Sunday, August 30, 2015

costumes a dead giveaway that superheroes are insane - elective politics is cosplay....,


newrepublic |  Donald Trump is the Republican frontrunner for president, a fact that has befuddled just about everybody—except perhaps Trump himself—and spawned countless theories: He's leading because Americans are frustrated with politicians and want a straight-talking outsider. Because he shamelessly caters to paranoid conservatives. Because he's famous. He's not politically correct. He never says sorry. He's unfailingly entertaining. And the press can't resist him. But there's another reason that no one has considered yet, a secret weapon that has propelled past charismatic politicians like Bill Clinton and Theodore Roosevelt to the White House: hypomanic temperament

To be clear, I’m not using my authority as a professor of psychiatry to call Trump mentally ill. Hypomanic temperament is not an illness. It is genetically linked to bipolar disorder and manifests the same traits as mania—but crucially, does so to a less severe and more functional degree. Historically, hypomanic temperament has received little attention compared to bipolar disorder, but the founders of modern psychiatry—Eugen Bleuler, Emil Kraepelin, Ernst Kretschmer—first described these personalities around a century ago. "Hypomanics," as I describe them in In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography: 
are whirlwinds of activity who are filled with energy and need little sleep, less than 6 hours. They are restless, impatient and easily bored, needing constant stimulation… and tend to dominate conversations. They are driven, ambitious and veritable forces of nature in pursuit of their goals. While these goals may appear grandiose to others, they are supremely confident of success—and no one can tell them otherwise…. They can be exuberant, charming, witty, gregarious but also arrogant…. They are impulsive in ways that show poor judgment, saying things off the top of their head, and acting on ideas and desires quickly, seemingly oblivious to potentially damaging consequences. They are risk takers who seem oblivious to how risky their behavior truly is. They have large libidos and often act out sexually. Indeed all of their appetites are heightened.
This description doesn't just match Clinton; it also sounds an awful lot like Trump. He reports, for example, “I usually sleep only four hours a night,” which by itself is usually a pretty reliable indicator of hypomania, and something he boasts about: “How can you compete against people like me if I sleep only four hours?” He claims to work seven days a week, and in a typical 18-hour day makes “over a hundred" phone calls and have “at least a dozen meetings.” “Without passion you don't have energy, without energy you have nothing!” Trump has tweeted. Hence his taunt of Jeb Bush as “a low energy person,” by contrast. Like most hypomanics, he is distractible. “Most successful people have very short attention spans. It has a lot to do with imagination,” he once wrote. He is correct. The same rapidity of thought that helps engender creativity makes it difficult to stay on one linear track of ideas without skipping to the next. Like most hypomanics, he follows his “vision, no matter how crazy or idiotic other people think it is.” Trump sees himself as a person of destiny and no one is going to talk him out of it. Trump's inflated self-esteem is illustrated by the fact that his net worth is reported by Forbes to be $4 billion, a fraction of the $10 billion he claims. It’s not just hyperbole: Hypomanics' wild optimism systematically distorts their perceptions.

Dripping with arrogance, Trump is an uber-aggressive alpha male who gleefully dominates, bullies, and colorfully disparages his competitors and critics. His hypomanic energy gives him that elusive charisma: Whether you love him or hate him (and charismatic figures produce such polarized responses) he makes himself the center of attention, the most exciting figure on the stage, who consumes all the oxygen in the room.