May 1 2016 Shorts

The following is a set of links and comments to things I find interesting that are not long enough to merit their own post.

P.S. Happy May Day!

Topics include:

  • Expect a untraditional vice presidential running mate for Trump
  • Two factions of the Republican party?
  • Psychopaths and Sociopaths

Expect a untraditional vice presidential running mate for Trump

Many of the Republicans that would normally be at the top of the list for prospective vice presidential nominees are quick to state that they weren’t interested in sharing the Republican ticket with Donald Trump.

The New York Times, via MSN News, reports:

A remarkable range of leading Republicans, including Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, have been emphatic publicly or with their advisers and allies that they do not want to be considered as Mr. Trump’s running mate. The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles.

But I wouldn’t expect Donald Trump to be interested in any of them as prospective running mates anyway. Donald Trump’s rise to front runner status has been anything but orthodox. He has eschewed all the traditional candidate expectations. He has tilted at the windmill of the Republican party, but instead of failing, he has emerged as the leader of a significant amount of the Republican base. He has resurrected the feelings and divisions that many in the United States had thought we had outgrown, but many of his followers view as a necessary rebuke to the cultural mores that have developed since the 1950s.

Many modern Republican politicians might not be interested in running with Donald Trump, but many Republican politicians that have accepted a niche position on the fringes of the Republican party are interested.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, as well as Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, said in interviews that they would consider joining the ticket if Mr. Trump offered. Two governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, have also told allies that they were open to being Mr. Trump’s running mate.

Make no mistake. Donald Trump isn’t wanting for potential running mates, just running mates that would be acceptable to the modern Republican party. I expect that whoever Donald Trump decides to run with will be as much of a surprise to the public as his successful campaign has been.

Two factions of the Republican party?

Jon Ward at Yahoo News has an essay stating that Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are each making a populist push within the Republican party, but that beyond the rhetoric of populism, they actually represent different wings of the Republican party.

From Yahoo News:

Trump has come to represent not just a pugnacious, take-no-prisoners style but a group of voters whose animating principle is that they want to blow up the existing order in Washington, D.C., and don’t care who they alienate along the way. Ryan, meanwhile, has emerged as the most formidable Republican leader arguing for rebuilding the party by rejecting the path of damn-the-consequences Trumpism.

Facially, that seems true enough. Paul Ryan wants to build the power of congress (and presumably the Presidency and the Supreme Court) while Donald Trump and his supporters wish to essentially remove and replace all the working parts leaving it the Congress, Presidency, and Supreme Court in name only. They also have different ideas about how to accomplish their various tasks. While each requires votes to get elected, Ryan’s ideas require building coalitions and consensus, and Trump requires only elected officials that are willing to implement his decisions without watering they down with other groups’ ideas.

Paul Ryan also seems to be trying to stop Donald Trump from continuing the same pattern that has placed the Republican elected officials in such jeopardy in the first place.

Ryan’s media operation is part of an attempt to restore faith in government. By communicating clearly and often Congress’ goals and how they will be accomplished, Ryan is seeking to reverse a growing pattern in which lawmakers have overpromised to get elected and then underdelivered on their pledges, from ending the war in Iraq to repealing Obamacare.

But I believe that there are far more factions within the Republican party that can be expressed between just these two individuals. Granted, they are the two that seem to have the Republican stage at the moment, but there is also the neoconservatives and libertarian factions of the Republican party; not to mention the traditional parts of the party like the conservative Christians and pro-lifers that seek to use the machinery of politics to impose their morals on the United States through law.

Yes, I believe that the Republican party is due for a course correction. I think it will be necessary in order for them to reverse the problems they continue to have at the top of the ticket. What I doubt is that it will either be the Trump faction or the Ryan faction that will ultimately win.

Psychopaths and Sociopaths

Tangentially related to politics is something that I have always been fascinated about: psychopaths and sociopaths.

In this day and age, it seems more likely that people with use psychopath and sociopath incorrectly as an insult against people that don’t show traits of either. Then there are the introductory psychology students that – while they are learning the various requirements of diagnostic criteria – suddenly see everyone that they know as potentially one or the other.

The Savvy Psychologist has an article and podcast that might help people that are genuinely interested in the topic. You should read the article (at a minimum) for more information about these mental abnormalities. The article includes the headings to make the topic easier to understand:

  1. Psychopath Trait #1: Fearless Dominance
  2. Psychopath Trait #2: Self-Centered Impulsivity
  3. Psychopath Trait #3: Low Autonomic Arousal
  4. Psychopaths vs. Sociopaths

And the conclusion of the article, you should understand that you almost certainly know a psychopath personally. Actually, you probably know many of them.

And the most important takeaway would be to learn how to recognize them and to not leave yourself vulnerable to their manipulations.


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I am a writer of words, a thinker of thoughts, a changer of genders, and a queerer of life. I am an antagonist of the ordinary; and while I do tolerate it, I also look at it with contempt.

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