9 December

One Man’s Truth: Donald Trump Is Dissed Supremely. The Year Of Sedition And Sociopathy

by Jon Katz

“Sedition: The stirring up of discontent, resistance, or rebellion against the government in power. Organized incitement of rebellion or civil disorder against the authority of the state, usually by speech or writing.” — Constitution.com.

President Trump got the Dissing of his life yesterday when the U.S. Supreme Court Court rejected his efforts at sedition and overturning the Pennsylvania election of Joe Biden without offering a single comment.

Sociopaths feed on attention. There is no greater slap in the face than to offer them none.

At the time of the American Revolution, Trump and many of his loyalists would have been thrown in jail or tarred and feathered by now or worse. Sedition was considered an awful crime and taken seriously.

Thomas Paine would have had Donald Trump for lunch.

In our time, he will get a new radio or TV show, hold court in a garish palace in Florida and continue to try to punish the country that rejected him by gnawing our democracy.

Some people might judge his handling of the pandemic as criminal as well; I think I do. He helped to kill thousands of innocent people through his indifference and narcissism.

But that is a judgment for another time and other people. We can only handle so much at once. History will not be good to these people.

That is life in America as we head for 2021. We have to play the cards we are dealt with. We fell asleep. We are awake. The latter is a lot better than the former.

To me, two of the most important words of the year are “sedition” and “sociopathy.” Those words tell the story of America this year, and perhaps, next year as well.

The Supreme Court, knowingly or not, helped to define the drama and import of 2020.

There was no argument or dissent, or explanation in the court ruling.  No grand arguments or explanations.

The message was “denied:” in judicial English, that means, “no, go away.” And that is from the President’s friends.

That was his last true shot at upending the election.

It also marked some new realities for those following the rough year our democracy is having.

First, for me, this was a reminder not to stereotype or pre-judge people. There has been great hysteria and hand-wringing all year about Trump’s stuffing the federal judiciary and Supreme Court with his puppets and robots.

All three of the justices he boasted about appointing refused to support him, along with Justice Clarence Thomas, for all practical purposes a rubber stamp for Trump and the far right.

So did a dozen or more Republican judges who stood up for our democracy all across the country, many appointed by Trump.

Hours before the court ruling, Trump tweeted that it was time for the Supreme Court to “do the right thing.” They did.

Apparently, Justice Amy Coney Barrett was instrumental in the  Supreme Court court’s decision to ignore Trump’s effort to turn the country from the Democratic Republic into the Banana Republic.

She may vote in many ways progressives dread and dislike, but she is nobody’s rubber stamp. I am reminded not to hate or dismiss people I disagree with.

So, here we are. Biden is the next President, whether some people like it or not.

And the advantage he has in being 79 years old is that he doesn’t really care what people say about him or use the right titles for him. He doesn’t need to be re-elected.

He will, I imagine, try to do his best against overwhelming odds, and will at the very least halt or weaken some of Trump’s cruelest and most corrupt efforts and policies.

There is a lot of additional hysteria about the idea that our democracy has been irrevocably damaged by Trump’s Don Quixote (or is it Caligula’s?)  crusade against the election.

To me, that misses the real story. The center held.

Republican and Democratic judges and poll officials by the hundreds counted ballots fairly and stood up against Trump and his followers’ treasonous attack to upend a fair and legal election.

Democracy put up a huge fight, and democracy won.

We got a lot of lessons about patriotism and treachery. That happened in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War as well. It seems to be an ingrained tradition in a diverse and divided country.

The integrity of the election and the federal judiciary withstood with glory and dignity the most serious attack on our democratic structure in American history. Our system of appointing independent judges for life seems to work, at least this year.

This was a huge test. We passed, no matter what Donald Trump says or does.

It wasn’t pretty, and it won’t be easy, but the system gets an A for hanging on and an F for electing a disturbed, incompetent, and increasingly pathetic person as President.

What on earth has this poor man accomplished in four years?

A lot of people voted for Donald Trump on November 3, but millions more voted against him. And he can’t handle it. Sore losers everywhere have a leader now.

I am happy to be a lonely voice in the woods saying I don’t believe this will happen again, at least not in my lifetime. The country is on full alert.

The other big story is the realization and acceptance that the Republican Party is no longer a political party; it is now a cult powered by believers and demagogues, not citizens willing to participate in a democracy.

The party has made clear what is best for the country is not what drives them; they have become a system apart from civility, decency, tradition, and freedom.

We no longer need to wait patiently for them to “do the right thing,” they haven’t, can’t, and won’t—time to accept reality and move forward. That is sorry news, we need them for our democracy to work in a balanced way.

I have to say I fended off that sad idea until the past few months when Republicans sat quietly by in the face of Trump’s brazen sedition.

If ever there was a need for and test of political courage, this year demanded that. Many thanks to the Republican judges, poll workers, and state officials who saved our democracy.

