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Thursday, 15 August 2019 07:50

Kings, Conquerors, Psyochopaths, where does Donald Trump fit in? An Interview

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We’ve heard and read so often that this politician or that elected official is a narcissist or sadist or psychopath or a Machiavellian, or perhaps even worse--all of those pathologies lumped together. Fairly or unfairly, over the past few years, some of those very words have been spoken more frequently than in the past, especially the term “narcissist” when describing President Donald Trump’s quite unorthodox and unusual behaviors.  

Unquestionably Trump is one of those transformational men who have made major changes in the past.  He could also make profound changes in the future . So, might it be possible, if not likely, that the current, Commander in Chief, has some of the characteristics and personality traits of those who sit on the throne of the great historical figures?  Will he enter the pantheon of the most memorable along with the likes of Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Caesar or even other lesser historical figures who have still made a sizeable mark in our lives, for better or for worse?

 

These are the thoughts that were on my mind as I started a video interview with Dr. Joseph Abraham, a now-retired medical doctor, from Church Point Louisiana,.  Dr. Abraham has written a book Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander to Hitler to the Corporation. Racism, fascism, coercion, brutality. 

What a title!

As it reflects, some of the people with whom we associate with being the most powerful and impactful were also the most harmful. The author explains some of the key characteristics of those people who have made our history books. He reviewed the biological underpinnings of this historical phenomena that has linked some of the most important and impactful individuals to ever exist.  

Abraham’s book has won two international book awards which can be found here and here

I personally found his perspective fascinating and frightening not just as an explanation to understanding the people who have transformed mankind, but what it portends for the future, which just might not be so kind.  His analysis also provided to me reasons to wonder if the most powerful man in the world can be compared with some of the others.

Here is the entire interview and the complete video. Enjoy.  You can purchase the book from Amazon

[Of special note: In reading through this, Dr. Abraham realized he said 'blunted affect' several times, when he really meant 'blunted emotional range.' The psychopath can actually be quite charming.]

Hi, everybody. This is Steve Sabludowsky, publisher of Bayoubuzz.com. And today we're going to be talking to Dr. Joseph  Abraham of Louisiana.

I believe that your practice is in Baton Rouge, is that correct?

No, actually, I just retired. Actually I was working the emergency room at Church Point, Louisiana.

So okay, beautiful downtown Church Point.

It's a charming town. I really liked it there.

Sure. So I'm just reading my Cliff Notes here. You're a physician, medical school Tulane '86 graduate, a researcher in theoretical evolution. And so you have a biologist's view on history and civilization that you were working on for a couple of decades, on a book. Am I correct that's what we're going to talk about? Yeah. Okay. But because many of the issues in the book related to then, I guess, candidate Donald Trump and now President Trump, you decided to move forward. So yeah; now you also have a website. Is it Bookscrounger.com?

Bookscrounger.com. I am the bookscrounger, I guess.

So let's talk about your book. its Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander to Hitler to the Corporation. Racism, fascism, coercion, brutality. That's a mouthful. 

Yeah, yeah, it is, something like that. As you noted, I've been working on the book for a couple of decades. A lot of the ideas started really with just a quote from the Black Panther — of all people,  Stokely Carmichael — who was criticizing Western civilization and says, "All I can remember is that when Alexander found that there were no more no more people to slaughter, he sat down and wept." 

And there was something about it, I'm not quite sure, but I had a feeling that that was not unusual, that Alexander was not unusual in that. And then some years later, the modern European historian Eugene Weber gave a talk here at the University, and hit on exactly that theme, that the great men of history weren't great men. They were narcissists, they were sadists, they were psychopaths, they were Machiavellians. They were just some of the most horrific and and dastardly people who ever lived. I kept working on it. And I began looking at it from a biological standpoint, and wrote the book.

So is this something in the genes, you know, the most pathetic genes get to be, you know, the greatest leaders?

Wow, that's an excellent question. And it's a hard question. First of all, human genetic behavior is a big bugbear in a lot of Liberal Arts circles. That is, you know, genetics is equated with eugenics which is equated with genocide. And they're not the same thing. We do have genetic behavior, but it's ruts, not rails. It doesn't control us. 

