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On Mass Psychosis and Reality Discernment in America: The "Dangerous Case of Donald Trump"
by Dr. Emanuel Paparella
2017-06-22 10:09:31
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“He is a complex, if dangerously mad man”
--From "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump",
an upcoming book by mental health experts and psychiatrists

Recently, a syndicated column by Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post has appeared with this startling title: “We’re experiencing a reality discernment malfunction.”

She begins the column with a reference to Walker Percy’s novel The Second Coming wherein we observe that its protagonist, Will Barrett, keeps falling down for no apparent reason and experiences trances during which he contemplates existential questions. Then she adds that “Barrett comes to mind in the era of Donald Trump…. Today, about a third of the population seems to be suffering from a reality discernment malfunction.”

She then points out that it makes sense that in the novel Barrett finds salvation in a young woman recently released from an insane asylum. The officially insane offer some solace when those around you are suffering from collective psychosis “believing what isn’t true and defending what isn’t defensible.”

Indeed, one is led to wonder what leads to mass hysteria so that a whole country begins to feel like a tremendous insane asylum?

Some two dozens mental health experts are currently searching for an answer which is due out in a book in the fall with the title The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. The previews of the book make clear that those professionals do not diagnose Trump, which would be hard to do from a distance, but they do however amply discuss the symptoms, coming to the sad conclusion that he is “a complex, if dangerously mad man.” They also propose that his madness in some way is affecting the nation’s mental health as well.

Wow! So we are back to the question “what makes a whole nation fall into mass psychosis and group mania?” What makes one third of the population hear lyrical lucidity rather than a second grade, monosyllabic, syntax-challenged verbiage issuing from the mouth of Donald Trump? What makes them think that he has accomplished more in a few months than any of the modern presidents did in years? Could he, as he himself has proclaimed, really shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue in full daylight and get away with it? Where is the point when the line into mass psychosis and collective madness is crossed spreading to the highest levels?

Consider the most bizarre cabinet meeting in US history which took place a few days ago: it began with the chief of staff Priebus speaking first with those words: “It is a blessing to serve under you” followed by an epic kiss-up, perhaps better defined as an “ass-kissing sycophantic session where everyone felt honored and blessed by the presiding bully in chief. It felt like a North Korean tribute to the “Dear Leader.”

Is that the line or are more bizarre examples to follow? I suspect the latter.

And it is not that we lack glaring examples from past history. There is of course the example of mad emperor Caligula of Roman Empire fame; and closer to us there is the example of Adolph Hitler. When he arrived on the scene in the mid-thirties he barely had the support of one third of the population via the Nazi party.

But the Nazis were a fanatical group ready and willing to lie and subvert the democratic system in place under the Weimar Republic. In a few short years, democracy was dead in Germany and Hitler was the popular adored dictator who would make Germany great again. Just take a look at the documentaries on Nazi celebrations that went on till the beginning of World War II in 1939. It is obvious that mass psychosis had already set-in. It was that mass psychosis which powerfully contributed to the beginning of World War II and its devastating consequences.

What is the lesson, or better, the Cassandra-like warning, for us? Simply this: when your country begins to look like a gigantic insane asylum, you should be deeply troubled and alarmed by that phenomenon. Mass psychosis in a nation, like cancer in the body, like a “sickness-unto-death,” might have already have irreversibly infected the body politic.


Check Dr Emanuel Paparella's EBOOKS
Aesthetic Theories of Great Western Philosophers
& Europe Beyond the Euro
You can download them for FREE HERE!


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