…by Jonas E. Alexis & Mark Dankof
Alexis: It is always entertaining to watch people criticizing Donald Trump for the wrong reasons. It is even more hilarious to see how some of those people play double standard in order to get their ideology moving. As any freshman in philosophy knows, double standard or straw man or red herring or ad hominem is a sign that a particular system is morally and intellectually worthless or failing. And we are currently witnessing this phenomenon across the political spectrum.
Dan P. McAdams—a professor of psychology and the director of the Foley Center for the Study of Lives at Northwestern University, the author of The Person: An Introduction to the Science of Personality Psychology, a classroom textbook—has recently written in the Atlantic that according to his analysis, Trump is arguably narcissistic.
We will not go over all of McAdams’ arguments here, for we do not want to make this article too long. Here we are going to assume that McAdams he is probably right. But McAdams obviously knows that Trump is not the only presidential candidate in town. So, the central questions are simply these:
Will he “psycho-analyze” Hillary using the same “psychological” criteria (I am excluding Sanders because he seems to be a relic of the past)? If he will not, then why is he so discriminatory? What logical inference that allows him to examine one presidential candidate using one “psychological” test and then promiscuously excludes other presidential candidates from taking the same test?
Does Professor McAdams really want to entertain the idea that killing thousands upon thousands of people in Middle East, which is what Hillary has been doing, is not worse than being narcissistic? Has McAdams read Robert D. Hare’s Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us.
Doesn’t McAdams know that Hillary has not apologized for the chaos she helped create in Libya? Doesn’t he know that President Obama himself has declared that Libya is now a “shit show”? You tell me. Which is more destructive: being a narcissist or creating a “shit show” in far distant lands?
McAdams, whether he likes it or not, is intellectually dishonest, and his entire project is inexorably worthless. If Trump is narcissistic, then Hillary, as we shall see in a moment, is a psychopath who always looks for some “dictator” to kill and something to destroy. Using Sigmund Freud and his ideas as a lynchpin, McAdams postulates:
“Trump’s personality is certainly extreme by any standard, and particularly rare for a presidential candidate; many people who encounter the man—in negotiations or in interviews or on a debate stage or watching that debate on television—seem to find him flummoxing.”
He concludes his long article by saying: “Who, really, is Donald Trump? What’s behind the actor’s mask? I can discern little more than narcissistic motivations and a complementary personal narrative about winning at any cost. It is as if Trump has invested so much of himself in developing and refining his socially dominant role that he has nothing left over to create a meaningful story for his life, or for the nation.”
Once again we will grant McAdams all those premises and even the conclusions of those premises. Will we ever see a similar article about Hillary? Would not that be more academically rigorous and intellectually satisfying and objective? And if he fails to do that, why does he expect thinking people to take him seriously?
In any event, McAdams is far from alone. Lena Dunham, the actress and director who describes herself as “very culturally Jewish” and who often gets “her legs splayed in the gynecologist’s stirrups” on her own TV show Girls, has recently gotten to the nitty-gritty by saying that Trump
“has appealed to something very deep and primal. We have to look at what that wound is that he’s promising to heal…and how can we handle that without inviting a megalomaniacal, misogynist, racist, Islamophobic, ableist, transphobic hellhound into the White House?”
The evidence? Well, the statement itself is self-referential. It is the total truth and nothing but the truth. And as some indication of the intellectual lunacy and perversity of what passes for real and meaningful dialogue these days, Dunham received a round of applause for her empty assertion. She said nothing bad about her idol, Hillary, who has been under investigation for months. Even Salon has said:
“Under Sec. Clinton, State Department officials approved almost every single proposed CIA drone assassination. They only objected to only one or two attacks.
“The emails that are at the heart of the FBI’s criminal investigation are 2011 and 2012 messages between U.S. diplomats in Pakistan and their State Department superiors in D.C., in which the officials approved drone strikes… The U.S. drone program has killed hundreds of civilians in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and more.
“Pakistan is the site of more U.S. drone strikes than any other country. The Obama administration has carried out more than 370 drone attacks in Pakistan, killing as many as 1,000 civilians, including up to 200 children, according to data collected by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.”
Even writer Jeremy Scahill declared: “So many liberals poo poo the Hillary email scandal for totally partisan reasons. If it was a Republican, they would be going bananas.”
This is a legitimate point. In fact, the Clintons have been involved in criminal and immoral operations since 1992 and beyond. Scahill added: “People claiming emails on Hillary’s private server were not classified do not understand how classification works. It’s an HRC talking point.” These people certainly do not understand how the system works.
“A recent report by the state department inspector general found that she broke multiple rules despite repeated warnings to use official communications methods that would ensure her emails were stored and kept safe from hackers.”
