Thursday, April 27, 2017

Parsing The "High Conflict Personality" - Does Trump Qualify?

"Hey! I'm a high conflict guy! Deal with it!"
Image result for Trump rage images

Evidently, there's a new subclass of psycho that has been flying under the radar and which needs to be integrated into the maelstrom of mentally unstable misfits, including malignant narcissists and authoritarians. That is, the "high conflict personality".   According to Bill Eddy, one of the 'high priests' of this specialty area:

"Narcissistic high conflict people like being unpredictable and beholden to no one. They hate rules and feel superior to them. So being consistent feels confining and they generally like to keep everyone else guessing. It’s rule by personality, not by logic or law. Sociopathic high conflict people will say (lie) and do whatever is convenient or appealing at the time, without conscience or consistency. They like instability because it keeps everyone else off-balance. This especially can be demonstrated with a lack of loyalty to his associates, discarding them at will and turning his attention to new shiny objects and people (wives, for example)."

This brand of looneytune sounds like Donald Trump and with good reason: it basically nails his unstable, predatory shtick to a tee. The question is: Can such an unbalanced person govern with any degree of efficacy - and the answer nearly 100 days into this misbegotten presidency appears to be a resounding 'no'.  Nothing Trump has done thus far, from his half-assed, juvenile "executive orders", to his impetuous cruise missile strike on Syria, to his bellicose rhetoric in confronting Kim Jong Un over the North Korea issue, shows he possesses the leadership mettle to inspire any confidence. He is more a buffoon, and totally ignorant at that. Hence, his only ploy or play is to try to keep others off balance. Or to use the phrase of one HuffPost contributor: "A mad monkey with a gun loose on the street".

He does this by constant appeal to conflict.  Is this a dangerous and demented shtick? Yes it is. According to Bill Eddy who wrote the definitive book on high conflict personalities,  Trump is  “…potentially the most dangerous person in politics since Adolf  Hitler.”  Got that? The most dangerous politico since Adolf Hitler.

 In an interview with a San Diego journalist,  referencing the quote, Eddy was asked: "Clearly a terrifying opinion — yet we do remember the ardent hordes of Hitler’s followers. Can you elaborate?"

Eddy replied:

"There are similarities regarding how he connects with his followers, so that they become more passionately connected when he and they are criticized. It strengthens their bond. It’s a major part of my book. In a nutshell, it’s because he uses emotions instead of logic, and uses repetition on a greater scale than most politicians since Hitler. He has conditioned his followers to his simple arguments from day one. Hitler was known for spewing ten times as many words as any other politician, and he used modern media for voice (daily speeches  on the radio) and face (movies of him speaking at his huge rallies). These emotional media projecting face and voice are much more powerful on our brains than printed words."

In other words, Trump has gone for the "lizard brains" of his doting followers and enslaved them wholesale. This is something that neuroscientist Robert Ornstein once raised, in his book, 'The Evolution of Consciousness' and later works, on how easily the limbic system is activated and overtakes reason. In fact, we are talking about an entire brain complex, referred to as the "R-complex" - for example by Carl Sagan in his book, 'The Dragons of Eden'.

The main aspect to note concerning the R-complex and its dynamics is that primitive emotion rules, and logic is far removed from any integration. It's as if reason doesn't exist. This is also why it's impossible to get through rationally to the Trump groupies and voters. Their brains are pitched to the emotional centers of the R-complex not to the neocortex higher thought centers. You could as well be
arguing with a Komodo Dragon.

It's unsettling enough to find these properties in ordinary citizens, but  absolutely terrifying for them  to be associated with leaders whose fingers are on the nuclear football.  This is because the lizard brain, i.e. R-complex, doesn't weigh responses in proportion to stimuli. If buzzed by a fly it will reach for a sledge hammer, and if a hornet's nest has been built on a deck it will take out the flame thrower. If  the house burns down "them's the breaks".  This is why having an unhinged "high conflict" nut like Trump at the helm for this Korean crisis ought to keep everyone up at night - even the fool who scribbled a recent NY Times piece to the effect there's nothing to worry about.  "Despite the showdown there won't be a war."  Will you place a bet on that, fool?

When the same SD journalist asked Eddy:  "Do you really believe that, per his leadership, 'sooner or later we will have a war on our hands?'”

Eddy replied by quoting a statement from his book:

“He tends to inspire violence and lack of restraint — which leads to lack of physical restraint, which leads to organized aggressive behavior — which leads inevitably to war. He will “split” the world into allies and enemies. We will have more chaos than we do now in the Middle East — and on American soil. Friends and family members will start hating each other, and school children will become disrespectful and violent towards people who look different from them.”

When  Eddy was asked if we ought to scared, that is those of us with functional higher brain centers, he replied:

"Yes. Moderate Republicans  may limit his damage and keep him tied up in procedural  knots but it won't be enough."

What we need is the Dems to take over the House next year and begin impeachment proceedings as soon as feasible. It is clear we can't depend on the Reepos to do their jobs. They have too much invested in this maniac to help push through their radical agenda. Stay tuned.

No comments: