1. The Trumpdown
Springsteen: Donald Trump is a "Flagrant, Toxic
Chris Hedges vs. Eddie Glaude: Should Progressives
Vote for Hillary Clinton or
This is a Nederlog of Friday, October 21, 2016.
is a crisis log with 3 items and 3 dotted links: Item 1
is about Trump's refusal to admit defeat if he is defeated; item 2 is about Bruce Springsteen on Donald Trump:
Quite sensible; and item 3 is about a discussion
between Hedges and Glaude: Perhaps there is a (Chomskyan) compromise on
what to do about Trump.
This is less than normal, but the reason was that there wasn't much to
review about the crisis today. Also, I decided to work on my "On
fascism and neo- fascism - 1", in the hope that will be published
today or in the weekend.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: I do not know, but it may be you need
to click/reload twice or more
to see any changes I have made. This certainly held for
possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my
In any case, I am now (again) updating
the opening of my site with the last day it was updated.
(And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. 
C. In case you visit my Danish site: It now
works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working. The
Dutch site still is a mess (it wasn't on Oct 15, but has not
worked properly since).
I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I
am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that
also went well for 20 or for 12 years.
I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!)
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that
for many months now.
1. The Trumpdown
The first item today is by Robert Mackey on The Intercept:
In fact "The Trumpdown" is a series
The Trumpdown is a live countdown
to election day, charting Donald Trump’s public meltdown.
I quote a further development of Trump's
position that he will not say whether he will accept the
outcome of the elections:
refusal to endorse the basic premise of democracy in Wednesday’s
debate as the set up for a gag, Donald Trump told supporters in Ohio on
Thursday that he would certainly respect the results of the Nov. 8
election, as long as he wins.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to make a
major announcement today,” Trump said, reading from one of the two
versions of his prepared remarks distributed by his staff.
“I would like to promise and pledge to
all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United
States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and
historic presidential election — if I win!”
I suppose that was indeed "a gag", but it hardly
changes Trump's original position. (Incidentally, Trump doesn't doubt
that if he wins - which at present is quite unlikely - he
will win honestly, without rigging.)
Then again, Trump later mellowed his
position (though the only thing that is reliable about Trump is
that he is very unreliable):
“Of course, I would accept a clear
election result,” Trump added
later, “but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a
legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.” He went on to
cite, as precedent, the legal challenges filed by George W. Bush and Al
Gore during the Florida recount in 2000.
If this is taken at face value (but see
the last bracketed remark) and is combined with the probable fact that
Trump will be defeated in a major way, it would follow
Trump will not contest the outcome of the election.
Then again, these are at least two ifs,
and Trump will remain unpredictable until he is definitely defeated.
2. Bruce Springsteen: Donald Trump is a "Flagrant, Toxic
The second item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This consists of quotations of an interview
Bruce Springsteen had on the British Channel Four. I like it and here
are some bits with some comments.
First, there is this:
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: I mean, I know some Trump
voters, you know. But I think that he’s really—he’s really preyed upon
that part of the country, because he gives these very glib and
superficial answers to very, very entrenched and very difficult
problems, but they’re answers that sound pretty good if you’ve
struggled for the past 20 or 30 years. So—
MATT FREI: You can understand his appeal?
Yes, I think Springsteen is correct. I also
think that many of the supporters of Trump are stupid or ignorant (and I
are far more important in history than many seem to believe),
but I am willing to concede that American education these days is very
bad, and that many
of those who strike me as very stupid or very ignorant might have
seemed considerably more intelligent or more knowledgeable if only they
had had a fairly decent education. But alas they didn't and that is
both a pity and a danger.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, yeah, I can understand
that there’s somebody with simple answers to very complicated
questions, who sound like they’re listening to you for the first time.
The following seems also correct to me:
MATT FREI: Do you think the people who like
him are racists?
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: No, no, I don’t believe
that—you can’t generalize like that. You know, I think—I think there’s
all kinds of people that are interested in him for a variety of
MATT FREI: Do you think that rage will go away
after this election?
Yes. There certainly are quite a few racists,
and Nazis and Ku Klux Klanners who like Trump very much, but it seems
plausible to me they are in reality
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: No, no. I don’t know how
it’s going to manifest itself, but it will manifest itself somehow, you
a fairly small if also quite loud set, and that quite a few of Trump's
followers are moved by poverty and anger.
