Saturday, September 23, 2017
Trump, the UN, and the Inner/Outer Worlds
Trump’s behavior at the UN last week compels me to follow up on my last blog. He used the word “sovereign” 21 times in the 42-minute speech. He said,
The nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition.
Later, Trump called Kim Jong-un of North Korea a
Rocket man on a suicide mission.
If you want more background on my idea of gaps between internal and external worlds, check out my last missive at:
In that post, I proposed that the chasm between our internal and external worlds provides a rough measure of psychopathology. In essence, our internal dramas, e.g. conversations with ourselves, internal conflicts, etc., ideally comport well with our external ones like real relationships with lovers, friends and family members.
If not, you have trouble.
The bigger the gap, the worse the problem.
Narcissistic personality styles provide a common if dramatic example of such inner-outer splits. Because of biological vulnerabilities combined with early childhood trauma, narcissists sport a highly inflated, idealized senses of themselves. Their facade hides their deeply wounded, insecure cores.
Despite their grandiose self-images, these individuals are exquisitely sensitive. They overreact to slights. They handle criticism poorly.
They cannot stand emotional vulnerability.
Until Trump took the reigns of the US Presidency, only one narcissist was in the North Korea versus the US picture.
That was difficult enough.
Now, two narcissistic infants battling it out.
It has devolved into a true double-bind situation
If the US does anything aggressive, like attack or invade, Seoul will be hit by thousands of artillery pieces lying only 30 miles away in the DMZ. Literally a million human persons could be killed, and tens of thousands of Americans as well.
If the US does nothing, the child-leader Kim Jung-un will continue to develop his nuclear weapons program. Some experts estimate his regime will be able to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile onto our homeland in less than one year.
What a quagmire!
Trump’s bellicose, impulsive statements only make the situation more dangerous.
Imagine a dispute between you and your neighbor regarding an aggressive vine invading your property. It winds into your windows; it chokes the sun from the plants in your backyard. It carries mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus.
It would be awful.
Perhaps dialogue works poorly. You call and talk. You meet.
Endless options still exist.
You could call the police. You could take it to the city council. You could coordinate with neighbors to penalize the difficult citizen in some way.
Only a serious gap between your inner and outer worlds would result in you shouting at, cussing out, or striking the neighbor. Not only completely ineffective, these interventions would only heighten the tension.
If you hurl insults at the neighbor, you will have shown serious immaturity and, worse, self-destructiveness.
Why would you do so?
Because of psychological immaturity, because of gaps between your inner world and the reality of external interpersonal relationships.
You would shout because you cannot see beyond the world of your internal drama. You narcissistically withdraw into a highly persecutory world, a personal one. You lose all sense of context. Neighbors, city councils, and police departments cease to exist.
It’s only you and your neighbor.
Just yesterday, Jong-un personally took to the airwaves, an unusual move. He called Trump:
a frightened dog
a gangster fond of playing with fire.
Causing thousands of Americans to scramble for their dictionaries, Jong-un added,
I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.
Slightly sensibly, he also said:
Far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.
Wisdom from the boy-leader-bully?
I hate to think of it.
However, the interchange between these two grown men, now behaving like poorly reared five-year-olds, does make one wonder what happened to leaders like Winston Churchill, FDR, JFK, or even good old Barack Obama.
I have already and repeatedly referred to how frightening it feels to have two world leader behaving like bullies from the second grade.
I have made my point.
According to this morning’s New York Times, Trump’s comments remove any hope of a diplomatic solution.
Too painful to contemplate.
Meanwhile, the situation is not without humor. I don’t know about you readers, but references to Rocket Man send my mind a spinnin’ with the lyrics to Elton John’s song.
I can’t stop singing it in my head.
On a dark note, though, one stanza reads:
Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did
These leader-babies don’t seem to understand they risk reducing the earth’s surface to the geography of Mars.
It would be cold as hell, and
There’d be no place to raise anyone’s kids.
When are adults going to enter the political arena?
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