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Rachel Maddow: This specific Trump delusion may undermine the GOP impeachment defense

By PhillyNews.FYI , in News , at February 4, 2021 Tags: ,

<p>Mental health professionals <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>knew from the start</a> that Donald Trump had the psychological makeup to become very dangerous with presidential powers. Following <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>our 2017 assessment</a>, I and thousands of my colleagues at the <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>World Mental Health Coalition</a> issued <a href=”;qid=1598019736&amp;sr=8-1.” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>more than 300 pages</a> of letters, petitions, and statements asserting that Donald Trump’s dangers would spread and erupt. In March 2020, we issued a “<a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Prescription for Survival</a>,” stating that the president’s removal through the 25th Amendment, impeachment, or resignation—or at least removal of influence—was essential to avoiding widespread <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>unnecessary deaths</a>.</p><blockquote>Trump uses words and directly incites violence. Research on violence shows that rhetoric can be more efficient than specific orders or direct assaults in causing epidemics of violence.<br/></blockquote><p>A failure to contain led to a most dramatic <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>demonstration of dangers</a> on Jan. 6, but it was long in coming. Over the summer of 2020, I wrote a new public-service book, <a href=”;pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”><em>Profile of a Nation</em></a>, to warn that, “he is truly someone who would do anything,… no matter how destructive, to stay in power.” Indeed, the <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>near-massacre of lawmakers</a> he caused at the Capitol, save for a <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>few heroes</a>, proves how close he came to causing the kind of chaos that may have permitted him to remain.</p><p><a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Donald Trump’s campaign</a> to rig an election that he lost through endless lies, abuses, and multiple attempts to rig an election that he lost eventually led to his fomenting <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>deadly violence</a> and near-loss of our democracy. As we did with the <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Mueller report</a><u>,</u> his recent phone call with <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Georgia’s secretary of state</a><u>,</u> and his “Save America” <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>rally speech</a>, mental health professionals can explain how Donald Trump uses words and <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>directly incites violence</a>. Research on violence shows that rhetoric can be more efficient than specific orders or direct assaults in causing <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>epidemics of violence</a>.</p><blockquote>The World Mental Health Coalition, of which Dr. Lee is president, will be holding a special online national town hall, <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>”The Imperative to Convict Trump,”</a> on Sunday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. EST.<br/><br/>Speakers include: Laurence Tribe, constitutional scholar, Harvard Law School; Norman Eisen, former special counsel for Trump’s first impeachment and trial; Richard Painter, former chief White House counsel for George W. Bush; Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), member, House Oversight Committee, and chairman, House Subcommittee on Government Operations; Claire Finkelstein, criminal lawyer, University of Pennsylvania; Ruth Ben-Ghiat, historian, New York University; Bandy Lee, moderator and president, World Mental Health Coalition<br/><br/>Tickets are $5 for students and low-income individuals, $25 general.<br/><br/>For more information, please go <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>here</a>, and for a video statement, see <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>here</a>.<br/></blockquote><p>The ideal course would have been swift impeachment and conviction. Impeachment happening a week after the actual incident was already a poor precedent, prompting us to <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>write to the speaker</a> of the House: we would not allow a serial killer to be on the loose with bombs, ammunition, and assault rifles for days—and yet we permitted a <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>serial mass killer</a>, by the order of hundreds of thousands, for weeks with access to nuclear weapons capable of destroying all civilization. We urged clear and speedy actions, given that each day of delay had an adverse effect on the population’s <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>demoralization and trauma</a> without justice, and on Trump enablers’ opportunities to <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>subvert the momentum</a> for impeachment.</p><h3>Impeachment Backfire</h3><p>As we know from past experience, <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>tepid impeachment proceedings</a> could even backfire and boost Donald Trump’s standing. As we have repeatedly emphasized, once with over <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>800 mental health professional signatories</a>, even the most impeccable political calculations, without consideration of psychological factors in his case, would likely also fail politically.</p><p>Given a <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>recalcitrant Senate</a>, psychological influences are especially critical. Some of this might have been mobilized to advantage had impeachment occurred the day after violent insurrection and sedition, and conviction as soon as the following day, with amplification of public outcry if the Senate refused.</p><p>Since this did not happen, the next best course would be to have a complete trial with as much evidence and testimonies as possible, including those of <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Capitol police officers</a> who were injured during the incident, to maximize pressure on the Senate to convict.</p><h3>More High Crimes</h3><p>Additional articles of impeachment would also be helpful, including his role in the soon-to-be <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>half-million Americans</a> who perished from the pandemic; the economic misery while he and his <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>cronies profited</a>; the human rights abuses as he kidnapped and placed <a href=”;context=fss_papers&amp;httpsredir=1&amp;referer=” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>children in concentration camps</a>; and the aid and comfort he gave to neo-Nazi and <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>white supremacist terrorist</a> groups throughout his presidency, to compose an “<a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>encyclopedia of articles</a>” more commensurate with reality that we recommended since the first impeachment.</p><p>Unless conviction promptly removes <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>former presidential privileges</a> and sets restrictions on future campaigns for political office, Donald Trump will likely use the acquittal to claim that he is innocent of all charges. He will claim that the second impeachment was <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>another “hoax”</a> intended to victimize him, using it to discredit all subsequent indictments and prosecutions.</p><h3>Back on the Stump</h3><p>He will resume holding rallies, continually pushing the narrative that he was the <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>real victor</a> in 2020, threatening further social and political divisions. He will blame the poor state of the country he created on the Biden administration, just as easily as he claimed credit for the <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>long-term benefits</a> that the Obama administration’s policies generated, as he aims to return to power as the savior who will “make America great again.” As long as positive reinforcement through a lack of accountability persist, he will not stop.</p><p>A failure to convict will, furthermore, have a devastating effect on the public’s mental health. The country is already <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>traumatized</a> from four years of normalizing, legitimizing, and even glorifying deadly criminality, abusive behavior, and severe pathology. Members of Congress who experienced normal <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>emotional distress</a> as happens after a life-threatening event will not be able to have closure, as will the American people after the <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>violation and desecration</a> of their seat of government.</p><h3>Unhealthy Bonds</h3><p>A failure to convict will continue to entrap <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>those who support him</a>, whose <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>unhealthy emotional bonds</a> prevent them from seeing the damage that is being done to their personhood, livelihood, health, and even lives. It is a disservice to collude with their psychological defenses against the pain of disappointment, further entrenching them in potential future trauma upon learning the truth.</p><p>Clear boundaries need to be set that a leader should not abuse, let alone kill, the people he has sworn to serve.</p><p>The first step to healing a massive mental health pandemic is to convict, set limits, return to reality, and restore the standards of lawfulness, order, and safety. We should not continue to permit a <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>dangerously unfit person</a> who held high office to spread unmitigated violence, trauma, and mental pathology. Mental health professionals who routinely manage dangerous personalities have vital <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>knowledge to contribute</a> to society and should be consulted.</p>



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