Georgia on My Mind

Before I get into the new piece I want to share a new project I have just published a book entitled: “Where are Your (K)nots? Getting Unstuck in Your Life.” This book represents a crystallizationof my work as a psychologist over the last 35 years.

The book explores how the emotional knots we develop and carry with us through our lives prevent us from living our lives fully.

My intent was to write a concise and easy to understand book that would be accessible to almost anyone. My hope is to stimulate curiosity and encourage people to create an emotional map in order to understand their unique way of being in the world. It examines the unconscious choices we make to cope with emotional pain and the (k)nots that develop as a result.  

The book is intentionally short; its goal is to concisely articulate essential elements of developmental and psychodynamic theory so it is accessible to the layperson. It is a primer for anyone beginning therapy or for anyone interested in what the title of the introduction asks: Where the hell am I and how the hell did I get here? 

At $5.99 for the e-book and $12.99 for the paperback, I hope it will be hard to resist your curiosity. Also, 50% OF ALL PROCEEDS will go to two organizations: The Trevor Project, which supports the mental health needs of LGBTQ+ individuals and the Steve Fund, which supports People of Color. Both are amazing organizations that support communities in need.

If you’re so inclined, please spread the word through your social media, list serves, etc. as there are a lot of knots that need to be unraveled. You can even give it as a present to someone you wish would do a little reflective soul searching.

Hopefully, whether you are a professional or lay-person, the book will have meaning for you. If inspired, please leave a review or just write an email letting me know your thoughts. 

Go to: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/where-are-your-knots

Website: jerryfinkelstein.com

*See testimonials about the book at the end of the piece

Now to the piece.

The January 6th commission presented its final hearing until September. The topic: “What the hell was The Don doing during the 187 minutes of the attack on the Capitol?”

If we determine him to be guilty of the dereliction of duty to protect and defend the country (which he was), we fail to understand an essential fact: The Don wasn’t asleep at the wheel; he was the man who intentionally stopped his car in the middle of the road, didn’t call for road service, and enjoyed the chaos of the traffic jam he caused! 

What I am saying is that there were two components of his actions: inaction (doing nothing), and actively motivating the crowd.

The degree of psychological disturbance (malignant Narcissism, Sociopathy) and the subsequent consequences of this disturbance, though abhorrent and terrifying, is not surprising to me. An aggrieved malignant narcissist is like a wounded animal, and will stop at nothing to punish those it perceives have hurt him, taken something from him. 

Watching Capitol police attacked and beaten had no impact on this law-and-order man. In fact, lacking any capacity for empathy, he relished the violence perpetrated for his cause; he viewed the Capitol police as a menace, inhuman barriers standing in the way of him getting what he wanted. After all, what more can The Don ask for than a mob of worshippers willing to overturn an election, restoring him to his proper place as king? To do nothing was doing something.

As for actively doing something, we need go no further than the tweet regarding Mike Pence while the angry mob was tearing through the Capitol. That tweet was like a match thrown in a parched forest and ignited the crowd into a chant of “Hang Mike Pence.” New evidence during the hearing revealed messages from the secret service, who were protecting Pence, fearing for their own lives. Can you imagine this out-of-control, virulent mob seeing that text? If any of them had any ambivalence about what they were doing, the gloves came off. Pence was now fair game- the ultimate betrayer, and needed to pay for his cowardice.

Since that last hearing, we have learned that Merrick Garland’s Justice Department is finally on the offensive, interviewing important insiders and specifically looking into The Don. Whether he will ever be indicted for the numerous crimes he committed leading up to, and during, January 6th is far from certain.

So my mind turns to Georgia.

From where I sit, the case is a slam-dunk. Interfering in an election is a federal crime. And the evidence of this is as straight-foward and clear as can be: the infamous hour-long conversation with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which The Don asks him for 10, 780 votes (which happened to be one more than Biden’s victory in the state.) When Raffensperger didn’t say “Yes, sir, whatever you need,” The Don threatened him: 

“You know what they did and you’re not reporting it.” You know, that’s a criminal — that’s a criminal offense. And you know, you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. That’s a big risk.” (Raffensperger has already testified before the grand jury.) Rumor has it that under-oath Raffensperger admitted that the day after the phone call he found a horse’s head in his bed.

The Don also called the elections investigator, Frances Watson, after Mark Meadows met with her. (Mark Meadows, also traveled to Georgia in December 2020 amid an audit of absentee ballots.) The Don told Watson that Georgians knew he had actually won by “hundreds of thousands of votes.” 

The Don called Gov. Brian Kemp as well, urging him to convene the legislature in a special session where they could appoint pro-Trump electors. (Mr. Kemp has also testified in a recorded video statement.)

Is there a grand jury that can interpret any of this but what it is? A strong-man trying to strong-arm an elected official insinuating that he would be committing a crime if he didn’t do what he said to change the results of the election in Georgia. 

And there is a motley crew of characters who participated in different ways to try to influence the results in Georgia.

It includes a United States senator. A Chief of Staff. A congressman. A local Cadillac dealer. A high school economics teacher. The chairman of the state Republican Party. The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. Six lawyers aiding Mr. Trump, including a former New York City mayor. The former president himself. And a woman who has identified herself as a publicist for the rapper Kanye West.

Let’s start with major sycophant Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (who has been subpoenaed by District Attorney of Fulton County, Fani Willis and is fighting the subpoena.)  Graham called Raffensperger to inquire about ways to help The Don by invalidating certain mail-in votes. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

“Hey Brad, I hear some of the mailboxes down your way, you know, they sort of, well, they may have had some stuff in them that might not be in Trump’s favor. How about a look-see about that. Trump is ready to open the doors to Mar-a-lago for you and the family. So you know, things can be done. I mean there is a lot of chicanery on the other side. Just trying to make sure truth and justice prevail. You got that Brad?”

Then there is Georgia Representative Jody Hice (also fighting a subpoena by the grand jury), a stalwart Trump ally who was part of White House meetings in December 2020 that focused on changing the results of the election and who also led efforts in the House in January 2021 to stop the certification of votes. Rumor has it that Hice made up a rap song in support of the Big Lie  which he sings in the chamber of the House of Representatives that starts like this:

“My name  is Jodi Hice

And this whole thing was a heist.

Don’t care what they say

The stutterer won by foul play

We won’t let them take our democracy,

It’s a sin and total hypocrisy!”

As for the lawyers, Ms. Willis is also seeking to compel testimony from John Eastman, an architect of the legal strategy to keep Mr. Trump in power, as well as other lawyers — Kenneth Chesebro, Jacki Pick Deason, Jenna Ellis and Cleta Mitchell — who played critical roles in the effort. Mr. Eastman had advised lawmakers that they had both the lawful authority and a duty to replace the Democratic Party’s slate of presidential electors, who had been certified as the duly appointed electors for the State of Georgia after the November 2020 election, due to unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud within the state.

And let us not forget America’s lost soul, once America’s mayor, Rudy G. Rudy was present at 2 legislative hearings in Georgia in December 2020 where he spouted lies and a conspiracy theory that there were secret suitcases of Democratic ballots and corrupted voting machines. He told members of the State House, “You cannot possibly certify Georgia in good faith.” For good measure he also falsely claimed that tens of thousands of underage teenagers had voted illegally in Georgia, even though an audit by Georgia’s secretary of state found that no one under the age of 18 had voted in the 2020 election. And let’s not forget racist Rudy G. who zeroed in on mostly Black election workers at an Atlanta arena, likening them to drug dealers. “Look at them scurrying around with the ballots,” he said. “Nobody in the room. Hiding around. They look like they’re passing out dope, not just ballots. It is quite clear they’re stealing votes.”

We end with our most unusual character. Trevian Kutti, a Chicago-based publicist who says she worked for Kanye West, the rapper and Donaphile. Ms. Kutti, who had previously been a celebrity stylist and Illinois cannabis lobbyist, traveled to the Atlanta area a few weeks after the vote and visited Ruby Freeman, an obscure election worker whose January 6th testimony laid bare the pain and disruption of her life after being accused of counting bogus ballots.

Ms. Kutti, presented herself to Ms. Freeman as a “crisis manager” connected to powerful people, who was there to help her. She told Ms. Freeman she was “in danger,” and had “48 hours” before “unknown subjects” arrived at her home, “I cannot say what specifically will take place,” Kutti was heard telling Freeman in a recording captured by the police called to the scene. “I just know that it will disrupt your freedom and the freedom of one or more of your family members. She also said: “You are a loose end for a party that needs to tidy up.”

In essence: admit to committing election fraud…or else!

What more needs to be said except Godspeed to you Ms. Willis. Let’s finally get these bastards. Let’s get them on the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office, and any    involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.

That’s why Georgia is on my mind!

*Testimonials for the book:

This book is delightful, a breath of fresh air. It’s a clear, simple (but not simplistic) description of the psychodynamic process, easy to grasp, engaging, thoughtful and funny. The book draws you in, opens doors and offers a guide to reflecting about one’s life in a way that would feel new to many not exposed to this way of thinking. It offers a way to get unstuck in your life.  Dr. Finkelstein also personalizes it a bit with his own experiences, both growing up and as a therapist.  I recommend you begin the journey to understand your (K)nots. Madeline Lippman, PhD., Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Finkelstein’s book “Where  Are Your (K)nots?, provides a clear, concise and wise description of why humans operate the way we do and how to take an inventory of your life to ensure it is as fulfilling as possible. As a psychotherapist and founder of a mental health organization, I am excited to have something accessible and approachable to support my clients in their journey toward self-actualization, and I look forward to selling the book in my storefront! Lia Avellino, L.C.S.W.

What’s (k)not to love? Dr. Finkelstein has distilled 30+ years of wisdom as a psychologist into a simple yet deeply profound way to understand what causes our (k)nots, the ways we may unconsciously hinder ourselves in life in response to old painful experiences. Dr. Finkelstein provides a clear roadmap to begin undoing those (k)nots, which allow us the possibility to live a life free from what is holding us back. “When you begin this process, you can start to imagine turning  “nots into why nots,”  a line from Dr. Finkelstein’s book,  which exemplifies his clever wordplay and the beautiful simplicity of his wise counsel.  Tracy Robin, LCSW,  Associate Provost for Student Health Services at The New School

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