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can't login can you give me credential kjcarter@telus.net

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I listen to various podcasts and I’m hearing a pattern from those who forecast elections and it’s troubling (I do try to avoid surveys and polls since they can change quickly). What I’m hearing is that the Democrats will “likely” lose the house, Kevin McCarthy will become the Speaker and we know the contagion is spreading from state Republicans to their supporters. You and others have been sounding the alarm for a long time but it’s as if ppl are so afraid they don’t want to see it. I keep thinking we need a series of events like the Women’s March PROACTIVELY for voter suppression and equally important the potential disaster of Roe v Wade that is being ‘championed’ as Amy Coney Barrett’s first big case. The slow role of the gun toting, conspiracy driven, ‘law enforcement/military infiltration’, and anti-BLM/Antifa/peaceful protesting rest of us is worrying. In Europe and Russia citizens already under authoritarian leaders risk their lives and protest in huge numbers. Is that what it will take (being REACTIVE) for Americans to see how close we are to losing our unique Democracy?

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It just kind of blows me away that we frequently allow persons with severe anti-social and narcissistic authoritarian personalities to run whole countries. Ruth, do you think there is hope that more of us are able to identify authoritarians?

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Thanks for the discussion. It is important in our efforts to understand the character of authoritarian leaders that we do not medicalize evil. As a psychiatrist I am aware it was physicians, and in particular it was psychiatrists, who were more than willing participants in Hitler’s carefully planned genocide.

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Good interview! One of the most fascinating (I think) things about the brain is that it is an adaptive, changing organ. When neuroscience finds differences between the standard brain and the psychopathic brain (for example), it's tempting to say "Ah, look! We found the cause of psychopathy because psychopaths have smaller amygdalae than the rest of us!" The reality is actually even more fascinating. The differences in the brain do not *cause* psychopathy, they *are* psychopathy--kinda like a flock of birds is not *caused* by a bunch of individual birds. So, if you have a person with a normal brain who gets into office and begins behaving in a psychopathic manner (or having psychopathic thoughts), their brain will change accordingly. This reminds me of Jane's comment below about how people can be influenced by interacting with others with malignant traits. For me this reinforces the importance of having robust systems in place that limit problematic leaders after they have risen to power as well as weeding them out beforehand.

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Excellent inteview. As someone with a formal education in Abnormal Psychology, I saw Trump as a problem in 2015, during his campaign. I somewhat agree with Dean's assessment about Trump having narcissistic personality disorder but I felt sociopathy (anti social personality disorder) might be more accurate. The two disorders are similar. Trump loves to use people to do his dirty work for him. This is known as narcissistic triangulation. His grandiosity is quite striking, as is his lack of remorse for having caused pain in others. There is a connection between sociopathy and far right thinkers/far right authoritarians. Examples are-- Mussolini, Hitler, Pinochet, Allen Dulles, Ayn Rand and Trump. It is extremely important for members of society to recognize sociopaths seeking power and reject them, because they can destroy nations.

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I enjoyed this interview also. The film "The Last King of Scotland" (based on the book by Giles Foden) explores the dynamic between Idi Amin and the young (fictional) doctor whom Amin psychologically seduces - as a shapeshifter, a flatterer, a sort of "hail fellow well met" (at first), which reminds me of how Trump projects himself to the gullible, and taps into their longing to feel significant; to be buddies, and to belong somewhere. In the film, Amin intuits the young doc's need to feel important, and exploits that. Malignant Narcissists are expert at detecting their target's flaws and longings. So that movie is also a sort of morality tale. Boiled down to interpersonal one on one interactions: A similar psychological seduction of narcissist to victim is present in the movie "Capote". Capote falls into identifying with the murderer's childhood, which was similar to Capote's - And the other film that comes to mind is "Longford" - about a well meaning member of Parliament, respected for his own morality, who tangles with a couple of socio pathic killers in an effort to bring salvation to at least one of them. I interpret these morality tales as cautionary personal warnings: Know thyself and -- know your own flaws as a way of protecting yourself from toxic manipulators. They can capture our emotions.

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I enjoyed the interview. As we increase our understanding of authoritarian personality types like Trump, Berlusconi and Mussolini for example, we see a particular personality profile of psychological traits that emerge. Once it is identified and you combine it with tools of rule, making predictions about what someone like Trump will do next becomes dare I say easy. I've been saying since Trump left office he would run again if he doesn't have legal or health issues. And boy has he ever been busy... despite the split in the party with the Liz Cheneys, Adam Kinzinger and Mitt Romneys, Trump has converted the GOP into a cult of personality. They kneel before Zod.

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