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Definitions of Terms Used in this Column:
A cult of personality arises when a country's regime uses the techniques of mass media, propaganda, the big lie, spectacle, patriotism, and organized mass demonstrations and rallies to create an idealized, heroic, and worshipful image.
A cult leader is a dynamic leader whose authority is respected and unquestioned. Obedience to the leader is often required, even when it involves deviant or unhealthy activity. Usually, a cult leader is a person of tremendous charisma who makes followers feel loved and accepted. Cult leaders use brainwashing tactics to attract and keep followers.
A sociopath is a person whose behavior is antisocial, often criminally greedy, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility, empathy or social conscience. Sociopaths never sincerely apologize nor are they capable of exhibiting remorse for wrongs that they have committed. They always lie to cover their past misdeeds or future ulterior motives.
A pathological liar is a person who tells lies frequently. The trait is common among sociopathic personality disorders.
A narcissist is person who has an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, sexual gratification, applause and a lack of empathy for others.
A paranoid person or group exhibits excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of other individuals or groups.
A megalomaniac is someone with a psychological disorder with symptoms like delusions of grandeur and an obsession with power and behave as if they're convinced of their absolute power and greatness.
A xenophobe is a person who is fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or of people from different countries or cultures.
A demagogue is a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
A fascist (or a fascist movement) has at least 14 characteristics, according to political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt (https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-14-characteristics-of-fascism/122)
1. Overuses terms of nationalism and patriotism, no matter how illegitimate or illogical
2. Is disdainful of the importance of the human rights of minorities, races, other cultures, other religions, other sexual orientations or people of a different skin colors (racism)
3. Manufactures enemies/scapegoats to unify the movement
4. Acquiesces to the supremacy of the military (militarism)
5. Exhibits and promotes male domination (sexism)
6. Works to achieve control over the mass media (or creates his/its own media outlets)
7. Is obsessed with law and order and national security
8. Coalesces the dominate religion and its leaders with the areligious, sociopathic ruling elites
9. Protects the power and wealth of wealthy and powerful oligarchs and their corporations that much prefer to do business in fascist regimes than in democracies
10. Works to suppress and weaken labor and union movements that would benefit the working class
11. Is fearful of and promotes the suppression of pure science, intellectualism and the arts
12. Has an obsession with crime and punishment
13. Engages in rampant cronyism and corruption
14. Devises fraudulent elections to gain power and perpetuate it
Once upon a time, there was a megalomaniacal, sociopathic, narcissistic and paranoid national leader who was attempting to rise to political power in his politically-divided, historically militaristic nation.
This deeply flawed leader has been raised in a well-to-do but unloving home that was headed by a cold, punitive, but financially-successful father.
At the height of his power, this leader was worshipped by millions of flag-waving, uber-nationalist, xenophobic white supremacists (many of whom were war veterans). This leader professed that his goal in running for national office was only to make his allegedly weak, supposedly under-militarized country great again. The motto of his political party was “Deutschland Uber Alles”.
This charismatic leader despised democracy but was campaigning in his democratic nation to become absolute ruler of his nation, with secret plans to become absolute dictator. He was one of the richest men in his country and was, prior to his rise to power, often ridiculed by comedians.
In order to build his status as a cult leader, he would dramatically fly in to his political rallies on his private airplane.
This leader often used inflammatory and hate-filled language in his speeches which often incited violence against minority groups from his followers. He was widely covered by the press as an aberration in the struggling, once-civilized, democratic nation that was looking for new leadership with fresh ideas.
This wannabe dictator, prior to the official election, had amassed a devoted coalition of angry, under-employed, working class, anti-Semitic white supremacist Christians, many of whom came from among the millions of physically and psychologically-wounded combat veterans from the last war. Many of them were easily recruited to participate in street-fighting, liberal press-bashing and “book-burnings” for the cause. The wannabe dictator’s followers exuberantly pledged allegiance first to the nation’s flag and then to the political party’s flag.
This leader’s nation had lost its last war, a reality that had economically and morally bankrupted the nation. That war had been stupidly started by an out-of-touch, over-privileged, ultra-wealthy, right-wing, pro-corporate, militaristic, all-male leadership that was controlled by the nation’s bankers and industrialists, both of whom knew all the ways profit from wars of conquest (in the form of bank loans and by pillaging the resource wealth of the invaded nations, particularly the farmland, the forests, the oil, the minerals and the devastated nation’s cheap, desperate laborers.
