Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Justice Is a Verb!
©Wendell Griffen, 2017

President Donald John Trump has been in office less than a week.  In the short time he has been in office he has falsely accused the media of mis-representing attendance at his January 20, 2017 inauguration.  His press secretary has falsely asserted that the Trump inaugural marked the first inauguration when the National Park Service placed ground covers over the Capitol Mall.  President Trump told an audience at the Central Intelligence Agency that the media mis-represented his views about the intelligence community.  And White House advisor Kellyanne Conway defended Mr. Trump’s press secretary’s false assertions by saying the White House is asserting “alternative facts.”

One word describes the behavior we see in President Trump.   That word is psychopath.  Consider this definition from Dictionary.com for psychopath:  “a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.”


Reasonable people do not wittingly employ a psychopath for morally and socially responsible work.  Sadly, that did not prevent people in the United States who profess to care about the health and welfare of their families, fortunes, and nation from electing Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States.  Mr. Trump is now Psychopath in Chief, the role model for people who lie, cheat, mistreat others, prey on people who are vulnerable, and dismiss their conduct with jokes, shrugs, and brazen disregard for the harm they cause.

And that puts Mr. Trump’s inaugural address statements about what he termed “carnage” in the United States in perspective.  Carnage is a fitting word to describe the financial hardship Trump’s business dealings as a casino operator and real estate developer caused many people to suffer.  It is also a fitting description of the threatening future now facing our nation and world because of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Psychopaths do not blame themselves for the harm they cause others.  Psychopaths blame their victims.  So, Mr. Trump blames the people who heard and reported the falsehoods he has repeatedly uttered for lying on him.  Mr. Trump blames the women who experienced and reported his sexual assaults and other acts of misogyny for what he did.  Mr. Trump blames everyone but himself for his antisocial behavior because that is what people afflicted with an antisocial personality disorder do. 

Yes, self-proclaimed “evangelical Christian conservatives,” self-proclaimed “values voters,” so-called “fiscal conservatives,” and people who profess to be concerned about national security and personal freedom elected a psychopath whose personal history shows his narcissistic obsession with his personal security, personal image, and sense of celebrity.  The current president of the United States is a psychopath.  

Remember that truth when Mr. Trump's policies cause harm.  Remember that truth when he denies that anyone is harmed by what he does.  Remember that truth when he blames persons harmed by his policies for the suffering they experience.  Remember that truth when he leads the nation and the world to become more miserable, less peaceful, and more fearful. 

Donald Trump is a psychopath.  He suffers from what mental health professionals call an “anti-social personality disorder.”  Yes, there is a clinical diagnosis for his pathology you can read about in the following link that explains the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths:  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/02/12/differences-between-a-psychopath-vs-sociopath/.

Mr. Trump’s personality disorder is difficult to treat because people with antisocial personality disorders rarely view their behavior as harmful. As you will learn in the following link, there are no approved FDA medications specifically prescribed for antisocial personality disorder (ASPD):  http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/antisocial-personality-disorder-overview#1.

So what can we do?  The issue is not if President Trump's pathological personality and propensities will harm vulnerable people, pose a danger to the nation, and threaten the world.  Rather, the question is what will others do as this scenario unfolds.  Will senior White House staff and Trump Administration cabinet leaders cooperate with Mr. Trump's antisocial policies and behaviors?  Will the US Congress and courts rubber stamp those policies or exercise their constitutional "check and balance" duties?  Will the media expose Trump administration misconduct?  Will US citizens condemn that conduct, protest it, and ultimately put Mr. Trump out of office?      

The best counsel is vigilance, self-protection, and supporting one another.  We must protect ourselves from President Trump, not expect President Trump to protect us.  We must remember that President Trump, like psychopaths generally, has a propensity to charm, lie, cheat, and mistreat others without any sense of remorse, but with a sense of impunity.  That means we must constantly be on guard about his pathological tendency to do so. 

