Thursday, October 3, 2019

Pufferfish . . .

. . . etc.

". . . It’s past time to get a grip. Now impeachment is provoking concern that Trump's extreme (and armed) supporters will be moved to public violence. That perception of menace, however false, has likely propped up Trump for a long time. . . In the animal kingdom, there is a fascinating biological mechanism known as deimatic display. The mechanism developed to help weaker animals defend themselves through optical illusion and sleight of hand. The word “deimatic” comes from the Greek word "to frighten.” Animals with deimatic defenses include the Australian frilled lizard, the octopus and other soft or fragile creatures that make themselves look more dangerous and powerful than they really are. These bluffing displays and behavior include looking bigger than one is — like the pufferfish. . . we should be thinking of Trump as less Mussolini and more the little fat man behind the curtain. An “Oz-ness” may well be the open secret about Trump and Trumpism. Deimatic display is just part of his playbook. . . His daughter, female avatar and senior White House adviser, Ivanka, encapsulated the strategy in her 2009 book, “The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life.” “Perception is more important than reality,” she wrote, “If someone perceives something to be true, it is more important than if it is in fact true. This doesn't mean you should be duplicitous or deceitful, but don't go out of your way to correct a false assumption if it plays to your advantage.”. . ."

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