A curse on the cowards in Congress who did not. I believe in truth and justice, and I am convinced they will pay the price for their treachery.

I predict that the true conservatives and moderate and independent Americans and  Never Trumpers will somehow band together and form a third political party, a party that could break the bipartisan log jam and make it much more possible to negotiate political differences in a civil and meaningful day.

We tend to see the future in terms of the present, but it never works out that way.

I have no insider information, but I believe that a third party is an inevitable consequence of  Republican extremism and partisan gridlock.

The year 2020 has shown us that the Republican Party is a much greater threat to our freedom than any Democratic socialist in the world.

Trump has shattered and then destroyed the values and traditions of his party, it will either cease to exist as a viable alternative or find a way to move away from him and his poisonous brand of politics. In a bloodbath like that, my money is on the Republican establishment.

If you follow the media closely, you can be forgiven for forgetting at times that Trump was defeated by an impressive margin.

Even by many people who don’t trust Democrats to run the country, his policies and politics have been rejected. He is a loser now, big-time, and that changes the way he is perceived. As he may learn, saying an election is fraudulent doesn’t make it true. Saying you are a winner doesn’t make you one.

Trump acts like he won, perhaps even believes that he won. But he didn’t win. Past that on your computer screens and empty walls.

To me, the court’s ruling sets in motion the beginning of the national rejection of Trumpism. No rational or just person can still insist the election was stolen.

I don’t believe America has been weakened so much as to permit the takeover of the country by irrational and enraged people.

This is now the party that sends thugs with rifles to the homes of health workers’ and vote counters to terrify them and their families—a curious image for a national political organization that claims it can lead a nation.

The testosterone brigade, with their big rifles and flags and big pick-ups (you have to have all three), is now eating the party’s young.

Trump’s defeat was one sign of a turning table, the awakening from the nightmare. Biden’s steadfast persistence and restraint are another, and the Supreme Court’s unanimous and jarring rejection of Trumpism is another.

The Republican Party has made it clear that they will not respect the President-elect or work with him. Don’t get your hopes up.

But Biden’s victory is significant, even as Trump still hogs the air time. As Trump has repeatedly demonstrated, the American President has enormous power to circumvent even a hostile Congress.

He will be able at least to reverse, block or change Trump’s inhuman and consequently hatred of refugees, denial of climate change, destruction of the civil service, and his administration’s rape of the American wilderness.

That is a huge deal, and I am grateful for it.

I have no idea how well Kamala Harris will do as vice-president, but Biden has said he will not seek re-election. It is also a great deal that an African-American/Indian woman will be in a strong position big to make h her case and try to replace him.

Kamala Harris has been quiet these past few weeks, and out of the limelight. I suspect that will change.

I am inspired by the courage of countless very ordinary Americans who managed this difficult election -many of them Republicans – and who bravely and almost unanimously defended it. The party has far fewer cowards than Congress, and thank God for that.

This is a time to be clear about what to expect, how to react, and just what has happened.

Trump screwed up the pandemic, he screwed up infrastructure plans,  the North Korea initiative, he screwed up his campaign to smear Biden as senile, he messed up his dreadful campaign, he blew his effort to overturn it.

He will be as nasty and opportunistic and infectious as he can be. Flow in the stream of life, accept it, don’t fight the reality of it.

I can’t believe what a dunderhead Donald Trump has been this year and during this election. He is no Hitler.

If you’re going to try to overturn a national federal election, at least find or manufacture one credible bit of evidence that it was fraudulent. CNN branded his lawyers “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” He just looks ridiculous.

Trump doesn’t have it in him to pull off a coup d-etat. He can’t even acknowledge the painful deaths of many thousands of Americans.

Neither do the boobs and bubbleheads he chooses to represent him. At this point, I doubt if Rudy Giuliani could get a traffic ticket thrown out of court. What a tragic ending for such a consequential man.

We are all confronting the now indisputable fact that we elected a President who is mentally ill. I can’t say I’ve completely figured that one out how or why that happened.

We were pushed to the edge of the cliff, but we didn’t fall off.

My mind keeps going back to Dr. Lance Dode’s revealing article on sociopathy as reprinted in The Dangerous Case Of Trump by Dr. Bandy Lee of Yale University.

“Indeed, there are generally two life paths for people with severe sociopathy. Those who are unskilled at manipulating and hurting others, who are not careful in choosing their victims, who cannot act charming well enough to fool people, have lives that often end in failure. They are identified as criminals or lose civil court battles to those they’ve cheated, or are unable to threaten their way back to positions of power. But those who are good at manipulation, at appearing charming and caring, at concealing their immoral or illegal behavior, and can bully their way to the top, do not end up as outcasts or in prison. There is a term for these people: “successful sociopaths.” They are the ones who most fool others into thinking they are “crazy like a fox.” Even their characteristic rages may appear almost normal. Instead of having a visible tantrum, they may fire people or sue them. What is important to understand is that their success is on the outside….They are still severely emotionally ill.”

