Adversity Doesn't Build Character, It Exposes it....
The majority of people who initially visit this site most likely will have found their way here due to having been affected by my psychoanalytic dissection of Donald Trump, the GOP’s sycophantic metamorphosis into the Party of Trump, Trump’s supporters, as well as the “triggered” reaction/opposition to Trump. In my observation and experience, politics is the primary source of psychological distress in this country. As such, similar to “Poli-Sci” (Political Science), I see a need for what I call “Poli-Psych (Political Psychology).
With that as a backdrop, this project came about somewhat serendipitously due to not only observing the political climate, but also observing and analyzing the toxic effect that politics was having on a personal/romantic relationship (now in it’s 17 month) that, essentially, became a case study for society at large. Maureen, who I met in January 2017, was not only a lifelong Republican, but for the first fourteen months of our relationship, she was also a very aggressive defender of Donald Trump. There had been many stories written about marriages and friendships (“de-friending”) ending since Trump was elected due to hostile political disagreement. The reality is that while Trump isn’t usually the proximate cause, he is both a symptom, and, similar to gasoline to a fire…he is an accelerant. Hell, I could even attribute politics as a straining factor in the decades-long build up to the culminating estrangement of my relationships with my mother and brother in 2013 (I’ve also only had contact with my father twice in the last 30 years). But unlike family relationships, having an opportunity to observe this dynamic affect a relationship that not only had a clean slate from a baggage/issue standpoint, but also observe the negative affect on a relationship where we appeared to be extremely compatible in nearly every other area. On April 25, 2018, while sitting in a mundane blue-collar certification seminar (for the construction job that I still work at), I conceptualized a Cognitive Psychology research paper on “confirmation bias” in the political arena. The response to this paper, my underlying theory and conclusions from it, the continuing deterioration of the political climate/discourse, and the periodic political eruptions in our relationship that, even when dormant, were always just beneath the surface……all resulted in me deciding to set aside years of experience, research, and writing about Traumatic Brain Injuries….and instead choose “confirmation bias” as the topic of my thesis in the fall of 2018. Unfortunately, according to my advisor, the complexity of my underlying theory was not only “something you could spend a whole career on”, but it was something that required resources not available to a Masters level program. Consequently, I was forced to scale it down to a level that was less than personally fulfilling, but kept it in mind as a possible book project after graduation. During the months that followed, I started to become more comfortable posting my observations/analyses/insights on Twitter in long-form threads. After only acquiring about 50 followers during my first ten months of posting (Feb-Dec of 2018), I saw it bump up to about 75 in January of 2019, before finally getting some traction this spring. Although the following is still modest, the response to my work has been rewarding and meaningful….not necessarily because of the focus on politics (which is essentially just a backdrop), but because of the effect that my insights/observations/analysis appears to have on people’s personal well-being. Basically, what I’ve observed through my work/content is that the political climate has been a peripheral contextual backdrop that has allowed people to better understand the primary source of psychological distress in their lives: toxic relationships with family members who often exhibit similar Cluster B Personality Disorder behaviors. This project explores the cognitive and neuropsychology underpinnings of how we consume politics, and the effect that has on our personal lives.
To read more about “Poli-Psych” please see the many articles at: