Michael J. Salamon

Creating Chaos

What do you call someone who bends reality to the point where it is hard to believe most of what they say?

What do you call someone who will ignore any comments about themselves that are supported by facts and rather than apologize or admit to a wrong doing spend their time in activities designed to provide themselves with attention, accolades and support?

What do you call someone who says that he will do something but does the opposite or conveniently forgets that he promised to do that thing?

What do you call someone who is derisive of people? How about someone who, in public, talks about caring for people but, in action and deed, has only a limited sense of sensitivity toward others?

What label do you give someone who uses social media, often in the middle of the night, to demean, indict, bully and create fabrications of others to advance a self-aggrandizing agenda?

What do you call someone who has no respect for the individuals and agencies that service all his professional needs – to the point that he publicly humiliates them for doing their job precisely as they should?

How about someone who believes that there is no one who is smarter than they are in every area of knowledge but openly admits that they get their insights from talk shows, not facts? Their knowledge comes from hearing others talk about things that are not supportable, things that get the talking heads fired from their talk show positions. Still they cling to it as if it were written in stone?

What do you call someone who speaks as if he has indulged in comic books but has never read a nonfiction book?

What do you call a world leader who never learned to display diplomacy? Someone who believes that being brazen is being tactful?

I call him someone who creates chaos. I also call him Mr. President.

I have no right, as some of my colleagues have done, to give him a mental health diagnosis. That would violate certain ethical standards. And frankly, I am not even sure that there is an appropriate diagnosis beyond narcissism.Lots of people can have a streak of narcissism.

I am even willing to give him a pass on much of his personal quirks, his defensiveness, speaking style, even his use of Twitter, if he is able to make some positive change for the U.S and the world. But, I feel bad every time I see the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, squirm when trying to protect his boss from the President’s obvious gaffes and prevarications.

I think there is a need to shake up certain things in government. As a health care provider I was not very happy with Obamacare. It had too many demands on health care providers and the costs were too steep. But, the new approach seems dubious at best and even possibly significantly worse.

I think too, that a new approach is needed at the United Nations, too many countries with misogynistic and terroristic inclination have blocked progress in so many ways. I am a big fan of Nikki Haley, the new US Ambassador to the UN. But we have gone from the better angels of our nature to the dark side of managing the vagaries of our world.

So not only is he creating chaos in policies, in agencies, for the very people who are sworn to work for him, but he is in the process of creating a backlash that is a growing threat to all that we hold dear.

It is no secret that there is a rise in anti-Semitism in the world. That increase in hate is becoming evident daily in the US. Just today the NYPD reported that bias crimes in the New York subways rose from 5 last year to 22 so far this year. The predominant focus was anti-Jewish hatred. Threats to Jewish institutions and Jewish grave toppling, things that barely existed in the last few years, has come roaring out from beneath the rocks that hid these hatreds. Is this caused by the President? We cannot know for sure yet but it is certainly highly correlated with his presence in office.

We are also seeing a rise in aggressive liberalism – a kind of theocratic behavior that is causing acting out on college campuses and in major cities that is fascist like in appearance and action.

Theocracy from one side breeds a similar reaction from the other side.

Chaos surrounds someone who is chaotic. The responses are often equally chaotic. I pray that it all settles down. I hope that cooler heads prevail. I hope that after a short amount of time our President will settle in and be more presidential. If not, we are in for a very dangerous ride.

About the Author
Dr. Michael Salamon ,a fellow of the American Psychological Association, is an APA Presidential Citation Awardee for his 'transformative work in raising awareness of the prevention and treatment of childhood sexual abuse". He is the founder and director of ADC Psychological Services in New York and Netanya, the author of numerous articles, several psychological tests and books including "The Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures" (Urim Publications), "Every Pot Has a Cover" (University Press of America) and "Abuse in the Jewish Community: Religious and Communal Factors that Undermine the Apprehension of Offenders and the Treatment of Victims."
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