In the Bible, King Saul appears to have been afflicted by an antisocial personality disorder judging from his obsession about being more popular than David, his violent mood swings, and his impulsivity.  We read that Saul tried to kill David, his son-in-law (see 1 Samuel 18:10-11 and 20-29; 1 Samuel 19:8-15) and tried to kill Jonathan, his son, (see 1 Samuel 20:30-33). 

All of us, Trump supporters and everyone else, are at risk from Mr. Trump’s dangerous tendencies.  We are now part of the world’s largest support group.

Welcome to the Trump presidency.  Hail to the Psychopath in Chief!  Let's protect one another, the nation, and the world from a psychopath with a history of wrecking havoc on others, and the present capacity and authority to wreck havoc on vulnerable people, our nation, and the rest of the world.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017


©Wendell Griffen, 2017
Justice Is a Verb!

            Perhaps you and other people you know may be trying to understand how Donald J. Trump will succeed Barack H. Obama as President of the United States on January 20, 2017.  The answer to that question is multi-faceted and straight-forward, but not pleasant. 

The electoral answer is that Donald Trump received more votes in the Electoral College than did his chief opponent, Hillary Clinton.  While Clinton received millions more votes than Trump did overall, the President of the United States is determined by whoever receives the largest number of Electoral College votes based on choices made by voters in each state. 

Donald Trump is unlike Barack Obama.  Trump has a reputation for personal and commercial racism, sexism, xenophobia, bullying workers, and acrimonious dishonesty.  Obama has a reputation for thoughtfulness, concern about justice, equality, inclusion, and collegiality.  The people who voted for Mr. Trump obviously prefer policies consistent with his reputation and character than that of Mr. Obama.

In other words, the 2016 presidential election contest showed that people in Southern, Western, and so-called Rust Belt States (in the Great Lakes region of the United States) went to the polls determined to elect someone known for being everything President Obama has never been or wanted to be.   It will be interesting to observe how Trump supporters will respond when his presidential conduct resembles his overall personal history. 

White Christians who self-identify as “evangelicals” and self-styled white nationalists were key constituency groups for Mr. Trump.  These voters have supported politicians like Donald Trump for generations.  In 2016, the difference was that these groups voted in larger numbers in the states that mattered most in deciding the election outcome.

The United States will soon enter a period where national policies will be driven by a narcissistic white male supremacist with a known propensity for dishonesty, disrespect for people who are different, and idolatry of self.   It is telling that Mr. Trump received support from so many people who profess to being followers of Jesus, a Palestinian Jew who included women among his closest followers and treated them with respect, someone who was an immigrant refugee as a child (and probably undocumented at that), and a social progressive who was put to death by the Roman Empire based on false testimony fabricated by his religious enemies.     

The truth is that Donald Trump resembles more people in the United States than many people thought were around.  Some of us, however, have always known that the talk about the United States entering a “post-racial” era was hogwash.  We knew what people were really saying when they embraced the Tea Party and signed on to its rhetoric about “wanting my country back.”  Our elders warned us that “smiling faces tell lies.” 

White Democratic politicians in the South distanced themselves from President Obama from the beginning of his presidency.  Democratic office holders in Arkansas, Louisiana, and other southern states, who counted on help from Senator Barack Obama to win their elections in 2006, refused to campaign for his policies after 2008 even when those policies resulted in healthcare becoming more available and affordable for their constituents.

As the nation prepares to observe the holiday marking the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the last time during President Obama’s presidency, we should remember what Dr. King wrote about racial and social inequality in an essay published after his death.  In that essay, titled A Testament of Hope, Dr. King termed the problems of inequality and injustice as being “so tenacious because, despite its virtues and attributes, America is deeply racist and its democracy is flawed both economically and socially.”

Remember those words from Dr. King as the nation marks the King Holiday for the final time before President Obama leaves office. 

Remember those words from Dr. King next week as the nation begins a new era defined by the presidency of Donald Trump. 

And from now on, whenever someone asks how the US came to be led by a President named Trump after having been led by a President named Obama, quote these words from Dr. King:  “Despite its virtues and attributes, America is deeply racist and its democracy is flawed both economically and socially.” 

Donald Trump is proof that Dr. King was a prophet.