Revisiting The Hall of Mirrors.Who Is Donald Trump ?

There is consternation and confusion about the behavior of POTUS.A group of psychiatric and psychological associations has requested Yale’s president to assist with evaluation of Trump’s psychological fitness to lead.This request has been sent to the chairman of Yale psychiatry and has been assigned to a psychosocial expert.
I am sure that all of the caveats involving long distance diagnosis will be followed leaving the behavior of Potus alone to be contextually anslyzed.Here are some thoughts that may be relevant.Many have attested to POTUS’sincerity kindness and interest,despite a history of lying,cheating and suing.Obama left his meeting with Trump feeling his interest and willingness to learn.This may have been present momentarily but did not and could not last being overpowered by narcissism.I invoke a psychological mechanism called mirroring which has been employed by therapists but which probably has been in existence since the dawn of homo sapiens.Evolutionarily it provides a basis for not destroying ” the other” out of hand and establishing a basis for tenuous cooperation.It is the basis for the success of short term treatment programs aided by appropriate psychotropics and environmental stabilization where possible.I expect that this capacity shares much of the neural pathway undergirding empathy.
Given a person who lacks empathic capacity( Cleckley’s Mask of Sanity)evolutionary survival dictates the projection of one’s own empathy unto the other.Cleckley also tells us incapacity to learn from experience also looms large. ” Insanity ” loosely associated with psychosis is not the issue here.The 25th amendment will not apply save for its emoluments clause which will not be invoked.(Party Loyalty).There is no “Mirror on the Wall” that Trump will respect for its answer.



  1. daedal2207: “‘Insanity’ loosely associated with psychosis is not the issue here. The 25th amendment will not apply save for its emoluments clause which will not be invoked.(Party Loyalty).There is no ‘Mirror on the Wall’ that Trump will respect for its answer.”

    Ah, “Party Loyalty.” Yes … and, the Republicans have been chided for placing it above country. No patriotism from the Party that claims exclusivity in its concept. How about expecting others in this toxic administration to make the real difficult decisions on behalf of our country? Last night’s 2020 campaign rally in Phoenix, AZ (only 7 months into this paralyzed presidency) managed to top itself in the depth of vitriolic and lying language which has become the disgraceful hallmark in our current government. There is no shortage of shock and outrage at what we are witnessing. James Clapper, a USAF retired Lieutenant General and former National Intelligence Director, was interviewed after the event:

    “How much longer is this country going to endure this nightmare? … Where is he with Republicans? … Enough is enough.”

    There is a cry for this psychological torture … which contains the fear of irrational, destructive action … for help:

    “‘The only chance we have of trying to keep this thing from blowing apart is some military discipline,’ said Peter Wehner, who served in the three Republican administrations prior to this one and who opposes Trump. ‘It’s not military rule or a military coup.'”

    Is it not time to evaluate the triumvirate of generals as “enablers?” The argument has been made that they are the grown-ups in the room, lending stability to an unstable executive branch. It continues to be proven that no amount of “subordinate” organization can provide order, respect, knowledge, integrity, decency, unity to the ultimate head who revels in chaos, insults, ignorance, corruption, pornography, divisiveness. This is ultimately very destructive to the psyche of the majority of our nation. Providing cover for Trump’s character and behavior is prolonging the necessary actions for recovery from such damaging and wasteful consequences. The abyss of national violence which this man promotes is at our doorstep. Is it time for the three admired generals to continue their patriotic service and resign? Would they, perhaps, provide the Party leadership the required guidelines … and courage? Patriots, please resign.

    P. S. Political, intelligence, and industry analysts provide evaluations based on their training. Naturally, they are subject to review. Why is the medical analysis field so constrained? Surely, there are ethical guidelines everywhere!

