Quote: Anger is like drinking poison and expecting another to die (Buddha)
In the news: We Can No Longer Ignore Trump’s Role in Inspiring Mass Shootings (Mehdi Hasan, Intercept, 8.04.19)
In context: A toxic person may be hard to define but it sure is easy to spot one. SNL has a skit about a couple who arrive late to a dinner and take over the event with wild stories of adventures that bore and drown out everyone else. A toxic love is such an effect of one person on another, which describes the relationship between Donald Trump and his base.
The rational mind plays a minimal role in love at its best. In toxic love the faculty of reason plays an opposing function. The more that family and friends object to the union based on its effects, the more that the special bond is reinforced between the toxic lover and the unwitting partner. It proves that outsiders don’t understand, they don’t speak the same unspoken language of soul to soul communication, or mind-meld as Dr. Spock of Star Trek would describe.
Parties to a toxic love enter into the arrangement as voluntarily as anyone smitten by Cupid’s arrow. Both people gain from the companionship of togetherness. In toxic love, however, the joys become drowned by conflict as the needs of one exert undue pressure on the one who meets them. The bond of love deepens with every investment made when a storm is weathered together until some climatic event severs the union irreparably. Unfortunately, this often in the form of a catastrophe.
Following such a break and premised on survival, the toxic one will either face legal consequences or go on to new conquests. The driving needs are stronger than the ties that bind. The healthy partner on the other hand, who is now left alone, betrayed, abandoned or simply devastated, lost and stuck with fallout, will spend years or a lifetime parsing the volley of choices that led to the current condition. There were obvious forks in the road that led to continued loyalty instead of an earlier exit. In chastened memory, the beloved will morph from a heroic rebel into a dizzying control freak. Through a bruised and wounded worldview, the healthy survivor will recognize that toxic love isn’t blind, it wears 3-D kaleidoscopic goggles.
Outsiders can clearly see that Donald Trump is a toxic person who has found a willing partner in his base. Whatever charms Trump may possess are certainly under the radar in his current media persona as US President. His face is everywhere and it rankles as much as his message and words.
Most people like to be soothed and inspired by a leader, but a good swathe of the Trump base likes his approach to leading the country. It’s a good chance that others grow more uneasy with every crisis weathered in which Donald Trump was not a participating partner. After the rally, once the spewed venom has performed its function as a cathartic to the disenchanted, the base goes home alone, some to stock up on firearms and the others to question why Trump insulted and blamed and why he didn’t say he was happy to see the gathered and that he appreciated their support.
“Love me or hate me, you gotta vote for me ’cause your 401K is going down the tubes,” Trump told supporters at a NH rally. That is a threat, a mechanism of toxic love. It is not a plea for mutually tackling a challenge.
Trump may not realize he’s toxic. His gargantuan needs gobble his attention. There is nothing left for others. But for the lucky who escape toxic relationships, the breaking point comes in many forms. The most satisfying is the one in which a new love arrives. to remind the smitten one that healthy love simply feels good.