The USian Trumpian/Repuglican Dilemma

By Richard John Stapleton

A man with white hair and plaid shirt looking to his left.

Don Trump has been warned by judges in his criminal trials that they may issue orders to have him gagged from making inflamatory statements that might intimidate witnesses in his trials. Here of late he has made some extreme public statements that could intimidate or threaten anyone having critical thinking ability. He has said in public if he is elected president again he would punish NBC and MSNBC for making treasonous statements about him, and he has also said recently that General Milley, the head of the joint chiefs of the Usian military, should be executed for treason.

“If you come after me, I will come after you.”

How could statements such as these threaten witnesses in his criminal trials? Well, they could intimidate any USian citizen who criticizes or decides against Trump, in any way, since if he were elected president again, even if found guilty in his criminal trials, he might still serve as president. He has already said “If you come after me, I will come after you.” That means using his street level crime boss words and grammar that he might track people down if he becomes president again to get even for their having done him harm in any way, which for sure would include judges, witnesses, and jury members in his criminal trials, or anyone who criticizes him in public media of any kind. Trump told us when he was USian president that he believed in

“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”

So far, no gag orders have been issued to Don Trump. Will there be? If they are issued, how will they be enforced? Will Trump be put in jail for contempt of court if he is gagged and continues to make intimidating and threatening statements in public?

I watched last night on MSNBC, after the first repugnant Repuglican primary debate, a group discussion in which six or so of MSNBC’s brightest and most astute analysts/commentators/discussion leaders compared their opinions about the debate. They agreed the candidates were loquacious babbling lightweights who were not presidential material, compared to average or above past USian presidents, and that, not that Trump is not a lightweight himself, Trump remains without question the leading Repug candidate in the primary race, even though he refused to participate in the debate, possibly even increasing his lead as the Repug front runner, by not being there.

“Most people are too moral to make any money.”

The MSNBC group also generally agreed about why the above is true. How can it be that Trump can be qualified to lead anything now that he is going to several trials for multiple crimes, and after a New York judge in a civil case recently ruled that he lied about billions of dollars on financial statements to get loans from banks and evade taxes, in a trial that could cause him to lose his holdings in NYC, including his penthouse atop his Trump Tower. How dumb it was of poor Don to blurt out in public after he decided to run for president in 2016 that “Most people are too moral to make any money.” He should have said most people are too moral to extort money from banks and evade taxes by lying about how rich or poor they are on financial statements.

This New York civil trial, his upcoming federal criminal trials, other litigated cases, and his actions in various and sundry public episodes show that Don Trump has a character disorder. That being the case, how is it possible that Trump might be elected president of the US again?

Well, sadly, the only answer is that millions of USian voters do not care if the president of the US is a character-disordered criminal. I reached this conclusion some time ago, and last night the MSNBC discussion group reached this conclusion in so many words, the first time I have seen, read, or heard in any mainstream medium anyone state such a conclusion. They agreed that large numbers of USian voters, perhaps forty percent, have given up on democracy, because of becoming aware that the quality of their USian life has relatively declined over several decades; and they have decided what they need is a “strongman” who will do anything, legally or illegally, to solve their problems. In other words, they want a fascist dictator, however mentally, emotionally, morally, and behaviorally deranged he might be, who will tell everyone what to do, rather than deal with the responsibility, complexities, frustrations, and uncertainties of free, fair, rational, open democratic policy-making, deciding, and doing.

Will Trump be put in jail before trial if he does not refrain from making intimidating and threatening statements in public? Probably not, if it appears to judges that doing so would cause him to ignite some of his gun-obsessed cult members in violent shooting nationwide.

It’s unbelievable that USians would now be faced with this fascist dilemma, but that’s where we’re at; and it will probably take over a year, until after the 2024 presidential election, to find out what will happen to the US because of Trumpism.

Here’s the dilemma in a nutshell: If you put him in jail for contempt of court some of his deranged followers might start shooting; if you let him run free he might take over the country and turn it into a fascist dictatorship.


Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA would spin the spinner of his Classroom De-GAMER™ in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for the day, a case taken from a planned or operating business prepared by case writers at Georgia Southern, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama.

