The title of this Slate article
says “The Domestication of Donald Trump Has Begun: His “Presidential” Tone Was All The Rage Tuesday.” I’ve been thinking about Trump needing to learn to hinge up his unhinged personality to compete in the general election. The Slate article talks about “domesticating an America fascist.” Great! A would be Queen of Hearts calmly saying “please take these offensive denizens of Wonderland to the guillotine” instead of screaming “off with their heads!”
Much is being made of the fact that last night Trump referred to Ted Cruz and Senator Cruz instead of Lyin' Cruz. This is supposed to show he’s more presidential? It shows no more than his taking someone’s prudent advice. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ivanka inked it on the back of his hand.
It doesn’t take a shrink to understand that basic personality traits don’t change. It’s a feel-good fantasy, the stuff of movies about redemption, that a person can change who they have always been. The best way to predict future behavior is to look at past behavior.
Bad behavior based on deeply entrenched personalty traits (or a personality disorder) explains why mandated anger management therapy for those charged with battery (attention Cory Lewandowski) doesn’t work very often.
In psychotherapy, a person needs to want to change their behavior in order for therapy to work.
Trump wants to be president, therefore he must be convinced that to win he’ll have to change his behavior. Behavioral change isn’t all that difficult if a person is highly motivated. An incarcerated killer or drug trafficker can change their behavior in order to get paroled. That doesn’t mean he won’t resume his antisocial, or even psychopathic, behavior once back on the street. Or, once he becomes president.
Trump is not given enough credit for being an actor, but he really is. He has a schtick. The question is whether or not the schtick that worked on The Apprentice and in his rallies is so based on his personality that he is really so much the ego-maniac unencumbered by empathy that he’d be dangerous as president.
Trump isn’t a feral cat you adopt and try to teach to use the litter box because feral cat’s instinct is to do his business in the sand.
If Trump gets in the White House, his sandbox will be America.
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