Category Archives: Trump, Donald

Trump anxiety disorder

In the trenches: Jennifer Contarino Panning, Psy.D.

Safe place to discuss troubled feelings

Leafing through The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (2017), Dalrymple comes across a chapter titled ‘Trump anxiety disorder: the Trump effect on the mental health of half the nation and special populations’, by Jennifer Contarino Panning, Psy.D. Panning explains that her experience derives from psychotherapy ‘clients’ in Evanston, Illinois,

a suburban, liberal, higher-socioeconomic status, and educated suburb . . . a college town, home to Northwestern University, with much of its sixty-five thousand residents comprising professionals who work at Northwestern . . . Most notably, the clients who came in the day after the election were still in disbelief. As their therapist, I concentrated on validating, normalizing and maintaining a safe place for them to discuss their troubled feelings. We also discussed basic self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, connecting with friends and family, and limiting consumption of election news stories.

Importance of bowel regulation

The liberal élite exposed: the book inadvertently helps to explain the rise of Trumpism

Dalrymple notes that if his grandmother were still alive,

she would have stressed the importance of keeping the bowels regular too, preferably by a weekly dose of castor oil.

In the trenches

Panning says that her work

helped me not to feel as helpless; being ‘in the trenches’ with clients was a way to feel productive.

Dalrymple comments:

In the trenches! And these people dare to accuse Mr Trump of not being able to distinguish paranoid fantasy from reality!

In another article in the book,

a therapist draws a comparison between a woman abused by a jealous and violent partner and the population of the United States and Mr Trump. She means her analogy to be taken seriously and almost literally, not merely metaphorically. She seems not to realise how demeaning and insulting this is both to the population (particularly those actually abused by their partners) and the country’s traditions and history.

Rise of Trumpism

The book, says Dalrymple,

inadvertently helps to explain the rise of Trumpism. With a liberal élite like this, is it any wonder that a man should come forward who thinks that an offence given it is a blow struck for liberty and good sense? This book gives the liberal élite away.

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Why intelligent Americans voted for Trump

They did so, writes Dalrymple,

because they preferred his policy prescriptions to those of his opponent; and to a degree far from universal among modern politicians, he has put, or tried to put, many of his those prescriptions into practice.

Moreover, says Dalrymple, Trump’s policies are rational:

  • it is rational for a country to seek control of who comes into it
  • it is rational for a country to impose an economically advantageous tax régime
  • it is rational for a country to abandon administrative obstacles to progress

Elaborated bilge, which no amount of mathematics can dispel

According to the New Scientist magazine, two of the signs of the collapse of civilisation are the election of Donald Trump and the vote on Brexit. Thus, writes Dalrymple, one of the things that stands between us and the collapse of civilisation ‘is the European Parliament and the European Commission. I thought I was pessimistic, but this takes pessimism to a stage well beyond even mine. If one of the only things standing between us and the new Dark Ages is the European Commission, then all I can say is that those new Dark Ages will be very dark indeed.’

The merit of Trump’s characterisation of certain foreign countries

Dalrymple writes that the American president succeeded with his remarks in

exposing a contradiction in the minds of his opponents.

Those who objected to his language

were inclined also to object to his proposal to return migrants from those countries to their countries of origin on the grounds that—well, that those countries were as Mr Trump said they were, and that it would therefore be cruel and inhumane to return them there.

The language of stevedores

Insults these days, writes Dalrymple,

tend to be crude and vulgar. Ours is not an age of subtlety, however technically sophisticated it may be. We prefer the elephantine to the feline.

When Donald Trump

reputedly called certain countries by an epithet that I shall not repeat, he was only employing the type of language that, to my regret, is now in very common use even among intellectuals.

Dalrymple says that

we seem either to go in for the false delicacy of political correctness, speaking as if some words were as injurious law-hammers brought down on the skull, or employ the language of stevedores or of building workers.

