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Trump Isn’t Just Incompetent and His Agenda Isn’t Just Bad. It’s Evil.


#1

Trump Isn’t Just Incompetent and His Agenda Isn’t Just Bad. It’s Evil.

John Feffer

Evil is a popular topic in Hollywood, from The Evil Dead franchise to Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies. But evil makes only the occasional cameo in the U.S. policy realm.

In the early 1990s, the topic of evil became buzz-worthy in the wake of the Cold War’s collapse as pundits and policymakers tried to understand the unfolding horrors in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Rwanda.


#2

If Trump’s claim is true it makes his mother one of “the worst of the worst” b/c she came here as an IMMIGRANT!


#3

Never attribute to “evil” what can be explained by “stupidity”

Evil requires intention. Stupid doesn’t. Even Feffer notes that

Trump is now pursuing the same old tired foreign policy of his predecessors, but with much greater incompetence.

“Evil” is not the right word. “Ignorant”, or “incompetent”, or “stupid” is.


#4

I liked this op-ed piece, very well-stated and thought-provoking. That is, for people with critical thinking skills who can be objective. For those who are blinded by their own ideologies and/or so enamored by a particular individual that they cannot be objective, then this piece will be a pointless read to them.

Many books have been written trying to figure out what happened to the German population in the 1930’s, how otherwise intelligent, rational, logical, kind and thoughtful human beings could so quickly fall under the spell of a psychotic, evil demagogue and wholeheartedly support and follow him down the road to Hell.

Just watch Trump and his 90 million or so worshippers, and you can see the exact thing being repeated here in the U.S. today, before our very eyes. Do you think Hitler looked in a mirror and said to himself, “I am so evil!” Of course not. Our own ideologies are always cloaked in righteousness, so even when we are committing horrible evils, we do not see them as such.

Trump’s supporters do not see him or his actions as evil, because his hatreds and ideologies match their own. They are simply following a man who speaks to their hearts as nobody else has ever done, and when they see him, they see themselves. They do not see themselves as any more evil than they see him - in fact, quite the opposite, most of them probably see it all as incredibly good and righteous. Just as Hitler and all those tens of millions of Germans did back in the 1930’s and 40’s.

He IS evil, and his followers are by complicity in the evil that they support, whether their own adulation blinds them to this fact or not. It is for those of us who can see to battle it, and them.


#5

I respect your opinion. But I disagree. I really do believe in evil. Stupidity, apathy, ignorance all advance it, yes, but it exists nonetheless. Some people are truly evil, and Trump most certainly is in my view, whether he is too stupid to see himself as such or not.


#6

“moral relativism” a phrase used by the one and only Paul Ryan who claims that this is the biggest threat to USA society. A society that worships british royalty, media personalities, and sport personalities and is fed daily tripe on tv, puts up with a failing educational system can be fed any propaganda by the politicians. Most people in this country are not hungry enough to know what they are losing each and every day. During war, which is our constant state whether we are directly impacted by the bombs, the citizens are taught to hate and fear the enemy else how would government be allowed to spend more than 50 % of the budget on military and the national security state? Even with the local police forces being militarized the citizens of this country do not see fascism taking hold. Yes Trump and his followers are evil because they are in the process of destroying life sustaining water, air and land while the make themselves have bigger ban accounts extracting and using too much of mother earth.


#7

I completely agree there is evil out there. Where we disagree is in the application to to the case at hand. I see an egotistical, out of control blowhard, who doesn’t have a moral center. I see an opportunist, not someone who, akin to a Hitler or a Pol Pot or a Ted Bundy truly rises to the level of “evil”


#8

Never underestimate the capacity for evil that someone - even a dumbass blowhard like Trump - is capable of. At this stage he has not done great obvious harm, relatively speaking - yet. The same could be said of Hitler in the first year of his power. However, even mental dunces like Trump without any imagination can sense the possibilities, the potential, of the power they hold, eventually. Given enough time, and room, I believe it is a very small step between where he is now, and mass deportations/imprisonment and even executions of undesirables. Sounds far-fetched, doesn’t it? But then if you had asked the average German citizen shortly after Hitler’s rise to power if they thought Hitler would soon begin rounding up and imprisoning dissenters and political foes and opposition parties and minorities and immigrants, most would have laughed in your face at the absurdity of such an idea.

Never underestimate a stupid, hateful man with lot of power.


#9

There’s a fundamental difference between Hitler and Trump. Hitler had a fully-formed ideology early on, and laid out his goals, objectives and methods in Mein Kampf for all to see. Trump is a non-ideological opportunist. Remember, less than 10 years before he ran for President he was chumming around with Hillary and getting awards from Jesse Jackson.

An idiot can easily commit acts that are evil, but it’s an overshot, to my mind to say he is evil. It has the same diminishing effect on the word that endlessly calling anything one disagrees with “racist” or “fascist” - the words lose their power over time.


#10

Fair enough, and some good points.


#11

A stupid, hateful man with a lot of power and an agenda which includes taking over the public educational system, creating fear of almost anyone who is not rich and white, fomenting hate of others, continuing the agendas of the previous administrations of promotion of poverty at home and wars abroad, destroying lives the wake of wars and hate and on and on.
So these ideologies are not written out as plan AB and C but sure as hell this war economy and corporate control of life’s resources such as WATER is a slow death for life on this earth. I do not care about semantics.


#12

I don’t think “evil” gets us anywhere. I think we need to understand the views and goals of Trump’s supporters. The real Trump just happens to fit in with a growing right wing movement. The most important view of the movement is that whites are a superior race. Another view is that United States is only a country for whites. And the best form of government is authoritarian. Everything else seems to be based on those views. The deportations, the bans on immigration, the demonizing of Muslims, the lack of criticism of white supremacist terrorist attacks, the opposition to globalization, the retweets from white nationalists, the attacks on the media, etc. The movement is Trump’s political base. When he acts or says something it is to maintain political support. From the left it certainly appears to be evil. From the right it appears to be whites trying to take back their country from the liberals.


#13

How about the evil of profiting in cold hard cash from the decisions made? Or being glorified by other evil doers? Does that serve as intent for the purposes of identifying the evil Donny does?


#14

Profits are not necessarily evil. And no one is responsible for whether others choose to glorify them.


#15

Evil is live spelt backwards and that’s what it means backwards living. Humans are clever putting twisted logic and hidden meaning in words.


#16

That’s his goal to become hitler, if you look at everything he is doing you can see it. He is a control freak. He wants to be king of America and make it his country to control. If we don’t get him out that what I predict will happen he to rich.


#17

Evil according to Carl Jung: Failure to face the shadow.
According to psychiatrist M. Scott Peck: Unwillingness to face the pain of self-examination (so the same as Jung’s definition) Peck wrote a book about the psychology of evil: People of the Lie
Gregory Bateson: an epistemological mistake
Mary Daly: sado-spiritual masochism

All examples of evil fit all those definitions; the combination of them gives us more insight than any one definition alone. The Republicans exemplify all of them, and in coming to understand how, and what the definitions mean in detail, we can come to understand what to do about them and how to prevent such evil from now on.