Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Who Is Mary Trump?

I haven’t read Mary Trump’s hit piece about her Uncle Donald. Since she is a licensed psychologist, she is pretending that her book is science. From all accounts it is not. The first and decisive hint occurs on the jacket, where Mary Trump declares, in a subtitle, that her uncle is the most dangerous man in the world.

Is that supposed to be science? Seriously, does she believe that she this political judgment, one that manifests profound ignorance, is a scientific fact?

And yet, newspaper reports are trumpeting the news from the book, as though it is illuminating. 

From these reports you can tell that Mary Trump thinks that her Uncle Donald is not in touch with his feelings. How pathetic can you get? When I write on this blog about the idiot advice columnists who tell people to get in touch with their feelings, I am pointing to the fact that psycho professionals, especially the female variety, are obsessed with the fact that men do not feel their feelings the way women do. 

As for the basis of Mary’s argument, namely that childhood developmental traumas caused Trump to be especially dangerous, narcissistic and even sociopathic, it is ridiculous. The truth is, according to psychological theories that she ignores, that most children overcome their childhood traumas. It is called resilience. The statistics say that about two/thirds of abuse victims go on to live normal lives. There is no direct causation between childhood trauma and adult dysfunction. To make a causal connection is irresponsible and unscientific. 

As it happens, and as Lisa Schiffren reminds us on her Facebook page this morning, Donald Trump is not the only president who suffered childhood traumas. Barack Obama was abandoned by both of his parents. Bill Clinton’s mother bore him while unmarried. And Hillary Clinton had a harsh, unpleasant father. We all know this. We do not try to explain these people as a function of childhood traumas. Why have we decided to drool over a hit piece on Donald Trump? Why do we imagine that this is the way to understand any human being?

As for the dazzling pseudo-insights in the book, Mary Trump, who does not know and has barely ever spoken to her uncle, pretends to know precisely what is going on in his mind. The American Psychiatric Association recommended against such unprofessional activity, but, in the case of Trump, the rules have apparently been suspended. We recall the Yale psychiatrists who have been beating their drums about Trump's narcissism for years now. And we recall their abject silence when anyone asks them to diagnose the senility of Joe Biden.

New York Magazine reports some of Mary’s remarks. My God, Mary thinks that her uncle is narcissistic. The dubious diagnostic category, invented by Freud over a century ago, tells us precisely nothing. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual that gives it pride of place has been shown not to be scientific. See some of my posts on the topic.

New York Magazine offers this:

“Nothing is ever enough,” she writes of the president. “This is far beyond garden-variety narcissism; Donald is not simply weak, his ego is a fragile thing that must be bolstered every moment because he knows deep down that he is nothing of what he claims to be.” Elsewhere she writes that “Donald’s pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuro-physical tests, that he’ll never sit for.”

Oh my God, a fragile ego. The horror of it all. As for whether or not Trump knows what he claims to be-- that would be, President of the United States-- one suspects that he knows.

Seriously, what does Mary know about the pathologies of someone she has not examined? As it happens, Trump has undergone a cognitive functioning test and he passed it. He is running against a candidate who has suffered brain aneurysms and who is obviously suffering from a neurological impairment-- one that can be tested, but that will not be.

New York Mag now tells us all about the family dynamic. Note that it’s all about feelings:

It’s a go-to assessment for a psychologist, but Mary Trump’s portrait of the family dynamic asserts that Fred Trump’s callous and neglectful treatment of his children is a root cause of the president’s own tendency to lash out at those around him. “By limiting Donald’s access to his own feelings and rendering many of them unacceptable, Fred [Trump Sr.] perverted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it,” Mary Trump writes. Later, she states that her uncle’s ego “is a fragile and inadequate barrier between him and the real world, which, thanks to his father’s money and power, he never had to negotiate by himself.” Mary Trump adds that the president was able to navigate the family environment because “his personality served his father’s purpose. That’s what sociopaths do: they co-opt others and use them toward their own ends — ruthlessly and efficiently, with no tolerance for dissent or resistance.”

Clearly, the worst thing that Donald Trump ever did, a remark that deserves to go down in the chronicles of misogynist infamy, was to remark on a 29-year-old Mary’s endowments:

In the early 1990s, when Mary Trump was 29, she recalled an incident at Mar-a-Lago in which her uncle saw her in a bathing suit and said, “Holy shit, Mary. You’re stacked.”

Apparently, she still suffers from the trauma.

The Daily Mail reports on some of Mary’s other efforts at storytelling and mythmaking. As though Donald’s father was not bad enough, his mother had a hysterectomy-- which explains nothing, but therefore Mary believes that it explains everything:

Donald Trump's mother Mary Anne was 'never the same' after she had an emergency hysterectomy, with her absence creating a 'void in the lives of her children', the President's niece claims in her tell-all book. 

