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Revenge against those who have done wrong by you is not only personally satisfying, it’s an effective social strategy for dealing with assorted sociopaths and psychopaths.
Case in point: Yer ever-so-‘umble narrator was proven right once again when I mused that Trump’s rumored consideration of Mitt Romney for Secretary of State was nothing less than a public humiliation spectacle of a traitor who tried to derail the Trump Train.
WELP, Roger Stone says the intent of Trump’s interview of Romney was to “torture” him.
Stone called Romney a “choker” and said that Trump was simply toying with him.
“Donald Trump was interviewing Mitt Romney for Secretary of State in order to torture him,” Stone claimed on the program. “To toy with him. And given the history, that’s completely understandable. Mitt Romney crossed a line. He didn’t just oppose Trump, which is his democratic right, he called him a phony and a fraud. And a con man. And that’s not the kind of man you want as Secretary of State.”
2016 has delivered a cornucopia of WINNING photo memes, but this one, of Romney and Trump sitting at a private restaurant table presumably discussing Romney’s fit as a possible SoS Cabinet member, is in my top ten list of visual shivs.
Romney looks like he pissed his magic underwear. And Trump…..well, that’s the face of a mischievous boy who just pulled a fast one on the school principal. Truly a photo worth savoring.
Revenge as a tool to manage psychopaths is a novel interpretation of this behavioral trait. Trevor Goodchild explains,
Trump has repeatedly written in his books regarding public revenge and how he personally engages in it. While viscerally satisfying, it’s also master game theory. When dealing with sociopaths and psychopaths (as he has throughout his entire career), one fundamental truism is that their word means absolutely nothing. Pathologic lying is actually one of their tells, although some can keep it under wraps. So how can you close deals (or win an election) while having to work with and in some cases depend on such creatures? Knowing that they would benefit more in the short term by selling you out? It’s the prisoner’s dilemma all over again.
The solution: delayed punishment. Public humiliation. Revenge.
The most successful strategy to overcome the prisoners dilemma is tit-for-tat; you never initiate a screwjob, but always remember the people who have screwed you, and make a point to get even (while making sure everyone knows about it). This is one of the keys to The Golden Don’s success; far from being flighty or unstable, he’s very likely one of the most rational actors to step into the White House in a long time. This doesn’t make him predictable, but it does make him a world leader that others can trust to actually honor negotiations. Something that’s been seriously missing from the US for the last 8 years.
Revenge, especially publicly exhibited revenge, is a targeted form of social shaming, and those who are high in the Dark Triad traits — Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy — are particularly vulnerable to the threat of suffering the vengeful wrath of one of their victims. The narcissist especially fears nothing like a public humiliation that exposes the dimness of his glowing self-conception to the jeers of the crowd.
As a NYC real estate magnate, Trump has had to deal with a condensed collection of the world’s worst high-functioning psychos. The political world must have felt like more of the same bullshit to him, and his familiarity handling backstabbers and sniveling cunts like Romney prepared him to 1. crush the GOPe 2. crush the media and finally 3. crush the clinton corruption machine.
It’s fortunate that Trump is on the side of the Light. He’d make a formidable foe working for the open borders sleaze team.