But it speaks to us, sometimes very loudly. If you have to sneeze, cough, go to the bathroom — or the one that I use in the book, if you're giving birth (something you and I will never have to suffer through) — then the mind just takes over, the genetic structure just takes over the body, and we do something. 

So there are definitely genetic aspects to psychopathy and narcissism. There are also some developmental aspects, we could go off into that. But the main thing is, is that when you look at the "great men" of history — and I look at Napoleon, I look at Caesar, I look at Alexander, but I look at many others besides — they were horrible butchers who held power because people feared them. 

So okay, so to hold power, they gained power also by making sure that people feared them, I imagine. Yeah. So what is it about fear that say, would attract these people to impose fear upon their victims?

That's a really good question. Some of this is certainly genetic, we can see some of the same things in animals. Often I'm struck by how narcissistic our cat is, she shows a lot of the same characteristics. But in my area biology, we're not so much worried about why it happens, but that it happens; and, Where's the payoff? Why did it work, once it happened? 

And it works because this horrible man binds people together, creates some efficiency, but mainly just creates economies of scale, and he can overwhelm his enemies, and then go attack more enemies. With time, the strategy spreads genetically, culturally, whatever, and you have these horrible men fighting each other. And that has been pretty much the 10,000 years of the history of civilization.

So would you place more of a responsibility on just the culture, the climate of the time, or the point — I know we talked about this few minutes ago — or upon  the genetics? I remember seeing that show about the the triplets on CNN. And from what I could gather, obviously, genetics played an incredible role. But the real determining factor, at least according according to their show, I think was, you know, was the environment.

That's a really good observation. One of the men who helped me with this book a great deal, and I've never met him, is James Fallon; he's the neurologist, not the comic. And he wrote the book, The Psychopath Inside. This is a man who's highly respected, he's won a lot of awards. I met one of his colleagues, in Rome of all places, who spoke very highly of him.  The man is a psychopath. He is a moral psychopath, though; he came out of a loving, supportive family. And so his attachment to other human beings is not emotional, it is intellectual. 

That sounds strange to us, but if you think about the origins of the modern intellectual tradition in philosophy, what the philosophers were trying to do is develop arguments, not based on emotion; not based on cultural tradition, myths, and superstitions; but based on pure rational thinking. And so it sounds strange, but that's what he is, he is a philosophical, moral psychopath. And for what it's worth — this will probably interest you — I think I found another one in history, which was a Schindler of 'Schindler's List'. If you read his actual biography and sort of look away from the movie, in his early life he fit the characteristics of psychopathy very, very strongly. And yet, in his later life, he began saving Jews. Which is fascinating because he started off exploiting them. He prostituted out some of the women. He really was a slave driver, but something changed in him. And he became, I believe, a moral psychopath.

So what are the qualities of a psychopath?

You know, that's a really good question. Because I spent a lot of time reading, and there are a lot of different criteria, and they don't agree. If you go back to the original American work on it, by a guy named a Herv Cleckley at the University of Georgia, I think he had it right. A psychopath is really someone who lacks emotion; they don't have emotional attachments to other people, and they're not even necessarily attached to themselves. They will take risks, they will do crazy things. 

The modern idea of a psychopath (I use the word in the title because as I comment in the book, "snappiness sells"), but in the modern world, it has become conflated with criminal psychopathy, which has a lot of other things that the psychopath just doesn't. 

The pure psychopath has a blunted emotional affect. And in fact, there's some speculation that the reason that some psychopaths become sadists is they're just trying to feel anything; that that extreme excitement, horrific is, is that at least he feels something. So that's your psychopath. 

On top of that I need to explain is, What is a narcissist? I've been asked by a number of people on different shows, Is Trump a narcissist? He is; and so is almost everybody else in Washington. He is an unvarnished narcissist. And the only recent president I can think of who was probably not a narcissist was also one of our least effective presidents, which was Carter.

Yeah, I was going to mention Carter. Yeah.

And so it appears that if you're going to play that game, you need to understand the game, you have to have sharp elbows and tough ribs. And so these are not people like you and me, they they play a different game. 

The last two things you're looking at, there's the dark tetrad, which is the malignant narcissist, the people like Ted Bundy, or Jack the Ripper, those people. So the last two in addition to psychopathy and narcissism, are sadism; and Machiavellianism, which is just a cold, goal-driven person.

So is there a relationship, and you may have mentioned this, between, say, somebody who is a psychopath and a narcissist?

They seem to often appear together. It gets really confusing when you dig in, and I spent a lot of the book talking about it. There's a lot of conflation in some of the diagnostic criteria between the two modern criteria for psychopathy and a lot of narcissism, I believe. 

I'm not an expert, I'm just looking at the different criteria, and there is the assumption that narcissism often contains a lot of psychopathy. The thing we need to understand is that narcissists are people who are primarily interested in themselves, who have a very limited, if any, connection to other human beings, and a very limited compassion for them. 

I mean, that sort of describes a psychopath by the definition that you provided, I mean, you know, somebody who, who is detached, you know, from emotion, who cannot feel for others, who cannot empathize with them.

Yeah, the one thing that the Cleckleyan psychopath apparently lacks, however, is there is no real interest in promoting himself. He or she will just kind of go along. They'll commit petty crimes, but then become bored with it. I read about one guy who stole a car, and then just abandoned it. They will participate in major crimes if someone else recruits them, but they just have a blunted affect. So the narcissist is the one who's really interested in him or herself. The psychopath, like I said, will take risks because he doesn't really care. Apparently, he doesn't care much more about himself than he cares about other people.

So, just out of curiosity, I mean, I know that looking back in history, you know, from ancient to modern history, who is the worst psychopath? And who's the worst narcissist? And if they both in the same person, there's some horrific people. 

I spent a quarter of the book looking at conquerors and kings through history,  and tried to be an equal opportunity offender. I included Shaka Zulu from Africa, Atahualpa  from the New World, Asians and Europeans, things that happened in Tasmania and Australia, and of course, in the United States, including the Pilgrims. 

It depends on what you consider 'the worst'. Genghis Khan slaughtered from east Asia all the way into Western Europe, and he was just a remorseless butcher. But do we equate him with a Hitler, who also included a fanatical hatred of his enemy? Genghis Khan didn't have that racism, he didn't have that zealotry. He was just out to conquer. 

And then, do you compare them to someone like Pol Pot or Idi Amin, where there's also just an intense sadism? We don't see a lot of talk about sadism in conquerors, although all of them indulge in it. 

The worst? I can tell you this, the second greatest conqueror in history, based on who conquered the most, was Genghis Khan. But the greatest conqueror in history was a doting grandmother, who was still alive until recently, who was Victoria. Under her, the English conquered much more of the world than Genghis Khan conquered. Now, she did not direct it.

You know, the Nuremberg defense and the [Nuremberg] order, is an order does not hold here, she was the monarch. And she made fabulous amounts of money over the British slaughter of the world. There are only three or four countries in the world that Great Britain has not invaded.

And they are small countries and they're there, they're landlocked.

So moving forward, I guess in time in modern history, as say, the environment in any way has that, say enhanced or reduce the prospects of being a psychopath. And the prospects of being a in this case, I guess, a narcissist.

They are, they're still there. In one of my later chapters in the book, I point out that they moved into the corporation. What did happen — and as a lawyer, you'll find this part interesting — is that in 1776, a group of men designed a system; and again, as a lawyer, you would look at it one way, and historians would look at a slightly different way. 

I look at it as a biologist and a game theorist, because my area of evolutionary biology includes a lot of that. And what they did, the founding fathers, that made the largest difference ,was that they restrained the psychopath and the narcissist, they limited them, they held them back. And what emerged was a middle class that began inventing, and creating, and building.  One of the strengths of America is that we have never been invaded, in any in any substantial way. And so we've continued on that path. 

And then the high point of Western civilization, the Marshall Plan, rebuilds Europe, rebuilds  our enemies. But it also sends all these young men and women off to college and strengthens that middle class yet again. And those led to the Pax Americana, that from my standpoint, is what the what the Constitution did. So the environment changed, the founders changed the environment. And that changed the modern world.

Let me think about that for a second. So you saying 1776 that's a date that you gave as a turning point in history.

Yes, and you can find origins for it in the Renaissance.  And as I said, it continues up to the Marshall Plan. But the the thing, the peril of the modern world, is that these people are returning, they are returning to the increased power that they had. We have Putin and we have Erdogan, we have Assad, we have Dutarte, and you can just keep going around the world and see the rise of these right wing despots.