The brutish Donald Trump

It is, writes Dalrymple,

true that Haiti is in many respects a terrible place, which is why so many people want to leave it. Yet it pained me to hear of it spoken of in such terms, because there is so much more to it than the vulgar epithet suggests. The history of Haiti is a moving one, the people valiant and their culture of enormous interest. I have been only twice, but it exerts a hold on the imagination that can never be released. The tragedy and glory of the country are mixed, and symbolise the tragedy and glory of human life.

If Dalrymple were a Haitian who had fled Haiti in search of a better and much easier life, he

should nevertheless not have been pleased to hear it spoken of in this dismissive way, indeed I would have been hurt by it. I do not presume to know how familiar Mr Trump is with Haitian history, culture, and so forth, although I have my suspicions; and of course he has principally to consider the interests of the United States and Americans, not those of Haiti and Haitians. But what he said was not witty or wise, it was hurtful and insulting. I cannot see the giving of offence by the mere employment of crude and vulgar language as anything but a vice, and it is difficult to say whether it is worse if the person employing it knows or does not know what he is doing. If he knows, he cannot care; and if he does not know, he is a something of a brute.

Infantile political mania

To give way to political mania is, writes Dalrymple,

to ascribe to politicians more directive power over society than they possess, except under circumstances that, thankfully, are unusual in the West.

It is

to regress to childhood, a time when one believes in the omnipotence of one’s parents who, as adults, seem as if they can do whatever they like—a power to which the child believes he will accede merely by adding years to his age.

Dalrymple doubts, for instance, whether anyone other than an intellectual or, say, the London newspaper the Guardian

ever thought that America had changed utterly and unrecognisably overnight with the election of Mr Trump.

With regard to political apathy, Dalrymple says that it can

give rise to gusts of irrational hope, particularly among the young, who then invest their favored political figure with the power, or the aura of having the power, to remove the source of all their frustrations (real as these might be).

The rise of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn,

who thrill the young with their preposterous and dangerous notions, is proof of this.

Reductio ad Hitlerum

The comparisons of Donald Trump with Adolf Hitler are, writes Dalrymple,

coming thick and fast.

People are far from reluctant

to compare others with Hitler in a non-metaphorical way, or to espy full-blown Nazism on the faintest of analogies.

There is, Dalrymple notes,

a vast and extensive literature to help Americans (and others) to know ‘what it was like to be Jewish in the time of Hitler’, much of it of sufficient quality to supply the imagination; and if really we can ‘start to imagine’ it after ten days of Trump, this would be testimony either to our ignorance or to our lack of imagination, or both—the very ignorance or lack of imagination that allows us to make such outrageously far-fetched comparisons in the first place.

Delicacy of the Donald

Trump’s Arabian circumlocution

What the US president expressed to the Saudis, Dalrymple tells an interviewer (‘The Manchester suicide bombing and the minds of terrorists’, from 10:50), was

euphemistic, to say the least. And to be saying it in Saudi Arabia, which is much more closely concerned with terrorism in Western Europe than Iran has been, is slightly alarming.

Dalrymple is not persuaded that the Riyadh government can be regarded as separate and distinct from the Wahhabi fanatics.

Trump’s coarseness and vulgarity

Dalrymple is no admirer of Trump. Far from it. The taste of this casino magnate, he writes, is that of your average oil sheikh: lots of money but no style. Dalrymple differs with some of his US friends on this, arguing that Trump’s vulgarity and coarseness really do matter.

Ik ben geen bewonderaar van Donald Trump: ik kan me er niet toe brengen een bewonderaar te zijn van een casinobouwer wiens persoonlijke smaak doet denken aan dat van de gemiddelde oliesjeik. Veel geld, weinig stijl. Anders dan sommigen van mijn Amerikaanse vrienden die voor hem hebben gestemd, denk ik dat zijn grofheid en vulgariteit er wél toe doen. Ik denk ook dat het waarschijnlijk is dat het nettoresultaat van zijn politieke carrière de grip van politieke correctheid zal versterken op de harten en geesten van de jongeren. Laat dat nu net de groep zijn op wie die grip nu al meer dan sterk genoeg is.