The Psychiatrist Who Warned Us That Donald Trump Would Unleash Violence Was Absolutely Right – Mother Jones

A native New Yorker, she had assumed that Trump “was just a shady businessman,” Lee told me, but “I suddenly realized that he had a lot in common” with those patients. “Trump was engaging in the predatory manipulation of his vulnerable followers.” In some cases, gang leaders might “ask their members to engage in violence and then issue bogus promises of protection. Like Trump, these leaders also often project extreme self-confidence, and that appeals to their followers, who tend to feel a deep emotional need for protection, connection, and identity.”

Instead of denouncing the white supremacists who organized the 2017 Charlottesville rally that turned violent, Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides.” And during his first debate with Joe Biden, Trump refused to condemn the Proud Boys, a violent extremist group that would play a pivotal role in the Capitol assault, instead telling them to “stand back and stand by.”

“Since 1900, every time a Republican president has taken over, economic inequality has increased and the country has become more violent,” says Gilligan, now a professor of psychiatry at NYU. And as the government safety net has crumbled in recent decades, rates of murder, imprisonment, and poverty have been five to 10 times higher in the United States than in Western Europe, Canada, and Australasia. Lee and Gilligan had to circulate their data-driven paper on the political correlates of violent death rates for nearly seven years before they finally got it published in 2014 in a specialized journal, Aggression and Violent Behavior. “My sense is that our study kept getting rejected not because it was lousy science but because editors wanted to avoid appearing too political,” she says.

The Psychiatrist Who Warned Us That Donald Trump Would Unleash Violence Was Absolutely Right – Mother Jones