Yeah, we'll get to that in a second. So I'm thinking out loud, you said that this — I believe that you said — that the urge, or the tendency to be psychotic, or narcissistic, has actually been suppressed? And was that an internal suppression, or external?

It was political oppression from outside kings at the founding of the USA. And we began pushing those people back. They were always present in the upper and lower classes, both were criminal. One of the quotes I have, is that a pirate who appears before Alexander says, "I, with one ship, I'm called a pirate, and you with a fleet are called Emperor." 

Because they're playing the same game, but from either side. The first chapter compares kings to gangsters running protection rackets. Which is what the king is: we look at the cartoons of Hagar the Horrible, the tax collector comes and he's got the executioner behind him, and we chuckle. No, that is the king's game: pay him protection money or he kills you, or ruins you. And that's all the king starts out being. 

So anyway, getting back to what what you were discussing, what our founders did was remarkable, they looked at it a different way. 

But what they did is they suppressed the suppressors, they stopped the bullies. And that allowed people more autonomy to contribute. There wasn't a lot of innovation at first, but with time, it allowed freedom, for innovation, and for many people to contribute. And the idea that we see today isn't that only the upper classes, or white people, who can come up with really good ideas.

I just read my daughter The Queen of Katwe about a nearly illiterate girl who comes out of the slums of Kampala in Uganda. I think she is now a grandmaster in chess, she is just a natural talent. Genius is everywhere. When you get rid of the bullies, when you get rid of the kings, when you get rid of the people who would steal from us, either our lives, or our possessions, or our ideas, genius just emerges spontaneously.  That's why we're seeing it all over the world now.

So you include corporations? And so you know, obviously, I guess people would say you're a communist, and therefore you don't like corporations or, you just recognize that they are the bullies. I'm trying to get the connection.

Good question. I do need to clarify that.  To be sure, I know that you draw a wide spectrum of political listeners, readers and watchers. 

So personally, what I am is someone who strongly believes in a capitalist framework that has pockets of socialism; that there are things that the government must do, because there's not sufficient drive in the private sector to do it, or to do it at an effective level. 

The corporation attracts narcissists and Machiavellians, and sometimes sadists. But what we need to understand about the corporation is, the corporation itself is a psychopath. It is unfeeling, it lives for profit. The CEO of a corporation may be a fine man at home, but just like when the general puts on his helmet, when the CEO steps behind his desk, he makes very ruthless, hard-nosed decisions. And just as the king will send people out to die and to kill for the king, so the general will send people to kill and die. 

So the CEO may make decisions that cost other people their health, their wealth, and their lives.

But the CEO actually has a fiduciary responsibility. There is no fiduciary responsibility that a person would have within themselves.  

Not necessarily, but they may have the drive. And before the corporation existed with that fiduciary responsibility, you have some, we call them visionaries, but some entrepreneur who — I won't go into how often — but who frequently is extremely greedy and extremely narcissistic. We have both known a lot of wealthy people and when you've gotten to know them, what you realize is that their only talent was greed, and a basic intellect. But they were just greedy and willing to twist people to get what they wanted.

And willing to be narcissists.

They are narcissists.

I mean, willing to be more of a narcissist? I mean, that's one of the types. I mean, I'm just thinking in my mind of some of the people I know that I think that you're describing, probably thinking of a number of different people. But you know, the one quality that I see at least, you know, that is that they it's all about them.

Well, and as an attorney, you know—I should be interviewing you—how much of your time and your your contractual efforts are trying to parse out disagreements between two narcissists, or between a narcissist and an unsuspecting victim. The there would be many, many fewer lawyers if there weren't so many narcissists in the world.  You know, lawyers see an aspect of humanity that very, very few people see—you guys watch families fall apart, you watch corporations and partnerships fall apart, often over money.

Sometimes over power and surely, certainly over lives. I mean, you know, it is no question about that, whether it's money or, or power . So you mentioned Donald Trump, and so I didn't want to move too far field and I think it's time to bring him into the pictureOkay, so how would you How would you describe him?

 Oh, he's a full blown narcissist. And the question and that, that enough people aren't asking to my mind, isn't whether or not he's a narcissist.  Without a doubt, Donald Trump is a strong, strong narcissist. 