Now you may want to fasten your seatbelt. Douglas Cox of City University of New York School of Law has defended Hillary this way: “I believe Clinton did break the law but at the same time I don’t think there’s evidence she committed a crime.” Keep in mind that Cox is a professor of law, but because his mind is trapped in a wicked ideology, he cannot think straight.
What Cox is indirectly saying here is that the debacle in Benghazi is not a crime (Don’t forget Hillary’s own assessment of Gaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died”). Drone strikes in places like Pakistan, Syria and Yemen, according to Cox’s reasoning, produce only fireworks and nothing more.
How this man can maintain those contradictory statements as a professor of law is beyond my comprehension. Even Megyn Kelly, a political slut and whore, has the common sense to say that Hillary, who has now been widely viewed as a foreign policy hawk, should be honest with the American people.
The other issue is that Dunham lacks sophistication to explain why the Neoconservative establishment is jumping on the Hillary bandwagon. They are now even saying that Hillary is the “real conservative—not Donald Trump,” a really stupid assertion.
Neocon hawk James Kirchick is now running around like a wild ape saying that “Clinton is the candidate of the status quo, something that conservatives, by definition, are supposed to uphold.” He adds that “Hillary Clinton is the one person standing between America and the abyss,” and she has “better conservative credentials” than Trump.
Kirchick has done us a great favor here. He has unintentionally articulated what we have been saying all along: the “Liberal” Party and GOP have inexorably become concentric circles. That is why people like Bill Kristol are able to move from one political ship to the next at will. Some have even argued that Kristol has really made the GOP look stupid.
But the central question before us is this: what are Hillary’s credentials? Simple: perpetual wars and lying. She is a lying liar. Dolly Kyle, who dated Bill for 32 years, long before Bill embarked on a sexual adventure, declared:
“Hillary’s role of providing financial security for Billy was part of her motivation for the series of financial crimes (yes, crimes) that she committed over the decades.’ Hillary was upholding her part of the deal to get Billy elected president, after which it would be her turn to be the first woman in the Oval Office.
“Billy and Hillary Clinton continue to be lying, cheating, manipulative, scratching, clawing, ruthlessly aggressive, insatiably ambitious politicians who are giving public service a bad name – and nothing about them has changed in the past forty-plus years, except that they have deluded more and more people.
“The Clintons and their misled supporters have rewritten history to suit their political agenda, which is to get votes to get power to get money to get more power to get more money.
“The Clintons’ vicious cycle of intertwining greed and power addictions will have no limit, unless someone stands up and announces, ‘The Emperor has no clothes!’ Ideology, integrity, and love of country were never involved in the ‘Billary’ quest for the White House.
“It was always a codependent, co-conspiratorial grab for money and power and more money and more power. Unfortunately for them and for the United States of America, there is never enough to satisfy addicts.”
Hillary certainly needs to start taking things a little more seriously. She needs to know that destroying an entire country is not like playing video games. She has also supported NATO’s expansionist ideology, which includes spreading political diseases in countries like Libya, Russia, and much of Europe. And let us not forget that she was the woman who kept saying that Vladimir Putin is Hitler reborn.
But that is not to say that people of reason ought to give Donald Trump a free pass. What are your thoughts on the passing scene?
Dankof: It seems our projects involving Trump articulate what most of his visceral supporters on the American Right miss, even as we expose the Clinton, Soros, Haim Saban Road Show at the same time:
His background and continued rhetorical missteps and contradictory statements should give us pause when we evaluate him. These include his original endorsement of torture followed by his reversal of stance; his excellent statements on NATO, Putin, and overextension of ill-advised military adventures now concurrently belied by his recent gaffes on Libya among others; his AIPAC speech debacle and recent statements indicating the illegal settlements in Israel should continue; and finally, his simian opposition to the P5+1 deal with Iran (which Buchanan, Stockman, and I endorse).
Can we chalk this up to Machiavellian political strategy simply to win the election and nothing more, which is the belief of many of my colleagues? Or does the AIPAC speech authored by his son in law and the Israeli Ambassador to the United States have a more ominous and sinister context, providing a predictive roadmap of a Trump future if elected?
Even Buchanan doesn’t seem to get this. I thought Pat’s article on the La Raza Judge was a terrific piece defending Trump, yet Trump’s continued inability to articulate the real issues in that controversy reveal a dearth of historical depth, political judgment, and rhetorical skill and media savvy that may prove fatal. When you combine all of this with his ego and mercurial personality matrix, it should give us pause. He’s handing Soros and Clinton the ammunition they need.
Finally, this guy isn’t Buchanan on the Culture Wars either. I believe Trump has no cohesive metaphysical or theological world view informed by any depth in Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, or Reformed Protestant spiritual experience.
