This is a meditation on PTSD and Donald Trump and does the shock from PTSD make it impossible to see Trump and his actions clearly. In this FRDH podcast, Michael Goldfarb analyzes whether his experience of war and reporting from societies that slipped from stability to civil war affect his judgment about the state of America in the Age of Trump.

He asks whether committing journalism in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq has left him with PTSD. Does his knowledge of how quickly well-established societies can disintegrate into Civil War render it impossible to see the Trump effect clearly.

What percentage of a society wanting to fight is necessary for a civil war to start? In Northern Ireland and Bosnia, Goldfarb learned that civil war is a minority occupation. How many people on each side are willing to fight – not metaphorically, but physically fight – for their vision of what their country should be? Is there a critical mass at which point violence becomes inevitable?

There is no data set on this question, of course, so it’s a matter of speculation. Listen for nine minutes and 48 seconds and you will hear how the past can provide a meditation for the present on American Society, PTSD and Donald Trump.

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