Tuesday, October 1, 2019

NeverTrumpers Go for Broke

Let the psy-ops begin.

If, perchance, you are a NeverTrump Republican, time is running out. You have gone all-in, you have compromised your longtime political affiliations, in order to malign, defame and slander President Donald Trump.

If there is no there there, you have a problem. You are going to look to all the world like an hysterical ninny, running around town screaming that the end is nigh. In other words, you have a vested psychological stake in discovering that Trump is as bad as you say he is. Otherwise, your reputation, what is left of it, will be lying in tatters by the roadside. That is, you reputation will be roadkill.

The more you have gone all in for NeverTrump the more you crave for an abominable catastrophe, the worst imaginable, the kind that will be so bad that you will feel vindicated. 

High crimes and misdemeanors will do it. Impeachment and ignominious removal from office will also do it. The more frenzied you sound, the more you will glom on to any charge against Trump, the more you will wrap it in rhetorical hyperbole and will run as fast as you can… toward the goalposts, toward redemption, salvation and political relevance.

The first casualty will be your faculty of reason. We discover, as we have always known, that Vice President Biden set down a quid pro quo with the Ukrainian prime minister, demanding the firing of a prosecutor who was investigating Biden’s son, the neer-do-well named Hunter. You know Hunter, the son who was banging his dead brother’s wife. A fine human being… you didn't hear it here first.

From that you conclude that President Trump had set down a quid-pro-quo with the Ukrainian government, requesting that they investigate Hunter Biden. After all, Hunter was made a director of a Ukrainian gas company, without having any visible qualifications, beyond his parentage. From that we conclude that Donald Trump was corrupt.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Hunter Biden flew with his father to China and received a billion dollar investment from a Chinese businessman… for a new business. Business about which Biden knew nothing. From that we conclude that Trump violated the emoluments clause of the constitution.

And while we are in the realm of the irrational, note the simple fact that the moral disgrace called Hillary Clinton still clings bitterly to the fantasy wherein she won the last presidential election. Trump is illegitimate, Hillary has been telling anyone who is willing to listen,thereby breaking the first and most basic rule of democratic decorum… in the name of democracy. If morality means anything, Hillary Clinton is a moral eunuch of the first order.

And let’s not forget that the Dowager Duchess of Chappaqua has long distinguished herself as the nation’s leading enabler of sexual harassment. Doesn't it seem just a tad irrational and grossly immoral that the #MeToo movement was launched in her name in the the honor of her accused rapist husband?

Now, of course, the NeverTrump crowd is beginning its psy-ops campaign to bully Republican senators into convicting President Trump and allowing the NeverTrumpers to save face.

Witness one Peter Wehner. He trots out an expert in psychology to explain to us that Trump is a psychological defective and that anyone who supports him must share the same psycho defects. Since we can no longer accuse people of being miserable sinners, wracked with the sin of pride, we now call them narcissists… and tack on whatever insults we can dredge up from our flagging minds.

It is not the first time that the commentariat, both right and left, has taken out after someone whose mind they want to control.

Anyway, Wehner, who has no qualifications in any psycho related field, begins by offering a diagnosis:

He is an extreme narcissist, pathologically dishonest, shameless, a man who delights in flouting norms. He has a mobster’s mentality. Mr. Trump’s behavior isn’t governed by moral standards; he doesn’t seem to believe objective moral standards even exist. He can no more understand the language of morality than a person listening to someone speak a foreign language for the first time can.

As though the Clinton’s are paragons of virtue. As though Joe Biden acted with the utmost moral probity. Since Wehner only offers one side of the story and never bothers to examine the case against the case against Trump, we may declare that he is a polemicist, and not a very good one at that.

But, Wehner is training his sights against Republicans, the ones who are responding, by the by, to the will of their constituents:

Why, then, are so many Republicans yet again circling the Trump wagon rather than taking this opportunity to denounce what the president did and declare some independence from him by doing so? Why has Mr. Trump, an ethical wreck of a man both before and after he reached the White House, earned such fealty from Republicans?

And then, Wehner explains that he learned all this from a conservative leaning clinical psychologist. Unless we know the name of this individual, we are within our rights to ignore Wehner’s appeal to anonymous authority.

Wehner knows so little about the absurdities of psycho theorizing that he does not recognize that the same charge can easily be leveled against him and his fellow NeverTrumpers. They are so deeply invested in their attacks on Trump that they will grasp at the least straw if it makes it seem that they were right. Anything from saving them from becoming a bunch of irrational cranks, men with decidedly weak character. Isn't disloyalty a character flaw?

All of this is tied to the psychology of accommodation. As a conservative-leaning clinical psychologist I know explained to me, when new experiences don’t fit into an existing schema — Mr. Trump becoming the leader of the party that insisted on the necessity of good character in the Oval Office when Bill Clinton was president, for example — cognitive accommodation occurs.

When the accommodation involves compromising one’s sense of integrity, the tensions are reduced when others join in the effort. This creates a powerful sense of cohesion, harmony and group think. The greater the compromise, the more fierce the justification for it — and the greater the need to denounce those who call them out for their compromise. “In response,” this person said to me, “an ‘us versus them’ mentality emerges, sometimes quite viciously.”

“What used to be a sense of belonging,” I was told, “devolves into primitive tribalism, absolute adherence to the leader over adherence to a code of ethics.”

Dare we mention the primitive tribalism of the Democratic Party, its irrational love for Barack Obama, its absolute adherence to the man as an idol. And what about the irrational love for Bill Clinton, love that inspired more than a few feminists to ignore his serial predations. 