The nations that had been targeted in the nation’s last war had not been technically military adversaries. Therefore, in order to justify the nation’s invasions into these non-threatening neighbors, the political and military leaders of the leader’s nation secretly orchestrated a false flag operation.
The nation’s conservative media outlets rarely questioned any of the many deceptions that came down from the ruling elites, and so the newly-demonized nation could easily be accused of starting a war, and the brain-washed, mis-informed, easily-duped voters could be counted upon to support the invasion and the new war.
This particular megalomaniacal political leader intended to purge most of the old, moderate, establishment types from his adopted right-wing political party as soon as he achieved power. He had seemingly come out of nowhere and gained political notoriety and momentum after a world-wide economic collapse and recession which had been brought on by the powerful financial institutions and predatory investors that came to later associate with and support him.
The leader had cunningly declined to alienate those culprits so he could count of the support of those powerful corporations, the war-hawks and the assorted traitors that had actually been behind the calamities that lost the jobs and economic security of the suffering citizens. Instead, he blamed the communists, the leftists, the liberals, the socialists and the democratic party members who had taken on the impossible post-war task of solving the severe economic unemployment problems that the antiwar groups had not been responsible for in the first place.
The nation’s economic crash had actually been caused by America’s Wall Street crash, which had fueled the world-wide chaos. The economic crash had been ignited by the reckless actions of US-based, criminally-wealthy, predatory capitalists, who had escaped the punishment they deserved because they were too big to criticize, too big to fail and too important to have their reputations tarnished. Among the many devoted followers of this megalomaniac were violent, un-employable war-ravaged military veterans who were ready to start a civil war. In fact, many of them saw war-fighting as one of the few vocations that offered them future employment.
Another group of devoted followers of the violent demagogue were many of the Christian church leaders who had a common hatred of any movement that tolerated atheism. Contrary to the doctrines of the non-violent Jesus and the original form of Christianity (as revealed in the Sermon on the Mount), these Christian supporters apparently believed in a punitive, vengeful and angry god instead of the merciful, all-loving, forgiving and nonviolent god as had been the vision of the religion’s earliest founders.
This leader’s nation had a long military tradition that was feared and despised by the rest of the world but was regarded as honorable by most sectors of the leader’s nation, even though the Christian soldiers were frequently guilty of war crimes, crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity.
This leader’s nation possessed the best military intelligence, the best spies and the most lethal weapons systems that the world had ever known – all at crippling economic costs to the tax-paying population and at mostly negative returns on investment - unless the wars had been won and the victim nation’s resources had been plundered.
This leader’s nation and its religions had historically promoted punitive child-rearing methods, with serious human consequences. The spare the rod/spoil the child doctrine that had prevailed for centuries resulted in very obedient and punitive male children and thus very obedient and punitive future soldiers, policemen, judges and teachers who did not question the orders of their superiors – even, for example, when ordered to torture enemy non-combatants. Predictably, the nation’s soldiers readily became willing executioners in times of domestic crises or foreign wars.
The leader’s got his followers to believe that their nation had been weakened by various traitors -both foreign and domestic – and that he would soon, if he was elected, make the nation great again. Many of the leader’s Christian followers even believed that their “god” would bless the leader’s evil mission and enable their style of Christianity could have “dominion over” the other religions and nations of the world, even if the methods to be used were anti-Christian in the extreme.
Because the leader’s followers thought that their efforts were blessed by god, they somehow thought that aggressive, ungodly actions against dissenters or strangers among them could be justified, even to the point of banishment, imprisonment, starvation, deportation, execution, torture or the burning of their books.
In order to convince voters to vote for him, the candidate fostered a paranoid point of view among his followers that was intended to cause irrational fears (and therefore hatred) of minorities, the poor, the non-white, the non-Christian, the refugee, the immigrant, the asylum-seeker and the refugees yearning to be free. Many war and economic refugees were fleeing from the consequences of wars, exploitation, starvation and economic chaos that the nation’s own giant financial institutions and multinational corporations had been responsible for in the first place.
The megalomaniacal, sociopathic, narcissistic and paranoid national leader (“fuehrer” in German) described above was, as mentioned in the title, Adolf Hitler, but could have been any other wannabe fascist dictator in the history of the world. The militarized and economically-distressed Christian nation was Germany, and the war that had financially and morally bankrupted Germany was the First World War. However, readers noting the similarities with Donald Trump and America’s wars can be forgiven. The similarities are legion.
The revered flag that was saluted was the swastika, and the right-wing political party that hated liberals, progressives, socialists and foreigners so vehemently was the Nazi Party, but it is understandable why the reader “read” Stars & Stripes and the Republican Party into the story
The targeted minorities were German Jews, aboriginal gypsies, non-Aryans, emancipated German women, gays and lesbians, which happen to be among the same targets that Americans are currently being primed to discriminate against.
