump Organization handles taxes saying, Donald Trump’s relationship with gangster Felix Sater, how his country clubs aren’t making any money and that someone might’ve been killed as a result of the dossier. But most importantly, his testimony revealed that the FBI was already investigating potential links between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government before they even heard anything about Christopher Steele’s infamous dossier on the matter. During the hearing, Simpson stated when Steele spoke to the FBI about his findings, the bureau, “believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump Organization.” That along with a report from the New York Times suggests that Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos who during a night of heavy drinking in May 2016, accidentally kicked off the Trump-Russia investigation by telling an Australian diplomat that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

We must not forget that Feinstein released this transcript over her Republican colleagues’ objections. Recently, conservatives had been pushing a theory that the basis for the FBI investigation was an opposition document compiled at the Clinton campaign’s behest. On January 3, key House conservative Rep. Jim Jordan rolled out a tweetstorm of 18 questions about the FBI and Russia, many of which centered on the Steele dossier. Along with another leading House conservative Rep. Mark Meadows, Jordan is calling for Trump to fire Jeff Sessions and put in a new attorney general to oversee and possibly quash the Russia investigation. This is part of a broader effort to discredit the Robert Mueller investigation which in turn is part of the conservative counternarrative on the whole Russian scandal. The dossier plays a key role in this conspiracy theory. By putting the dossier on trial, they have tried to impeach the basic case that people in Trump’s circle may have coordinated with the Russians who attacked the election. Trump allies have also used the dossier to go on offense against the FBI and the Justice Department, charging that “biased” federal investigators used what Republicans call partisan, Democratic-funded propaganda as the basis for the whole Russian investigation. However, the reality is that while intelligence circles hold Steele in high regard, there’s no evidence that the FBI has ever used his work as the basis of its Russia investigation. Besides, the case for collusion goes beyond the dossier and includes outreach by Russian agents to the Trump campaign as well as meetings between Trump associates and Russians.

Now who is this Glenn Simpson and what is Fusion GPS? Simpson is one of the co-founders of Fusion GPS which is a “strategic influence” firm first hired by the conservative publication called the Washington Free Beacon in 2015 to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee contracted the firm once Trump’s Republican nomination became more imminent. In turn, Fusion hired former MI-6 Russian specialist Christopher Steele to specifically look at Trump and Russia. The former British agent used his Russian contacts to compile a dossier describing efforts by Russian President Vladimir Putin to cultivate a relationship with Trump and his entourage and to gather material to blackmail the candidate if necessary. He did not pay sources for the information. His investigation ended with a several allegations including that Russian security services are blackmailing Trump with a recording of him paying prostitutes to pee on his bed at the Moscow Ritz Carlton presidential suite. And that Trump’s campaign was the beneficiary of a multifaceted Kremlin plot to interfere in the 2016 US election. Obviously, Steele felt his findings went beyond political campaign fodder and made him worry that there was a genuine threat to US national security. So he took the info to the FBI who was already getting tips and reports something was going on. Steele’s information just confirmed the seriousness of the situation. Buzzfeed published Steele’s dossier in January 2017 which set off a firestorm of controversy and intrigue which neither man intended to happen. But in recent months, it had taken new life as the centerpiece of a conservative counter-conspiracy theory that Trump’s political enemies cooked up the whole Trump-Russia investigation. Simpson’s testimony primarily debunks the conservative narrative placing the infamous dossier at the center of the story and confirms the Times account of a drunk Papadopoulos kickstarting the Trump-Russian investigation.

But how could a drunk Papadopoulos be the start of the Trump-Russian investigation? Let’s just say that it all boils Papadopoulos having a drunk conversation with Australia’s ambassador to the UK, Alexander Downer about Russia having dirt on Hillary Clinton. Downer, of course, shared the details with other Australian officials who ultimately passed word of it to their American counterparts once the hacking of Democratic email accounts became a big deal. And thus the FBI investigation ensued that July. All because Papadopoulos said the wrong thing to the wrong guy while under the influence. They listened to Steele because they already had an investigation into the Trump-Russia question underway. While the investigation hasn’t yet proven the existence of anything like the vast conspiracy Steele alleges, it certainly has uncovered a real evidence of wrongdoing. This consists of a Papadopoulos guilty plea along with serious criminal charges against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. We’ve also learned that key Trumpworld figures like Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. were at least eager to potentially collaborate with the Russian government into revealing anti-Clinton “dirt.” Rather than taking a cue from Downer in alerting the authorities to the existence of the of an active Russian intelligence effort aimed at the United States. There also continues to be an ongoing investigation that might yet reveal other criminal activity. Or it might not. Either way, Simpson’s testimony is more evidence that law enforcement took the Trump-Russian collusion question seriously for reasons that had nothing to do with the Steele dossier.

Steele may have overreacted as well as got things wrong. Yet, fundamentally, it doesn’t matter since the investigation doesn’t rise or fall on his credibility. Even so, he turned the dossier to the FBI for no obvious reason other than his allegiance to our closest ally. Despite what the Republicans think, the Steele dossier was not a purely political document paid for by Democrats to hurt Donald Trump. Else Steele wouldn’t have reported such information to the FBI. In fact, the Democrats hardly made a concerted effort to hit Trump where it hurts during the 2016 election and they didn’t need a dossier suggesting treason to do it. For Trump’s history of corruption of dubious business practices is simply mindboggling. Also, he’s a narcissistic sociopath who has consistently abused any position of power he’s had to enrich himself. Besides, allegations of collusion with a foreign power to interfere in an election are far more serious than the traditional political punches.

While Republicans decry that Feinstein’s decision to make the Simpson testimony public undermines the congressional investigations, it was the their own efforts to obstruct inquiries that prompted to her to release the documents in the first place. Because they’d rather stick with Trump for their own selfish interests despite the damage he’s done to this country, how many norms he’s violated, and how he’s enriching himself. In an op-ed Fritsch and Simpson write, “We suggested investigators look into the bank records of Deutsche Bank and others that were funding Mr. Trump’s businesses. Congress appears uninterested in that tip: Reportedly, ours are the only bank records the House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed. [We] found widespread evidence that Mr. Trump and his organization had worked with a wide array of dubious Russians in arrangements that often raised questions about money laundering.” The House committee investigating Trump’s Russian connections was an utter joke while led by Rep. Devin Nunes who was on Trump’s transition team! Last year, the California Republican betrayed his oath of office on behalf of a faction within the Trump administration. Hell, he practically went to and from the White House telling Trump and his allies the House committee’s activities. In siding with Trump, Republicans have put their party over nation and principles. In essence, instead of pursuing what Fusion GPS found out about Trump, they’ve become enablers to a possible traitor who has no love for the country he’s supposed to lead, no respect for the democratic values he’s supposed to protect and promote, and no affinity for the rule of law he’s supposed to abide.

Nevertheless, the fact Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans didn’t want the Simpson testimony released to the public speaks volumes about their motives. As Simpson and Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch wrote in an op-ed that the committees have “known for months” of credible collusion allegations but have chosen instead to “chase rabbits.” And yet, Republicans tried pushing a conspiracy theory that Trump’s political enemies created the dossier to defame him and launch an FBI witch hunt. It’s clear conservatives in Congress have been misleading people about the origins of the FBI investigation into Trump and Russia with hopes in discrediting it. We all know that Republicans want to hold on to their power to enact policy they want no matter how unpopular it is. We know they’re willing to support Donald Trump so they can get their way. It is one thing for a major political party to unite behind a corrupt president. But it’s a very serious concern when the GOP unites behind a campaign of willful disinformation at the country’s expense. As Joshua Marshall wrote in Talking Points Memo, “What’s happened is that we’ve had a year tarnishing the reputation of a man who did right by the United States for no obvious reason other than his allegiance is to our closest ally and creating a comic, degenerate alternate reality in which the people who alerted us to the problems and those who first sought to understand them are the malefactors rather than the people who were at a minimum cozying up to a foreign power. It is actually quite like the cliched story of the whistleblower who speaks up and then becomes the scapegoat in the cover-up of the bad acts he was trying to bring to light. In fact that’s exactly what it is.” Now that Republicans have chosen to protect their Snowflake King, we must remember how their selfishness at Capitol Hill has disgraced the nation.

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The Madness of the Snowflake King

In this winter of our discontent, there is a term flying around conservative circles called “snowflake” used to describe liberal extremists who get offended by every statement and/or belief that doesn’t exactly match their own. To them, these individuals think they’re just unique as “snowflakes” when they really just have fragile feelings. To be fair, I do believe there are some liberal snowflakes who do exist. But when it comes to fragile feelings and offense by every statement and/or belief not aligning theirs, I think the “snowflake” label describes conservatives much more. For one, conservatives have an entire media ecosystem to insulate them from uncomfortable mainstream truths and assure them their views are perfectly reasonable. I mean when other networks air rather damning stuff on Donald Trump, Fox News runs stupid shit and peddles conspiracy theories. Secondly, conservatives go absolutely apeshit over race related issues such as Black Lives Matter calling attention to police brutality, NFL players taking a knee, and removing Confederate monuments. Third, those so-called “snowflakes” conservatives refer to have had to deal with all kinds of offenses and systematic injustices against them for perhaps their whole lives.

But in the United States, there is no bigger snowflake in the country than Snowflake King Donald Trump. Even before he ran for president and disastrously ended up in the White House, we all know that this guy has a massively inflated ego and self-delusions of grandeur. He sees himself as a successful and brilliant businessman despite being an outright fraud who’s shamelessly engaged in unethical practices and corruption that have ruined hundreds of people’s lives. His presidency will become legend for his incompetence, his Twitter tantrums, his lack of regard for the law, democratic principles, and norms, and his corrupt administration that’s loaded with sycophants. Still, Trump is known to burst over the slightest insult that he’s referred the mainstream media as “fake news” whenever they run a negative story about him. For a president, to discredit the media over the negative stuff about him whether it be his unethical business practices, his flagrant disregard for democratic norms, his lack of respect of democratic values, openly racist tirades, his Twitter tantrums, his incompetence and mental instability, and pathological dishonesty. Even before he became president, Trump was known to at least threatening to sue those who dare challenge him or at least said stuff about him he didn’t like. Sometimes this has resulted in real life consequences. In 1990, he threatened to sue Janney Montgomery Scott unless they fired their securities analyst Mark Roffman. His crime? Issuing a negative forecast for Trump Taj Mahal which was later proved correct. Nevertheless, Roffman lost his job and spent the next few years in a living hell. A year later, Trump threatened to sue any broadcaster or distributor who’d show an 80 minute documentary about him called Trump: What’s the Deal?, which powerfully and disturbingly portrayed him as the fraud he actually is. His effort to suppress the film proved successful.

Recently, a book has been recently published called Fire and Fury: Inside the White House which has been dominating the political cycle this January. Written by longtime New York columnist Michael Wolff, media outlets have run excerpts from it which has resulted in a furious response from Donald Trump. In fact, his lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to the book’s publisher, demanding to stop publication. Not surprisingly, it has become a bestseller as copies fly off the shelves. Still, while Fire and Fury isn’t the most factually accurate account of Trump in the White House, it nonetheless confirms a lot of the dysfunction and disorganization that has characterized the administration. Specifically, Wolff’s book depicts a deeply unprepared, incurious president surrounded by toadying advisers concerned about his ability to do his job. Knowing how willfully ignorant Trump is about how government works during the 2016 Election campaign, this isn’t surprising at all. His lack of knowledge of the US political system was a source of constant criticism. One big instance of that on display was when he promised to pick a Supreme Court Justice who’d “look very seriously” at Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. However, the Supreme Court tries laws, not people. In a primary debate in Houston, Trump referred to federal judges “signing bills” a task the president does in a federal system. As Wolff recalled in his book on how some of Trump’s closest aides spoke of him behind closed doors: “This—insulting Donald Trump’s intelligence—was both the thing you could not do and the thing—drawing there-but-for-the-grace-of-God guffaws across the senior staff—that everybody was guilty of. Everyone, in his or her own way, struggled to express the baldly obvious fact that the president did not know enough, did not know what he didn’t know, did not particularly care, and, to boot, was confident if not serene in his unquestioned certitudes. There was now a fair amount of back-of-the-classroom giggling about who had called Trump what. For Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, he was an “idiot.” For Gary Cohn, he was “dumb as shit.” For H. R. McMaster he was a “dope.” The list went on.”

Now we all know that Donald Trump doesn’t like to read which is a very terrible sign. Because on any given day, a president is expected to read about as much as a college student cramming for a big exam. Thus, as Cracked reports, intelligence agencies have to keep their reports 25% shorter than Obama’s and allow no space for dissenting opinions. Policy papers are trimmed from 3-6 pages down to a single page with lots of graphics and maps. The National Security Council has taken things a step further by “strategically” including Trump’s name as often as possible since he usually keeps reading if he sees it mentioned. But a bigger problem than these oversimplified briefings is that Trump apparently doesn’t even bother to read them. This can lead Lord Cheetohead to embarrass himself in talks with foreign leaders, drafting woefully inept executive orders, or signing off on documents he doesn’t even understand. As Wolff recalls: “Here was, arguably, the central issue of the Trump presidency, informing every aspect of Trumpian policy and leadership: he didn’t process information in any conventional sense — or, in a way, he didn’t process it at all. Trump didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. If it was print, it might as well not exist. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semiliterate.” He even quotes Gary Cohn stating, “It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything — not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored.”

Furthermore, Wolff notes how Donald Trump doesn’t seem to understand the kind of responsibility being a president entails. Most Americans are familiar with the idea as of the president as a political and institutional concept, with an emphasis on ritual and propriety. Well, Trump isn’t most Americans since he’s prone to his ongoing Twitter tantrums over stuff that pisses him off. As Wolff writes, “Here was another peculiar Trump attribute: an inability to see his actions the way most others saw them. Or to fully appreciate how people expected him to behave. The notion of the presidency as an institutional and political concept, with an emphasis on ritual and propriety and semiotic messaging — statesmanship — was quite beyond him.”

Wolff also describes him as anti-intellectual as he noted, “For anything that smacked of a classroom or of being lectured to — “professor” was one of his bad words, and he was proud of never going to class, never buying a textbook, never taking a note — he got up and left the room. This was a problem in multiple respects — indeed, in almost all the prescribed functions of the presidency.” Such conduct is very unbecoming of a vast array of occupations, especially if they require a college degree. But if you’re the President of the United States, it’s incredibly unforgivable. Though we know that Trump’s brand contains a very anti-intellectual streak, eschews the advice of experts, doesn’t sponsor any cultural events, and doesn’t express any form of curiosity in anything. He sees no value in science, history, or education. And his campaign might be responsible for why more Republicans might have more negative opinions about colleges and professors they see as liberal elites in their ivory tower. If Trump should call himself a “stable genius” then he’d probably buckle up in the Oval Office, listen to criticism, and take notes. Despite that academics might seem to be in their own little worlds at times, a politician advocating anti-intellectualism is a very terrible thing since it encourages willful ignorance and disinterest in learning and education. And Trump’s willful ignorance and disinterest in anything but his own vanity and enrichment is rooted into his own narcissism and sociopathy since he worships no god by himself and he has no faith than in the almighty dollar.

Nor does Donald Trump seem to have the proper temperament or understand his role to lead a nation. As Wolff recalls, “What was, to many of the people who knew Trump well, much more confounding was that he had managed to win this election, and arrive at this ultimate accomplishment, wholly lacking what in some obvious sense must be the main requirement of the job, what neuroscientists would call executive function. He had somehow won the race for president, but his brain seemed incapable of performing what would be essential tasks in his new job. He had no ability to plan and organize and pay attention and switch focus; he had never been able to tailor his behavior to what the goals at hand reasonably required. On the most basic level, he simply could not link cause and effect.” Cracked has reported that American agencies are withholding an unusual amount of information from Trump. Though Trump has expressed scorn for the intelligence community (particularly when it comes to Russia). However, a bigger concern for them might be his habit of casually announcing classified information to rival governments. In May 2017, during a meeting with Russian officials, Trump reportedly boasted about the quality of intelligence he received every day. He also revealed details of a terrorist plot he’d recently been informed of. The problem with that is that revealing you know something can let someone guess fairly quickly how much you know it which can compromise the original intelligence source who may not have wanted the Russians to know about it. Though America doesn’t need to be hostile with Russia anymore, we know it has very different goals and ambitions than we do. Meaning that we need to exercise a degree of caution when dealing with them. But Trump’s carelessness with intelligence can be more than a one-time problem since in the wake of this story, an unnamed European country warned that they may stop sharing intelligence with the United States because they don’t like Trump compromising sources while trying to impress people.