And Springsteen seems correct in saying by implication that since the
poverty and the anger remain, there will remain a large basis of poor
There is this on Trump's loosing the election and on Trump's character:
MATT FREI: Do you think there might be some
trouble? I mean, you know, we’ve already seen some strife on the
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Well, the trouble at the
moment is, is you have Donald Trump who is talking about rigged
elections. And he’s not—he has a feeling he’s going to lose now, which
he—of course, he is going to lose.
MATT FREI: You’re confident?
Yes. I agree with Springsteen that it seems
quite probable Trump is going to lose, and that a major problem
right now is that he is "such a flagrant, toxic
narcissist that he wants to take down the entire democratic system with
him if he goes".
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. He’s
going to lose. And he knows that. He knows he’s going to lose. And he’s
such a flagrant, toxic narcissist that he wants to take down the entire
democratic system with him if he goes. If he could reflect on these
things, maybe he’d have—but he’s such an unreflective person. And he
doesn’t—he simply has no sense of decency and no sense of
responsibility about him. And the words that he’s been using over the
past several weeks really are an attack on the entire democratic
I think that is quite correct and it also shows why I think -
as a psychologist, also - that (i) "such a
flagrant, toxic narcissist" is indeed not
sane , and that (ii) Springsteen is also right
that Trump either "simply has no sense
of decency and no sense of responsibility about him" or (as I guess is more probable) he does
have a sense of "decency" and a sense of "responsibility", but both are
fundamentally warped by his grandiose narcissism, that makes
Trump's senses of "decency" and "responsibility" coincide with
admiring, following and supporting Trump.
And this madness may be quite dangerous:
MATT FREI: And is that dangerous?
Yes, indeed. And this is a recommended
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, it is. I think it’s
very dangerous. He does have a lot of people’s ears. And I don’t think
he’s going to go quietly into the—you know, gently into the good night.
I think he’s going to make a[s] big a mess as he can. And I don’t know
what that’s going to mean, but we’ll find out shortly.
Chris Hedges vs. Eddie Glaude: Should Progressives Vote for Hillary
Clinton or Jill Stein?
The third and last item is by Amy Goodman ansd Nermeen Shaikh on
This starts with the following
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris
Hedges and Eddie Glaude, chair of the Department of African American
Studies at Princeton University, debate the issue of strategic voting
and the role of third-party candidates.
This starts as follows, and Hedges' "Donald Trump: The Dress
Rehearsal for Fascism" was reviewed by me on October 17, and is
well worth reading:
AMY GOODMAN: (..) Chris Hedges began by
talking about his new piece,
"Donald Trump: The Dress Rehearsal for Fascism."
CHRIS HEDGES: Well, that’s what we’re watching.
Trump, for all his shallowness and narcissism and imbecility and
self-destructiveness, nevertheless has been able to run a fairly close
race with Hillary Clinton.
And the danger with this election is that
the longer the policies of neoliberalism, austerity, the security and
surveillance state—in essence, the paralysis on the part of our
corporate state to deal with the suffering, grievances and mounting
rage of now over half the country who live in poverty—the more these
lunatic fringe candidates like Trump, these figures of ridicule—reminds
me very much of what happened in Yugoslavia. The economic meltdown of
Yugoslavia vomited up figures like Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan
Milosevic, Franjo Tudman, who were buffoonish figures before they
achieved political power, much like much of the Nazi Party in Weimar.
And I think that’s what we’re watching. And if we don’t reverse the
structural mechanisms by which we are disenfranchising and refusing to
deal with the most fundamental rights and issues affecting now a
majority of the American population, then we will get a fascist or a
kind of quasi-protofascist, Christianized fascism, embodied in a figure
with a little more intelligence and political savvy than Trump. And
that’s why I find this election so frightening and so dangerous.
I mostly agree. More specifically:
(i) I agree with Hedges that Trump "has been able to run a fairly close race with Hillary Clinton", which I also think is quite frightening, indeed
precisely because of Trump"s "shallowness and
narcissism and imbecility and self-destructiveness".
You would assume - supposing you are a
fairly rational and reasonable person - that a candidate like Trump
would not bring it far, but then you simply are mistaken.
(ii) I also agree with Hedges on "neoliberalism, austerity, the security and surveillance state", and in fact I think each of these are heralds of what I
call neofascism .