My take: OK, I’m going to vote for him as the only alternative to the unthinkable election of the Whore of Babylon in November. I agree with Stephen Lendman that Clinton’s election is the best guarantee of World War III. But a Trump Presidency is not a panacea for what ails us. It could end in disaster if he’s elected. Time tells.
Endgame: You, Brother Nathanael Kapner and I, understand all this. But to see Eric Hoffer’s True Believer syndrome impacting so many of our brethren who should know better, is disturbing.
I am proud we examined all of this on-and-for-the-record in our recent projects. I’m reassured we do try to think, analyze, and research as Logos leads. At the same time, I’m worried about the suspension of these abilities and their exercise thereof, with people who should know better.
 For those who are interested in short and non-technical treatises on logical fallacies, see for example Jacob Van Vleet, Informal Logical Fallacies (Lanham: University Press of America, 2011); Douglas Walton, Informal Logic: A Pragmatic Approach (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008); T. Edward Damer,Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009); S. Morris Engel, Fallacies and Pitfalls of Language: The Language Trap (New York: Dover Publications, 1994).
 Dan P. McAdams, “The Mind of Donald Trump: Narcissism, disagreeableness, grandiosity—a psychologist investigates how Trump’s extraordinary personality might shape his possible presidency,” Atlantic, June 2016 issue.
 Robert D. Hare, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us (New York: The Guilford Press, 1993 and 1999).
 Tim Walker and Nigel Morris, “Barack Obama says David Cameron allowed Libya to become a ‘s*** show,’” Independent, March 11, 2016.
 McAdams, “The Mind of Donald Trump: Narcissism, disagreeableness, grandiosity—a psychologist investigates how Trump’s extraordinary personality might shape his possible presidency,” Atlantic, June 2016 issue.
 Naomi Pfefferman, “‘Girls’ writer lays bare women’s insecurities,” Jewish Journal, April 25, 2012.
 Quoted in Tufayel Ahmed, “Lena Dunham: Donald Trump Is a ‘Misogynist, Racist, Transphobic, Helhound,’” Newsweek, June 10, 2016.
 Ben Norton, “FBI criminal investigation emails: Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations with her cellphone, report says,” Salon, June 11, 2016.
 Carrie Johnson, “Clinton Scandals: A Guide From Whitewater To The Clinton Foundation,” National Public Radio, June 12, 2016.
 Norton, “FBI criminal investigation emails: Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations with her cellphone, report says,” Salon, June 11, 2016.
 David Smith, “Could Hillary Clinton really be indicted over her emails?,” Guardian, June 10, 2016.
 “Hillary Clinton email probe centers on drone strikes in Pakistan,” Boston Herald, June 10, 2016; Adam Entous and Devlin Barrett, “Emails in Clinton Probe Dealt With Planned Drone Strikes,” Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2016; “Clinton emails probed by FBI discussed drone strike plans,” Russia Today, June 10, 2016; Steven Lee Myers, “Unclassified Clinton Emails May Have Consequences for a Key Deputy,” NY Times, February 26, 2016; Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein, “Watchdog: Clinton’s server had classified material beyond ‘top secret,’” Politico, January 19, 2016; Eli Lake and Josh Rogin “Clinton’s Security Clearance Is Under Scrutiny, Bloomberg, February 4, 2015.
 Paul Waldman, “Everyone suddenly remembers that Hillary Clinton is a foreign policy hawk,” Washington Post, August 12, 2014.
 Ben Norton, “Another neocon endorses Clinton, calling her “2016’s real conservative” and ‘the candidate of the status quo,’ Salon, June 11, 2016.
 See Paul Rosenberg, “Bill Kristol protests too much: It’s Kristol, not Donald Trump, who dumbed down the GOP,” Salon, June 10, 2016.
 “EXCLUSIVE: Bill Clinton’s lover – before and AFTER his marriage – tells how ‘lumpy’ Hillary with her ‘fat ankles and hair on her toes’ schemed to get her to LIE on 60 Minutes about Bill’s other affairs,” Daily Mail, June 10, 2016.
 For a recent development, see Thomas Gibbons-Neff, “U.S., NATO countries begin largest military exercise in eastern Europe since Cold War,” Washington Post, June 7, 2016; “NATO shows Putin who’s boss: 31,000 troops, tanks and jets from 24 countries begin the largest war game exercise in eastern Europe since the Cold War in response to Russian aggression,” Daily Mail, June 6, 2016.
 “Hillary Clinton says Vladimir Putin’s Crimea occupation echoes Hitler,” Guardian, March 6, 2014; Philip Rucker, “Hillary Clinton says Putin’s actions are like ‘what Hitler did back in the ’30s’,” Washington Post, March 5, 2014.