Nevertheless, Donald Trump’s bizarre behavior has often compelled about his mental state long before Fire and Fury. Just last week, he unleashed a series of tweets which culminated in a nuclear threat of nuclear war with North Korea. On January 2, 2018, he tweeted, “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” In fact, the book’s very title came from a Trump speech back in 2017 over North Korea when he said, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” This at an event that was supposed to focus on opioids. Such statement terrified North Korean experts who worried about Trump provoking a war with another nuclear-armed power. Yet, Wolff noted such words also scared the bejesus out of Trump’s staff as they spent the next week trying to get him to stop talking about it. As Wolff wrote, “North Korea, a situation the president had consistently been advised to downplay, now became the central subject of the rest of the week — with most senior staff occupied not so much by the topic itself but by how to respond to the president, who was threatening to ‘blow’ again. Charlottesville was a mere distraction, and indeed, the staff’s goal was to keep him off North Korea.” To use Charlottesville to distract Trump from North Korea just makes me cringe. This is one of many examples illustrating that Trump is incapable of understanding the consequences of his actions. When Trump does something like fire James Comey, bomb Syria, or threaten North Korea, he does so without any sense of how human beings might be affected. As Wolff writes, “One of Trump’s deficiencies — a constant in the campaign and, so far, in the presidency — was his uncertain grasp of cause and effect. Everyone [in the White House], in his or own way, struggled to express the baldly obvious fact that the president did not know enough, did not know what he didn’t know, did not particularly care and, to boot, was confident if not serene in his unquestioned certitudes.”

But while the White House tries to write off Fire and Fury as “trashy tabloid fiction,” its fallout suggests otherwise. Already, Donald Trump has treated its revelations as gospel truth has launched a blood feud with his former strategist and campaign CEO Steve Bannon. Because on January 3, 2018, the Guardian posted excerpts from Wolff’s quoting Bannon saying some remarkable things about the Trump family. In these excerpts, Bannon called Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower “treasonous,” speculated that Trump might’ve been involved as well, and asserts that Jared Kushner is involved in some “greasy” business that could expose him to money laundering charges. These revelations not only cut into Trump’s denial of wrongdoing in the Russian scandal but also insulted his family members as well. Neither of which will put you in Trump’s good graces. Interestingly, Bannon’s Brietbart website reproduced some quotes sometime later without disputing them, giving a seeming impression of accuracy. Furious at the Bannon revelations, Trump released an infuriating statement reading, “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve doesn’t represent my base — he’s only in it for himself.” Except that Bannon’s Brietbart website is called “the platform of the Alt-Right” who mostly comprise of white supremacists which number among Trump’s most ardent supporters. Anyway, Trump goes on to minimize Bannon’s role in his 2016 victory and complain that he helped cost Republicans a Senate seat in Alabama by endorsing Roy Moore. Look, we all know that Bannon played a pivotal role in the Trump campaign or otherwise the alt-right wouldn’t be a thing. Furthermore, he also accused Bannon of constantly, leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was” since it “is the only thing he does well.” Now Bannon is even out at Brietbart over the Trump book controversy over his comments.

It’s not hard to imagine that Donald Trump’s staff never thought he should be president. Nor is it difficult to think that Trump never wanted to be president in the first place. As Wolff frames it, “The Trump campaign had, perhaps less than inadvertently, replicated the scheme from Mel Brooks’s The Producers. In that classic, Brooks’s larcenous and dopey heroes, Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, set out to sell more than 100 percent of the ownership stakes in the Broadway show they are producing. Since they will be found out only if the show is a hit, everything about the show is premised on its being a flop. Accordingly, they create a show so outlandish that it actually succeeds, thus dooming our heroes.” Though at least Bialystock and Bloom ended up in prison and didn’t doom a whole country. Still, Wolff believes that the Trump administration’s problems currently lie at the concept that even his staff didn’t think he’d win. Why release your tax returns if he’s going to lose? What’s the harm in sucking up to Russia’s government if he’s likelier to build a hotel in Moscow than occupy the White House? Why bother with educating the candidate on major policy issues or build a real platform when he’ll never govern? Or why worry about conflicts of interests or business entanglements if they’re never going to matter? This might explain so much. Yet, even if he was just running for president, those things will still matter.

Still, Fire and Fury paints a picture of Donald Trump through his own tweets, speeches, comments, and actions as well as the constant on- and off-the record statements from his staff. It’s similar to what reporters have heard from top staff at the White House. And similar to what I and much of the American public have long suspected. Trump is not cognitively up to the job of the presidency. He’s not just someone who doesn’t know much about policy or foreign affairs. It’s that he’s someone who doesn’t want to know about policy or foreign affairs. And he dislikes the methods by which you actually could learn about policy and foreign affairs. Thus, Trump’s ignorance isn’t an absence of knowledge. It’s closer to a personality trait and possibly even an ideology, which is even worse.

Naturally, when a man so unqualified for the presidency that his campaign wants him to lose unexpectedly wins the White House, chaos ensues. Suppose you work for Donald Trump at the White House. How would you please, placate, manage, constrain and inform a raging child king? Though the answer is embarrassing. But it’s one Trump’s staff and any foreign government wanting America’s favor know all too well: flattery and sycophancy. Trump’s staff tries to keep their boss from social media with constant praise and putting lots of media in front of him. Also, his staff worry about leaving him alone for hours at a time because he watches too much TV, gets annoyed with what he sees, and throws a Twitter tantrum. Other techniques for keeping Trump happy include hanging a map displaying his electoral victory in the West Wing, planting supporters and planting supporters in crowds as he gives a speech. One instance of the latter had him being passionately cheered while he gave a speech at the CIA headquarters by non-CIA supporters in the front rows for that specific purpose. This pissed off the CIA who consider themselves apolitical and don’t appreciate being herded into a meeting to listen to someone complain about how hard or unfair their job is. He thinks that no politician has been treated more unfairly than him despite that the TV news media has treated him much better than he deserves to be.

And how do you harness the remarkable opportunity you’ve been given to actually build something of value? The central struggle of Trump’s early months was between chief strategist Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and chief son-in-law Jared Kushner. All of them in their proximity to power, saw the potential to build a presidency they could be proud of or at least less disgraced by. As Wolff recalled: “Each man saw the president as something of a blank page — or a scrambled one. And each, Walsh came to appreciate with increasing incredulity, had a radically different idea of how to fill or remake that page. Bannon was the alt-right militant. Kushner was the New York Democrat. And Priebus was the establishment Republican. “Steve wants to force a million people out of the country and repeal the nation’s health law and lay on a bunch of tariffs that will completely decimate how we trade, and Jared wants to deal with human trafficking and protecting Planned Parenthood.” And Priebus wanted Donald Trump to be another kind of Republican altogether … As Walsh saw it, Steve Bannon was running the Steve Bannon White House, Jared Kushner was running the Michael Bloomberg White House, and Reince Priebus was running the Paul Ryan White House.” This struggle was hardly a civil conflict ideal as Wolff records the tree factions’ endless squabbles comprising of leaks, schemes, backbiting, and the outside heavies brought in to change Trump’s mind at the last minute. But the conflict was so immense because Trump is incapable of and uninterested in resolving. Trump never gave a damn about Trumpism since he’s not sufficiently interested in policy, ideology, or ideas to direct his own presidency’s course. Thus, the course will be directed by the most firmly established interests around him like his family the congressional GOP.

Nonetheless, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury contains a mystery it never resolves. As he wrote, “It was obvious to everyone that if [Trump] had a north star, it was just to be liked. He was ever uncomprehending about why everyone did not like him, or why it should be so difficult to get everyone to like him.” However, it would be easy enough for Donald Trump to run a presidency that left him better-liked. He could work with the Democrats, ease up the culture war, and give some gentler speeches. There has never been a president for whom the bar is lower than for Trump. It would be so easy to clear it and he’d have people around him happily acting as guides and cheerleaders. But he didn’t do any of that and Wolff’s book doesn’t provide a satisfying answer since it’s a portrait of a man undone by the very forces he unleashed. Because Donald Trump doesn’t care about policy, politics, ideology, or coalitions. All he cares about is Trump. He wanted to put his name on buildings and in tabloids. Now he has his name on the most important building on the planet and on the front page of most every newspaper in the world. Yet, outside a few conservative outlets, the coverage he receives is horrible, the worst of any president in memory. He can’t perform his job well enough to be liked or respected. But he only wanted the job in the first place because it would force the whole world to like or respect him (except it people still don’t like or respect him, including me). And he’s driven to rage and paranoia by the resulting dissonance, disappointment, and hurt. Mostly because he doesn’t understand that running for the most powerful office in the land will not get people to like and respect you. You have to do something to earn that adoration and respect. Sure he might be a rich businessman, but his career and life have been marked by unethical business practices, baffling corruption, inflammatory statements, and other dubious deeds. Trump wants the adoration and respect for doing nothing besides being a rich businessman and TV star.

This wasn’t what Donald Trump wanted and it’s not clear whether it’s something he can bear. A more capable, competent, and stable person would by now, have either changed their behavior to receive more of the response they crave or just given up on getting that kind of attention. Yet, Trump exists in an unhappy middle ground, starting his day with morning rage tweets, spending weekends retreating to one of his golf clubs, searching for validation he craves in his Twitter feed and on Fox and Friends but never getting it from the elite taskmasters he’s always sought to impress. The pressures of the presidency are enough to break almost anyone but Trump is less suited for the work and backlash than most. The strain’s already showing as his workday’s reportedly shrunk to 11am to 6pm. Yet, the bulk of his first term remains to the detriment of us all and it can include his financial secrets being revealed to the world, his family being indicted, and a crisis he mishandles exploding into a catastrophe (like that didn’t happen already in Puerto Rico). The question now is whether Trump’s staff can keep governing around him and whether a dysfunctional president can have a semi-functional White House. And so far, I don’t really know if that’s possible with a narcissistic sociopath like Donald Trump. Because he’s a man who cares nothing about America, has no respect for democratic values, and doesn’t think the rule of law applies to him. A man like him only inspires more chaos and internal stripe which won’t end until he’s out.

Signs of a Sociopath (with Donald Trump)

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According to the Mayo Clinic, a sociopath is “a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” Medical studies approximate that sociopaths consist of 4% of the population. Though we like to view them as serial killers and rapists on the 6 o’clock news, most live among us. It is possible you might know someone who’s a sociopath and not even be aware of it. They can be our neighbors, co-workers, friends, family members, and even our so-called “soul mates.” Most of the time you wouldn’t know how to identify a sociopath if you saw one. Since they’re usually members of a community people would never suspect of evil deeds and who can seamlessly blend into society like the rest of us. Nevertheless, sociopaths use and abuse people around them whether they be a serial killer, criminal, CEO, or anyone else. They may seem like normal or even likeable at first. But once they gain your trust through manipulation and lies, they will be your worst nightmare. Enter a romantic relationship with one, they will abuse you, neglect you, cheat on you, gaslight you, and break your heart. Do business with them, they will screw you out of the money and leave you having to take the fall. Be their friend and they’ll take every advantage of your kindness until you’re no longer useful to them. Work for them, and they’ll rule over you like a tyrant, exploiting you as they see fit as well as abusing their power for personal enrichment. Sociopaths can’t be trusted, can’t love you, and won’t own to their mistakes.

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Donald Trump has never been formally diagnosed as a sociopath. Nor do I have any professional credentials to make that diagnosis. Yet, he has exhibited the kind of behavior to merit such serious accusation that’s well worth considering. His Art of the Deal ghostwriter Tony Schwartz has a compelling case that Trump is this and he deeply regrets promoting his image. “I put lipstick on a pig,” he told the New Yorker in 2016. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” To have a president who’s a sociopath is very scary and dangerous prospect. Already he has put the United States at grave risk of involving it in a war and undermining democracy itself. So much so that Trump’s presidency presents an emergency not only allowing, but possibly requiring, psychiatrists to deviate from the Goldwater Rule, which holds that it’s unethical for shrinks to give professional opinions about public figures without examining them in person. This year, 27 psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health professionals assessed Trump’s mental health based on his speech and behavior over the long course of his public life and conclude he’s a serious danger to the US and the world. And they argue that his mental health is affecting American people’s mental outlook. In October they released their findings in a book called The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. Even so, I bring my compelling case to state that Donald Trump is a sociopath based on these findings. Nevertheless, Trump is a very dangerous human being who shouldn’t be trusted. Though he claims to be a successful businessman with the best brain, he’s nothing but a complete and total fraud who wouldn’t be where he is if he wasn’t rich. He is and never will be your friend. He has no conscience and has no respect for America, its democratic values, or its people. He abuses his power for his own self-enrichment. To support him is to enable his destructive behavior to wreak havoc on the US and the world. And to have him as President of the United States is morally indefensible and supporting him should never be tolerated.

1. Superficial Charm-Sociopaths know they don’t have a conscious and don’t feel the same love, empathy, and remorse “neurotypical” people do. To conceal their “strangeness” and get what they want from others, they learn how to “pass” in society. As they mimic “neurotypical” people, they become adept at charming them through “mirroring” those they meet. In other words, they get to know and use what they know about them in order to appear to have the same interests and values. Sociopaths can also mimic non-sociopaths’ facial expressions to more effectively charm them. In the beginning, being mirrored can be quite enchanting. But it’s just a mask they wear in order to get what they want from you. As you get to know them better, the superficial charm wears down as the victim starts noticing red flags such as lying and cheating. Such awareness creates a cognitive dissonance or a feeling that the image the sociopath projects doesn’t reflect their actual self. Though a sociopath’s victim might find cognitive dissonance rather confusing and disturbing. But it’s a sign of emotional abuse though victims mentally push it away. (Even I can’t doubt that Donald Trump is a very effective self-promoter who has been able to resonate with a significant legion of loyal supporters. Even before that, he was able to convince enough people to invest or work in his business projects even if they got nothing in the end. Still, whenever you hear anything bad about Trump from the media, expect Trump voters to view it as fake news. Still, those who believe and trust in Trump with running the country are enabling him to inflict his destructive tendencies on the American people, if not the world.)

2. Glibness– To be glib is to speak seemingly off the cuff but often to deceive. Sociopaths can use jokes, puns, and deflections to avoid serious discussions about real problems. Though it may seem unintentional, it’s not and it’s a sign the sociopath wants to move the conversation away from difficult issues which they don’t want to address head-on. (Donald Trump has often attacked his opponents personally or ignite some controversy to distract the media from negative press about him or his policies. Or when approached on some matter he really doesn’t want to discuss. Let’s just say glibness is Trump’s PR strategy and it’s one that works for his supporters. He may seem like he’s speaking from the heart at his rallies, but he has deceitful ends for doing so.)

3. Egoism– Sociopaths have swollen egos with narcissistic features and often see their lack of emotional depth and incapacity to love as weapons in their private (and sometimes public) wars they wage against those they want to manipulate and/or ruin. They feel an “edge” over non-sociopaths who feed into their sense of superiority. Since society often rewards those moving through life with an obvious self-love, their incredible confidence might seem exciting at first. Thanks to their sheer impact of their epic and outsized self-confidence, younger sociopaths tend to reap quite a few rewards and open a lot of doors. Signs of a narcissistic ego include bragging about their looks, vanity, bragging about positive encounters with celebrities or other VIPs, and bragging about sexual performance and/or exploits. Though the braggart might initially come across as a lovable clown, their potent egoism extends to grandiosity and indicates that something is really wrong with them. A sociopath’s sense of their own abilities and looks is insanely elevated which means they will put others on lower rungs. In other words, you will be below them and so will everyone else. You are there to be led by a puppet-master who’s chosen you as his toy. Sociopaths also enjoy belittling others and this type of bullying is indicative of egoism. Many sociopaths may give clues to who they really are, even if they frame it as a joke. If they call themselves “bad” or “evil,” they’re actually bragging what’s inside and want this darkness recognized. (Egoism is Donald Trump’s defining trait. He often notes how he’s such a good businessman or how smart he is. And yes, he’s bragged about his looks, positive encounters with celebrities, and even his sex life. Not to mention, his incessant bullying of those who challenge or criticize him is legendary. His insanely inflated ego might make comedians look forward to see him as a joke before he ran for president. But anyone who’s been on the receiving end of his attacks or exploits sees his excessive egoism as much more sinister.)

4. Grandiosity– This refers to a sustained view of oneself as better than everyone which causes the individual to view others with disdain or as inferior and sometimes reaching to delusional proportions. To spot grandiosity, look for disdain in others. A sociopath may regularly make racist statements. They may relate to individuals or creatures notorious for inflicting significant damage to humanity or God like the Devil, gangsters, or war criminals. (It’s very clear that Donald Trump has a disdain for others including people who support him. He’s made appallingly racist statements in public to the glee of white supremacists. He has spoken highly of dictators notorious for inflicting human rights abuses and suppressing civil liberties like Vladimir Putin, for instance.)

5. High Sensation Seeker– Sociopaths live in a state of constant boredom since their inner lives are virtually non-existent. Most of them seek out constant stimulation to make up for emotions they can’t feel as well as the dulled emotions they do. Since any feelings they do experience like lust, anger, irritation, envy, and fleeting happiness are usually quite weak, flickering into their consciousness before dissipating as quickly as they come. Since fleeting emotions come and go so rapidly to leave them empty, sociopaths find boredom as their biggest challenge in life. The most powerful emotion a sociopath feels is anger. Hell, they may even like to be angry since it’s better to feel something than so little (as they typically do). A sociopath may try to access sensation through creating drama and chaos on purpose and at frequent intervals. A lot of a sociopath’s bad behavior, including lawbreaking, cheating, and mind games (or worse), are related to alleviating boredom and accessing higher sensations. And since they don’t feel bad about what they do, they’re able to push things to the edge. Still, sensation-seeking can happen in many ways like juggling multiple romantic relationships, reckless driving, substance abuse, or seeking out deviant adventures in riskier locales. (Unlike many sociopaths, Donald Trump doesn’t drink {though there are rumors he uses cocaine}. However, he often creates drama and chaos through this Twitter rants over things he doesn’t like or his feuds with the media and celebrities. He’s also a sexual predator known to cheat on his wives. Not to mention, Tony Schwartz has told the New Yorker that he has a stunningly short attention span, “Trump has been written about a thousand ways from Sunday, but this fundamental aspect of who he is doesn’t seem to be fully understood. It’s implicit in a lot of what people write, but it’s never explicit—or, at least, I haven’t seen it. And that is that it’s impossible to keep him focused on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes, and even then.”)

6. Frequent and Compulsive Lying– Sociopaths lie constantly to everyone in their lives, even when it’s not strictly necessary. In fact, people may begin to suspect that someone in their life is more evil than anticipated because they’ve uncovered lies. Things stop adding up because words and actions don’t agree. Once you get to know a sociopath, they often seem shady and dishonorable. A sociopath often wears a different mask customized just for the people in their lives since it’s all about manipulation and reputation management. Some lower-functioning sociopaths have great difficulty getting their lives straight and will try to rewrite history or change the subject if called out. A sociopath will lie to protect oneself to from the exposure they dread above all else. They will lie to manipulate people to give them what they want and keep them under their control. They don’t love or respect the people around them. They might like them, but they’re just simply pawns to be used to get what the sociopath wants. And they take equal advantage of everyone. Their desire to win for rewards often drive their lies. When someone believes them, the sociopath feels an addictive surge of raw power that might be seen as a pure sensation taking away the sense of “black hole” where a loving heart and conscience should be. (This is another one of Donald Trump’s defining traits. He constantly breaks promises he’s made, most of which he never intended to follow through in the first place. He peddles conspiracy theories on his Twitter feed, even if they’re blatantly ridiculous and thoroughly debunked. He propagates false, often malicious stories while using his time-honored high office to blame and squash high level public servants, judges, and his own subordinates. He constantly tries to discredit the media whenever they release negative stories about him. His dishonest in his business dealings is shocking and unprecedented as he’s been a defendant in thousands of lawsuits brought upon by service providers and vendors whom he failed to pay for services rendered to him or his business organizations. And it’s abundantly clear that failing/refusing to pay vendors is part of Trump’s business model. As Tony Schwartz said about him, “Lying is second nature to him. More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.” As of writing this in 2017, the Washington Post fact-checkers determined that Trump has chalked up 1,100 false and misleading claims in the first 10 months of his presidency. These include outrageous lies about Obama bugging his phones and his inauguration crowd size.)

7. No Guilt or Sense of Responsibility– Lacking a guilty conscience, a sociopath can move from one bad act or another without feeling any sense of moral wrongness or personal responsibility. Sociopaths can’t feel your pain unless they make a conscience effort to do so, which doesn’t happen very often. This guiltlessness is accompanied by lack of shame and no sense of responsibility. And it’s one of the primary reasons why most sociopaths seem extremely immature. It’s like they’re adults frozen in a permanent adolescence since they lack the emotional tools to learn from experience. They might claim they want to do better in the future and sound very believable saying so. But they can’t learn for their impulsiveness and desire to win at the game of life always leads them repeating the same mistakes and following the same patterns. Since guilt doesn’t touch them, they can’t mature. Sociopaths are wild creatures who only focus satisfying their base appetites and urges. In their inner lives, their absence of shame, guilt, remorse makes them dangerous individuals whether they’re violent or not. One red flag to watch for is a sociopath who tells you about morally questionable things they’ve done without a shred of guilt. A textbook example of a someone to watch out for would be a man who matter-of-factly tells you how he walked out on his family and devastated them. And he places all the blame on the spouse left behind. Because to a sociopath, anyone who has a problem with them is insane. While people who are guilty examine their own role in things and understand there are at least 2 sides, a sociopath can’t understand in emotional sense, how other people feel. Nor will they feel guilty about anything that happens. This chilling sense of “disconnect” from actions which hurt others (demonstrating a total lack of empathy) is a prime indicator of sociopathy. (This is a defining trait of Donald Trump who feels absolutely no guilt, shame, remorse, or sense of responsibility for his actions. Throughout his life, he’s done truly mindboggling and reprehensible shit that’s hurt hundreds of people over the decades such as family members he’s mistreated, employees he hasn’t paid, investors he’s swindled, and so many others. He never apologizes for any missteps or intemperate attacks and has demonstrated a remarkable lack of empathy for people he’s attacked, injured, or harmed. Nor has he taken any responsibility for all the bad stuff he’s save from settling a lawsuit to evade more serious charges. And due to his impulsiveness and desire to win, Trump has never learned from his mistakes nor cares to. As president, he’s been no different. As for talking about morally questionable things he’s done without a shred of guilt, well, check out his Access Hollywood interview with Billy Bush in which bragged about sexually assaulting women. The first part recounts how he failed to seduce Nancy O’Dell in which he said, “I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married. And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took her out furniture—I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.” Later referring to Arianne Zucker whom he and Bush were about to meet, he told the guy, “I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” As Americans, we must acknowledge that Trump’s unwillingness to own up to his mistakes makes him a very dangerous man in the White House.)

8. Shallow Emotions– Sociopaths do shocking and horrible acts whether leading double lives, stealing money from other’s savings account, or sabotaging others at the workplace may not be readily apparent or discovered for years. Part of the problem is that sociopaths don’t feel all emotions while the ones they do feel are fleeting. In their world, emotions don’t carry much weight save for anger and even that doesn’t last long. To illustrate this further let’s take a real ear and a cochlear implant. Now the human ear processes thousands of sounds with thousands of “channels.” Whereas a cochlear implant is only a synthetic version of an ear with only a fraction of a real ear’s channels. In regard to emotions, the sociopath is a cochlear implant while you’re (assuming you’re not a sociopath) are the real ear. Both may seem alike but they’re very different. A non-sociopath experiences emotional richness and depth. The sociopath doesn’t have it. For people to understand each other, they must be able to share one another’s emotional range. When they can’t the relationship is doomed in only a matter of time. While many sociopaths would like to feel what the rest of us feel instead of knowing they’re on the outside, most are quite happy to be sociopaths. So you shouldn’t pity them. Since they use pity to control other people and they don’t love those they control. Sociopaths don’t have the capacity for authentic love. Sure they might believe they’re in love in a romantic relationship, but their idea of love is mostly about lust, fleeting infatuation, and possessing and controlling another. That’s not love like other people feel it. (Other than anger {or possibly lust}, there are few emotions Donald Trump seems to display with any great intensity. He’s admitted that he doesn’t even cry. Nor has there ever been any evidence he’s ever been in love with anyone or even understands it himself. To say that Trump has an emotional shallowness similar Lord Voldemort isn’t much of a stretch. Nevertheless, since anyone can fake emotion to people who don’t even know them, only Trump and those closest to him know if he has any capacity for love. But I highly doubt this.)

9. Empathy-Free– Since sociopaths typically don’t even bother to put themselves in anyone’s shoes, they don’t experience a sense of humanity and oneness. Thy can’t feel sympathy for others or understand the emotional consequences of their actions. Though studies have shown they can turn empathy on and off, theirs is mostly in the default “Off” setting. Everyday con artists are all too happy to trick others into giving them things under false pretenses. Since they don’t emotionally understand how other people feel, they make false promises without feeling the pain of those they deceive. Sociopaths make lots of promises and these promises just don’t come through. Whether it’s a man who talks about marriage to his girlfriend but never manages to make it to the altar. Or a coworker who promises you credit on a big project then stabs you in a back. False promises are indicative of sociopathy. (Donald Trump’s record of false promises is absolutely staggering. He constantly makes promises often with no intention to follow through with them. As a businessman he’s hired people for his projects with no intention of paying them for their work. He’s promised to donate to charity countless times despite that he runs his Trump Foundation as a personal piggy bank with other people’s money. Then there are plenty of promises on the campaign trail he’s already broken, particularly when they pertain to healthcare, jobs, or draining the swamp. Then there’s the time when he mocked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for crying “fake tears” during his Muslim ban condemnation. Never mind that Schumer’s great-grandmother and seven of her children died during the Holocaust. A president who makes life-or-death decisions on a daily basis without comprehending the possibility of what another person might experience is a very scary thing. Trump has shown a profound lack of empathy on several occasions during his presidency, sometimes to mindboggling proportions. He has no sense of shame and spews rhetoric that’s often degrading, disingenuous, or sarcastic. He gains satisfaction from mocking people and thinks mercilessly degrading opponents makes him tough. He casually brags about forcing unwanted sexual contact on women. Sorry, Trump supporters, but your man doesn’t feel your pain or ever will.)

10. Trivial Sex Life– If you’re on a date, one thing to watch for is someone who stares at the opposite sex a lot while you’re out and about. If that person seems on the prowl, even when with a partner, they’re seeking sexual attention which is akin to narcissistic behavior. It’s called the predatory stare which is about inappropriate eye contact which can make you feel quite uncomfortable like you’re their next meal. Since sociopaths don’t have deep emotions, they may use sex to kill the boredom and in order to enjoy sensation. Combine this lack of depth with higher-than-average testosterone levels and vaulting egos, it’s no surprise that most sociopaths are promiscuous. And since they want higher and higher levels of sensation, they may become sexual deviants. This means cheating, using prostitutes, sleeping with people under the age of consent, sex tourism, and so on. Sex will be skillful yet not emotional. We should also note that promiscuity is such a common trait in sociopaths that it’s one of the factors psychiatrists look for when diagnosing the condition. (Tales of Donald Trump’s sexual exploits are the stuff of tabloid legend. He’s bragged about multiple infidelities and sexually assaulting women. Not to mention, he’s had plenty of sexual assault allegations against him, one pertaining to raping a 13-year-old girl. Oh, and let’s not forget the one about the prostitutes peeing on him at the Moscow Ritz Carlton presidential suite. Or how he liked to frequent beauty pageant contestants dressing rooms, especially if they consisted of teenage girls. Then there’s the infamous Billy Bush tape where he said “grab em’ by the pussy.”)

11. Conduct Problems Prior to Age 15– Sociopathy starts young and manifests in one way or another before age 15. Teens might be diagnosed with Conduct Disorder. Others may have no formal diagnosis, but they may have trouble following rules at school and home. They may show general disrespect for the truth, parents, siblings, and authority figures. Quite often, but not always, a juvenile delinquent is a budding sociopath. Some young sociopaths hurt animals and don’t understand why it’s wrong until they’re told. Others are violent with people. All will be rule-breakers and most will experiment alcohol and drugs, along with sexual contact long before their peers. To find an adult sociopath who wasn’t a problem child is rare. (Donald Trump has bragged about punching his music teacher in the face when he was in 2nd grade and almost got expelled over it. As he “wrote” in The Art of the Deal, “In the second grade…I punched my music teacher because I didn’t think he knew anything about music….I’m not proud of that, but it’s clear evidence that even early on I had a tendency to stand up and make my opinions known in a very forceful way.” Of course, there’s no evidence he did this since people who knew him denied the story. Childhood friends and teachers describe the young Trump falling into a crowd of boys “who pulled girls’ hair, passed notes, and talked out of turn.” In fact, he ended up in detention so often that his friends nicknamed the punishment, “D.T.” Steve Nachtigall said he once saw Trump and his friends jump off their bikes and beat up another boy. He told the Washington Post, “It’s kind of like a little video snippet that remains in my brain because I think it was so unusual and terrifying at that age.” Furthermore, his father sent him to the New York Military Academy when he was 13 to straighten him out and keep him out of the trouble he liked to get into as a boy.)

12. Sadism and Mind Games– People with empathy don’t enjoy hurting others while a sociopath does. Even those they legitimately enjoy spending time with will be subject to sadism and mind games. If you know someone who seems to enjoy hurting you like a cat with a toy mouse and you find the mind games monotonous and repetitive, it might be time to cut them off from your life if you can. Sociopaths enjoy degrading, humiliating, dominating, damaging and belittling others. (Donald Trump seems to have a certain bloodlust as long as he’s not the one getting beat up. He’s endorsed and condoned police brutality as well as denigrated football players for kneeling during the national anthem to peacefully protest it. He’s repeatedly given license to his base to inflict violence. In fact, during a presidential campaign, Trump stated that he’d pay the legal costs of a thug who attacked a black protestor. He seems to revel in producing representations of violence suggesting it as how to deal with the “fake news” media that hold him accountable for his actions and policies. His domestic policies have been designed not only to harm or kill but also to instill fear through intimidation or coercion in specific populations. Not to mention, despite calling himself pro-life, his policies emanate what Pope Francis has indicated, “an economy that kills.” Trump relishes using violence and warmongering brutality to inflict humiliation and pain on people. Then there are the mind games in which he inflicts on the populace he continuously gaslights with conspiracy theories on a regular basis whenever his team’s embroiled in scandal. All too often.)

13. Has Few Friends– Sociopaths tend to have few friends, at least not real ones anyway. As psychiatrist Ross Rosenberg noted, Sociopaths don’t want friends, unless they need them. Or all of their friends are superficially connected with them, friends by association.” We should also note that many sociopaths have many short-term marriages which might begin with them idealizing them before devaluing and ultimately discarding them for a newer and more interesting partner. Since they never truly bond with their spouses, walking away from a marriage or relationship is quite effortless. And they’ll blame the relationship’s failure on their ex. (Most of Donald Trump’s relationships appear transactional. Whenever any of his associates get into trouble, he will deny he even knew them.)

14. Shows Disregard for Societal Norms– Sociopaths break rules and laws because they don’t believe society’s rules apply to them. A run of them mill spoiled brat may eventually learn that everyone needs to follow rules to be a part of society. A sociopath never does. They do what they need to gain pleasure which remains about all that keeps them in line. Because for a sociopath, rules are for other people, not them. They may not be a problem for the law but they will seek loopholes to rise to positions of power or move to another area where their behavior is tolerated. (Donald Trump has shown this time and time again. He has skirted rules and norms whenever it’s convenient for him. He doesn’t pay his workers. He’s used his charity as a personal piggy bank with other people’s money. He’s profiting off his presidency which is a clear violation of the Emoluments Clause in the US Constitution. He’s never released his recent tax returns. As a businessman, he’s used money and attorneys to find loopholes to bail himself out of several lawsuits generated from the infamous Trump University scam. As we speak, there are investigations currently determining whether if Trump or his campaign made illegal deals with the Russian government regarding possible tampering in the 2016 campaign. Let’s just say, if Trump can get away with breaking the law or social norm, he’ll surely do so.)

15. Explosive Temper– When things don’t go the way a sociopath has planned, they react in explosive anger. Even if the ugly meltdown was over a minor sleight whether real or imaginary. Such anger stems from the fact the inner narcissist is seemingly out of control with their surroundings which doesn’t jive with their worldview. Sociopaths can get mean if they’re challenged or if someone gets in the way of their goal. With domestic violence, you’ll see verbal and physical aggression again and again. Outside of a relationship, they might have road rage or constantly get into arguments. They can turn mean but only if challenged or if someone gets in the way of their goals. A sociopath’s charm usually covers their anger tendencies. But when it’s off and targeted at you, then God help you. (Donald Trump’s explosive anger is legendary which erupts whenever things don’t go his own way as reflected on his Twitter feed. Even before his presidency, he’s been known for this. He’s sued or threatened to sue people for criticizing or challenging him. One instance has him beating up Donald Jr. in college for not wearing a suit for a baseball game. He’s exploded over people making jokes about him to ridiculous levels. The New York Times lists 382 people, places, and things Trump has insulted on Twitter.)

16. Has Major Problems with Criticism– Sociopaths are extremely hostile to criticism since they often desire approval from others and may even feel like they’re entitled to it. They exercise extreme hypersensitivity when they feel, slighted, criticized, or challenged. They can’t tolerate weakness being highlighted by anyone speaking to them in a manner implying they’re inferior. And many will attack anyone they feel committed such an infraction. Question their behavior and they will react with anger or rage. (Donald Trump can’t tolerate any form of criticism no matter how slight and he is vindictive in the extreme. He often calls negative media stories about him as “fake news.” His obvious animosity towards reporters who “fabricate” stories manifesting by his thirst for taunting them. He uses hit and run tweets to demean, embarrass, and attack all who criticize him but lacks courage to hold Q&A press conferences for fear of being challenged over his wild assertions. His staff is also afraid to criticize him. He likes to brag but usually blames his failures on others. Also, erupts in Twitter tantrums over people joking about him. Also, take note on how his cabinet seems to praise him during meetings. There’s also evidence that hasn’t been yet publicly disseminated is that Trump has misused New York City Police Department officers to retaliate against his perceived enemies in New York City and to harass and threaten his opponents’ personal safety. This is a man who doesn’t take criticism well, like at all.)