    1. And what would we “see” if we collectively looked into the mirror with the primary intent of revealing the TRUTH of what is seen?
      We would see that our country is divided. There are two significantly distinct and contradictory value systems competing. One agenda cannot be advanced without the compromise of the other. We see, what is at the moment, a relatively non-violent civil war. The differences are such that it could become dramatically violent. Certainly, we see that significant truths are being violated in order to protect cherished views and/or to advance cherished agendas.
      The right is not going to react to the left in a friendly fashion as long as the full-of-hate left demonstrates that hate by accusing those on the right (including our President) of being racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, bigoted, Islam-phobic, etc., etc., etc.. The left is not going to react to the right in a friendly fashion as long as the right hates and obstructs the left’s social engineering agendas that require a large, powerful, dictatorial government.
      The country cannot be “unified” until something of great importance is shared and valued equally. I recommend that both sides revive a love for truth and HONEST CRITICAL THOUGHT. Like it or not, whatever truth may be we are all impacted by it. If honest with its use, we tend to ADJUST our way TOGETHER and not separately. I have already mentioned the scientific method as likely being the best “moral compass” precisely for this reason. The truths that it reveals save lives – lots of lives!

  2. The “mirror on the wall” is a solid concept for a good relationship between therapist and patient (And others too). It requires empathic understandings. But there seems to be a danger that what evolves to be understood as “empathy” is colored (limited) by definitions only acceptable to a leftist mindset. Imagine a mind whose sentiments allow a deep identification with those who struggle and suffer. Now imagine another mind whose sentiments allow deep identifications not only with those who suffer, but ALSO with those who feel the thrills and joys of success. Which of the two minds is displaying a deficiency in its capacity for empathy? If that thing we call empathy is to serve as a positive force to advance our best future, isn’t the capacity to identify with sensations of pain (thus be motivated to avoid conditions that induce such feelings) AND identify with sensations of success (and thus be motivated to create the disciplines that enhance such sensations) the best of the options?

    1. I fear that DS has confused an evolutionary archaic neuropsychological response designed for species preservation(homo sapiens) with a process involving conscious choice.The key to the misunderstanding is his use of the word identify. There was no right wing brain vs leftist brain 50,00 to 200,000 years ago,but there was and always will be “the other”.

      1. I just read more carefully my comments about “empathy” and see no reason why they NECESSARILY conflict with the “evolutionary archaic neuropsychological response designed for species preservation (homo sapiens)”- or, NECESSARILY require conscious choice. I did write “… the best of options” for UNDERSTANDING which is best for the future – an ability to identify equally with all or an ability to identify primarily with those who are suffering? And if what you call empathy is not synonymous with some form of “identification-with”, we truly need clarification. I like your point that there will always be “the other”. However, without clarification as to the nature of empathy, how do we know which “other” is lacking empathy? Or has become an “other” because there is a lack of empathy? I have heard many on the political left make accusations of deficiency against the “other” being the political right (also, against me personally). So clearly, whatever it is, “it” today is being used for political purposes.

        1. Empathy is merely a part of a complex mechanism which facilitates identification.Its absence makes destroying “the other ” easier but it doesn’t have to be present nor does looidentification have to take place.The point of my argument is that so great is the risk of mutual destruction that those with greater capacity FOR WHATEVER REASON see the reflection of their own in the “other”. Thus love from and for the “other” is a form of narcissism.One might even say that the narcissistic filler in the psyche of the sociopath induces the narcissism of the observer to produce a loveable target. There is obviously going to be varying susceptibility to this.

    1. Thank you Daedal2207, I enjoyed this insight into clinical methods. There are ideas here that can help us probe the issues of sentiments and their appropriateness or inappropriateness. Inserted into the described methods were a few Daedal2207 opinions that call for clarity. Consider: Daedal2207: “Obama left his meeting with Trump feeling his interest and willingness to learn. This may have been present momentarily but did not and could not last being overpowered by narcissism.” From Trump’s point of view, and mine as well, Trump clarified in his own mind (learned?) the fact that Obama’s fundamental ideas for America and the human future could not prevail over those of pragmatic common sense.

    2. Daedal2207 (22 Aug 9:14 PM) has described an ideal. “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” This makes great sense (unless one is a masochist). The pragmatic problem we face is that there are growing powers that do not embrace the empathic wisdom you have described, and they foment the belief that “we” are not like “them”, but “we” are from their point of view an evil to be eradicated. If “we” want to survive, we had better recognize that this ignorance-based form of threat exists, and yes, is warred against.

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