The Bizarre World of America

“The Framers intended that the president “be like a fiduciary, who must pursue the public interest in good faith republican fashion rather than pursuing his self-interest, and who must diligently and steadily execute Congress’s commands,” as a recent Harvard Law Review article puts it.”    The Atlantic October 3, 2019

The lengthy article noted above was written by American lawyer George Conway, who offers a deep dive into the various psychological dysfunctions of Donald Trump, and strongly suggests that those traits render him incapable of holding the office of President. He seems deeply concerned about Trump’s competence even then, and the article was written prior to the impeachment and subsequent acquittal (I will add: by a corrupt GOP Senate), and to the botched handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conway quotes a psychology expert as saying “Trump displays the extreme behavioral characteristics of a pathological narcissist, a sociopath, or a malignant narcissist”, and Conway spends thousands of words describing the many medical definitions and offering specific examples of Trump’s behaviour that would support the claims of mental illness.

As full disclosure, I must say that I agree with pretty much everything Conway contends; there is plenty of video evidence to substantiate his claims. But I must add that even as a vehement Trump opponent, I am surprised at the lengths to which Conway goes to make his point. The article IS obsessive, which of itself is not an issue, especially considering the seriousness of the subject.

What astounds me is the degree of cognitive dissonance involved in the writer’s life. Such a severely critical attack on Trump would seem completely normal, except for the fact that Conway’s wife, Kellyanne, for the past two years, has been the renowned Counsellor to the President! The omnipresent talking head apologist on Fox News and other media outlets unabashedly defends Trump no matter what the lie or behaviour of which he is guilty. She, the inventor of the phrase “alternative facts” is either suffering from similar narcissistic dysfunctions as Trump, or is amorally pursuing whatever necessary to ensure her own fame and fortune.

Either way, in my view the situation is quite telling of the bizarre world in America. How can one be so passionately against Trump and all of his behaviour, yet be married to the monster’s chief apologist? What do they discuss at breakfast? At what point does someone’s (a partner’s) behaviour run so anathema to one’s own values, that the relationship must be dissolved?

America’s collective cognitive dissonance displays as a high mistrust of Congress and The Beltway, yet votes for a populist liar like Trump, or despite DNC corruption and manipulation of the democratic process, ‘votes blue no matter who’ is jammed down their throats as the anointed candidate.

Were George Conway simply dissatisfied with some of Trump’s ideas or behaviours, it would be very different. But his article emphasizes his complete disdain and deep concern for the Constitution and the country’s well-being. Rightly so.

It is not my place to judge the Conways, but I guess I’m doing it anyway here. Disagreements are a valuable part of any society that values and seeks truth. But at some point, if for no other reason than to preserve credibility, we need to pay more than lip service to our opinions and values. Conway eviscerating Trump in an article while his wife’s presumably large salary helps pay his mortgage is somewhat disingenuous, and certainly arms his critics with an indefensible retort.

In his masterpiece The Divine Comedy, Dante wrote: “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.” As long as his wife continues with her atrocious escapades, George Conway is really remaining neutral.

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