Hi Al, thanks for reading and taking the time to compose a response, even if it was in the form of a negative review. I always appreciate when people can explain their points coherently. However, I’ve got to clear at least one thing up — mainly, the part where you wrote this:

“You prove this point by thinking you are good at political commentary and attempting to Psychoanalyze [sic] Donald Trump.”

Sounds like you are projecting something onto me… at no point in this piece did I ever write that I thought I was “good at” political commentary, or psychoanalysis. (Or anything else, for that matter.) I enjoy writing on these topics, but I never claimed to be any good at it.

In fact, several times in this piece I referred to what I was speaking of as being an “armchair diagnosis,” meaning, “I’m not a professional in the mental health community, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.” You don’t have to agree with my opinion.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, but I never pursued a higher degree in that field, so if I were attempting to give a bona fide, clinical diagnosis, it would be considered unethical among the psychology/psychiatry community. Whether it’s me, or a fully licensed, renowned, practicing mental health care professional, none of us can actually “diagnose” a patient we haven’t examined in person. This is why you don’t hear prominent psychologists coming out of the woodwork to give public opinion of Trump’s presumed mental disorders or conditions.

Although — he is such an extreme deviation from the norm, some reputable psychologists & psychiatrists have decided to break from this part of the ethics code — in the interest of an unknowing public, who are under the Trump administration’s dangerous power & control — to list the many outwardly observable traits Donald Trump seems to wave around like a white flag, and they’ve stated how those traits might be, or could be an indication of a larger clinical disorder.

Unfortunately, no one will likely ever know for sure, because the Donald Trumps of the world are not the type of people to voluntarily submit to a psychological or psychiatric exam. Again, because they are plagued by a cognitive bias (the Dunning-Kruger effect) whereby they think nothing could possibly be wrong with themselves, so why the need to seek a professional’s opinion? (Dunning-Kruger is a vicious cycle.)

Pretty much everyone on the planet has something wrong on some level with either their cognitive functioning or emotional well-being. At the very least, everyone has some amount of baggage that’s been unaddressed or swept under the rug. And everyone could, at the very least, benefit from some type of therapy like cognitive behavioral, or other self-improvement techniques. Those who scream the loudest against this are the ones who are most guilty of posessing really huge mental and/or emotional deficits.

I’d also have to disagree with what you call (Trump’s) “sometimes silly words;” I’d say they’re anything but silly. They fall into categories of wildly inappropriate, totally unprofessional, grossly unbecoming, utterly disgusting, and/or extremely dangerous coming from a person with his status and power.

One handy-dandy place where you can find many of his atrocious comments and behaviors, all neatly compiled, is here at McSweeney’s: Lest We Forget the Horrors: A catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes — and this is only from more recent years up until about 2017(in parts): Pt. 1; Pt. 2; Pt. 3; Pt. 4 to come.

As for the ambiguous “actual results” you reported… well, I can only marvel at your unironic use of the phrase “fake news, scripted sound-bites,” especially considering you listed every single Fox News talking point they endlessly spout in their broadcast of fear-mongering propaganda.

The stock market? No. A necessary read on why not can be found here, “Only Two Things Matter for the Stock Market. Donald Trump is Not One of Them.”

Unemployment? No. Not due to Trump. Earlier in 2018, unemployment was indeed near a 50 year low, though that was easily proven as a continuation of a very strong growth trend that began during Obama’s tenure, after the end of the recession in 2010. In 2018, the jobless rate quickly inched back up under Trump to 4%, which is higher than the 3.8% achieved during the Clinton presidency in 2000.

GDP? Laughable. On Fox Business Network recently, Trump alleged that last quarter our country had reached a rate of growth that hadn’t been seen in 14 years. According to basic fact checkers, such as AP, that claim is “false in two ways and correct in none.”

Manufacturing is returning to America? Again, a laughable, yet pitiful claim. After decades of automation and change to the industry, manufacturing in the U.S. is a significantly smaller part of the economy than it was decades ago. It didn’t ever come “roaring back,” and it’s not “booming” as the Trump administration likes to spin it.

19.5 million people were employed in the manufacturing industry in 1979. As of December 2017, we were down to 12.5 million manufacturing jobs — 1.2 million fewer than there were in December 2007, when the recession started, as evidenced by BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) data. Major automobile manufacturers have been cutting jobs. Just ask the Lordstown, Ohio General Motors, who idled a factory and eliminated 14,000 positions not too long ago.

Hiring in the steel sector is stagnant, and even with the opening and restarting of several mills, direct steel industry employment was 146,300 as of November, 4% lower than it was 4 years ago, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Trump’s ridiculous trade war with China has raised costs, disrupted supply chains and created uncertainty for both American importers and exporters.

As for this myth that won’t die regarding Hillary Clinton and the rest of the left being “surprised” that Trump “won” (though “won” is debatable, since Hillary won the popular vote by an overwhelming amount of individual votes — she outpaced Trump by nearly 2.9 million votes, with 65,844,954, or 48.2%, to Trump’s 62,979,879, or 46.1% of votes) — not too many of us were surprised. Horrified, but not surprised in the least.

We knew the U.S. was (and is) racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, anti-PC, and all the other morally reprehensible stuff; we just didn’t realize to what extent Donald Trump had emboldened all of those folks to come out of hiding.

Oh — and as for the right’s perpetual whining over “political correctness,” it makes me wonder who the actual “snowflakes” are. You do realize that there’s no shame in being PC, right? You do realize that being PC is nothing more than trying not to be a huge asshole, right? And also, you might wanna study up on socialism. It doesn’t mean what you think it does.

Covering the intersection of culture, politics & equality. Featured in Marker, HuffPost, PopSugar, Scary Mommy; heard on NPR, SiriusXM, LTYM, TIFO podcast, etc.

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