And everything is about him. It's going to be interesting to see if he will throw his own children under the bus. He will regret it if he does, but I suspect he would. Maybe not Baron; Baron might be the exception. And these are purely intuitive things, but he seems to have a stronger feeling for Baron. 

But he is a narcissist. He does all the things they do. And we aske the wrong question, or maybe not the wrong question, we don't ask enough questions. Because what we need to ask is, Why are people attracted to someone like that? Why, when they're obviously lying? Why do people still believe them and support them? 

And the answer (and this is where my biological training comes in) is just I think very simple:  for 10,000 years, if the king said he was a god, you agreed with him, because if you didn't agree with him, he killed you.

 And so you didn't just agree with him. The safest course, the one that led to the highest rates of survival, was not to agree, but to believe him. People throughout history believed them and even today.  

It's Kim Jong ill. Yeah, there are three in that dynasty. I'm trying to keep them separate. Kim Jong Il not only bowled a perfect game his first try; he hit I forget how many holes in one his first time on the golf course; he was an expert on the internet, in a country which has almost no internet; an expert on film in a country that has almost no electricity. And according to the official state organs, he never defectated. 

And we think that's hilarious. But the people in that country believed it. This is the great vulnerability of humanity. We have 10,000 years of breeding that says, Attach yourself to the strongest person you can find. And so every time the media tries to take on Donald Trump and do not take him down, every time he is rude and no one forces him to apologize, he is proving to his supporters that he is strong.

Hmm.

And in fact, what what several of us talked about at the conference I mentioned to you that I was at last week, at the National Press Club, is that what we need to do is convince Trump's supporters not that he is an evil man or a dishonest man, but that is a weak man. He was afraid to go serve in Vietnam where Muller did and McCain did. He exploits other people, which is not what strong people do. He cheats on his wife, which is not what a strong man does. He lies which is not what a strong man does. He brags and blusters and talks about himself incessantly, which is not what a strong man does. 

He's a weak man. And that's when his supporters — once they see that — I think that's when they will back off from him.

I'm thinking, one of the real qualities of life, I think, is to be able to admit fault, you know, to admit responsibility to just acknowledge to the world that you failed. To me, that's a real strength.

Yes, yeah, absolutely. 

Strong people do that. And he cannot do that

He never does it, it ever backs down.

And let me just go a little bit afield for just for a second. I can turn any liberal into a conservative, and I can turn a conservative into a liberal. If I took a group of liberals and said, "Look, you're entering a situation where there's not going to be enough food for everyone to survive. And either you decide that you and your family will survive, and others don't; or others will decide it for you." And some liberals will say, "Well then, my family and I will just die." And my response will be, "That's your choice. But that behavior will not survive to the next generation." 

On the other hand, if I took conservatives and put them in a business environment, where innovation was moving very rapidly, and the only way their business would survive is to hire innovative people, they would say, "Sure, I'll do that." And then you go to them and say, "There's a shortage of innovative people, you're going to have to hire foreigners and people with accents and Muslims and women, and gays and lesbians." They might say, "Then I'm going out of business." 

But I have exactly the same response I had for the liberal: "That's your choice, but that behavior and your genes will not make it to the next generation." 

My point is, is that there are two situations, of humanity sufficiency, and insufficiency. We can't imagine insufficiency because basically, for the past seventy years, we've lived more comfortably than the kings of France. 

But for almost all of humanity, and for the history of the world, life is insufficiency. Every wild animal you see is very close to starvation. They are struggling, they are one injury away from failing and dying. And this continues into the modern period. 

And so what we have is this history that, you know, "It's me or you." And it's only in the past few years, or few centuries even, that this idea you just mentioned, that the good man, the strong man, even the great man admits his faults. But you can see that because progress was very slow until 1776, admitting your faults wasn't important, because nobody was going anywhere. 

But since 1776, the ability to create, the ability to recover from your mistakes, what is it all the entrepreneurs say? Fail, fail, fail until you succeed. That's what experimentation is about. That's what progress is about. 

And so there's this modern ethos of not beating on your chest as the king did. But saying, "It's my fault," as we expect the president to say, and as most presidents do say. Or, "I was in error,"that is the corrective, that is how you design the future— it's constantly learning from your mistakes, and moving forward. 