Dr. Dode was also good enough to post the official diagnosis of sociopathy as reported in the official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM, that psychiatrists use to diagnose patients.

Here are the traits of antisocial personality disorder as defined in the current DSM:

“Sociopathy is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following.

l. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior.

2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying…or conning others for personal profit or pleasure.

3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead.

4. Impulsivity and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.

5.Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others.

6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations.

7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another; and

8. Evidence of conduct disorder (impulsive, aggressive, callous, or deceitful behavior that is persistent and difficult to deter with threats or punishment) with onset before age 15 years.”

According to the DSM, one only needs three of those symptoms to be diagnosed as a sociopath. As I read it, Donald Trump scores 100 percent.

Sometimes, this year seems to me to be something out of a mad novelist’s creative mind.  How did we elect Mr. Bumble Head?

I expect to wake up one morning and find it a dream. I sometimes do have to blink to remember that all of this s true and has really happened.

I believe that it happened because good people fell asleep, distracted by their own lives’ needs and desires.

At the very least, we are awake now and have begun the long and arduous task of redefining what freedom and responsibility mean to us. I think we’ve done pretty well, all things considered.

Getting Trump out of office is a huge start. It’s really up to us ordinary folks to figure out where we go from here.

We got us into this mess; we got us out of it, at least for a while. That’s the neat thing about democracy. It’s a wheel that never stops turning, and we are all responsible for where it stops.


  1. Jon,
    This is just what I needed to read today– as was a post of yours from yesterday. I read my husband your post last night before we went to sleep. Now I will show him this post too. These are scary times, and you have a way of calming me down and helping me to see the bigger picture.
    Bless yoy!

  2. Sedition is the right word for what Trump has been trying to pull. In the mist of over 3,000 people dying today Trump is still trying to destroy our democracy. This makes him worse than a traitor. Yes, the word sociopath is accurate for Trump. But he is not alone. The Republicans are holding up money for those who are waiting for hours in lines for a box of food, people are going to get evicted and lose their homes because of unemployment or underemployment, small businesses are collapsing, people can’t get medical help because the hospitals are also collapsing under the strain of Covid and yet the relief package is being held up by our elected officials. So I guess it’s up to us to make sure the people in our communities don’t starve. If everyone in each community who can afford to helps their local food bank it will make a difference. We need to reach deep in our pockets because obviously the children running the country can’t see the need. We need to remind our elected Republican officials that we voted them in and if they don’t grow up and do their job they may not have a job next time around. America is better than this.

  3. This is an able description of a man who should never have elected. The question remains: is it possible for his followers to ever see through all his schemes and see that they were mistaken?

  4. Re how he happened to become our president, I saw a video made by someone who infiltrated the Testos,Brigade. What struck me was how they are like gang members who find their “family” in the gang or here the TBrigade. I sensed they are isolated from the educated middle class and upper classes even more, and that loss allows them to connect like a family around the orange moptop. They feed each other. I felt sad not pitying but that they cannot connect to us because of our exclusion.

    ( They had pickups and many BIG flags but no boats)

  5. Your blog today gave me hope, especially in the face of 17 AGs acting like traitors. A third party comprised of the center could mean the end of the GOP which has become irrelevant.

  6. By all accounts this sociopath is a naked king BUT his enablers are there to keep fragments of clothing on him to help him walk around with his efforts to invalidate the elections. We have come to understand and accept this sociopath for who he is, but my main grouse is with these enablers – without them Trump has nothing to stand on and would have disappeared a long time ago. 50 States have certified the results but he and his enablers continue with their charade. I simply hope they can be held accountable for provoking a silent ‘coup’ with their continued denial of reality with the elections as well as the unnecessary deaths they caused by turning a blind eye to the pandemic. I fail to understand what their end-goal is knowing that the end of the road is clear and imminent. They are neck deep in sh** and trying to stay afloat by hanging on to Trump’s tailcoat.

  7. I agree with all you say except what you about bit being a Hitler. He was and is a Hitler wannabe without the competence to bring about his desires or the unlimited power he sought, thanks to our Federal/State system of government and Separation of Powers built into our marvelous Constitution. As a family of Holocaust survivors, I had occasion to speak with my wife’s grandmother who was in Germany in the early years before and when Hitler came to power. You have no idea how close we have come to repeating this situation if he had been re-elected.

    1. Hitler was smarter, more efficient, more effective..Trump’s moves are just dumb and absurd, and he hasn’t yet shown any tendency to be genocidal..

  8. It’s so difficult to believe that the president of the United States has declared war on the United States.

  9. Jon, I hope you’re right that we won’t see another character like Trump in our lifetimes. (Don’t know how old you are, but I’m 67; a lot can happen in the next 20 years). People must never forget there is currently a governor down in FL who is one to watch. He idolizes Trump and imitates him at all times. He’s Trump’s Mini-Me. He’s more of a son to Trump that his biological children.

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