Michael J. Salamon

It’s not just Trump

At a wedding in Hulda last night the subject of Trump’s presidency came up. No, I was not the instigator. In fact, I have not voiced a political opinion in days. I have avoided public politics because it is clear that the Justice Department of the US is doing its job. I am sitting back and watching the psycho social impact investigative reality, limit setting and the rule of law has on temper tantrumed narcissists. I await the possibility of solid irrefutable smoking gun evidence and am keen to see how it all plays out. So, as a well experienced student of human behavior, I have been sitting back, observing and trying to understand.

In contrast to what many in the US believe, not all Israelis love Trump. Many see him as a world wide disruptor. Standing up to Iran is laudable in their view but there is no evidence that he is having any real impact on Iran’s actual behaviors or motivations. Moving the American Embassy was a nice gesture but that is having no clear positive impact on Palestinian negotiations. And Jared Kushner’s peace plan has yet to see the light of day and may never actually happen and given that the Palestinian leadership is indicating no interest in dealing with the Trump administration whatever deal is proposed will likely be dead on arrival.

They tried to engage me in Trumpian debate – do you like him or hate him? Is he good because he stands up to the liberals or is he just a wealthy spoiled real estate tycoon who panders to right wing groups because it somehow gives him a financial boost?

They discussed I listened. And then they pressed a button. I am not exactly sure what it was but I felt compelled to say something.

It is true that my feelings on the Trump presidency are not very positive. I do believe that his view of the world is based on seeing himself as the center of the universe. He truly believes he knows better than everyone and he in fact lives by the adage that his “gut” knows more than all the evidence that is brought to bear against him. He is so narcissistic that he is abusive, a bully to anyone who does not bow to his will. Still, he is not the biggest problem. In my view, I explained, extremism on both sides, the extremism that has led to the tribalism permeating politics worldwide is. There is a political movement underway to question everything from the sanctity of religion to the mundanity of music verses, from the concept of an aristocracy to a meritocracy based on shared values and from demand for safe places to the psychology that shows how confronting fears can build resilience.

There is an argument to be made on all positions but there is apparently limited willingness to compromise. There is no cohesive centrist to bring everyone to an understanding that ultimately we are all In this together. And there seems to be no one on the horizon with a cohesive centrist view.

That is what I told the wedding guests. Not surprisingly they all agreed.
So the eternal question remains- what will happen next.

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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