But if we go to a period of insufficiency, then we go into a period in which progress stops, and it no longer becomes a good to say, "I was wrong." It becomes good to say, "I'm going to survive."

Sure, yeah. So I'm thinking that Donald Trump, as we mentioned, at least in my opinion, you know, he never admits that he's wrong fault, responsibility as a, as I stated a few minutes ago, and yet, we all know that he is constantly doing something wrong. Yet his ardent followers are always so forgiving. So it's like the antithesis of who he is. I mean, you know, they they are the in a sense that, you know, they absorb what he doesn't have, you know, and and, and maybe I'm not articulating exactly the way I want to but but, you know, he is the he is the Ying to their Yang and vice versa.

Yes, exactly. And I'm sure at some point in your practice, you have dealt with people who are codependent with someone who was exploitive, or abusive. In a lot of ways, for a lot of employees it's like that they are constantly abused. They are constantly mistreated, and yet they will defend their bosses. There is the — I'm blanking right now, but — oh, the Stockholm Syndrome, where the hostages identify with the hostage takers. Patty Hearst, who identified with her hostage takers. 

And you will see this, the person who is horribly abused, who is horribly mistreated, and they stay loyal to their abuser, and will do almost anything their abuser tells them to do. So this is the dysfunction right now. You mentioned Trump's followers. One of my concerns, is that he's gaslighting the whole nation. He has said for so long, "I am right." And anyone who criticizes him is wrong and is a liar. 

And it's a lie. But you repeat it often enough, and it's exactly what Gehring said, that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. And I'm very concerned because I think I see it among moderates, and liberals. We are starting to buy into that, we are starting to defend him. And I'm seeing it in a number of ways. You see a lot of whataboutism—I saw a comment you may have seen on NPR, there was a comment that the Pope questioned Trump's Christianity. 

And a friend of mine, a liberal, raised Catholic, said, "Well, the pope has his own problems, he needs to deal with the priest pedophile case." 

And I thought, Oh my gosh, this is just what Trump's supporters do. The joke has become, "What about her emails?" And it's this 'whataboutism.' 

So on one side of the aisle, you have this long rotting smorgasbord of just horrific things Donald Trump did, not just dishonesty, treason, and lies, and cheating, and stealing, and felonies. And all these people are lined up over there. And they'll say, "Oh, look, you have that napkin out of place. So you can 't criticize him." 

And we're all getting sucked into it. It's just like they hammered on Hillary and convinced enough people to she was a crook. She's a politician; by definition, that involves some crookedness. But she is no worse, I don't think, than any of the other people, but she is smarter. She's either really smart, or her persecutors are really dumb, because they could never catch her at anything.

But in that case, I think what happened was, what she did was she allowed her husband, to be put in a situation where there was inherent conflict of interest between what he was doing, whether it was good for the world and not and what she was doing. And because their Nexus was so close, it allowed the world to say, "Well, I mean, how dare your husband make money or do this while your Secretary of State? I mean, if he was making money, bowling, that's one thing. But if he's making money off Russia, or Russians, and she's doing business, with Russians, as a government official, that's a totally different situation. And I would have thought, now, I had this conversation with somebody on Facebook recently, I said, You know,I would have thought that Trump would have learned from the, from Hillary, from the claims that he made, has made against her. And I would have thought that Trump's followers would have recognized "Wait a minute, this is this is a catastrophe, the environment is a catastrophe. If you have conflicts of interest, such as what I've described with with Bill and Hillary, and I gotta tell you, and I'm sure that you know, those conflicts are,  believe, I mean, I think they are immense as it as it comes to Donald Trump, his family, his businesses, I mean, just the Trump Tower, Moscow by itself, is I mean, had that happen with anybody else? I mean, that is to me, though, the worst offense, honestly, truly, the worst offense that I have seen for anybody, anybody running for any major office, President.

I mean, I mean, there's no way that that there's just no way that people can look at that and say, Oh, well, no, you he has he has a right to do as a businessman, international businessman and he has a right to do that because not against the law. Okay, so shut up—You know, but yeah.