In fact, Trump’s detractors are far more tribal than are his supporters, certainly not his political supporters. Conservatives who are not NeverTrumpers have certainly been willing to point out disagreements with the president. They might not have joined the armies of the deranged who have replaced their absolute their ethics with an absolute repugnance about all things Trump. Note how easily the psycho interpretation can be turned around. Aren’t the NeverTrumpers acting like a tribe?

So, Wehner’s psycho friend says that Republicans are defending their defense of Trump. Were that true, it might be salient. In truth, the NeverTrump crowd is defending nothing more than their own frenzy about Trump, frenzy that caused them to take leave of their rational faculties, to become aligned with the radical American left:

As the psychologist I spoke to put it to me, many Republicans “are nearly unrecognizable versions of themselves pre-Trump. At this stage it’s less about defending Trump; they are defending their own defense of Trump.”

“At this point,” this person went on, “condemnation of Trump is condemnation of themselves. They’ve let too much go by to try and assert moral high ground now. Calling out another is one thing; calling out yourself is quite another.”

As a result, many in Mr. Trump’s party not only refuse to challenge his maliciousness; they have adopted his approach. They have embraced his “will to power” worldview. 

The will to power is a philosophical concept, one that Wehner does not understand. The opposite of the will to power is a gracious acceptance of the results of a fair election. People who are trying to overturn the results of the last election are insisting that their own private will to power should prevail.

And then, in a final twist, worthy of psy ops, Wehner suggests that the taint of Trumpian corruption has rubbed off on other Republicans. But not, of course, on him and his cronies, who are out defending the radical left, the Obamaphile left, the people who are trying to run out the clock before justice catches up to them. The NeverTrumpers should turn over and see who they are in bed with.

After dealing with Mr. Trump, “you’re definitely denuded and jaded,” one Republican who has interacted recently with members of Congress told me. “Your sense of perspective is totally warped.”

Many Republicans now find themselves in a place they never envisioned — not only defending Mr. Trump but doing so with gusto. Those who once defended traditional values now relish siding with the Great Transgressor. “Owning the libs” turns out to be a lot of fun. But it also comes at a high cost.

Now, the Republican Party has become the party of sin and mental illness. Save yourselves, Republicans, Wehner is saying, and make the NeverTrumpers look like something other than deranged stealth Obamaphiles:

The Republican Party is the party of Donald Trump, through and through. As such, it has become morally disfigured. The party finds itself deep in a dark alleyway. It can eventually find its way back. Renewal and regeneration are always possible. But that will require the Republican Party and its future leadership to repudiate much of what it now embodies. I happen to believe that this is an essential task. But it won’t be an easy one, and every day it is delayed, the harder it becomes.

Mr. Trump’s most recent abuse of power — pressuring the Ukrainian president to do his dirty work — is the latest link in a long chain of corruption. If Republicans don’t break with the president now, after all he has done and all he is likely to do, they will pay a fearsome price generationally, demographically and, above all, morally.

By the by, the other side of the argument, strenuously ignored by Wehner, argues that Trump wanted the Ukrainians to help us to investigate corruption, a corruption whose stench wafts from the Ukraine to China to the FBI to the Obama Justice Department to the CIA.

As for the fearsome price, Wehner is suggesting that Republicans who refuse to commit political suicide by convicting Trump will suffer the pangs of eternal damnation.

Surely, it is significant that religious tropes blend so easily into psycho culture.


Wraith said...

Vox Day's Three Laws of SJW's(which can easily apply to the entire DNC and NeverTrumpers):

They always lie.
They always double down.
They always project.

Almost every politician in DC is involved in criminal activity up to their eyeballs, and they're terrified that President Trump is going to expose them. Ironically, their efforts to get out in front of it by flinging wild accusations against the President are going to blow up in their faces... :)

whitney said...

Those three laws are really good but I've also like to add that I think they enjoy it. I think they enjoy lying to people so blatantly and having all their sycophants just nod and move on. I mean think about Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton actually just said I was never on Epstein's plane. It didn't matter to him that there were records of him being on it and no one called him on it except for people on the right. I think they enjoy it.

UbuMaccabee said...

“He is an extreme narcissist, pathologically dishonest, shameless, a man who delights in flouting norms. He has a mobster’s mentality. Mr. Trump’s behavior isn’t governed by moral standards; he doesn’t seem to believe objective moral standards even exist. He can no more understand the language of morality than a person listening to someone speak a foreign language for the first time can.”

For a minute there I thought I was reading Machiavelli’s comments on Cesare Borgia, except in Machiavelli’s case, he was writing in admiration. Times change.

Imagine Peter Wehner’s Idea of god. Why would any man have reason to admire, fear, or comply with such an emasculated shell of a creature? The god of the last man is asking, “can’t we talk about this?” You have it on my direct authority that the morality of the god of decadent humanism can be safely ignored with no consequences whatsoever.


Anonymous said...

Morality out of people who have been making money off of the deaths of American military members. Ever notice how many of these people have a monetary stake in China, Ukraine, and war? Stop fooling yourself about morality when you NeverTrumpers and Your democrat ilk talk morality.

Sam L. said...

Because he FIGHTS. "Real" Republicans roll over and play dead. The gang at National Review immediately took to their fainting couches and have been backbiting ever since (or so I hear, having turned my back of on those splitters). Let us not forget that Hillary! called us "deplorables", which is pretty much what Wehner is calling us. (Man's never heard of Dale Carnegie, I betcha!)

“At this point,” this person went on, “condemnation of Trump is condemnation of themselves. They’ve let too much go by to try and assert moral high ground now. Calling out another is one thing; calling out yourself is quite another.” Personally, I think they're making it all up as they go. And badly. Maybe stupidly.

Sam L. said...

AH! Wehner's writing in the NYT. As I've said before, I despise, detest, and distrust the NYT (the WaPoo, too).