17. Induces Drama Fatigue– Sociopaths’ behavior is so strange and outrageous that you actually become desensitized to things that would otherwise deeply upset you. Essentially, your “baseline normal” begins shifting to accommodate their increasingly abnormal behavior. And that’s when they start causing the real damage. Then they will induce fear to gradually wear you down to accept their control through a cycle of emotional and possibly physical abuse. (Donald Trump has put the United States through his crazy antics since he began running for president. Whether drama fatigue has set in at this point, I’m not exactly sure. However, the Republican establishment’s “baseline normal” has significantly shifted to accommodate Trump’s increasingly abnormal behavior just to get what they want. And since they control all 3 branches of the federal government, the country has to live with it for the time being.)

18. Gaslighting- A sociopath may say or do things before blatantly denying those things ever took place. In essence, they reinvent history and blame you for “misinterpreting” them. Their gaslighting clouds your sense of reality that you soon doubt yourself. Thus, you become more vulnerable to their manipulation. (Donald Trump has been gaslighting America on a regular basis since 2015. He peddles conspiracy theories. He’s denied telling some of his own lies. Thankfully, he’s not always successful thanks to video cameras catching him in the act. But he has the right-wing media to convince his supporters to take him at his word.)

19. Polarized Reputation– Sociopaths love to turn people against each other, especially if it results in a fight over them. By turning you against people you might otherwise get along with, you start thinking in extremes. Once your thinking slips from gray to black and white, sociopaths are able to paint “enemies” as good guys and bad guys. This keeps their victims divided and distracted. Sociopaths don’t want people to like or get along with each other and will try to “divide and conquer.” (Donald Trump is very polarizing figure who never misses an opportunity to inflict his appalling racism, conspiracy theories, or inflammatory rhetoric to fuel hyper partisan political polarization. His attacks on the national anthem protests are a prime example of this. So, Democrats, even if reaching out to Trump voters gets you nowhere, you should probably make some concerted effort to do so as a way to resist him.)

20. Intentionally Provokes Reactions– Sociopaths intentionally provoke reactions in you and then blame you for reacting. Causing you to become “hysterical” or to act “crazy,” enables them to write you off as an unstable loon or worse. And they’ll do this by preying on people’s suspicions, insecurities and resentments. They’ll often play the victim after provoking you, shifting people’s focus on you, and away from their behavior. They will turn people against each other if it works in their behavior even if it means destroying families, friendships, relationships, marriages, and entire communities. A good example in this is Iago engineering brawls to ensure Cassio’s ruin and preying on Othello’s insecurities by alleging that his wife is cheating on him. Nevertheless, Shakespeare’s Othello is a perfect example of how sociopaths can bring out the absolute worst in the people around them and ruin their lives. Everything a sociopath touches will go to shit. (Donald Trump does this all the time whenever there’s a negative story about him in order to deflect or distract people from more serious matters. Hell, he became president through tapping into white people’s racial resentment and xenophobia. His tendency to provoke reactions from people is dividing the country and undermining American democracy as we speak. Like Iago, Trump’s provocations will only divide us further and eventually destroy us all.)

21. Parasitic Lifestyle– Sociopaths really can’t see the point of working hard for long hours and little pay. There are far easier ways for them to get things for free. Often they’ll see their romantic partners as their career option. As Dating a Sociopath notes, “He will give glib promises, of how he will repay you, how special you are. You are made to feel like he is doing you a huge favor. He tells lies, so that you think that he isn’t just some deadbeat loser. He will talk of business plans, or a great career, and that maybe he is just temporarily down on his luck. But he sells you a good, honest moralistic man, with great prospects (it is all a lie).” Cary Grant’s performance in Suspicion offers a perfect example of this. Sociopaths love getting anything for free. They see it as “winning” and it makes them feel good for 2 reasons. First, it shows how stupid people are (and therefore, how clever they are to fool them). Second, it enables them to have the very best in life, with very little stress, effort, responsibility, or commitment. By the way, all sociopaths do this even those who work. You can even include high functioning sociopaths like certain politicians who put in false claims for expenses and live off a great life at the taxpayers’ bill. (Despite claiming to be a successful businessman, Donald Trump has often sought plenty of government funds to build his projects for decades. Even when the money was certainly meant for someone else like small businesses in New York City after 9/11. He has profited from his own presidential campaign. As president, he’s all too happy to spend his weekends at his resorts profiting off his Secret Service protection on the taxpayers’ dime.)

22. Is Very Dramatic– Sociopaths are always dramatic. In fact, they love drama and are drawn to it like magnets. They tell big stories filled with manipulation and deceit. They appear as larger than life characters who are always charming with a story to tell. They love to be the center of attention. They don’t mind having dramas or whoever has to put up with them because they simply don’t care. You often find sociopaths either dramatically telling lies, manipulating, deceiving, being dramatic victims, or dramatically pleading that they’ll change. Whatever they do, they’ll always appear larger than life. And if there isn’t any drama, they will create some. (Donald Trump thrives on drama as anyone could see on the news or on his Twitter feed. He always has to peddle conspiracy theories pertaining to his critics and opponents.)

23. Immaturity– Sociopaths are typically immature since they can’t learn from their past, keep repeating the same mistakes. Thus, they are unable to grow up and act in a more mature way that has respect for other people. Sociopaths don’t care for the rights of others. But they may pretend to act responsible and caring if it gets them what they want. Like a bratty teen, sociopaths are demanding and very selfish. They only think about their own needs and think the entire world revolves around them. Thus, a sociopath will never put other people’s needs before their own. (Donald Trump acts incredibly immature and never learns from his mistakes. He always thinks the world revolves around him and will only act nice if it gives him what he wants. He may seem like he cares about his supporters or the United States. But though he may demand loyalty from those below him, don’t expect him to give it in return. Trump is a very selfish man who sees nothing wrong with abusing his power to get what he wants even if it means destroying people’s lives, undermining the democratic process, or emboldening white supremacists. And he is certainly abusing his presidential office to personally enrich himself.)

24. Has No Realistic Long-Term Goals– Sociopaths don’t make long term goals like everybody else since they’re so busy lying, cheating, manipulating, and scamming. Unless given an easy route to working, many think work is beneath them and treat it with contempt. Sociopaths who work can rarely hold down a job for too long as they don’t like routine or being told what to do. And often they lose their jobs or have a history of trouble in the workplace. It’s not that they don’t work hard, they do but only in scamming and cheating others for themselves. And because sociopaths are so consumed in the present drama, what’s going on the next few months doesn’t seem important. They’ll lie today and not think how it will affect them in the future. (Donald Trump doesn’t really plan ahead or think about the destructive long-term implications of his actions. As long as it gives him immediate gratification or benefit, that’s all that matters to him. He also detests being told what to do.)

25. Jealousy and Paranoia– Sociopaths are extremely jealous and paranoid. They’ll accuse you of things you haven’t done (that they often have done). And you’ll feel you often have to constantly defend yourself against false accusations. They also stalk their principal targets as well as suspect other people of being as manipulative, deceitful, and unscrupulous as themselves. They will check on their partners and keep track of where they are and who they’re with. If their significant other speaks to someone of the opposite sex, then the sociopath will ask several questions on how they know that person. If their victims don’t answer their calls, they’ll ask where they were, what they were doing, who they were talking to, etc. (Donald Trump has displayed some degree of paranoia and jealousy, especially towards Barack Obama. Trump sees Obama beneath him being the kind of racist he is {I mean he once alleged he wasn’t born in the US for years}. He can’t stand the idea that Obama is a far more loved and respected than he ever could be. So much so that he’ll try to destroy Obama’s presidential legacy out of spite. As for paranoia, well, he certainly thinks the mainstream media has it out for him.)

26. Always Blames Someone Else for Their Transgressions – Since they completely lack remorse, guilt, or shame and will never admit to their wrongdoings if caught. Instead, they will blame someone else for their actions or ignore their victims and their pain before moving on. They may experience a sociopathic, narcissistic meltdown which will make you see signs of insanity. But they will not care how you feel. Because a sociopath feels they’re never to blame, everything is someone else’s fault. (Donald Trump will always blame the news media for making up stories about him whenever they portray him in a negative light. He’ll blame Republicans for failing to pass policy that he endorsed. He’ll blame Democrats for conspiring against him. He’ll even blame his victims for getting into their terrible situations in the first place. But he’ll never own up to his mistakes or take responsibility for his actions.)

27. Unpredictability– Sociopaths can seem to change their entire personality depending on the situation. In fact, they may like a lot of change in their atmosphere which might include changing team members, jobs, opinions and relationships. They can dramatically shift from friendly neighbor to cold, dispassionate stranger. Sociopaths can alter who they seemingly are to get what they apparently want given on how well they believe that specific mask will benefit them at the time. (Donald Trump often adapts the kind of personality that will most help him at some moments, particularly when he’s on his best behavior with dignitaries.)

28. Public Contempt for Social Inferiors– A sociopath views everyone beneath them. But there are some people who they view as more inferior than others. In fact, a sociopath might see these people as so beneath them that they don’t even bother to hide their true selves to them. Normally, these public targets are poor people, ethnic minorities, those in the LGBT community, or people with disabilities, many of whom the rest of society doesn’t think much of. And if it helps him, he’ll use that bigotry to tap into people’s resentment and get what he wants. A good example of this would be a seemingly charming and likeable guy you meet at a restaurant for a date. He may seem nice talking to you. But if he epically flips out at the waiter for whatever reason, then that’s a clear red flag he’s not a good guy. Yet, since you’re receptive to his superficial charm, you might just ignore it. After all, you really like the guy who seems to have a lot in common with you. And perhaps maybe that waiter didn’t give you adequate service. Sure he might be all charm to sweep you off your feet. But if he treats that waiter like garbage, chances are he will treat you like shit somewhere down the line, too. And maybe worse. Besides, if he’s willing to inflict harm on marginalized groups, chances are he’ll put you through hell, too. (Donald Trump often talks crap on undocumented immigrants, Muslims, blacks, and other groups of people he doesn’t like. His supporters love it since his hateful screeds seem to resonate with them, while tapping into the vast reservoir of white racial resentment won him the White House. However, it’s very clear that he doesn’t think much of his supporters’ real needs and will only appeal to his base with racist screeds so he could exploit their anger and bigotry. Yet, he’ll support plutocratic policies that the GOP establishment and their donors want because that’s who’s giving him money.)

29. Isn’t Nice to the Waiter– You can tell a lot about how a person will behave in the future by how they treat others who aren’t immediately useful to them. Those who are uncaring and unethical to others will most likely also be that way to you when you no longer serve their interests. In a romantic relationship during the dating phase, the sociopath will treat a waitstaff or any other neutral person of the opposite sex the way they’ll treat you in the next 6 months. They may treat you like a prize in the honeymoon phase. But even during that time, the sociopath hasn’t forgotten how they feel actually feel about the opposite sex. They will treat waitstaff, clerks, and other neutral individuals badly. If they’re cheap, you’ll never receive anything once the honeymoon’s over. If they whine, complain, criticize, and torment, they’ll do the same to you come 6 months later. They lack consistency in their “good” behavior because for them “goodness” is only a façade. How they treat people has strictly to do with that person’s perceived use value. When people are useful to the sociopath, they will treat them (superficially) well. When they aren’t, they ignore and mistreat them. (Donald Trump is only nice to people who are useful to him and can give them what he wants. When he feels their association doesn’t benefit him, he will drop them with a drop of a hat. In fact, he will distance himself from them, pretending they weren’t very significant or denying that he knew them at all.)

30. Shows a Pattern of Misbehavior– Though we may all have road rage or fantasize about being a famous movie star or inventor, that will only happen to us once in awhile. With a sociopath, these things happen over and over again. Sociopathy is a personality disorder that manifests at work, school, with friends, while they’re young, during adolescence, and in adulthood. Unless you observe that jerk at the office in all aspects of their lives, it’s impossible to see if their attitude just might be an ill temper at work or signs of a darker issue. Sociopaths may learn how to adapt but they can never change and see no reason to. (Though since Donald Trump is a public figure, we can observe him in all aspects of work. And whenever he’s in a position of authority, he’s consistently abused his power whether he’s head of the Trump Organization or in the White House. Just look at his articles the media has written about him. You’ll find he’s basically the same person now as he was then.)

31. Plays the Victim– Sociopaths are experts at manipulating emotions and insecurities into causing you to view them as the victim. This helps lowers your guard and makes you vulnerable to future exploitation. Because when we feel sorry for someone, we can easily excuse their transgressions. Sociopaths use this manipulation tactic precisely for this reason since it lets them off the hook for egregious behavior they’ve engaged in for selfish reasons. If a person’s victim mentality is continually combined with unacceptable and evil actions, you should be wary of their real nature. Think Eric Cartman in South Park. (Donald Trump does this all the time to his supporters whenever the media reports anything negative about him. He will often try to discredit them as “fake news” who work for the liberal agenda. Even though reporting negative stuff about him just happens to be part of the mainstream media’s freaking job.)

32. Is All Take and No Give– Sociopaths are selfish people who seek constant attention and adoration, even from total strangers. If you’re in a relationship with a sociopath, your wants and desires will take a backseat, particularly after the honeymoon’s over. Your basic boundaries will not be respected. But there will be absolutely no tolerance for the reverse. Partners of sociopaths often find that when they engage in normal inquiries regarding their absence or requests to discontinue their rudeness and aggression in which the sociopath lashes out. And since they have very little tolerance for a secondary position, sociopaths will tread boundaries in most of their relationships, including professional ones. They may refer to their doctor or attorney by their first name because they want to remove any possible power differential they feel between themselves and others. (Donald Trump is a phenomenally selfish individual who has no respect for people’s needs or constitutional rights. But at the same time, he’s very secretive about his finances, particularly his tax returns. Then there’s the fact he holds rallies and has to have people shower him with praise.)

33. Exhibits Poor Self-Control– Since they live in the present, sociopaths can’t easily refrain from acting on an urge. They can’t contain their anger if provoked. They can’t resist temptation even if it pertains to skipping an immediate reward for a larger one later. They may act threatened, annoyed, and angry in normal encounters or everyday situations. And they exhibit difficulties controlling their own emotions which can lead to mood swings or irrational behavior. With a sociopath, you’ll often see irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, verbal abuse, inadequate anger and temper control, and acting hastily. (Nothing shows Donald Trump’s poor self-control like his response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville or his inflammatory Twitter rants.)

34. Has a Strange Network of Enablers– Though a sociopath may not have many real friends, they do have allies who vouch for them. These can range from “consultants,” to skilled workers, to enabling co-dependents who back them up whenever they want to go after their targets. Many of the support people may have their own share of psychological problems, ulterior motives, or just like what the sociopath says. But all will be sycophants in one way or another while some may even be sociopaths themselves. (Though unpopular, Donald Trump has plenty of people who support him that they will swear by every word he says and excuse every horrible thing he does. This includes the Republican Party establishment, conservative media, and nearly a third of American voters, especially if they’re white. Not to mention, many of his close associates are also horrible people while some of his most ardent supporters are white nationalists willing to commit violent acts in his name.)

35. Flagrant Hypocrisy– Sociopaths have extremely high expectations for fidelity, respect, and adoration. But once they win you over, they will give none of this back to you. They will lie, cheat, insult, and degrade you. But you will have to remain perfect despite all the shit they make you put up with. (Donald Trump will expect people to be absolutely loyal to him under all circumstances. But once someone is no longer useful to him or gets into some kind of trouble, he’ll stab them in the back with a drop of a hat. Oh, and despite seeing no qualms to his associates using private e-mail servers for their jobs, he absolutely crucified Hillary Clinton over her e-mail habits in 2016.)

36. Sadistic Sense of Humor– Sociopaths find humor in things most people find unlawful or disgusting. While it might not seem strange at first, it evolves over time and becomes creepy or disgusting. (I’m not sure if Donald Trump has a sense of humor. But he seems to take a casual attitude toward sexual assault and nuclear annihilation. Then there is how he talks about Ivanka which is just absolutely creepy.)

37. Has an Inflated Sense of Entitlement– Sociopaths feel entitled to act the way they do. If someone slights them, they feel they have a right to retaliate. If someone fails them or if anyone says anything bad about them, they feel entitled to revenge. Or if they do something nice for you, they feel entitled to a reward. And if you don’t give them what they want, they’re entitled to punish you. Laws, ethics, and other people’s feelings don’t matter to them. Furthermore, winning is extremely important to sociopaths and typically don’t accept being in a lesser situation, regardless of how small the situation. (Donald Trump feels entitled to act the way he does. And he’ll often retaliate if someone doesn’t do what he wants or says anything terrible about him. Even if it’s just the news media trying to do their job. If he sees anyone not lavishing him with praises, he’ll certainly lash out at them. Also, he really hates to lose.)

38. Isolates Willing Victims– In nature predators isolate their prey from the rest of the herd to better attack and devour it. And that’s what sociopaths do to their targets. They isolate their partners from their friends, colleagues, and families. Sometimes it might be through overt criticism or following them around when they meet with others. Sometimes it could be through more subtle manipulation such as by covertly turning the victim against their own family and friends (and vice versa). Because sociopaths feels that their partner’s support system might influence them or offer negative opinions about their behavior. Eventually rather than face verbal punishment, interrogation, and abuse, the victim will develop the feeling that it’s better not to talk to family and friends and will withdraw from them. Yet, they also not only just isolate their partners from other people, but also narrow the range of their interests and activities. This leads their significant others to focus exclusively on them. They may give their partners money and gifts, not out of real generosity but to keep them financially and emotionally dependent on them. They may discourage their partner from working outside the home or possibly follow them everywhere to see if they’re seeing anyone of the opposite sex. This puts their partners on edge about any kind of activity or pursuit external to their relationship. (Donald Trump has done this from his supporters in regards to the mainstream media which he calls “fake news” since they report negative stories about him. Yet, he’s also broken up families, friendships, and the like.)