The false flag operation that gave Hitler a plausible reason to start World War II was Operation Himmler, not 9/11, the proven false flag operation that was used to justify America’s global military exploits. (Google “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth” and watch an hour’s worth of their videos for the unassailable proof of the assertion that 9/11 was a false flat op.)
The historical similarities between what I call Friendly American Fascism and the distinctly less friendly German variety of the past do exist, and it is not just the fault of Donald Trump.
Indeed, Trump, other than his admission that he owned, read and admired the book containing Hitler’s speeches, probably has never taken the time to study ANY history book that discussed the root causes that led to World War I, WW II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War, so one cannot necessarily claim that Trump is actually following the historical playbook of fascist entities of the past.
History, as they say, doesn’t replicate itself exactly, but it often does rhyme. Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” (now “Keep America Great”?) political campaign does indeed rhyme with the campaigns of many dictators throughout history. Napoleon, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Stalin, Salazar, Mao, Pinochet, Marcos, Bolsonaro, Duarte, and wannabe dictators all over the planet. etc also proclaimed that they wanted greatness for their respective nations. But sociopathic, narcissistic, paranoid, megalomaniacal, xenophobic and demagogic leaders and all pathological liars will say and do anything to gain and secure power and wealth.
And the historical similarities between the psychological aberrancies of the fascist/leader (“fuehrer”) Hitler and the mentioned political and economic leaders in the world today do exist. Therefore, in the interest of informing those who are open-minded enough to sit still for a psychology lesson, the remainder of this essay will make the connections between what has occurred in the recent political seasons and what might be in store for America in the coming years.
The important information below comes from documents that are easily available in the psychology literature. I invite readers to do their own evaluations of political leaders like Donald Trump, his colleagues, the many power-seeking politicians and the corporations from which they derive their economic power.
One does not need a medical degree to judge whether or not a candidate (or corporation) qualifies for a diagnosis of a personality disorder. Journalists do that all the time and commonly make very accurate proclamations about historical figures having certain psychological diagnoses.
But it is important to understand that sociopaths, fascists, megalomaniacs and pathological liars are not to be trusted with any kind of power, especially political power, economic power or military power such as the ability to start a nuclear war. Indeed, sociopaths and fascists (or their corporate counterparts) are incurable and need to be isolated from society.
How to diagnose someone with Sociopathic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Paranoid Personality Disorder. Readers should draw their own conclusions.
A) Donald Trump (as do many of his associates, advisors, and financial supporters) Scores 7 out of the 7 Criteria for Sociopathic Personality Disorder (DSM 301.7)
(Three out of the seven traits are required to make the diagnosis)
1. Repeated acts that could lead to arrest
2. Repeated lying, conning others for profit or pleasure, or the use of aliases
3. Being impulsive or failing to plan ahead
4. Repeated assaults on others
5. Reckless disregard for the safety of others
6. Failure to honor financial obligations
7. Rationalizing the pain that he or she has inflicted on others
B) Donald Trump (and some of his associates) Scores 8 out of the 9 Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM-IV 301.81) Five or more of the following nine traits are required to make the diagnosis)
1. A grandiose sense of self-importance, superiority and talent and expects to be recognized as superior
2. A preoccupation with unlimited success, looks, brilliance, ideal love, power, or wealth
3. A belief in being special and unique and can only be understood or should only be associated with people of high status
4. Requires excessive admiration (especially applause)
5. An unreasonable sense of entitlement and an expectation of being treated with favor or expecting an automatic compliance to his or her wishes
6. Is interpersonally exploitive, taking advantage of others to achieve his or her goals
7. Lacks empathy
8. Believes that others are envious of him (or is envious of others)
9. Exhibits arrogant or haughty attitudes or behaviors
C) Donald Trump (and some of his associates) Scores 6 or 7 of the 7 Criteria for Paranoid Personality Disorder (301.0) (Four or more of the following seven traits are needed to make the diagnosis)
1. Suspects without reason that others are exploiting, harming, or trying to deceive him
2. Has unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
3. Believes without reason that if he confides in others, the information may be used against him
4. Finds hidden or threatening meanings in harmless remarks or events
5. Persistently bears grudges and is unforgiving of insults or slights
6. Is quick to react with anger or to counterattack when he perceives that people are out to attack his character or reputation
7. Is suspicious of the fidelity of his spouse or sexual partners