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Marcel Proust, No. 4:  Waking up to the Reality of Abuse, or: The Incredible
Reach of the Stockholm Hostage Syndrome
A two-in-one speculation on the weird love/hate-hex POTUS 45 is casting about himself in light of
Marcel Proust’s “Sodom and Gomorrah”, first drafted on Sept. 27, published on Oct 16, 2019,    
PART 1 of 2

    It’s just disappointing to me that there isn’t somebody of some stature who’s willing to just say “this man is unfit,” because
    they all know it. They just all know it. You know they know it, and I don’t know what’s so hard about saying it. It’s obvious.
    I think if you want to go down in history as having served your country well, you should say that, so I just don’t get it. I don’t
    understand it. They just hope he just comes to pass. I mean, I understand early on you could say, “Well, let’s hope he gets
    better. Let’s see if we can work with him,” but we’ve seen so much now. It’s just …..
    George Conway (husband of Kelly-Ann Conway): Diagnosing Trump
    on the Café/ Stay Tuned Podcast with Preet Bharara

Noah denkt™ would not do justice to its analytical calling if it weren’t to contemplate the psychological backdrop
which could possibly explain the protracted and steadfast support that large parts of the GOP had been (and to
some extent still are) providing to POTUS 45. And that despite the ample evidence available to them of the
ethically dented, unhinged and unsavory nature of POTUS' character. Clearly, it is an issue of major
importance for the future survival of democracy to get to grips with the emotional complexity of this kowtowing
enigma. After all, we are faced here with a surprisingly resilient pocket of irrationality
which doesn’t just threaten
the levelheadedness of individuals whose courage and democratic credentials used to be beyond all doubt but
also menaces to do lasting damage to the faith in the feasibility of intellectual virtue and reason as such.

The Obvious Empathy/Fear - Paralysis

Now, just like most other observes, Noah denkt™ believed that the stubborn GOP resistance to obvious facts
could be best explained as
a variation of the Stockholm Hostage Syndrome. We presumed that Mr. Trump’s
narcissism kept his staunchest supporters in a compassion-angst-paralysis which had them, on one
hand, sympathize with the painful ailments of an already much loathed human being, and, on the other, fear the
havoc which that individual's narcissistic distortions could unleash if they were aggravated even more.

Of course, there are solid arguments to support this particular assessment:

Mr. Trump, has never made a name for himself as being a dispassionate, non-emotional student of the facts;
Reading analytical briefs is not his fortitude; Long back-and-forth debates tend to bore him; instead he prefers
to base his opinions on rapid-fire anecdotal takes; In his press statements he keeps harping about the need for
signs of respect from others to him and the US (which in his mind is probably pretty much the same thing); He
resorts to aggressive name-calling of opponents; His touting of presumed personal policy successes is never
complete without labeling them as “best ever” achievements in US history; His compromise with the truth and
with honesty is sketchy at best; His business career has in large part been built on disproportionate legal
threats to dissenters;Mistakes can never be acknowledged, and his self-centered hurting in the face of criticism
provides ample argument to fear the worst in case of a further falling out with him.

In other words, it isn’t far-fetched to assume that Mr. Trump keeps the people in his orbit in
a double-bind-
intimidation (
“If-you-don’t- love-me-I-have-to-assume-you hate-me”) and supplication (“Please-love-me-
so-that-I don’t-have-to-hate you”
) - spell which is hard to break for everybody, - especially in the absence of
an overwhelming public support to do so.  Unfortunately, it is also true that hardly anybody is altogether
immune to be caught up in the hex of such an abusive and aggressive narcissism. Don’t forget that reason
obliges especially those with the most encompassing devotion to it to
grant a benefit of doubt to newcomers,
pioneers and outsiders before reaching a final judgment on them. And it is in this open-minded and open-
ended, initial interregnum
that reasonable minds who by their very nature tend to push for the reconciliation of
opposites and the harmonization of dissonances are in most danger to fall into the aforementioned emotional
blackmail trap. This blackmail usually operates along the lines of emotional outrage (“I thought we were
friends and now you are abandoning me, - after all what I have done for you?  That’s very unjust, very
inhuman and very unfair”
. -  Remember also Shakespeare's "Et tu, Brute?" in Julius Caesar)

The open question however is, why is it that even combat-experienced Navy Seals and highly decorated military
heroes who, perhaps due to a sense of patriotic duty, may have fallen into the aforementioned spell have such
a hard time to freely de-construct its abusive nature and then denounce it for what it is publicly? After all, the
nebulous “fearing-of-the-worst”-argument can only go so far with people who have most likely already seen and
experienced the worst. And the rather human desire to empathize with the brutal suffering of an unhinged freak
naturally finds its limits when subject empathy for the freak is co-responsible for triggering more harm for other
troops and collaborators elsewhere in the national ranks..

Marcel Proust comes into the Picture

Well, while we were contemplating these questions, it also so happened that we were finishing the read of the
4th volume (“Sodome et Gomorrhe” (Gallimard folio classique, 1988/99) of
Marcel Proust’s 7-part series “In
Search of Lost Time”. And strangely enough, it seemed to us as if there were a couple of clues hidden in Mr.
Proust’s work that might help us to answer the Trump-triggered supporter conundrum we have touched upon
above. So let’s look then at Mr. Proust’s pertaining ideas in more detail. (And please bear with us if we will not
elaborate our argument in a Trumpian, rapid-fire style. The matters at hand here, are too important and too
intricate to simply splash their resolution out as if it were a self-evident pearl of wisdom and truth....)

Continue reading on Page 2
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