39. Massive Control Freak– Sociopaths need to maintain control of everything in their lives, particularly in romantic relationships. When they get bored with one partner or find a replacement, they will leave them on the spur of the moment, heartlessly and often without bothering an explanation. But they get very angry when the tables are turned and their partners leave them. Sociopaths will put down their partners not only in private, but also in public to embarrass and isolate them. Sociopaths can’t tolerate any real assertion of independence from others. They are so self-involved and self-worshipping that they think their own beliefs and opinions are absolute authority and consider others’ feelings and opinions as worthless. In the workplace, the sociopathic boss will be the tyrant who’s surrounded by sycophants and makes their employees’ lives hell. (Like anyone with authoritarian tendencies, Donald Trump is a massive control freak who has to maintain control in everything in his life, especially when it comes to his businesses and public image. Trump has attacked even fellow Republicans who speak out against him. Using dominance or intimidation to control others shows up time and time again in Trump’s history. He’s attempted to silence not just the media, but also protestors at his rallies where he’s implied support for violent retaliation and publicly suggested he’d pay legal fees for one assault subject.)

40. Has a Very Shady History– It’s said that the best indicator to predict future behavior is past behavior. There may be exceptions to this general principle since some people can improve their behavior and character with genuine and consistent effort. However, a sociopath can never be one of these people. If a man cheated on every wife he’s been with, it’s very likely he’ll cheat on the next one. Obviously the problem isn’t any of the women he’s with, but his underlying lack of character. Similarly if he’s abused previous partners, he’s very likely to abuse the next one as well. Not to mention, since sociopaths don’t see anything wrong with their harmful behavior, they’re likely to boast about it. They may tell stories of violence, aggression, being insensitive to others, rejecting others, etc… They may brag about their temper and outbursts because they don’t see anything wrong with violence and actually take pride in the “I didn’t take nothing from nobody” attitude. Best to listen to these stories since they tell you how you’ll eventually be treated and what’s coming your way. (Donald Trump’s past contains a decades long history of mindboggling corruption and abuse of power. If he abused his power to enrich himself as a businessman, then nobody should be surprised how he’s abusing his power as president. Look at his history on my blog and you’ll find unbelievable tales of corruption the world has never seen before. Believe me, did a whole post of it during the 2016 campaign. The epic tales of deceit are absolutely staggering. Trump writes off the media as “fake news” for reporting negative stories about him {which are very important to know about}, not because the media has it in for him {though I wouldn’t blame them if they did}. But because the media’s covered him for decades and knows exactly who he is. So, whenever the mainstream media reports a story casting Trump in a negative light, believe the media. For the love of God, believe them for at least they have a better track record at telling the truth than Donald Trump.)

41. Jekyll and Hyde Personality– Sociopaths are often described as two-faced. The Jekyll side is a mask they use to attract, fool, and use others. The Hyde side represents their true identity which becomes increasingly dominant over time. To buddies, a sociopath may appear easy-going, nice person. But that’s because the buddies only see one side of them, the jovial side the sociopath wanted them to see. To spouses and families or rather anyone who’s had intimate contact with them, the sociopath exposes another, much more menacing side of their personality. They may be occasionally nice to keep their partners from straying, but they will revert back to their mean, nasty selves in only a matter of time. And over time, that meanness will escalate in severity and duration while the “nice” moments become increasingly few. (When Donald Trump acts presidential, it’s just a mask and it won’t stay on for long. Because he’s a very volatile man who cares for nobody but himself and lashes out whenever he doesn’t get his way.)

42. Secretiveness– Sociopaths reveal little about themselves though they talk incessantly about various subjects. Their partners aren’t likely to meet someone important in their past or witness the sociopath’s family members visit or interact with them in any meaningful way. Some sociopaths conceal a significant portion of their lives for fear they may expose their dark past. They don’t like exposure and usually ask their lovers not to share too much about them. (Though he brands himself as incredibly rich, Donald Trump keeps his true wealth secret such as his tax returns he still hasn’t released. However, as a public figure, his past is very well known thanks to the media reporting on him for decades. Not to mention, Trump’s White House has been notoriously less transparent than previous administrations. When the facts make him look bad, Trump absolutely hates transparency and tries to discredit the media like some asshole boyfriend attempting pass his ex-girlfriend as a crazy bitch.)

43. Has a History of Financial or Occupational Instability– Sociopaths often can’t keep jobs or uphold financial commitments. Their sense of entitlement leads them to dismiss work rules like arriving on time, staying awake, or not stealing. Moreover, the reason for their termination includes insubordination since they have no respect for people with control over them, including bosses. (Donald Trump may not have occupational instability due to being born into wealth with connections. But many of the financial records we do know about don’t give us a good impression on his money managing abilities. Besides, he’s experienced bankruptcy 4 freaking times as well as multiple business failures over the years. Not to mention, his reputation for failing to repay debts was so notorious that Wall Street banks stopped lending money to him. He may brand himself as a successful businessman, but his personal and business suggests he’s a complete fraud.)

44. Lacks Basic Social Skills Despite Charm– A most jarring and easily noticeable sign of a sociopath’s behavior is a lack of basic conduct rules. Sure they may be quite social. But their lack of empty they don’t understand how to treat other people with the basics of human kindness, fairness, and respect. (Donald Trump’s conduct to Gold Star families and hurricane victims in Puerto Rico certainly illustrate how he can’t even comfort people who’ve experienced terrible tragedy.)

45. The Predatory Stare– Sociopaths have no problem maintaining uninterrupted eye contact. Failure to politely look away could be perceived as being seductive or aggressive, which can make a non-sociopath uncomfortable. There is some evidence that people experience unnerving physical sensations when present with a sociopath. They can come up close as they focus their gaze onto you. Their body language can give little space for breath. Sometimes a sociopath can look at you like you’re their next lunch. This stare may seem flattering at first but later can feel suffocating. (Donald Trump’s dinner with James Comey is a perfect example of this. Comey testified he didn’t feel comfortable alone with the guy. This coming from a man who’s 6’8.” Also note how he was standing over Hillary Clinton during the town hall debate during the 2016 campaign. When you see him, he appears to have some crazed look in eyes like a monster.)

46. Stays Eerily Calm in Spite of Circumstances– Sociopaths don’t register events the same way as non-sociopaths and may barely react in dangerous and scary situations. And they can experience highly emotional events without feeling any emotion. Studies show that sociopaths don’t demonstrate anxiety when shown images that would disturb others or when expecting to receive small electrical shocks. Meanwhile, non-sociopaths certainly register fear and anxiety in these situations. (Donald Trump doesn’t seem very anxious when it comes to scary hurricanes, white supremacist violence, and a nuclear war with North Korea.)

47. Engages in Risky Behavior at Theirs or Others’ Expense– Sociopaths engage in dangerous, risky, and self-damaging activities, unnecessarily and without regard to the consequences. They’re prone to boredom and thoughtlessly initiate activities in order to counter it. And they lack concern for their limitations and deny the reality of personal danger. (Running and becoming president aside, Donald Trump has made risky business moves for decades which resulted in so many disasters, which characterize his risk-taking abilities quite well. He could burn everything to the ground and won’t care who has to be burned in the process.)

48. Displays Authoritarian Tendencies– Sociopaths see themselves as a necessary authority and are in favor of totalitarian rule. Put them in a leadership position and they will run their charge like tyrant. They will abuse their power to their personal ends and at their underlings’ expense. They will promote sycophants to high power positions. And they will go to great lengths to quench anyone who’d hold them accountable. It’s little wonder that many of the world’s authoritarian dictators display sociopathic tendencies. (Donald Trump has difficulty getting along with senior advisers and is swift to fire those who don’t agree with him. He often makes egotistical comments such as boasting how he knows more about ISIS than the generals. He uses intimidation and fearmongering tactics to verbally attack federal judges, the FBI, the CIA, and US generals. He feels a menacing sense of confidence thinking he can alienate government experts and run the country primarily on family members’ advice. He daily attacks the media for reporting stories he doesn’t like and even threatened to deny NBC News a broadcasting license. In September, he took on the NFL in an attempt to suppress the players’ constitutional right to free speech. These are the actions of dictators, not presidents.)

49. Impulsivity– Because they lack regret and empathy, sociopaths act on the spur of the moment in response to immediate stimuli and on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes. They have difficulty establishing and following plans. And they don’t think things through. (Donald Trump delivers immediate vicious attacks on those who criticize him. He often undermines high-level specialists by speaking without knowing the facts. And he’s shared juvenile anti-media cartoons on Twitter exhibiting an impulsive nature unbefitting of a president.)

50. Cold-Calculating Manipulation– Sociopaths have the ability and willingness to use others around them for personal gain. They will frequently use subterfuge to influence and control others through seduction, charm, glibness, or ingratiation to achieve their own ends. (Donald Trump has hundreds of lawsuits against him met with his high-priced battery of attorneys that leaves little chance for plaintiffs to prevail. In the 2016 campaign, he likely relied on his personnel to surreptitiously deal with Russian operatives. He will say or do anything to retain support of his base and generally uses Twitter to chastise and divide, rarely posting uplifting words save when praising himself.)

The Racist History of Donald Trump

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Early this month, ESPN co-anchor, Jemele Hill tweeted that Donald Trump is “a white supremacist whose surrounded himself with other white supremacists.” The White House cried foul and demanded that Hill be fired. But is Hill right? Trump has repeatedly claimed he’s “the least racist person you’ve encountered.” Anyone who’s heard his incendiary comments and has any idea about his policies knows that’s a pile of shit. We’ve all seen how he’s made explicitly racist and otherwise bigoted comments on the campaign trail. Memorable moments include referring Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, proposing a Muslim ban, suggesting a Mexican American judge should recuse himself due to his heritage, and attacking a Muslim Gold Star family. Now that trend has continued into his presidency and shows no sign of his racist antics anytime soon. After all, he’s stereotyped a black reporter, appointed white supremacists to official positions, issued a Muslim ban, and pandered to white supremacists after they held a violent rally in Charlottesville. However, many of you may not know that the very first time Trump appeared in the New York Times was because the US Department of Justice had sued him and his dad for housing discrimination. He’s repeatedly inspired similar controversies since. Nevertheless, this history is important. It’s one thing if Trump misspoke once or twice. But take his actions and comments together, there’s a clear pattern suggesting that his bigotry isn’t just mere political opportunism, but a very real element on his personality, character and career.

Blacks:
1973: Alongside his father Fred, was sued by the Department of Justice during the Nixon Administration for violating the Fair Housing Act. Federal officials uncovered evidence that Trump refused to rent to black tenants and lied to black applicants whether apartments were available, among other accusations. Trump claimed that the federal government tried getting him to rent to welfare recipients. Though he and his father signed an agreement not to discriminate against non-white renters in 1975, they never admitted guilt.
1978: Alongside his father Fred, was sued by the Department of Justice again for failing to live up to that agreement. Even that didn’t change anything either. As Salon’s Justin Elliot reports, “in 1983, a fair-housing activist cited statistics that two Trump Village developments had white majorities of at least 95 percent.”
1980s: Former Trump Castle employee Kip Brown accuses one of his businesses of discrimination. According to him, “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor. It was the eighties, I was a teenager, but I remember it: They put us all in the back.”
1989: Told Brian Gumbel in an interview, “A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market…if I was starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black, because I really do believe they have the actual advantage today.” All the serious studies refuted that. But his statement serves as a kind of shout-out to those ignorant about US racial dynamics.
1996: Is sued by 20 African Americans in Indiana for failing to honor a promise to hire mostly minority workers for a riverboat casino on Lake Michigan.
2004: During The Apprentice’s second season, fired black contestant Kevin Allen for being overeducated. Trump said on the show, “You’re an unbelievably talented guy in terms of education, and you haven’t done anything. At some point you have to say, ‘That’s enough.’”
2005: Publicly pitched what was essentially The Apprentice: White People vs. Black People. He claimed he “wasn’t particularly happy” with his show’s most recent season so he considered “an idea that is fairly controversial — creating a team of successful African Americans versus a team of successful whites. Whether people like that idea or not, it is somewhat reflective of our very vicious world.”
2010s-present: Has directed accusations of racism against blacks on Twitter 3 times as often as he’s done so against whites. Yet, his use of “racist” and “racism” is best understood in the context of the conservative movement that has come to believe that whites face more discrimination than blacks, despite absolutely no evidence.
2011: Played a big role pushing false rumors that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Even sent investigators to Hawaii to look into Obama’s birth certificate, which the president released calling Trump a “carnival barker.”
2011: Also argued that Obama wasn’t a good enough student to get into Columbia or Harvard Law School and demanded he released his university transcripts. Trump claimed, “I heard he was a terrible student. Terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?”
2011: Told Albany’s Talk 1300, “I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”
2011: Tweeted: “What a convenient mistake: @BarackObama issued a statement for Kwanza (sic) but failed to issue one for Christmas.”
2012-2013: Had a long Twitter feud with MSNBC host Toure whom he accused of being racist no fewer than 10 times. One tweet reads, “Not only is @Toure a racist (and boring), he’s a really dumb guy!” However, the feud was more evidently sparked by Toure’s tweets about Trump’s bankruptcies.
2013: Sent 6 tweets accusing HBO “Real Sports” host Bryant Gumbel of racism. One tweet reads, “In that @TimeWarner has @HBO with really dumb racist Bryant Gumbel (and I mean dumb), and no CBS (which fired Bryant), I am switching bldgs.” However, the accusations may have been linked to Gumbel’s comments on Trump’s golf courses.
2014: Tweeted: “Sadly, because president Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another black president for generations!” I’m sorry just because race relations are poor, doesn’t mean President Barack Obama was a bad president (which he wasn’t).
2015: Tweeted: “Our great African-American president hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore.” As Men’s Trait noted, “Seriously, just shut up at this point. That’s like holding Jimmy Carter accountable for all the crap white people did while he was in the Oval Office.”
2015: Tweeted: “And if you look at black and African American youth, to a point where they’ve never done more poorly. There’s no spirit.”
2015: Called President Barack Obama, “the founder of ISIS.”
2015: Said during a Florida press conference, “I think President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history. His views of the world as he says don’t jibe and the world is a mess. President Obama — when he became president, he didn’t know anything. This guy didn’t know a thing. And honestly, today he knows less. Today, he knows less. He has done a terrible job.” He later said, “He has been a disaster as a president. He will go down as one of the worst presidents in the history of our country. It is a mess.”
2015: In September, tweeted an image of a masked black man holding a handgun in a threatening manner alongside false statistics attempting to show that blacks kill more people of all other races. One “fact” stated that blacks killed 81% of white homicide victims that year. According to the FBI, the number is closer to 15%.
2015: Condoned the beating of a Black Lives Matter protester his supporters attacked during a campaign rally in Alabama. “Get him the hell out of here, will you, please?” he told the cheering crowd. “Get him out of here. Throw him out!” Video of the incident shows the assailants kicking the man after he had fallen to the ground. The next day, Trump implied that the attackers were justified noting, “Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up. It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” His dismissive attitude toward the protester is part of a larger, troubling pattern of instigating violence toward protesters at campaign events, where people of color have attracted especially violent hostility. Trump also believes that the entire Black Lives Matter movement lacks legitimate policy grievances. And he’s alluded to these views in an New York Times Magazine interview where he described Ferguson, Missouri as one of the most dangerous places in America. In reality, the small St. Louis suburb doesn’t even make it to the top 20 highest-crime municipalities in the country. But it’s notorious for its police corruption which has a long record harassing its black community for funds.
2016: Said during a June rally, “Look at my African American over here!”
2016-present: At the Republican National Convention, officially seized the mantle of the “law and order” candidate, an obvious dog whistle playing to white fears of black crime despite that US crime being at a historic low. Trump’s speeches, comments, and executive actions after he took office have continued this line of messaging.
2016: Said in a pitch to black voters, “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump’s remarks show he has no appreciation for black culture or achievement but instead utters one ugly cliché after another. As Hillary Clinton noted, “In just the past week, under the guise of ‘outreach’ to African Americans, Trump has stood up in front of largely white audiences and described black communities in such insulting and ignorant terms. ‘Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership. Crime at levels nobody has seen.’ ‘Right now,’ he said, ‘you walk down the street and get shot.’ Those are his words.” Actual Trump rallies consisted of this on a regular basis.
2016: African American Apprentice winner Randal Pinkett tells Hollywood Reporter that Trump asked him if he’d share his title with the runner up- a white woman.
2016: During a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said that black voters came through for him, arguing that those who stayed home did it to help him. Except that blacks thoroughly loathe him and most black voters came out for Hillary Clinton.
2017: Stereotyped a black reporter at a February press conference. When April Ryan asked if he planned to meet and work with the Congressional Black Caucus, he repeatedly asked her to set up a meeting despite her insistence that she’s “just a reporter.”
2017: In the wake of Charlottesville over the controversy of Confederate monuments, tweeted: “Sad to see the history and culture being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.” Know that Trump was born and raised in Queens and has lived in Manhattan for most of his life. Thus, his cultural roots are far removed from those who erected those monuments. Nor has he ever shown any affinity for what’s especially popular in the South like NASCAR, church, college football, hunting, fishing, country music, barbecue, and what have you. It’s pretty clear his defense of Confederate monuments is rooted in racism.
2017: Tweeted: “ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!” This in reaction to ESPN anchor Jemele Hill tweeting, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Hill’s comment a “fireable offense.”

