Monday, October 08, 2018

Trauma Queen

In emotional intensity the left's reaction to their loss in the Kavanaugh fight rivalled their reaction to Trump's win. All this irrational behavior is perfectly logical. Nothing Trump has done so far has had the consequence of this, taking the supreme court away from the left for the next generation.
They were right to be desperate; that's why a few Democratic leaders thought it necessary to cultivate and unleash a moral panic among the many.
 It's that good. This could make the difference in our salvation. Sorry, but hype is in the air.

The Resistance now makes every contest or issue a proxy battle in the Trump War. Soon, subjects more broadly, perhaps. It would be in keeping with the Soviet-esque nature of the left now, if there was something like an anti-Trump theory of the brain.

Via Steve Sailer, the Washington Post health section:
The junk science Republicans used to undermine Ford and help save Kavanaugh 
The politically convenient, scientifically baseless theory that sexual assault so traumatized Christine Blasey Ford she mixed up her attacker is now something like common wisdom for many Republicans. 
President Trump explicitly endorsed the theory Saturday, shortly after Brett M. Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed as a Supreme Court judge, telling reporters he was “100 percent” sure Ford accused Kavanaugh in error. 
In days leading up to the confirmation vote, the same notion was implicit in the rationale of every senator who attempted to defend Kavanaugh without wholly dismissing Ford’s accusations — her vivid testimony that he pinned her to a bed and tried to rape her when they were teens in the 1980s: 
“I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life,” said Susan Collins (R-Maine), who gave Kavanaugh his crucial 50th vote. 
“Something happened to Dr. Ford; I don’t believe the facts show it was Brett Kavanaugh," said Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), the only Democrat to support the nominee. 
“That would get me off the hook of having to make a hard decision,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), one of Kavanaugh’s most loyal defenders. “I don’t know if this is a case of mistaken identity.” 
It’s easy to forget that less than three weeks ago, when the mistaken-identity theory was first formulated, it was so widely ridiculed that a pundit who advanced it on Twitter subsequently apologized and offered to resign from his job. But for many cognitive researchers who study how memories actually form during traumatic events, the theory never stopped sounding ridiculous. 
A plot to hang the assault on a Kavanaugh look-alike capitulated to the Believe Women mood by offering it a live body where the senators had only ghosts, but no one was willing to challenge Ford's testimony directly. A defeatist policy of half-measure that was teetering until Trump "mocked" her recollection.

But the fact is she was credible enough in the eyes of many (and I genuinely care less about it than I care about restoring the nation, so my eyesight is not keen here) and it isn't inconceivable she wouldn't remember everything.
“The person lying on top of you — who she’d previously met — you’re not going to forget that,” said Richard Huganir, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “There’s a total consensus in the field of memory ... If anything, fear and trauma enhances the encoding of the memory at a molecular level."
I believe that. Furthermore, a fifteen year-old girl at a party with older kids is acutely aware of who's who. Kavanaugh would have been a popular older boy in the pecking order that dominated her life.
The idea she misidentified him is not credible.

I think people felt compelled to placate the mob by recognizing her status as Survivor, daring not to challenge it.
“This story [of mistaken identity] that’s being offered here is a way of both trying to validate sexual assault and not deny it — which is a lovely change — but at the same time create a narrative that Kavanaugh couldn’t have been the person who did it," he said. "That’s just not consistent with memory research on misidentification.”
My suspicion is something did happen, but not an attempted rape. That's how you get two credible sounding people in contradiction. The gaps in Ford's memory are consistent with something else: an event that wasn't traumatic--not in the sense rape is.
Asked last week if she could have mistaken her attacker, Ford testified that she is “100 percent” certain it was Kavanaugh. She vividly recalled other details of the night — the single beer she drank at the party, music in the bedroom she was pushed into, boys laughing as she was pinned to a bed — while having no memory of how she arrived or got home.

Trump has mocked her story because of these gaps, but it’s perfectly consistent with the science of traumatic memory formation.
Key here is "perfectly consistent with", which doesn't mean it's typical or common. It's hard to imagine, for instance, not remembering the aftermath of trauma; events leading up to may fade, but you tend to remember things like the drive home after, say, an assault.

Things that are memorable but not traumatic (they can nonetheless be very negative) are things for which you don't remember surrounding detail--like the time that senior tried to feel you up against your will thirty-some odd years ago n high school. No, it wasn't traumatic. We weren't crazy in the eighties.

But it wasn't nothing either, and if something from your past becomes suddenly relevant (even, remunerative), and even a means by which the country might be saved from Trump...
Mara Mather, a professor at the University of Southern California, has performed laboratory studies in which volunteers are given electric shocks or subjected to loud noises while they look at a set of symbols — to find out which ones they remember while their brains are flooded with the same chemicals released during trauma.
That's what's missing here--the actual trauma.

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