It is very common for abusive people to compartmentalize themselves.
Last night there was a story on Quora about "the weirdest classmate you ever had." Someone wrote about going to school with a classmate who was brutal and sadistic because his father sexually abused him. The father was discovered online to be a pedophile. Yet this same man successfully prosecuted the brutal kidnap-rape-and-murder of two little girls, and was considered a hero.
Israel has a lot of movies about the Holocaust and dealing with the difficulties of reconciliation with Germany. There is this movie "Walk on Water" where the Israeli Mossad agent falls in love with a German woman. He is supposed to kill the Nazi war criminal and I won't spoil it for you but the whole thing is his moral dilemma over what to do in the present versus how to handle justice for the past.
In America 2016 we have the difficult problem of a Donald Trump candidacy. On the one hand there are those who say he's the nicest guy ever, the best thing to happen to this country since Swiss cheese. Well maybe not Swiss cheese...okay, maybe steak and french fries with a side of salad. Whatever.
On the other hand are those who've been cheated, sexually assaulted and possibly raped (it's horrible even to have to write this), ad nauseam until you see that the "other side" of Trump is some combination of psychopath, sociopath and dictator.
For my part I can easily picture him totally losing his shit, threatening them with silence and pretending that nothing ever happened.
At the ripe old age of 45 I have learned that no human behavior should shock me - should shock us. I am learning to stop painting people in black and white terms. I am learning that there are many ways to look at a situation, not just one way, and that the "right answer" can depend very much on circumstance.
Last night as I watched the Republican National Convention I decided that the Two Sides of Trump will likely dog him, and us, throughout his entire Presidency if he is elected. I realized that the public would have to hold him accountable at every turn, to criticize the foolish things he does, his narcissism and egotism, his failure to realize how some of the offhand comments appear to the public. We will have to watch at every turn that he protects freedom of the press and does not persecute those who disagree with him.
The point is, at the end of the day any attempt to base your vote on "who the candidate is" is foolish. As somebody wrote very eloquently on Facebook, "95% of people are assholes," or something like that.
You have to look at the people behind the person. You have to look at the brand. What goes into political Brand Trump is clearly a work in progress.
All opinions my own. Photo by Alan Levine via Flickr (Creative Commons).