Native Americans:
1993: Tried to open a casino in Bridgeport, Connecticut that would compete with one owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Nation, a local Native American tribe. During a House subcommittee on Native American Affairs hearing, claimed that the Pequots, “don’t look like Indians to me… They don’t look like Indians to Indians.” He then elaborated on those remarks alleging that the mafia had infiltrated Native American casinos which the FBI had immediately denied.
2000: Opposing a casino proposed by the St. Regis Mohawk tribe, which he saw as a threat to his Atlantic City casinos, secretly ran a series of ads suggesting the tribe had a “record of criminal activity [that] is well documented.”
2012-present: Has repeatedly referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” since she said she had Cherokee ancestors and received criticism over lack of evidence to substantiate her claim. But Warren said at the time, “These are my family stories.”

Hispanics:
2015: Launched his presidential campaign calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” who are “bringing crime” and “bringing drugs” to the US. His campaign is largely built on building a wall to keep them out of the US. He even accused Latin American governments of actively sending undocumented immigrants across the border.
2015: Said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body. The fact that I want a strong border and the fact that I don’t want illegal immigrants pouring into this country, that doesn’t make me a racist, it means I love this country and I want to save this country.”
2015: Tweeted: “Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.”
2015: Said on NBC News: “The Mexican government forces many bad people into our country. Because they’re smart. They’re smarter than our leaders.” During that same interview, he told NBC, “I’ll win the Latino vote because I’ll create jobs. I’ll create jobs and the Latinos will have jobs they didn’t have.”
2015: Said during a rally in Birch Run, Michigan: “Jeb Bush will not be able to negotiate against Mexico. Jeb Bush with Mexico said, ‘People, come in,’ they come in, it’s an act of love, OK?” Also remarked, “I’m leading in the Hispanic vote, and I’m going to win the Hispanic vote. I’m also leading in the regular vote.”
2015: Referred to two supporters beating up a homeless Latino man in Boston as “passionate.” They cited Trump’s anti-immigrant message when explaining why they did it. One of the men told police officers, “Donald Trump was right ― all these illegals need to be deported.” Trump suggested that the men were well intentioned and had simply gotten carried away. “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate,” he said. “They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
2015: Addressing news of a coalition of Hispanic organizations protesting his SNL appearance, told Fox & Friends in October, “I’m leading in the polls with the Hispanics. I mean, you look at Nevada, I’m leading in the polls with the Hispanics because I produce jobs, and they know it. I have thousands of Hispanics that work for me, my relationships to Hispanics is better than those groups. Those groups are looking to fundraise; I know all about those groups.”
2015: Asked about his wall policy during an Iowa press conference by Univision’s Jorge Ramos, shouted down and had security forcibly remove the reporter. As Ramos waited to get back inside the press conference so he could do his job, a member of Trump’s entourage told him to “get out of my country.” Ramos is a US citizen.
2015: During a November GOP debate, compared his plan to deport undocumented immigrants to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s infamous “Operation Wetback,” which deported more than 1 million Mexicans in the 1950s, resulting in many deaths.
2016: Alleged that the Rev. Rafael Cruz was involved in the Kennedy assassination, which his son Senator Ted Cruz took to great offense. “His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being – you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.”
2016: For Cinco de Mayo, tweeted a picture of himself eating a taco bowl with the tweet “Sadly, because president Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another black president for generations!”
2016: Argued that Judge Gonzalo Curiel should recuse himself from the Trump University lawsuit he was overseeing because of his Mexican heritage and membership in a Latino lawyers association. House Speaker Paul Ryan called such comments, “the textbook definition of racism.” Curiel is the son of Mexican immigrants who was born in Indiana.
2016: During an October debate with Hillary Clinton: “We have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out.”
2017: Pardoned notorious ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio who for willfully violating a federal court order while sheriff by allowing racial profiling round ups of suspected undocumented immigrants. During his reign in Maricopa County, Latinos suffered widespread systemic abuse and discrimination. They were 4-9 times more likely to be pulled over for traffic stops, often for no good reason. A federal judge found Arpaio guilty of violating Hispanics’ constitutional rights and ordered him to stop detaining people based on their ethnicity. The former sheriff refused so another judge found him on criminal contempt. Nevertheless, Trump has called Arpaio “a great American patriot” as well as praised his self-styled toughness on undocumented immigration.
2017: Ordered the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that’s designed to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the country by their parents from deportation.

Muslims:
2010: Publicly opposed a proposal to build a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan during the huge national controversy over the “Ground Zero Mosque.” Trump called the project, “insensitive” and offered to buy out one of its investors. On David Letterman, he later argued, referring to Muslims, “Well, somebody’s blowing us up. Somebody’s blowing up buildings, and somebody’s doing lots of bad stuff.”
2015: When asked at a Republican debate whether he meant all 1.6 billion Muslims hate the us, responded, “I mean a lot of them. I mean a lot of them.”
2015: Called for a national database to track all Muslims and surveillance of mosques. Commented there should be many systems “beyond databases” and he’d get Muslims registered by using “good management.” When asked whether there’s a difference between requiring Muslims to register and Jews in Nazi Germany, Trump replied, “You tell me.”
2015: Alleged that thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey were cheering the 9/11 attacks.
2015-present: Called for a ban on all Muslims entering the US and later expanded it to include those from specific countries, consisting of possibly France and Germany. Once he took office, Trump issued his “Muslim ban” executive order, which banned anyone from 7 Muslim-majority countries from coming into the US for 90 days and banned nearly all refugees for 120 days.
2016: Said during a rally in March, “I think Islam hates us. There’s something there — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us.”
2016: During a South Carolina rally, told supporters about US occupation of the Philippines in the early 20th century and what General John Pershing used to fight Muslim insurgents there. He said, “They were having terrorism problems, just like we do. And he caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. And he took the 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood — you heard that, right? He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem. OK? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem.” This story is mostly apocryphal but Trump has repeated the story several times since.
2016: Tweeted on the Orlando nightclub massacre: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”
2016: Retaliated against Muslim parents of a US Army officer who sacrificed his own life for his fellow soldiers while serving in the Iraq War. During the Democratic National Convention, Khizir Khan spoke out against Trump’s bigoted rhetoric and his disregard for civil liberties. “Let me ask you, have you even read the U.S. Constitution?” he asked before pulling a copy of the document from his jacket and holding it up. “I will gladly lend you my copy.” His headscarfed wife Ghazala stood at his side but didn’t speak. Trump seized on her silence to imply she was forbidden from speaking due to the Gold Star couple’s Islamic faith. He told ABC News, “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.” Mrs. Khan responded writing a Washington Post op-ed explaining that she couldn’t speak because of her grief. “Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?” she wrote.
2016: Appointed retired Lt. General Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser. Notorious for his claims about Islam and his tendency to disseminate fake news on social media such as a linking to a tweet claiming Hillary Clinton was “wearing hijab in solidarity with Islamic terrorists.” Also used social media to condemn the entire religion of Islam, calling it a “malignant cancer.” Once tweeting, “Arab and Persian world ‘leaders'” should “step up to the plate and declare their Islamic ideology sick.” Falsely claimed Sharia Law “is spreading in the United States,” demonstrating what the New York Times called “a loose relationship with facts.”

Asians:
1988: Spent much of his commencement speech at Lehigh University accusing countries like Japan of “stripping the United States of economic dignity.” This matches much of his current rhetoric on China.
1989: When asked to give an estimate of his total wealth, he responded, “Who the f knows? I mean, really, who knows how much the Japs will pay for Manhattan property these days?”
2012: Tweeted: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
2015: During an August Iowa speech while boasting his ability to negotiate, especially in dealing with the Chinese, used broken English to impersonate Asian negotiators. He said, “When these people walk into the room, they don’t say, ‘Oh hello, how’s the weather? It’s so beautiful outside. How are the Yankees doing? They’re doing wonderful, that’s great.’ They say, ‘We want deal!’”

Jews:
2013: Got in a Twitter fit over Jon Stewart referring him as “Fuckface von Clownstick.” One of the tweets reads, “If Jon Stewart is so above it all & legit, why did he change his name from Jonathan Leibowitz. He should be proud of his heritage!” Another read, “Jon Stewart @TheDailyShow is a total phony-he should cherish his past-not run from it.” The Daily Show replied, “Can’t an overrated Jew have a complicated relationship with his dad without being accused of hiding his heritage? #FuckFaceVonClownstick.”
2015: During a December address to the Republican Jewish Coalition, he tried to relate to the crowd by invoking the stereotype of Jews as talented and cunning businesspeople. Touting his 1987 book, Trump: the Art of the Deal, he said, “I’m a negotiator, like you folks. Is there anyone who doesn’t renegotiate deals in this room? Perhaps more than any room I’ve spoken to.” He later implied that he had little chance of earning the Jewish Republican group’s support because his fealty couldn’t be bought with campaign donations (actually it can, but that’s beside the point). “You’re not going to support me, because I don’t want your money,” he told them (in an obvious lie). “You want to control your own politician.”
2016: Brands his nationalist foreign policy as “America First.” If you’re not familiar with American history, before Trump, the phrase of “America First” was notoriously associated with the isolationist group the America First Committee, which opposed US entry into WWII. Though it originated with a bunch of Ivy League college kids that included future President Gerald Ford, its membership soon extended to xenophobes, Anti-Semites, and even Nazi sympathizers. Charles Lindbergh’s infamous Anti-Semitic laden 1941 Des Moines speech to the America First Committee is the reason why that phrase hasn’t been echoed in decades. Even today, the phrase “America First” carries Anti-Semitic undertones.
2016: Tweeted and later deleted an image showing Hillary Clinton in front of a pile of money and by a Jewish Star of David stating, “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” The tweet had some very obvious anti-Semitic imagery, but Trump insisted that the star was a sheriff’s badge and said his campaign shouldn’t have deleted it. Mic later discovered that the image was actually created by white supremacists that appeared on a Neo-Nazi forum for more than a week before Trump shared it. In addition, the image’s watermark led to a Twitter account that regularly tweeted racist and sexist memes.
2017: Doesn’t mention Jews in his speech on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Written statement calls for remembering “victims, survivors, heroes” but omits mentioning Jews who were the largest ethnic group affected. Politico later reported that the State Department had drafted a version that did mention Jews but the White House blocked it.
2017: Says in news conference to a young Jewish reporter asking about an increase in anti-Semitic acts, “I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen.”

General:
1970s-present: Has been sued 10 times for racial discrimination and has won none of those lawsuits.
1989: During the early days of the Central Park Five case, immediately runs an full page ad in 4 local papers demanding, “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!” Referring to the alleged Central Park attackers and violent criminals, he wrote “They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.” The Central Park Five case was very controversial one that’s been characterized as a modern-day lynching involving four black teenagers and one Latino adolescent accused of raping a New York City jogger. Due to New York City struggling with high crime at the time, public outrage over the rape let to these teens’ wrongful convictions, which were later vacated after they spent 7-13 years in prison and the city paid a $42 million settlement. Today their case is considered a cautionary tale about a politicized criminal justice process. But despite DNA evidence proving the contrary, Trump still believe these boys are guilty and deserve to die.
1991: Criticism on black accountant quoted in a book by former Trump Plaza president John O’Donnell. According to him, Trump said, “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.” Trump initially denied the remarks but later said in a 1997 Playboy interview, “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true. The guy’s a f—-g loser. A f—-g loser. I brought the guy in to work for me; it turns out he didn’t know that much about what he was doing. I think I met the guy two or three times total. And this guy goes off and writes a book about me, like he knows me!”
1992: His Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino had to pay a $200,000 fine over transferring black and women dealers to accommodate a big-time gambler’s prejudices.
2013: During the ramp up to the George Zimmerman trial, tweeted that “the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our cities is committed by blacks and Hispanics.”
2015-present: Has been repeatedly slow to condemn white supremacists who’ve endorsed him and has regularly retweeted messages from white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
2015: Tweeted: “According to Bill O’Reilly, 80% of all the shootings in New York City are blacks — if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%, 1% white.”
2015: Tweeted in June, “Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and Hispanics – a tough subject – must be discussed.”
2016: Refuses to directly denounce former KKK leader David Duke’s endorsement, claiming he knew nothing about him and contradicting years of his own statements.
2016: During a debate with Hillary Clinton, says, “African Americans and Hispanics are living in hell. You walk down the street and you get shot.”
2016: Appoints former Breitbart chief, Steve Bannon as White House Chief Strategist. His history at Breitbart published sexist, racist, and inflammatory stories. According to former editor Ben Shapiro, “under Bannon’s Leadership, Breitbart openly embraced the white supremacist alt-right … with [Breitbart editor Milo] Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.” In his personal life, Bannon has been accused of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks behind closed doors. His ex-wife testified during their divorce that he didn’t want their kids attending school “with Jews” because they were “whiny brats.” Another former colleague stated he “occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people” and suggested limiting the number of black voters by restricting voting to property owners might not be “such a bad thing.”
2016: Nominated Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary. A former executive of Goldman Sachs, Mnuchin once co-founded a bank called OneWest in 2008 which he led until 2015. As of 2016, OneWest is being sued for discriminating against black and Latino customers. According to a complaint by two fair housing agencies the bank, “kept bank branches out of nonwhite neighborhoods.” And as Fortune wrote, gave nonwhite customers disproportionately fewer mortgages. Between 2012 and 2013, the California bank gave zero loans to black customers in Los Angeles.
2016: Nominated then US Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General who was rejected from a federal judge appointment in the 1980s after people who worked for him testified that he made racially charged remarks. Has said he thought the KKK was okay until he learned they smoked pot. Once told a black lawyer, to “be careful how you talk to white folks.” Referred to the NAACP as “Un-American.” Called a black prosecutor, “boy.” And once called a white civil rights lawyer, “a traitor to his race.” Even his own friends thought he was too racist to serve as a federal judge. Coretta Scott King wrote a letter telling the US Senate not to confirm him.
2017: Started a commission to perpetuate the myth of rampant voter fraud that’s part of a conservative scheme do deny black people and others their right to vote. Heading that commission is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who’s often called, “most racist politician in America” and the “king of voter suppression.”
2017: Repealed federal regulations against pay discrimination.
2017: Issued a law enforcement protection executive order.
2017: Created a commission to investigate affirmative action lawsuits.
2017: Gave an ugly speech to a group of police officers during which he described gang violence in a creepy, almost loving detail in an attempt to smear immigrants as violent criminals.
2017: In the week after the white supremacist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, has repeatedly suggested that “many sides” and “both sides” were responsible for the violence. Or to put it this way, Trump painted white supremacists as morally equivalent to the counter protesters standing against them. This seemed like a dog whistle to white supremacists and many of them took it as one with white nationalist Richard Spencer praising him for “defending the truth.”

2017: Said at a rally in Alabama that NFL owners should fire players who don’t stand for the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘get that son of a bitch off the field?’” Trump asked the roaring crowd. He went on to claim that if owners fire a player for protesting the anthem, they’d become, the most popular person in the country. Because that is a total disrespect of our heritage.” Because to him, these players are “ruining the game.” Sure, conservatives might see players taking a knee as disrespect on the American flag and for our troops. However, these players take a knee to protest police brutality and systematic racism. Thus, Trump’s rants over the NFL are just racism disguised as patriotism.

 

The Disturbing Trend

Charlottesville didn’t prop up out of nowhere. The United States has a serious problem with systematic racism in our culture and society which should surprise no one. After all, the US was built on slavery, colonialism, Native American genocide, and white supremacy. Though we liken white supremacy as a fringe ideology only embraced by extremists, it remains firmly established as a cultural value that white people don’t want to acknowledge. Whenever there’s progress in achieving racial equality such as in outlawing slavery and civil rights, there’s always a fierce white resentment and backlash at every turn. Even today, calling out a white person’s racist behavior, beliefs, or any racial injustice will result in vicious defensive retaliation. Sometimes it might lead to whites developing a reverse racism persecution complex. Sometimes it might lead to blaming minorities for their problems beyond their control due to a steady diet of racist dog whistles they accept as mere facts of life. And sometimes it might lead to mainstream culture ignoring systemic problems disproportionately affecting minority communities as well as denying a possible national crisis. I understand white people would rather not talk about racism since they benefit from their white privilege whether they’re willing to admit it or not. But at the same time, many don’t see a problem with adopting disparaging views on minorities and immigrants. Nevertheless, while acknowledging systematic white supremacy in our nation can be extremely difficult for a white American to address, identifying and denouncing white supremacist terrorism shouldn’t be. In fact, it’s the easiest anti-racist thing a white person can do since it’s white supremacy in its most blatant and ugliest form.

And yet, Donald Trump still struggled to condemn the white supremacist attacks on Charlottesville, preferring to blame the violence on “many sides” instead on the white nationalists most responsible for it. However, Trump’s lackluster remarks aren’t surprising since white supremacists comprise a key part of his base he sees no problem pandering to them. He’s also had a ridiculously long and consistent history of racist behavior ranging from discriminatory rental practices during the 1970s, calling for the Central Park Five’s execution and still believing their nonexistent guilt, disparaging Native American casino owners during a congressional hearing in a series of ads, and promoting baseless Obama conspiracy theories like birtherism. Bigoted statements and actions feature heavily in Trump’s public life and career and were critical to his political rise to the presidency. As president, he’s kept up with the vulgar racist rhetoric as well as enacted inherently racist and xenophobic policies. But for a man known for viciously attacking people he doesn’t like, his responses to white supremacy have often been vague, indifferent, and uncharacteristic like he doesn’t really mean what he’s said. Trump may claim he’s “the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered” but his bigotry isn’t just mere political opportunism but a real element in his personality, character, and career. The fact Trump could win the presidency running a campaign catering to hostile sexism and racial resentment understates how widespread and insidious racism in America really is.

Another reason why Donald Trump struggled on Charlottesville is the fact he’s a self-absorbed prick who will do whatever it takes to come out on top as long as the consequences don’t affect him personally. He doesn’t care if he has to break rules, longstanding norms, or even laws to get what he wants. He doesn’t give a damn about the moral implications of his actions or any long-term damage he’s inflicted on the country. Others’ pain, suffering, or ruination don’t concern him. If Trump wanted to build a golf course on a stretch of land populated by forests and homes, he’d set fire to the whole place and let it burn to the ground if he knew he could get away with it. And it’s this unapologetic opportunism that makes him extremely dangerous. Why? Because while racism is a systematic and pervasive influence in our society, most politicians wouldn’t dare resort to virulent racist stereotypes at rallies or pander to white supremacists. Trump has no such moral compunctions. If horrific racist rhetoric and pandering to white supremacists attract voters, then Trump will keep at it regardless of how it affects America. White supremacists comprise a key part of his base and he will do absolutely anything to retain their support. He doesn’t care if it arouses their worst impulses and emboldens them to inflict violence on other Americans. It doesn’t matter to him if he undermines American values and legitimizes white nationalism. It doesn’t concern him if pandering to white supremacists leaves millions of Americans living in fear for their lives. Nor does he give a damn if it threatens other Americans’ rights to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. What makes Trump particularly dangerous on matters of race isn’t just that he harbors highly racist views, but his willingness to capitalize on the building white backlash for his own personal gain without any thought of repercussions.

Donald Trump’s impromptu press conference after Charlottesville demonstrates where his sympathies truly lie. Despite reading a prepared statement like someone in a hostage situation, he doesn’t particularly feel that white nationalists were responsible for the violence that killed Heather Heyer and injured dozens. Rather he blames both sides for it, alleging that the counter-protesters and marchers bore equal responsibility. He thinks the “alt-left” charged at marchers with clubs (despite that the marchers projected a military presence and initiated most of the confrontations). He referred to a torchlit march with people performing Nazi salutes, chanting, “Sieg heil!,” and assaulting counter-protestors as a good example of people “very quietly protesting.” He believes the violence distracted from the “Unite the Right” rally’s aim to defend a Robert E. Lee statue (despite that they really marched to protect white America from the so-called scourge of “diversity” and not at all peacefully either). In all, made explicit all the darkest undertones of his gallingly weak statement on, “many sides.” He muddied the waters by what happened in Charlottesville over that weekend as well as softened his judgement on the march itself. To Trump, what happened in Charlottesville was simply a “disruption” between two factions of equal empirical and moral culpability (even though it wasn’t).

But what really disturbs me isn’t that Donald Trump is a flagrant racist but how his remarks on Charlottesville will influence his supporters. In the past, both Democrat and Republican presidents have denounced white supremacy when it wasn’t acceptable even if it didn’t politically benefit them. Because regardless of how messy our racial politics could get, most Americans agree that white supremacists and political violence shouldn’t be legitimized. A presidential denunciation on white supremacy isn’t just an affirmation on American values and ideals of “all men are created equal,” it also keeps our nation safe by relegating white supremacists to the extremist fringe. The fact Trump failed to clearly, consistently, and unequivocally condemn the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville not only undermines American values, but puts people in serious danger. His calling it a “disruption” is very irresponsible which brings comfort to any Trump supporter convinced there wouldn’t be any problems in America if “thugs” didn’t start them. When he said that removing Lee’s statue is “changing history and culture,” he not only echoes those believing the Confederacy as part of their Southern “heritage,” but also white nationalists’ fears of “diversity” and “political correctness” erasing both America’s past and future. When he compared Robert E. Lee to George Washington, he thrills those believing the Confederacy as morally right to secede from the United States and that slavery horrors are overblown at best. When Trump insisted that the torchlit march was the quiet and peaceful protest it certainly wasn’t, he’s not just wrong. But he in every way legitimized the ideologies these marchers expressed as good and orderly. As we can see, white supremacists have given him plenty of praise him, continue to enthusiastically support him, and commit hate crimes in his name. Research shows that even implied rhetorical support from mainstream political leaders can encourage violence from radical groups. A radical group’s elements draw major strength from any kind of mainstream legitimation. As political scientist Paul Staniland told Vox, “that kind of rhetoric can provide political cover to non-state armed groups to act in ways that are really dangerous. They can just say ‘Look, we’re just doing what the president or the leader says is acceptable.’” Had Trump credibly condemned white supremacy, white supremacists would’ve had more difficulty to sell themselves for potential followers and activists as a viable political movement. When extremist groups feel like they have mainstream support, they’re more likely to attract volunteers, organize new rallies, and stage more violent attacks.

Since Donald Trump was elected, white supremacists have started recruiting more openly and it’s possible his hardcore supporters are inclined to view them more positively than they did before. After all, Trump essentially told his supporters they should have some respect and pay attention to these tiki torch wielding white nationalists. Now that these white supremacists feel like Trump’s legitimized them, they’re planning a whole other wave of activity Hate crimes have also been on the rise since legitimizing white supremacy just makes them more likely to happen. However, the worst impact Donald Trump’s remarks on Charlottesville isn’t just emboldening white supremacists. Despite that Republicans on Capitol Hill rushed to disagree with Trump blaming “both sides” for the violence, Republican voters don’t seem too upset. In fact, according to a recent CBS poll, two-thirds of Republicans approve of his handling of Charlottesville. Meanwhile, his approval ratings usually bounce between the high 30s and low 40s while he retains 80% of his party’s support. Now I know most Trump voters aren’t white nationalists or completely horrible people (unlike their man in the White House). But the fact that Trump’s explicit racism and pandering to white supremacists weren’t dealbreakers for them illustrates that they’re at least racist enough to vote for him. And the violence that might result from Trump’s decision to give white supremacists a voice was a risk they were willing to take. It’s clear many of them agreed with at least some of what Trump had to say about Hispanics, blacks, Muslims, immigrants, etc. White resentment and cultural anxiety won Trump the White House while the Republican establishment has embraced him as their leader. But what’s especially worrisome is how his presidency made explicit racism more socially acceptable. Trump constantly dog whistles, uses dehumanizing language against, and stokes fears of minorities and outsiders. To say disparaging things and be rewarded for them sends a powerful sign that gives license to others to forgo norms of interpersonal civility and kindness. Since Trump’s election, school bullying against marginalized students has been on the rise with incidents including verbal harassment, use of derogatory and racial slurs, graffiti, assault on teachers and students, property damage, fights, violent threats, and displays involving swastikas, Nazi salutes, groping, and Confederate flags. Workplace bullying has also been on the rise. Aside from the breakdowns in civility, Trump’s influence might lead Republicans to tolerate more racist rhetoric or become more racist. It doesn’t help that the media does a phenomenally shitty job covering right-wing terrorism that many conservative Republicans don’t believe it’s even a problem. And as polls shows, many white Americans have become more racist in recent years. And to make matters worse, Trump won the white millennial vote, a key membership demographic for white supremacist radicalization.

At the same time, Donald Trump has never offered any form of reassurance to the millions of Americans living in fear of a resurgent white supremacism since before he was sworn in. At best, he’s told them their fear is their problem like it’s an obstacle to overcome. At worst, he’s told them that they provoked lethal violence against themselves. And that there wasn’t anything wrong going on at the Charlottesville rally until some people came “charging with clubs.” Trump may have briefly offered a gesture of protection to Americans worrying he’s encouraging hate and violence. But he’s rendered that gesture as nothing but a “fuck you” to those who now feel abandoned while offering all but ease to the marchers. White supremacists are a national security threat responsible for more attacks on US soil than ISIS which have increased within the last several years. In June the Anti-Defamation League reported that more than half of active Klu Klux Klan chapters formed within the last 3 years, and instability within the groups meant most were short-lived. The Southern Poverty Law Center showed there are 917 active hate groups in the US. Trump has decided to cut funding to curb white supremacist terror, appointed alt-righters to the White House, and basically pandered to white nationalists. So he’s made it perfectly clear that his administration will not do anything to protect vulnerable Americans from white supremacist terror. All the while he dog whistles, dehumanizes them, and stokes fears in his base. Thus, hate crimes will continue to rise while millions of Americans have no national leader who’ll protect them.

It’s very likely there will be further clashes like Charlottesville in the near future. But what form it takes greatly depends on police and politicians’ reactions. If authorities try to crack down on this and prevent these kinds of clashes, the likelihood of violence will be reduced. Research suggests that when mainstream elites are willing to at least not explicitly condemn violent fringe actors, they’re more capable of effectively mobilizing within the police system. As a result, they’re less likely to expect the cops to crack down as hard on them as they attempt to establish links within the ruling establishment to encourage a greater levels of mobilization. A study from the early 20th century showed how sanction and support from US officials influenced lynching. Lynch mobs were more likely to kill if they had support from political leaders and less likely if mainstream leaders spoke out against them. Judging by how the police handled Charlottesville and reports of law enforcement being affiliated with white supremacist groups, it doesn’t look encouraging across the country. Republicans on Capitol Hill haven’t done anything to crack down on white supremacist terror. Until our politicians, law enforcement, and the media start taking white supremacy as a serious threat and, we should expect another terror attack like Charlottesville. And that time could be sooner than we think.

Signs of an Abusive Relationship (with Donald Trump)

Abusive relationships can take many forms. However, as you see on the news, America has currently been in a very abusive relationship with Donald Trump who’s now the president. Well, at least that’s what’s on the stationary because there’s no way in hell I’m acknowledging his legitimacy. Anyway, there are a lot of victims of domestic abuse who have states how Trump acts like their abuser. Then there was this one writer from Teen Vogue who wrote how Trump is gaslighting America. Of course, Donald Trump doesn’t beat the crap out of America. But an abuser doesn’t have to be violent to inflict harm. Here is a list of signs in abusive relationships and how Trump embodies every single one. Still, unlike an abusive relationship with family or intimate partners, you can’t back out of this one until 2020.

