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Donald Trump and the Cult of Personality

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posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 10:58 AM
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As a systems thinker, I would like to share with you what I feel when I turn on the T.V in the morning and put it to CNN - my normal morning routine. In doing so, I'm interested in knowing "whats going on" - I have an interest in the state of the world, something, I think, which comes naturally to a person whose interest - and perhaps a part of their identity - becomes more and more tied up with the 'system', as they grow in their understanding of how extrapersonal processes influence the dynamics of human thought formation.

Donald Trump. Alas, I can barely mention this cretans name without contradicting my deepest wish: not to call him a cretan. But I'll allow myself this indulgence as I'm pretty sure that most people are just as turned off by Trumps self-aggrandizing machismo as I am. But, for me, as a developmental psychologist, it reaches a particular depth because I see right through him. For Trump, as it for most people, how a person presents himself has EVERYTHING to do with an implicit self-conscious knowing that accompanies all our experiencing: I MUST be strong, which also means, I must not come off as weak looking.

Take these two poles as two sides of a force field which "shapes" the unconscious dynamics of how information we take in is processed and understood. But also, we need to add a little bit of complexity. If people were as instinctively drawn to power and charisma as evolution seems to have made us, why am I so absolutely repulsed by Donald Trumps grandiosity? For the simple reason that the emotions are trainable.

In terms of the brain, the inner, or subcortical aspects, are "implicit", which means they are activated unconsciously. This differs from the frontal or cortical parts (cortical means "outer") which make things explicit for us. The implicit areas of our brain respond to the cues and signals conveyed by the environment - the world about us, and as such, they represent parts of ourselves that are deeply felt to be 'who we are'. The subcortical, in terms of affects and feelings, is the house of our emotional past. The amygdala - a deep brain sensor - picks up whats meaningful from the world, good or bad, what it ultimately senses is "what do I need to do to protect myself?" A person coming from a household which demonstrated self-awareness, inhibition of evil impulses, and conscientiousness, would have evolved a subcortical pathway that's responsive in a moral way: what does what I'm seeing mean, morally? It's important to mention here that moral awareness for such a person is pleasurable. It does not come and is not felt (most of the time) to be any sort of encumbrance. It generates good feelings when self & other are having good times, in healthy ways. And likewise, its cortical areas are energized by self-aware musing when the world around it seems disturbed, unbalanced, and dissociated. The negative feelings are logically associated with ideas, concepts and terms that make apparent what is wrong with the situation at hand. Such a person is aroused - and WANTS TO BE AROUSED - because the perceived problem in another persons functioning represents, from a larger, system-wide perspective, a destructive influence on the world. While this is an "intuition" for most people, consistent with what their past experiences have invested with them, from the vantage point of developmental psychology, they are absolutely right-on! Anytime we act narcissistically, from a law of "unconscious symmetry", other people are provoked into a similar organization.

What worries me and leaves me feeling somewhat sickened is the fact that 12% of republicans polled are attracted by Donald Trumps Shtick. Given what I've mentioned earlier, this has everything to do with their personal history, from the very get-go, from the intrauterine environment to the early environment to the subsequent environments of their development, lifes experiences has 'channeled' them, neurobiologically psychologically, into a state of being that is hyper-attracted to the perception of power, and likewise, to the avoidance of negative feelings. This is perhaps the darkside of democracy, or should I say, democracy in a capitalist economy that seems to systematically incite feelings of narcissism, and likewise (its tiring noting this) the negative emotions they guard against.

It's imperative that people pay attention to the "neurobiological" part of my argument, as the brain is constantly changing. Even now, as you read this, millions of neuromolecular events in your brain are occurring. Many of these events, depending on your degree of explicit focus, are "probabilistic". This means that, given past experiences, the "trains" of motion mapped out by past experiences, are likewise mapped out in the neurobiological 'wiring" of your mind. This, I hope, might add a degree of restraint on what is happening with people like Donald Trump and the people who support him: they know not how stupid and unaware they are. Even more so, they are 'stuck' in this state, not merely in any abstracted "dynamical system" sort of way, but as a matter of the "linkage" between their neurobiological hardwiring, and the environments they've developed meaningful connections with.

Finally, whats destructive about narcissism, you might ask? If people are mutually vulnerable to the same influences, that would then mean that an act of narcissism from me, would engender an act of narcissism in you. To state this more clearly: if i yell at you (which is very self-focused, in that I am only attending to the feelings that I'm having, and not paying attention to the way my feelings will affect how you organize yourself) you will, in all likelihood (minus a deep self-awareness) yell right back at me. Or, imagine you know Donald Trump and have experienced being spoken to by him. You call him an "a$$hole", because, well, the way he speaks to you has the air of "I'm better than you"; he speaks with impatience, ingratitude, and an assertiveness that tolerates little or no dissent. Trumps way of speaking says "I am better than you! deal with it". And if you don't, of if you're one of those people who can't countenance being brought lower by another persons imperiousness, you will most definitely induce the type of venom that comes naturally to narcissistic minds like Trumps: he will attack you simply because his enormous grandiosity has been challenged: his amygdala will pick it up and his frontal lobes will show awareness of what he deems to be "impudence".

Now, from a systems perspective, from the perspective of social-systems and how people function, this type of behavior is absolutely deleterious. Insomuch as narcissism engenders narcissism, whether of the grandiose, hyper focus on self, with ones look, appearance and ones ways of speaking about others, or in actual malicious action that strives to "break" another person, imagine, if you can, what kind of world we would create. Of course, this is me being cheeky, as we already live in such a world: a world of 'haves' and have not", a world where 'winners' literally believe that they have some sort of "essence" that makes them winners, and not, as the systems analyst Dana Meadows pointed out long ago, as a simple system effect: where you are, as Trumps privileged upbringing gives credence to, has everything to do with a) history b) opportunity c) luck.

All we really have is our awareness and our ability to learn from our mistakes. Were in this together.




posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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Thats OK , The Repubs feel the sane about Sanders and Clinton...



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 11:04 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

If you are going to call him a cretan (cretin) please at least spell it right!



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I have to apologize, not intending to undermine your statement of faith above, by any means, but I love Trump. He is really man standing tall, all heads and shoulders, and saying pretty much exactly what he thinks, and what he considers doable - and if voted in, will also geeedid done.

He is financially totally independent, good for 9 Billion green ones, and that makes him in a totally different league to any critter challenging him: the others need to get bought, Trump does not care even to spit on the lobbyist.

And he's stand on anything - is pure make sense. Not perhaps all politically correct - it is just purely make sense correct.

Unless, grhmm of couse, if they can't get some Paul running in. He's son of God you know.

edit on 4-7-2015 by deckdel because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 11:21 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I think Donald Trump may make it to the first debating stages...and then in time he will be ushered out back to his real estate world.

Yesterday when I was out doing errands... I came across a very handsome, educated man from Mexico...we got into a conversation about what Trump said...and this man's theory is...if you look at some of Trump's past he has donated money to Hilary Clinton...Trump may have joined the race to shake things up on purpose...to challenge the other Republican Candidates into discussing things they really don't want to talk about...to bump Hilary Clinton up in the polls...so she eventually wins.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 11:37 AM
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one of my favorite tunes,





you gave me fortune
you gave me fame
you gave me power in your gods name



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 11:47 AM
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originally posted by: deckdel
a reply to: Astrocyte

I have to apologize, not intending to undermine your statement of faith above, by any means, but I love Trump. He is really man standing tall, all heads and shoulders, and saying pretty much exactly what he thinks, and what he considers doable - and if voted in, will also geeedid done.

He is financially totally independent, good for 9 Billion green ones, and that makes him in a totally different league to any critter challenging him: the others need to get bought, Trump does not care even to spit on the lobbyist.

And he's stand on anything - is pure make sense. Not perhaps all politically correct - it is just purely make sense correct.

Unless, grhmm of couse, if they can't get some Paul running in. He's son of God you know.

I agree , the only candidate I have seen in many a year that does not really care what the "big wheels" think of him or what he says.If people knew that he would continue this way of thinking to the White House he would be a shoe in IMHO. Yeah he is an offender. But an equal opportunity offender. If its wrong , its wrong. Bottom line.He doesnt care whos feelings he hurts in that case.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 11:58 AM
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originally posted by: deckdel
a reply to: Astrocyte

I have to apologize, not intending to undermine your statement of faith above, by any means, but I love Trump. He is really man standing tall, all heads and shoulders, and saying pretty much exactly what he thinks, and what he considers doable - and if voted in, will also geeedid done.

He is financially totally independent, good for 9 Billion green ones, and that makes him in a totally different league to any critter challenging him: the others need to get bought, Trump does not care even to spit on the lobbyist.

And he's stand on anything - is pure make sense. Not perhaps all politically correct - it is just purely make sense correct.

Unless, grhmm of couse, if they can't get some Paul running in. He's son of God you know.


I agree,

Anyone with an Ego like that who loves to talk smack will back it up. He will do what he says he will do because he must.

