As I was writing my post inspired by Dr. Martha Stout’s fantastic book The Sociopath Next Door, Trevor Noah was in front of cameras explaining why it’s more relevant than ever.
In one of The Daily Show’s Between the Scenes segments, Trevor says he thinks President Trump’s “most powerful tool is that he knows how to wield victimhood.
“He knows how to offer victimhood to people who have the least claim to it. Which is a really, really powerful tool because …. he’s saying the real victims of the #MeToo movement are men.
“‘Someone can accuse you at any time and your life is over.’ They’re the real victims …. I think people take for granted how powerful that message was. There are a lot of men who that message will connect with because that’s a feeling many men have …. ‘This #MeToo movement, it’s gotten out of control.’….
“What does that mean?
“‘Well every week, a new famous person is being accused.’
“We looked through it, it’s maybe a hundred and some people. That’s how many people have been #MeToo-ed. That’s how many people have been held accountable. A hundred and something. That’s not like a life-changing number of men. They make it sound like all men have been accused, but 99.9% of men have not been accused. But the narrative that’s been created is that these 100 men represent all the men and all men should be afraid of it….
“It’s not that many people, but they make it feel like it’s a lot of people because then what they do is they create this idea that all men need to band together to stop this from happening because it could happen to you. And men become the victims.
“And it’s such a powerful tool to use. Because if you can convince men they are the victims of the #MeToo movement you get men trying to fight against a movement that’s really about holding men who are doing bad things accountable, as opposed to making all men scapegoats for something that they’re not doing.
“It’s such a powerful, gripping idea that Trump does really well.”
This is an amazing example of the pity play Dr. Stout warned us about, on an enormous scale.
Trevor continues, “I know that people will be like, ‘Well I’ve seen men who’ve been falsely accused.’ And I go, yeah, but how many?
“Or let me ask it to you this way: How many men, percentage-wise, have been falsely accused of a sexual assault? And how many women have actually been sexually assaulted? …. The truth is it’s women, women are the victims in this situation. That doesn’t mean you gotta feel sorry for women, but women are the victims and that’s what we’re trying to fix.
“But Trump has managed to turn that.”
Which is exactly what sociopaths, narcissists, antisocial personalities, whatever you want to call them, do best! They are experts at dodging blame and the best way to do that is to make you feel sorry for them.
The fact that we are being asked to pity a man who, if he hadn’t passed this test, would still be a wealthy man from a privileged background who would always have a job should be a giant red flag to everyone.
And we’re being asked this by a guy who has been ripping off the very government he now heads for decades. We officially have our first mobster President, and now he and his crew of criminals have made an extremely important lifetime appointment. What could go wrong?
“If you can convince people they are in fact the victims when they are from a position of power, you have the most powerful tool that you can wield.” Not only does someone like Donald Trump make you feel sorry for him, he stokes self-pity in the people who relate to him. Most of whom are white men.
The loss of the middle class has been hard on white men. For some reason, they are falling once again for the oldest trick in politics. They are allowing their legitimate anger about economic deterioration to be sidetracked. They are taking out their insecurities on the women’s movement and multiculturalism.
Donald Trump makes no sense as a spokesman for the former middle class or social conservatives. Yet for some reason, here we are. Hmmm….
Trevor makes the point that Trump has used this same trick over and over, with men, with white people, now with Kavanaugh specifically. This and braggadocio seem to be his main two modes. If he can’t win you over with how great he is, he will tell you about the hard time he’s having. Conflicting, no?
Once we see through the act and see how we are being manipulated, we can look at why we feel this way and ask ourselves if we’re okay with that. I raise my glass to men like Trevor Noah, who do the mental work to examine their motivations.
It’s only through doing that difficult personal work that we will see clearly enough to identify people like Donald Trump long before they can do major damage. We all need to learn this lesson, and quickly.
Please enjoy the clip.