1. Does something, denies it, and then exclaims you are crazy. (Gaslighting) (Warping a victim’s sense of reality through gaslighting is a favorite tactic among abusive spouses, strongmen, and narcissists in order to control them. Trump is no exception. In fact, Trump frequently uses gaslighting to get away with a lot of crap he does even denying some of his appalling actions on camera. In the presidential campaign alone, he had already accumulated a long list of statements he made which he later denied. Hell, even when confronted with video evidence, he’s often denied it. Best examples would be telling supporters to “knock the crap out” of protestors at his rallies and publicly mocking a disabled reporter. Though unlike what other abusers do, Trump usually accuses the “dishonest media” for distorting the public for airing such footage everyone sees with their own eyes.)
2. Accuses you of doing things you aren’t doing/things they are doing. (Projection) (Trump has frequently used projection in order to turn the public against his adversaries. His attacks on Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign are a very good example of this since made her be an out of control corrupt elitist who can’t be trusted and cares nothing about the American people. However, such description fits Trump much better than Hillary {honestly, regardless of her flaws, Hillary is a saint compared to him. I did the research}. You can especially see his projection at work during the presidential debates. Unfortunately, for Hillary, one thing that did her campaign in was that too many Americans already saw her this way long before Trump came along, thanks to Republicans and Fox News. Sure Hillary may have baggage and her flaws, but Trump is much worse than she ever could be.)
3. Does a great job promising a great future and then delivering a nightmare. (As a candidate, Trump promised to “Make America Great Again” which resonated with so many white Americans who elected the bastard to the presidency. However, as president, it’s very clear that Trump will make many of his supporters’ lives a nightmare. Just look at the people he has in his cabinet and the fact he wants to cut healthcare away from many who voted for him. Another good example is with the Trump University scandal which ripped off thousands of people. Let’s just say Trump has a record of abusing power and screwing people who trusted him.)
4. Is a chronic liars and highly manipulative. (Trump lies so much that I can never tell when he’s telling the truth and have absolutely no trust in him, president or no president. Like any demagogue, Trump is a master at manipulating the masses whether it be through using racist dog whistles or flat out racism, tweeting conspiracy theories, appealing to nostalgia and sexism, and whatever else to get attention from the media as a trainwreck nobody could look away from. The fact, he sold himself during the election as someone who alone can fix our nation’s problems even though he can’t and doesn’t really want to.)
5. Uses guilt, hope, love, obligation, fear, or confusion to get what they want. (Trump has often used fear and confusion in his campaign speeches to get what he wanted, particularly fear of minorities and it took. Yet, he also uses nostalgia and nationalism, hence the phrase “Make America Great” again and “America First.”)
6. Often likes to agitate, provoke, argue, or “crazy make” and then pretends not to know why you are so upset. (Have you seen the guy’s Twitter feed? For God’s sake, the guy’s a shameless self-promoter and provocateur who’d tweet up some crazy conspiracy theory to distract the media from any shady stuff about him. For instance, he tweeted about Obama wiretapping him to deflect attention from his dealings with the Russians. His campaign has emboldened many of his supporters to fear minorities and some to commit hate crimes.)
7. Has a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” personality. (From how the media and many Americans saw his address to Congress, Trump certainly has this. Sometimes I think he’s scarier when he’s on his best behavior since it’s when he’s best able to manipulate people. When he’s being gracious and dignified, don’t be fooled. He’s playing you. Because his default personality has and will always be in Mr. Hyde mode.)
8. Has a staggering lack of empathy and (sincere) remorse for their behavior. (Despite my extensive research on Trump during election season, I don’t know of any incident in which he’s ever been unconditionally nice to anyone. Furthermore, Trump has never expressed any remorse for all the terrible things he’s done to people which there are many. He’s also never apologized for anything except to save face. Nor has he freely taken any responsibility for all the harm he’s caused. And he never admits he’s wrong about anything.)
9. Yells, name calls, belittles, and gives the silent treatment. (Though I know of no instances of Trump giving the silent treatment since he never shuts up, he has frequently called people who dared challenge him liars or losers.)
10. Frequently justifies bad behavior by blaming the victim or saying they deserved it, instead of taking any responsibility. (When Trump isn’t denying wrongdoing, he often blames people for their own suffering under him. For instance, whenever Trump is confronted with wage theft allegations in which he justifies with, “they did a terrible job.”)
11. Frequently makes promises but never intends to keep them and eventually breaks them. (Trump has often promised people to do stuff in order to get what he wants. But he usually never intends to keep them and will often break them if he can get away with it. This is how Trump gets a lot of contractors to work for him despite that he has often left them with nothing.)
12. Never makes any meaningful sacrifices and only shallowly reciprocates affections in order to retain power and control. (Though abusers may reciprocate a victim’s affections, it will only be to the point to keep them under their control and will not entail any meaningful sacrifices whatsoever. Trump is no different to his supporters. Sure he may hold rallies saying how much he sympathizes with their plight and appeal to their common prejudice, but he will do absolutely nothing to help them. Because as far as he’s concerned, Trump will only cater to his supporters because they give him what he wants.)
13. Openly mistreats social inferiors and marginalized people. (This is often known as the Waiter Rule, which states that if a person isn’t nice to the waiter, they won’t be nice to you. Plenty of abusive relationships could be prevented if more people observed this rule, but it’s a very hard one to follow given that the relationship is in its initial phases, high emotions, and that people look down on waiters. However, this logic fits perfectly with Donald Trump who has a long record of mistreating those below his social status as well as openly demonized minorities on the campaign trail. And though the latter has won him many supporters that he got elected, his fans have put themselves in a very vulnerable position by ignoring critical red flags.)
14. Prone to frequent outbursts, defensiveness, and playing the victim when confronted with evidence of bad behavior. (Whenever Trump is confronted with evidence of his bad behavior, he can get very defensive as you can see from his vicious Twitter tantrums. He may even blame the media for distorting his words and conduct so he can retain his base or elicit sympathy.)
15. Frequently threatens, retaliates, and defames anyone who challenges or criticizes them. (Trump has often threatened or filed lawsuits against those who dare challenge or criticized him even on the most trivial matters. He has often used litigation to ruin people’s lives such as people who’ve sued him over wage theft allegations. At one point he threatened to sue Janney Montgomery Scott unless they fire Mark Rothman after Rothman {correctly} predicted that Trump Taj Mahal would fail, which they did. Though Rothman is currently a very wealthy man, Trump put him through hell during the early 1990s, especially since Rothman sued both Trump and his former firm over the ordeal. In addition, Trump also likes to resort to character assassination against those who’ve spoken out against him and quite viciously and with false pretenses. I may see Ted Cruz whom as America’s Lucius Malfoy, but I can totally empathize why he didn’t want to endorse Trump at the GOP National Convention. During the GOP primary, Trump called Cruz’s wife ugly and alleged that his father conspired to kill John F. Kennedy. He’s also demonized Hillary Clinton, though he just had to bring up her dirty laundry and have it take over the media.)
16. Associates with and praises questionable people you wouldn’t want to be friends with. (You can always judge a man based on the company he keeps or who he admires. Trump is no exception and those he associates with and admires is very troubling. During the 2016, he has openly praised dictators who have suppressed dissent, violated human rights, and go against American interests. Throughout his life, Trump has done business with shady characters and participated in questionable deals with US enemies. The Trump administration’s relationship with the Russians is particularly disturbing with several members having Russian ties and Trump most likely getting money from them for his businesses. One instance had Trump investing in a project with very corrupt Azerbaijani oligarchs who operated a money laundering with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.)
17. Makes constant demands on you to fulfill their expectations while seeing little obligation in returning the favor. (You can often see Trump do this in regards to women he sees as objects while being the fat, lecherous 70ish man he is. But the most egregious example is raving over Hillary’s e-mails as Secretary of State even though he and his company have been known to destroy documents and routinely erase e-mails on their personal accounts, according to court orders. And he still hasn’t released his tax returns.)
18. Shows no respect for your interests or well-being whatsoever. (Though many supporters would swear that Trump is their champion, his actions clearly show he cares little about them. Sure he may very well build his stupid wall, but he’s much more likely to enrich himself and his corporate buddies than enact measures creating well-paying jobs or improve their lives. Because Trump’s business practices clearly show he’s no friend to labor.)
19. Resorts to grand gestures and telling you want you want to hear to win you over or to keep you from leaving. (Trump’s rallies and patriotic grandstanding with messages like “Make America Great Again” or “America First” qualify as this.)
20. Has pissed off your friends and family for reasons that have nothing to do with ideological bias. (Trump has alienated a lot of US allies with cozying up to Russia as well as inflammatory rhetoric, especially Mexico.)
21. Has caused a lot of division among your family or friends who either love them or hate them which may or may not have something to do with ideological bias. (The fact so many people in my extended family, friends, and community have voted for Trump and stand by him despite how he’s such a wretched human being only fills me with great personal shame. To acknowledge that Trump is the President of the United States already goes beneath my dignity. But though I don’t write off Trump supporters as irredeemable, I find their willingness to make excuses for his behavior deeply appalling. Because excusing his actions only enables him to treat them and others like shit with no consequence. And I get no pleasure from seeing Trump supporters having to suffer for their bad decisions.)
22. Has a habit of alienating you from your family or friends. (Since I have a lot of relatives who supported Donald Trump, I can certainly testify to this. Hell, seeing so many Trump signs in my neck of the woods was a truly alienating experience for me.)
23. Assures you they’ll take care of everything with a superficial charm that lacks any substance. (Trump frequently assures his supporters that he’s the only one who could fix our country’s problems. But he never gets into specifics and a lot of his promises during his election campaign lacked any form of substance whatsoever. Sure he might win over a crowd, but he doesn’t seem to take people’s concerns seriously if they don’t suit his interests.)
24. Is frequently jealous and adversarial toward anyone who bruises their ego, especially if it’s someone they see as a social inferior. (His attacks on Barack Obama are a textbook example of this. Trump is racist and has a long history of racism. Since Obama ran for president, he has gone out of his way to delegitimize him for years {most notably in promoting birtherism}. Even after Obama became president, Trump has called for him to release his birth certificate to prove he was born in the US {which Obama did}. But even after that, Trump still questioned Obama’s citizenship as well as called for him to release his student records since he doubted his grades warranted him entry into an Ivy League school. But it’s not just the mere fact Obama’s a black president that rankles him. It’s also that Obama is still a highly beloved and respected public figure who is much more popular than Trump could ever be. Sure Obama may have inspired deep hatred among his detractors, thanks to racism. And yes, the public might not always agree or support his policies. Yet, the reasons why people view Obama very highly has a lot to do with his impeccable character, his rhetoric, the image of America he projected onto the world, and that his policies did a lot of good for so many people.)
25. Lacks self-control and never practices self-restraint. (Trump fits this to a tee since he’s a guy who ordered an airstrike of 59 Tomahawk missiles in Syria on a whim.)
26. Never makes any effort to change their behavior despite promising to do so time and time again. (Trump has done this all the time. Remember how many times he promised to release his tax returns? Or divest himself from his businesses? Oh, wait he’s profiting from the presidency and making sweetheart deals with foreign entities.)
27. You frequently question whether they have your best interests at heart or using you for their own self-fulfillment. (This might not be the case for all Trump supporters right now. But a Trump regrets feed does exist.)
28. Treats their own family like crap if they have a relationship with them at all. (He’s cut off financial support from his great-nephew with cerebral palsy. He says sexually suggestive things about Ivanka. Might’ve physically assaulted one of his sons. Said a lot of demeaning stuff about his first two wives.)
29. Loses their temper over the most trivial matters or whenever they don’t get their way. (Trump does this all the time as you’ve probably seen his tweets over SNL and Hamilton.)
30. Shows no desire to make any compromises or concessions for any mutual benefit whatsoever. (With Trump, it’s always about him. He expects loyalty but will stab anyone in the back if he sees fit.)
31. Compels you to lower your standards of behavior and continuously make excuses for them out of fear. (He has led Republicans and voters to this as he degrades political norms, undermines democracy, profits off the presidency, violates the Emoluments Clause, colludes with Russia, etc.)
32. Lashes out when you pry into their stuff or find out what they don’t want you to know about them. (Trump especially hates it when anyone pries into his financial records and businesses. That’s why he hasn’t released his tax returns.)
33. Threatens to make your life hell if you don’t do what they expect of you. (Trump has threatened Republicans that if they don’t do what he wants, he’ll rile his supporters to vote them out of office.)
34. Has a habit of objectifying women, even in very creepy ways. (Trump does this all the time, when he talks about his daughter Ivanka. But he also said very disturbing things about Tiffany when she was a baby. Oh, and he bragged about committing sexual assault.)
35. Undermines values you hold most dear. (Basically when Trump says racist stuff and how America is no different from Russia. His policies pertaining to immigration and criminal justice which undermine civil rights and American diversity and pluralism. Constantly shows hostility toward the press. We need to face the fact that Trump isn’t a patriot and doesn’t value democracy, the Constitution, US history, or American values.)

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Shit Has Hit the Fan

Recently, it has come to our attention that the New York Times has revealed that Donald Trump Jr. welcomed a meeting with a Russian government-connected lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya after learning she had information that “that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] … and would be very useful to your father” and that it was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. has confirmed the meeting took place in June 2016 at Trump Tower (despite initially denying it) which also had his dad’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and his brother-in-law Jared Kushner in attendance. But he has downplayed the meeting’s significance claiming it was over adoption laws and later that the woman wasn’t a government official who provided anything useful. On Tuesday July 11, 2017, he has disclosed a series of e-mails of him corresponding with a British music publicist named Rob Goldstone at behest of the Agalarov family in order to prevent another NYT scoop. Except he totally didn’t and now that e-mail chain has been retrieved and released for the public and prosecutors to see. Furthermore, the chain basically debunks every lie he’s made, erodes his credibility, and confirms he’s hiding something all along.

For months, Donald Trump and his team have denied and disparaged reports that the Moscow tried to help his candidacy and that there was any collusion between the two. In fact, Trump has publicly claimed he didn’t believe that the Russian government wasn’t behind the hackings and leaks of prominent Democrats’ e-mails, which US intelligence agencies have resoundingly confirmed. Since January of 2017, reports of suspicious behavior between Trump and his team around Russia emerged  though we still lacked outright proof whether there was any behind-the-scenes collaboration between them. Though it remained theoretically possible that there was a multifaceted Russian effort to help Trump win without anyone from the Trump team knowing about it.

However, that is no longer possible since the Trump Jr. e-mail chain provides indisputable proof that people close to Donald Trump such as his son, his son-in-law, and then-campaign chair not only knew about but also encouraged a Russian government effort to help him win the White House. Seriously, Goldstone sent Trump Jr. an e-mail saying his information would be “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” as if Russia’s support for Lord Cheetohead was an unremarkable fact. Instead of being confused or asking what Goldstone means, Trump Jr. cheerfully answers, “If it’s what you say I love it,” tries to get the details, and forwards the whole thread to Kushner and Manafort. Any other American who knew what Goldstone was getting at would’ve turned him down and notify the candidate and the FBI. Because that is what campaign workers are supposed to do since getting help from a foreign government to win an election goes against federal law. Yet, there’s no way you can read these e-mails and not conclude that the Trump campaign’s top guys knew Russia supported their man but were willing to help. And I’m sure that President Pussygrabber knew about this going on all along.

Why? Well, how can he not? Sure the White House claims that Donald Trump knew about his son’s meeting recently. But he’s complained about the Russia investigation for months and fired his own FBI director in May, possibly to stop information that could expose him or his team to criminal charges from turning up. We should also note that Trump has often seen himself as above the law and has gone to great lengths to avoid responsibility for his actions his whole life. Not to mention, he and his team constantly lie in public about anything that makes him look bad.

What the Trump camp talked about with the Moscow-linked parties that June day at Trump Tower may never be known. But even if that meeting did lead nowhere, it still raises questions of what else Manafort and Kushner and ousted National Security adviser Michael Flynn may have said or done with the Russians. Yet, what’s clear is that we can no longer dispute the investigations into the Trump campaign and that Russian collusion is a serious mater. Robert Mueller must proceed unimpeded in his inquiry while congressional investigators need to work as well. Because the US needs to get to the bottom of this.

But why should we care about Trump’s ties to Russia? Because the Trump team’s habit of publicly lying about its contacts with Russia government emissaries is very problematic on its own terms. But it’s especially troubling since it raises a possibility that blackmail fears can influence American foreign policy. For instance, take the bombshell from US government surveillance that then Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak revealed he and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed sanctions during the Obama-Trump transition period, which Flynn lied about. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned White House Counsel Don McGahn that “the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians.” Meaning, that if you lie about meeting a Russian official in public, then the Russian government will know and could threaten to release embarrassing and personally damaging information unless you take positions they like. When the press got a hold of this, Flynn was fired. Still, Russian intelligence knows exactly what went down between their government and the Trump campaign. Their knowledge of the facts along with the Trump team’s relentless dishonesty as well as the high consequences of getting caught, means a potentially large swath of Trump’s inner circle has been (or still may be) exposed to blackmail. This in turn makes it hard for the nation and our allies to trust that American foreign policy toward Russia serves American interests rather than in service of keeping Trump’s people out of legal and political trouble. This might be easy to ignore if Trump’s attitude and policies toward Russia was typical for an American politician. But his contempt for NATO and his unwillingness to punish Moscow for election meddling shows they’re not.

Thus, we should understand while the Donald Trump Jr. scandal is new to us, it’s not to the Russians. Keep in mind that before releasing the e-mail thread pertaining to his meeting with Veselnitskaya, Trump Jr. had publicly denied meeting Russian government representatives for months. And he called allegations that anyone on the Trump team might’ve worked with the Russians as “disgusting” and “phony.” Not to mention, his dad and many of his spokespeople have maintained what Trump Jr. said was true through the entire campaign. His e-mail messages to Goldstone show that it wasn’t. At minimum, Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with Veselnitskaya under the impression that she’d provide them incriminating information about Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” But while revelations and e-mails about the meeting caused a sensation in the States, Veselnitskaya knew it all along. And if she knew it, the Russian government probably did, too. And it’s something they could’ve used to increase the legal and political jeopardy facing both father and son at any moment. Still, information is power. Since Russia has the info about the Trump/Russia contacts and because the Trump team keeps lying about them, the Russia government have a lot of power. And Trump’s team knows that Russia has the goods.

So far in the Trump/Russia contact, we know that members of Trump’s campaign team met with the Russians. We know that then Alabama US Senator Jeff Sessions met Kislyak at least twice during the Trump campaign which he lied about under oath during his confirmation hearing for Attorney General. We know Jared Kushner met with Kislyak on multiple occasions. And that one of these meetings was an effort to set up a secure backchannel for Trump to communicate with the Kremlin using Russian equipment and facilities. Yet, Kushner didn’t list that foreign contact on his clearance form. Then there’s Blackwater founder and Trump backer Eric Prince who made an effort to set up back-channel communications to Russia via a meeting in Seychelles, it’s not clear what came of that. Or take Paul Manafort who was fired months before the election over receiving Russian front money in Ukraine. But he continued to advise the Trump campaign, including on the post-election Russia investigation. Or adviser Carter Page whose meeting with the Russians I know absolutely nothing about. Yet, the Russians have known all of this before the US did and then some.

Then there’s the matter with Donald Trump’s finances. We all know he still hasn’t released his tax returns and probably never will. But we all remember back in January when he erupted over the “Steele Dossier” with its wilder allegations that a secret Russian kompromat is blackmailing him over a tape depicting hookers peeing on him. However, it also contains much more boring allegation that Trump paid bribes in St. Petersburg “very discreetly and only through affiliated companies” while exploring some business deals there. Now paying bribes to Russian officials isn’t particularly shocking, especially for a real estate man like Trump. But paying bribes in pursuit of a business deal is technically illegal under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Trump has called the FCPA a “horrible law” that “this country is absolutely crazy” to have on the books because it puts American businesses at a “huge disadvantage.” His business philosophy has long been a willingness to plow ahead legal gray areas as he had once dispensed with normal FCPA compliance procedures and basically go away with it. He probably did the same thing in St. Petersburg. His new chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission is a longtime FCPA critic. So Trump pretty clearly believes that American businesses should be allowed to bribe foreign officials. Nevertheless, while American authorities have little incentive to heavily scrutinize Trump’s FCPA compliance in Russia, Moscow is well-positioned to know a great deal about this. They’re also in a good position to know if the surge in Trump condo property purchases through anonymous shell companies involves any Russian citizens.

Since his inauguration, Donald Trump’s actual policy toward Russia has remained extremely idiosyncratic and friendly toward Moscow. His former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied about meeting with Kislyak along Sessions and Kushner. His Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has an extremely unusual resume for a top American diplomat, which featured zero military or diplomatic experience. But he has spent some time lobbying against sanctions on Russia and received the Order of Friendship award from the Russian government. Trump also appears to have explored relaxing Russian sanctions and was strikingly reluctant to affirm America’s commitment to NATO. He’s repeatedly seemed to side with the Russian government over American intelligence agencies over Russian culpability on hacking. He briefly suggested a joint Russia-US cybersecurity initiative. Furthermore, he’s made clear that Russia won’t face any repercussions for its election meddling, something lawmakers of both parties see as a direct assault on American democracy. There are plenty of explanations for his behavior, but it’s reasonable to suspect that Trump wants to keep Vladimir Putin happy so the Russians won’t release embarrassing information.

Nevertheless, a responsible administration would’ve taken Sally Yates seriously in the first place. It would’ve fired Flynn right away or forced him to come clean and apologize at once. And it would’ve learned that despite the awkward political scrutiny on Russia-related matters, lying about it would’ve been even more troubling. But the Trump administration didn’t learn that lesson as Washington remains swamp with new stories and revelations time after time. Each time, their defense consists of “this new undisclosed e-mail or meeting hardly proves wrongdoing.” But Yates points out that under the circumstances, the very lack of disclosure itself was the problem. A reluctance to come clean can reflect blundering, stubbornness, or simply blindness to a problem’s extent. Yet, the Trump crew could be hiding the truth because the truth is very bad. Thus, lying to the public to avoid Russian exposure might be the Trump administration’s best strategy. However, by repeatedly and publicly committing itself to false narratives about Russian government interactions, the Trump administration has put themselves under Russia’s thumb. Under normal circumstances, letting a president have this kind of threat hanging over him would be seen as completely intolerable. But since congressional Republicans control the federal government and do what they want, they’ll probably rationalize the matter. Like they’ve done with tolerating an admitted sexual predator in the White House and accommodating his desire to run his businesses in a way that makes it easy to bribe him. After all, H. R. McMaster and Jim Mattis will be along to babysit him except when Trump leaves them out at key summit meetings, unexpectedly drops text from a major speech, or otherwise needs to respond in real time to a crisis. Nevertheless, this puts our allies in an uncomfortable situation and our foreign policy at a downright catastrophic one. Partly because nobody has any idea about the extent of exposure and what kind of pro-Putin policies Trump might pursue in the future. Even worse, congressional Republicans apparently decided they’d rather not know and treat the Trump-Russia story as an endless series of annoying White House mistakes instead of a potentially crippling national security risk it certainly is. And if you have a former Bush ethics chief say Trump Jr.’s e-mails contain what’s “borderline treason,” then Republicans really need to wake up.