Malignant normality silently takes hold in America

The national media should free itself from this president’s constant demand for exposure and attention.


The word malignant is used to describe the spread, or metastasizing, of a deadly, virulent, disease that typically invades normal tissue. In non-medical terms it is something that adversely affects normal conditions, say in a society, and spreads across a country, forcing changes within it that turn typical normality into malignant normality. 

Here is how Dr. John Gartner, a practicing psychotherapist who taught psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, explains malignant normality:

“Malignant normality is when a malignantly narcissistic leader takes control of a society and gradually changes reality for everyone else.”

Many signs indicate that this has been happening in our country right before our eyes and we don’t even see it, or it may likely be because we see it happening but don’t know how to deal with it. 

Let’s look at the signs and evidence that America may well be caught up in this state of malignant normality. And, let me add one more factor to this condition. We might accurately say that it is also a form of societal mind-conditioning.  

It’s like seeing and hearing the same thing, whatever the subject, over and over and over until it’s driven into one’s psyche until it becomes normal. Then it’s simply accepted as part of one’s normal thinking. 

A good example of how this works can be found relative to America’s endless wars and the massive grip that the military-industrial (MIC) complex has on this country. These illegal, immoral wars have been going on for many decades without abatement to the point that they have become normal. 

We often hear this country called exceptional, like no other country in the world, and to a certain extent, this is true. No other country in the 20th and 21st centuries has been in so many destructive wars as this country because of its ultra-aggressive government. 

There were massive, ongoing protests against the Vietnam War but, thereafter, in subsequent illegal wars in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and involvement in Syria there have been very few. Did we see massive protests when, in the Obama administration and then in Trump’s, we kept hearing about the constant deadly drone attacks on the nations and people of Pakistan, Somalia, and Syria?

Did we hear the national media condemning these actions as being cruel and inhuman? Maybe we heard some but, overall, what we heard was silence, acceptance, and it became quite normal; after all, it’s just what our government does.

What about America’s epidemic of mass shootings? They now have been going on for years. We used to hear rage and outrage over them emanating from the people of this country. But as they continue unabated, and our government refuses to do anything to bring them under control, they are becoming commonplace. 

Instead of seeing solutions to this problem put forth, we see a dangerous trend beginning to take place as more and more of those who manage our schools are opting for arming teachers in the classroom. This is one of the worst solutions that could be adopted but, in the absence of new, stronger measures to increase gun control measures and a ban on assault weapons, this is the wave of the future. 

As this malignant normality metastasizes in America it’s being shifted into a much higher gear by Trump. This guy is a master of mind-conditioning, he knows that if he keeps repeating the same things over and over, and this national media broadcasts his every word and tweet, it will become more and more accepted. He sees this happening and it makes him even more determined to implement his agenda of power and control. 

Dr. Gardner has stated that some 70,000 mental health professionals have signed a petition declaring that Donald Trump is mentally unstable and is, therefore, quite dangerous. When this many experts in this profession state that this is a very serious condition and situation you better believe it is. He may be unstable but he is still very capable of carrying out his intent to normalize his reckless policies that are not in the best interests of our country. 

Trump calls the media, the free press, the enemy of the people, and he acts like he is its enemy. But for close observers, it is clear that this enemy of his, the media, is giving him a monumental amount of exposure. Without the media’s massive exposure he would never have won the 2016 election.

It’s as if the American people see him as some kind of very strange, slightly unhinged individual but think that he’s just a bit reckless, and that makes many of them simply accept what they see. They say, “he may be a kind of a kook but that’s just who he is.” I had a member of my extended family say something just like that very recently.

Trump is like Big Brother of 1984, his tweets fly into the news, his face is everywhere, we hear his rantings continuously, nothing he says escapes the media’s attention. Why is the world is this the case? Well, just remember who totally controls the mass media. It’s good old Corporate America that was the main beneficiary of Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut. It will greatly benefit if Trump is reelected. It doesn’t want anything to do with the Socialist Democrats that want to heavily tax the wealthiest of Americans. 

In any event, malignant normality and mind-conditioning work hand in hand beautifully. That 40% of Trump supporters are under Trump’s masterful mind control methods. When one becomes a victim of that process there are few if any antidotes.

 Robert J. Lifton, Lecturer in Psychiatry at Columbia indicates that psychiatry professionals like himself have a responsibility as professionals to “act with ethical passion in our efforts to reveal what is most dangerous and what, in contrast, what might be life-affirming in the face of the malignant normality that surrounds us.”

Obviously, he is saying that he and those in his profession have a duty to do everything they can to warn the American people of this deadly form of normality. That’s exactly what Dr. Bandy Lee and 26 other psychiatrists are doing in their book entitled “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.” This is must reading for as many Americans as possible. And, far more should also be done by them and other responsible Americans to do everything possible to eliminate this danger from being embedded in the American mind. 

The national media should free itself from this president’s constant demand for exposure and attention. They have to break their corporate-induced silence and broadcast the dire message of these psychiatric professionals that Trump, above all, must be removed because he is mentally unfit to be president.


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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.