I don't agree with some of his positions but at least I have confidence that if he makes a "Campaign Statement" (I won't use promise because promise means lie nowadays) that he will do everything to implement that goal.

He is not a your usual politician.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 12:07 PM
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a reply to: deckdel

He is financially totally independent, good for 9 Billion green ones, and that makes him in a totally different league to any critter challenging him: the others need to get bought, Trump does not care even to spit on the lobbyist.


Trump may not need to be bought, but certainly he will enjoy more greens coming his way. For people like him enough is never enough.

He has no filter and thinks his word is always right, for those who think this is a good quality, it's only good because it hasn't effected you negatively yet.

Someone that egotistical & narcissistic will get this country in a load of trouble in no time. I can't understand why some people value his opinion on anything. I don't know why people can't see through his false bravado.



edit on 4-7-2015 by RobinB022 because: (sp.)



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 12:13 PM
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a reply to: infolurker

Anyone with an Ego like that who loves to talk smack will back it up. He will do what he says he will do because he must.


At whose expense.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 08:04 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Astro
So you misspelled cretin did you? Well, I guess that tosses the whole OP.
With all the various perspectives on life presented here on ATS, yours, it seem to me, present the most erudite evaluations concerning human activity on the board.
One of the aspects of your posts is that they spring from our up to date studies and findings on how we as humans think, behave and function. In a great way, the information now coming to us explains all manner of reasons we have done what we have done over the centuries and what we are doing now. As individuals, and as parts of the larger system.

My question to you is this. Given the state of knowledge today on how we function neurologically, psychologically and as aspects of the larger system as a whole, how do you sleep at night.

Now certainly you have a larger pool of information than I on these schools of thought. But my 'layman's study of these sciences leave me looking out at our world, and our future with near complete bleakness.

Donald Trump is a fine example. No wait, why stop with him. From the given understanding you present, it is a total wonder, the cretinesk nature of a large number of candidates, each one with some kind of loyal following that believe that they could make a fine leader in this world. I want to scream. I want to bang my head and maybe reshuffle some of my own circuitry so that I can at least function on a level that does not scream back at me, we are freeking doomed.

Yeah, Astro. I don't like to understand life from the perspective, the level of insight as you regularly present in your threads. To me, the only extrapolation I can make from my own studies into this field and reading your wonderful threads is that there is no way out. That we are so seriously flawed, that even with the mindfulness you often speak of, that even were we to try to reform our cultures and societies along lines more in tune with these 'truths', there seems to be no time left in which to do it. Do you see?



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 08:35 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

He's doing a fundraiser in our town....knowing the local demographics it won't be a large affair....probably pretty quiet and exclusive. Funny thing is, he booked his fundraiser right before the pageant for our states contestant Miss America contest. I'll leave the rest of connect the dots up to you guys....I could really care less about the whole matter. None of my business anyway.



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 01:36 PM
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Thank you for your post. You gave a detailed and nuanced explanation of your views from a behavioral science/ brain science point of view. (Misspelling a word does not take away from your content in the least.)

I know people love TRUMP, and I can't fathom why (one must seem to use capital letters when speaking of him, to get the full effect of his personality). I get a visceral reaction to the opposite: I feel sickened by the thought he could possibly become the most powerful individual in the free world. Literally sickened - its totally a "gut feeling."

My fear response kicks in. It's like watching a bully strut around, or someone with that extremely entitled air breeze in and treat people like crap in a belligerent and arrogant way. I think to myself - my God, this person has never suffered, has no clue about anything from the average person's point of view regarding economics or whatever, and is all about "shows of power and strength" which makes me terrified of what he would do with the military. (I felt the same way about Bush jr., which is another reason I get scared silly of TRUMP.)

He is the essence of the imperialistic mindset, of narcissism and greed. Why would anyone want him to have more power?

The person who could be the best President is the one who wants most to serve the interests of the average person, not the elitist crowd, who already have so freaking much more representation than their actual numbers deserve, except of course, their money speaks so much louder than hungry children, the disabled, the elderly, and families all across America trying to make ends meet on not-enough. Would he "solve" that with his economic brilliance? Hm. He uses bankruptcy a lot for his personal "mistakes" = perhaps he would simply suggest we do that? I don't know.

Does anyone really think they could become like him without having all his advantages to begin with? TRUMP is for TRUMP, he is not for any of us "lesser folk" but instead, we should magically be inspired by HIM.

I just don't get it. I'm glad you've put in some words about that. I hope I don't get too badly flamed.



AB
edit on 5-7-2015 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)




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