WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As Donald Trump’s erratic behavior intensifies – evidenced by a deluge of anti-democratic, authoritarian, dystopian, malicious actions and statements – many observers struggle to grasp his objectives. Some are perplexed by his affinity for self-defeating and humiliating conduct. Others seek a rational or strategic purpose. Many resort to generalized explanations, such as his mental instability, his inability to accept that he lost the election, or his self-created alternate reality based on alternative facts (a.k.a., lies).
Yet, there are more specific explanations, rooted in Trump’s psychological impairments. As Bradford Kane wrote in Pitchfork Populism: Ten Political Forces That Shaped an Election and Continue to Change America, Trump “inundates every American with insight into his character, motivations, objectives, needs, and temperament. He chose to rip away the veneer and expose his impulses. Rather than hide his psychological fabric, he has placed it in the public record.” As the author details on pages 99-100 of the book, the five principal drivers of Trump’s behavior are (summarily stated):
- narcissism and his dependency on approval / attention / affirmation, resulting in his quest for loyalty and aversion to being seen as a loser;
- anger and antipathy toward anyone who slighted, rebuked, opposed, or demeaned him, stemming from his fears of criticism and rejection;
- retribution by deconstructing, destabilizing, and dismantling anyone and anything that criticized, rejected, or otherwise angered him;
- replacement of what he deconstructed, reconstructing it to suit his whim, benefit, or image via his self-serving, transactional approach; and
- authoritarian use of expansive, unilateral powers to execute his edicts, punish or reward others, and serve himself, without restraint or accountability.
Trump’s motives are among the many aspects of his and his administration’s conduct that Kane exposed in Pitchfork Populism. The author’s analysis and answers – written when others were perplexed, confused or confounded – have gained broad acceptance. Kane assessed a vast array of Trump’s domestic and foreign policies, legislative efforts, executive orders, and public statements, identifying the forces that spawned Trump’s pattern of malevolence, ignorance, incompetence, corruption, and cruelty. In the waning days of the Trump administration, rather than abating, these flaws are multiplying.
Fortunately, however, the political forces discussed in Pitchfork Populism that enabled the degradation of our political climate over the past four years can be harnessed to catalyze constructive, unifying progress. Under President-elect Joe Biden’s leadership, these forces can be leveraged for a return to policy and actions based on long-held, widely-cherished American values, Constitutional principles, and norms of democracy that serve both parties’ interests. The Biden-Harris administration’s focus on unity, empathy, justice, and equity will elevate the prospect of bipartisan collaboration to aid, support, and benefit all Americans. The incoming administration’s rational, stable, and fair approach to governing will reassert the best of our national character, and reclaim our global stature and leadership. While the outcome of Georgia’s senate races will impact the extent of bipartisanship, most Republicans will value Biden’s approach, recognizing it as an opportunity for meaningful, responsible progress on many issues.
Bradford Kane presents acute insights into the forces that led to the present situation, and assesses the path forward in the coming years for the country and world.
SOURCE Bradford Kane