 The problem, is that the law attracts a certain kind of intellect, one that is is is critical and logical, and then it sharpens that intellect. And medical school does that to a certain degree. That does not describe the people you're trying to understand. You are saying, "Why aren't these people logical?" And you mentioned early on — and those are excellent points — that you would have thought Trump would have learned. But one thing we have learned is that Trump never learns. He still can't speak and stick to his speaking points. He still can't exert discipline, he still can't put away that Twitter account, he still can't stop stumbling over himself. 

And to be honest with you, I am grateful that he doesn't. Because if he were a smart man, I think he would own the government. By now he would have grabbed control of everything. But he keeps stumbling over himself. And so he has a certain kind of intelligence for certain kinds of things. But overall, he's not an intelligent man. His only strategy is, Push, push, push, push, push, and after that we'll wheel and deal.

Pardon, yeah, no question about that.  So last last last question I have is, where do you think, based upon what you're talking about, you know, a narcissist is a pathological person—you know, where is Trump going to take us as, say, a community? I know this is a projection. But, you know, based upon just the economy of today, just the culture and society, and based upon who he is, and what he has done and the makeup that he has, you know, where we're going to be saying in two years or six years, once he's gone.

Well, I'll answer that as best I can.

It's only a projection, sure.

But he might start a war. And he might launch a nuclear weapon as a way of winning the reelection, we need to keep that in mind. And he might do that to allow him to create a police state. 

It's not too bad yet, but we can all see evidence that he could get there quickly. And so I think those are all within the realm of possibility, of him grabbing more power. What's holding him back is, that even the Senators are telling him, even Senators who are backing him, who are still respectful of the law:  I think that they've told him to back off.

Let me throw out an idea you may not have considered. Say Trump was impeached tomorrow and thrown out of office; or say he doesn't get reelected in two years. So he doesn't get impeached, or he finally terms out in six years. He's not going away. His supporters aren't going away.

In some ways, he will be freer to go out and and rouse the rabble, and preach his hatred and his venom. He will say and do anything for the roar of the crowd, and the support of his followers. And so when he steps down and leaves, unless he goes to jail — and I don't think either one of those things would happen in any any probable situation — he's not going anywhere. He is going to continue harming this country for decades, or for however long he lives. 

Now, the good news is, somebody brought up the comment that, since Pelosi didn't want to impeach him, obviously, he's innocent. First of all, she doesn't have the votes in the Senate. 

But I pointed out there's another reason possibly that she doesn't want to impeach him. He's driving people to the Democratic Party. With him in office, every day is Christmas for the Democrats. They're watching red states flip to blue. Will this next election cycle flip Texas? Will Beta O'Rourke shock the country? 

We are both aware that the Democrats have been, What? For 15 years now? thinking they could flip Texas, and they're getting closer every year. So you've got two opposing forces clashing. And what you and I also realize is, as students of history is, we look back on the American Revolution, we look back on the Civil War, we look back on World War Two, and we see more than what we teach our kids. Yes, we went in and we won, but the student of history is aware that in all of those, and in many other points in our history, people were really afraid that we might not survive.

So we're going through another gantlet. It's a bad time, it's a scary time. If it works out the way we hope it works out, I think America could actually emerge stronger than it was before.

Or, you know, one of the things I think of all time, lately is that we will not emerge, we will actually divide the anger, the hatred, you know, in part because of what preceded Trump, but largely because of him, you know, I just don't know how we're going to be able to, to manage that. I just don't, I really don't.

I'm not sure either, but I like our chances. You know, as I mentioned, at the founding of this country, we freed the middle class to propose solutions, but no one could have foreseen those solutions. And so we have to have a little bit of faith:  faith in our fellow Americans, faith in the human spirit, that they will find solutions, to innovate, to persevere. You may be right, I'm scared. I can't see the way out, but I'm also aware that nobody could see the things that came along, and that solved the problems of the past.

So how can somebody purchase the Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths as a book?

It's available through the UL Press at ULPress.org, or through Amazon. One of these days I'm hoping I can get her on at Barnes & Noble, but everything takes time.

Gotcha. Gotcha.  Well, thank you. I really do appreciate it. It's been a very enlightening conversation. It really has been going through history from the beginning to hopefully not the end.

Well thank you for having me. I've been a fan and followed you for quite a while.

Thank you, I appreciate it.

Read 587 times Last modified on Thursday, 15 August 2019 19:24
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