The impact was 'especially dire' for her youngest sons Donald and Robert, who were two-and-a-half years old and nine months old at the time, according to the memoir obtained by 

Donald's sister Maryanne had found their mother unconscious nine months after Robert's birth in 1948. She was rushed to a hospital to have a hysterectomy due to complications from the delivery. A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and may also include the removal of the cervix and ovaries. 

Matriarch Mary's absence caused a schism in the Trump family and led to Donald becoming the man he is, writes the President's niece Mary in her new book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man.

Poor Donald was therefore deprived of maternal affection. Imagine that:

When matriarch Mary Anne withdrew from the family after her surgery, workaholic Fred Sr became the children's main caretaker, but refused to cut back his hours. 

Neglected, Mary claims Donald 'suffered deprivations that would scar him for life.'

Mary calls Fred Sr a ‘high functioning sociopath’, marked by a lack of empathy, a facility for lying and a lack of interest in others.

The greater Donald and Robert’s distress, the ‘more Fred Sr rebuffed them’, Mary claims.

Among the worst things that one human being has ever visited on another was this horrifying scene, etched permanently in Mary’s memory:

As a result ‘needing’ became equated with humiliation and despair’ in Donald’s mind.

Mary describes how when Donald was a boy he used to hide Robert’s favorite Tonka trucks and pretended he had no idea where they were.

The last time he did it, Robert had a tantrum and Donald threatened to pull them apart if he didn’t stop making noise.

Their mother responded by hiding the trucks in the attic, effectively punishing Robert for something that Donald did. 

Clearly, Mary Trump has suffered the mental malformations that characterize the psycho professions. She seems clearly to want to make some money-- which is her constitutional right-- but given the fact that no one with half a brain believes any more that childhood trauma causes adult behaviors, she is basically indulging her impulse to gossip, thereby embarrassing herself and embarrassing many other members of her family.

Perhaps she wants to be a great culture hero. Perhaps she wants to take revenge against a man who once remarked that she was “stacked.” Clearly, without knowing any more about her, we can see that she has no sense of dignity, of decency, of decorum or of shame. 

By all indications, Mary Trump is a nobody who wants to become somebody-- regardless of how many people she has to hurt in the process. Of course, she thinks that she is saving the world: don't you think that she could use some serious treatment herself?


whitney said...

Now someone needs to write a book about her Mental Health

Giordano Bruno said...

Two very important facts:

1. Anything you say or discuss with a psycho therapist is fair game to the general public. There are no meaningful protections against having your information disclosed openly, depending on your political views. This is not speculation. There never really were any safeguards, and human honor is worthless, so the idea that what you say to a psycho therapist is discreet is childlike. But people believe this, they imagine there is some wall the therapist created around their discussions. It was just hypnosis; there was never a wall. There were never any safeguards, men have no honor, and institutions are corrupt. You've been warned.

The same goes for lawyers and doctors. There is only one protection you have with any of these occupations that ensures that what you disclose will remain intimate: they must have a fear of death. See "Sopranos" for reference. First recommendation is to have nothing to do with these types. Second is lie to them as needed. Third is to communicate the cause and effect of betrayal without being too obvious. That last point is an art form, especially if you are bluffing. If this bothers them, and they refuse you as a client, know that they would sell you out at the first opportunity--and call it a virtue. The most indignant people are the biggest liars; the indignance is their bluff.

2. I'm the most dangerous man in America. Trump is an imposter.

Giordano Bruno said...

You cannot just throw out that Mary Trump was stacked without pointing to a link to prove it.

Maybe she is, maybe she is not. Generally, I'm going to trust Donald's acumen on this matter; he does have authority on these questions. But this could just be a ploy for Mary to get attention for her underwhelming breasts.

Verification, please.

urbane legend said...

And Hillary Clinton had a harsh, unpleasant father.
And Hillary is, by all available accounts, the same.

We recall the Yale psychiatrists who have been beating their drums about Trump's narcissism for years now.
Yet ignoring nearly all of Hollywood. Talk about missed opportunity!

Neglected, Mary claims Donald 'suffered deprivations that would scar him for life.'
She misspelled soar. ( deprivations would lead/drive him to soar )

Of course, she thinks that she is saving the world: don't you think that she could use some serious treatment herself?
Would it help? Hillary Clinton, Woodrow Wilson, Stalin and Marx thought the same thing. That's merely a list, not a comparison.

Sam L. said...

"And yet, newspaper reports are trumpeting the news from the book, as though it is illuminating." Of COURSE they are! They are the MEDIA, and the MEDIA hate, Hate, HATE President Trump.

Sam L. said...

Poor, POOR, widdle Mary...