Peter Cavanaugh

OK, Abe. Time to hop off that chair.


As the ground shook from subterranean spins at Abraham Lincoln’s burial site in Springfield, Illinois and as Trump trash piled halfway up to Half-Dome, there was clarity in confusion. Only a toddler tantrum can beget such whiny wrath.

But why do so many still appear deaf, dumb and blind, playing such a mean pinball?

How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time — and is the most popular Republican in party history?

Donald J. Trump, Jan. 4

Dr. Bobby Azarian, Ph.D, is a cognitive neuroscientist who wrote a rather brilliant article posted by Psychology Today in late December. His piece was bravely entitled, “A Complete Psychological Analysis of Trump’s Support” and was sent to me by a very good friend who shares my progressive perspectives, but stated Dr. Azarian’s summary “spells out in painful detail why I think Trump will be re-elected in 2020.” I sense this was wryly offered to spur my instant attention. It worked.

Here are bullet points distilled from several dozen studies in various analytical disciplines.

  • Practicality Trumps Morality. What’s in it for “me” beats what’s there for “us.”
  • The Brain’s Attention System is More Strongly Engaged by Trump. A study monitoring brain activity as participants watched political ads and debate clips conclusively demonstrated that Trump was measurably more “interesting” than other candidates, like him or not. There are few things more entertaining than careening cartoons.
  • America’s Obsession with Entertainment and Celebrities. Kardashian is fashion.
  • Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn. Sigmund Freud called this the “Thanatos” or “death drive.”
  • Conservatives Are More Sensitive to Threat.
  • Mortality Reminders. The well-accepted theory of “Terror Management” makes Trump’s fear mongering relentlessly effective in increasing group anxiety as wagons are circled against the perception of impending termination. We are primitively given to huddle together against hidden horrors. Beware all others.
  • Humans Often Overestimate Their Political Expertise. The problem isn’t that people are misinformed, but that they are completely unaware they are being misinformed, especially in matters of political judgment. They can’t be reached since they are comfortably convinced they should be reaching others.
  • A Misguided Sense of Entitlement.
  • Lack of Exposure to Dissimilar Opinions.
  • Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Target the Mentally Vulnerable. A recent study published by Psychiatry Research reveals that “Magical Thinking” is quite prevalent in the population, connecting things unrelated in commonly accepted reality.
  • The Nation’s Collective Narcissism.
  • A Desire for Domination. Self-interest has enormous appeal, wherein high-status groups control those of lower distinction. As in rule by the rich. As in America today,
  • Attraction to an Authoritarian Personality. Think Putin, Erdoğan, Caligula, Trump.

Racism and Bigotry. Certainly not all, but surely some.

I love that quote by Florida gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum. “Now, I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he is a racist.”

I wrote back to my friend, whom I will not name with the following:

“That’s an excellent article and makes sense. The only thing that will save us is ourselves, I learned that from “Pogo.” Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Let’s hope the numbers stay on our side. If they don’t, I agree. We are doomed.” – PC

While Donald Trump’s absolute “base” displays amazing stability at a stubborn one-third of our population, the remaining two out of three of us remain ever more suffering from varying degrees of seething discontent.

Hold that thought.

Mueller's almost done.