This process insured that everyone would be relatively GAME-free transacting in class discussions. They all agreed to a learning contract at the outset of the course that they would read assigned cases and would be graded on the quantity and quality of ideas sold in the class market. Anyone caught obviously unprepared by the spinning De-GAMER would lose a whole letter grade from the course grade. No one could feel or think that s/he was being persecuted or rescued if selected to start the class discussion of the day by the Classroom De-GAMER™. The psychological GAME Drama Triangle roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim were largely banished from the course learning process.

Stapleton sat in the same circle in the same kind of chair as students, and the De-GAMING rules also applied to him. If the Classroom De-GAMER™ landed on him he had to lay out the case just like any other student and discuss what was the problem, what were the alternatives, and what he recommended.

A man sitting at a table in front of a computer.

Grades were based eighty percent on class participation in dialectical discussions about what to do about problems and opportunities found in cases; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write-up was an analysis of a case researched and written by professors about a business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses contained processes, problems, opportunities, and data occurring in all functional areas of business such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

He has published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic GAME-free Adult-Adult I’m OK–You’re OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological GAMES from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled “The Classroom De-GAMER” he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal. He has published seven books and over one hundred articles in various media containing cases, research data, and essays on teaching and learning and management systems, policies and practices.

Stapleton learned and trained using transactional analysis with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

He was a Harvard Case Method teacher who never went to Harvard, having learned how the case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA (Harvard Business School doctorates) at the University of Louisiana–Lafayette in 1969-70.

He has a BS in economics (1962), an MBA in organizational behavior (1966), and a PhD in management science (1969) from Texas Tech University, and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis (CTA) from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

He taught his own case method track at the undergraduate level in the management department in the business school at Georgia Southern University offering four or five different elective case method courses each academic year (1970-2005), in which he led, coordinated, and graded about twenty-five or so students each year who took all or most of those case method courses in their junior and senior years, of about two hundred students who signed up for all his courses each year. He used a democratic circle or amphitheater classroom layout in all his classes. He also taught most semesters two sections of a capstone integrative business policy course he added to the business school curriculum in 1970 that was required for all undergraduate business majors that could be elected by any student in any major.  He was the only professor in the business school to use the case method in any course.

His students agreed to a course learning contract that stipulated they would read the facts of the case before class and would lose a whole letter grade from the course final grade if the De-GAMER randomly caught them obviously not having read the case before class, if they had not slipped a note under his office door before class telling him they had not read the case, which they could do twice during the course without penalty.

About ten percent of his students made A’s and about five percent made D’s. Most made C’s, which is about right, since C = Average. There were few F’s in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.

No student was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened GAME-players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-GAMER™ was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career simply called it The Spinner.

He appreciated Georgia Southern honoring his academic freedom by allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials, some of which he researched, wrote, and published. He was promoted to full professor with tenure at age thirty-six.

He solicited anonymous longitudinal research data using questionnaires in 1992 showing his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the militaristic row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on memorizing or calculating  “right answers” for tests, indicating learners learning in Adult–Adult I’m OK–You’re OK GAME-free democratic learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to and graded using Parent-Child transactions, row and column classroom layouts, and so-called objective multiple-choice tests.  

Only former students who had worked in the real world of business ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study. The data are shown, analyzed, and discussed in full in “Evidence the Case Method Works” published in Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475). The data were also used in several refereed articles.

The ancient Greeks used a similar random-selection democratic process in the Third Century BCE to select leaders of political discussions, learning, and policy formulation in their halls of government. Such a process is called sortition.

For more information on related classroom management ethical issues in universities see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. (2001), “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” in the Journal of Management Education, 25(3), 269-292.

Stapleton had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations that weighted only instructor excellence scores up to 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.”

To read the Optimizing Fairness article in full, go to . After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (August 27, 2023) been cited as a reference in 88 refereed journal articles concerned about the ethics and fairness of student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including thirteen new citations since April 2021.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “The case is all there is.”

If so, everything else said about Earthian human states of affairs is a rendition of what was or might be.

His latest book is As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

For more on Stapleton’s cultural, educational, and professional experiences see “RJS Academic Vita,” at  

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