Then again, I doubt that what happened in
Yugoslavia is very relevant to what is happening in the USA (but I
wasn't there and Chris Hedges was), while I agree again that (at least)
neofascism is approaching in the USA.
(iii) While I agree that the USA may be
heading towards "a fascist or a kind of
quasi-protofascist, Christianized fascism",
I infer from the manner in which Chris Hedges casts his answer that he
- also - believes it is quite unlikely by now that Trump will win the
present presidential elections.
My own take is a bit different
from Hedges (though I agree his expectations are fair): Given
that we have it that the effective choice is between a bad
candidate who isn't mad and an insane candidate with ideas that
are much like neofascism, I say Trump must
be beaten first.
Next, here is professor Eddie Glaude:
SHAIKH: Professor Eddie
Glaude, let’s get your perspective on this. Earlier in the summer, you
wrote a piece
called "My Democratic Problem with Voting for Hillary Clinton." Now,
some say that Clinton’s victory is now more or less a foregone
conclusion. You also talked about the necessity of strategic voting.
Can you talk about both the arguments that you’ve made in light of
where we stand today in the campaign and with the election less than a
GLAUDE: Sure. You know,
I think that it is—it is reasonable to conclude that Hillary Clinton is
going to win. I think the internal polling for the Republican—on the
Republican side suggests that Donald Trump is going to go down pretty
badly, that it’s going to be a pretty decisive victory.
I completely agree (and indeed especially - I
am a psychologist  - with Glaude's "Donald Trump moves between being, as I’ve said before, a
lunatic and an adolescent", because I am
convinced that Trump is a lunatic, in psychological terms).
And a lot of this has to do with, right,
the fact that Donald Trump moves between being, as I’ve said before, a
lunatic and an adolescent. And we can talk about him, but in kind of
orienting us to this campaign, to this election cycle, by emphasizing
the ridiculousness of and the bombasity of Donald Trump, we have turned
our attention away from, I think, Hillary Clinton and the policies that
have defined the Democratic Party up to this point. And I think Donald
Trump is just an exaggerated indication of the rot that’s at the heart
of the country, and that Hillary Clinton is the poster child for, I
think, a failed economic policy that has left so many fellow Americans
behind, and particularly the most vulnerable.
And I also completely agree with the following:
GLAUDE: Well, I think we
agree on principle. And part of what I think—where we agree is that we
have to keep Trump out of office. And the question for me is that: How
do we do that? And one of the ways I’m thinking we need to do it is to
vote strategically. And that is, in those places where we can, for me,
blank out or vote for Jill Stein, we should. And in those places
where—the battleground states, where it matters, where Trump has a
chance to win, I think we need to turn out in massive numbers and make
sure that he doesn’t win those states. I think we have to do two things
There is no answer by Chris Hedges, but I
think that Glaude (who said what Noam Chomsky said earlier) is correct:
First Trump must be beaten. Then the situation still
is quite bad, but at least it will be less bad than if Trump is
the next US president.
this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for
months now. I
do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of
"xs4all" (really: the
KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from
2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control
myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because
"you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which
is the perfect excuse never to do anything
 I have said since March 14, 2016 that Trump is not
sane, and since I am a psychologist, who also has seen more than enough
persons who were not sane, I am rather certain.
Besides, anyone who has even very superficially followed Trump's
sayings ought to be clear that he owes his probable serious
defeat mostly to his own often crazy words.
 Which I define as follows - and see October 19 and later:
is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
The point of repeating that I am a psychologist is not that I
like being one or am proud of being one (neither is the case, in fact:
I took an M.A. in psychology only after I was refused -
illegally, as well - the right to take an M.A. in
philosophy) but that by now I find it rather odd that so
few psychologists and psychiatrists have owned up to saying what I
Obviously, Trump is a
grandiose narcissist, and obviously grandiose narcissists
(also known as: megalomaniacs)
do suffer from a serious psychopathology, that is
also difficult to cure.
Then again, I have learned the reason why so very few
academic psychologists and psychiatrists publicly say what they
privately know: It might hurt their incomes,
and in fact they are psychologists and psychiatrists because they care
for their incomes, while they care much less about truth, science,
responsibility or honesty.
Incidentally, I said the same thing as a student of
psychology. Here is the reaction of many academic psychologists
(all incompetent, I can say 28 years later): "We would love
to see you dead". (Dutch morality, also quite active in WW II, when
more than 1% of the total Dutch population was murdered for "being of
the wrong race".)