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Another really bad day for Trump



I’m in Portland, Oregon, one of my favorite cities, but somehow I’m managing to keep up with events. The big news today, Trump-wise, is his morning Twitter storm, which included classic trumpisms: “rigged witch hunt,” “stain our country,” “totally conflicted,” “17 angry Democrats,” “dirty work,” “disgrace.”

Does Trump sound angry? I guess. We were born on the same day, in the same year, in the same city, so even though I don’t believe in astrology, I feel like I have some understanding of Trump’s mindset. I too get angry and resentful. I too want to lash out at my enemies. I too want to defend myself. I too have a dark side.

But there’s a big difference between Trump and me. I struggle with my darkness—Jacob wrestling with the angel. Trump embraces his dark side. I try to rise above my petty resentments. Trump gives in to his resentments, feeding them like throwing gasoline onto a fire. I know that my anger is not healthy and is largely about myself. Trump believes his anger is justified because his enemies are out to get him. I lose my temper and feel hugely guilty. Trump loses his temper and goes on Twitter storms.

As for his exact words, they’re so stupid! “17 angry Democrats”? Sure, Democrats are angry. But so are Trump’s tea party/Breitbart supporters. If anything, they’re angrier than Democrats, because their anger is fueled by racism, homophobia and xenophobia, whereas Democrats’ anger is fueled by love of country, and horror at the way Republicans are dragging us down. “Disgrace”? More than half of all Americans, and most of the populations of our allies, including Australia, Mexico, Great Britain, France, Canada and Germany, think Trump is the biggest disgrace in the world. We and they believe that it is Trump who is the “stain” upon America.

In psychology, “projection” is when “the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.” Trump projects all the time. Whenever he says nasty, mean stuff about others, he’s really talking about himself, although he’s incapable of realizing it because he’s incapable of the kind of healthy introspection that keeps most people in line. I don’t expect anyone to be a saint. But I do expect people to understand their negativity and deal with it. Most of us do; Trump doesn’t. That’s his fundamental flaw: there’s a firewall between his id and his superego (to use Freudian terms), with no communication between them. His superego—his conscience—has died. A consciousless person, driven only by the animal impulses of the id, is a dangerous person. A sociopath.

Speaking of Trump, yesterday the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals slapped down his threat to withhold funds from sanctuary cities in California, such as San Francisco and my home town, Oakland. This is another huge loss for Trump, and another example of how his resentful nature leads him to take illegal positions. “The United States Constitution exclusively grants the power of the purse to Congress, not the President,” the Court wrote. Trump, of course, seems to wish there were no Congress to stop him, no Cabinet to disagree with him, no courts to overrule his mandates. Unfortunately for him, but thankfully for our democracy, the presidency has checks and balances upon it, and while Trump doesn’t understand this, it’s true: he can’t do whatever he wants.

Portland, Oregon, where I am now, is also a sanctuary city. There’s a local story making the rounds describing a situation in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were confronted with people protesting Trump’s lockup of children. The ICE officers called Portland cops to help them out, but they cops refused, telling ICE to call 9-1-1-, the same way the rest of us have to when we need the police.

I realize there are some heavy issues involved here, but I agree with the Portland Police Department’s decision not to intervene on ICE’s behalf. For one thing, they were ordered not to assist ICE by the Mayor of Portland. Secondly, Trump’s decision to punish sanctuary cities was just plain wrong, and deserves to be resisted. I have to say that ICE officials must be extremely uncomfortable these days, since they have to enforce unjust, anti-human orders, the same way that Nazi officials had to obey Adolf Hitler. It’s not good enough to say “I was only obeying orders.” A future court may find that defense insufficient. Every American has to stand up for what is right. That includes cops. I applaud the Portland Police Department for standing up for justice, compassion and morality, and for protecting and serving all the people of Portland.





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