Trump Is Not Well

  
Via:  tessylo  •  3 months ago  •  19 comments

Trump Is Not Well

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T





Trump Is Not Well



Accepting the reality about the president’s disordered personality is important—even essential.

6:00 AM ET



Contributing editor at   The Atlantic   and senior fellow at EPPC






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lead_720_405.jpg?mod=1567991054 JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS


During the 2016 campaign, I received a phone call from an influential political journalist and author, who was soliciting my thoughts on Donald Trump. Trump’s rise in the Republican Party was still something of a shock, and he wanted to know the things I felt he should keep in mind as he went about the task of covering Trump.

At the top of my list: Talk to psychologists and psychiatrists about the state of Trump’s mental health, since I considered that to be the most important thing when it came to understanding him. It was Trump’s Rosetta stone.


“I don’t oppose Mr. Trump because I think he’s going to lose to Hillary Clinton,” I told Ben from Purcellville, Virginia. “I think he will, but as I said, he may well win. My opposition to him is based on something completely different, which is, first, I think he is temperamentally unfit to be president. I think he’s erratic, I think he’s unprincipled, I think he’s unstable, and I think that he has a personality disorder; I think he’s obsessive. And at the end of the day, having served in the White House for seven years in three administrations and worked for three presidents, one closely, and read a lot of history, I think the main requirement for president of the United States … is temperament, and disposition … whether you have wisdom and judgment and prudence.”





That statement has been validated.

Donald Trump’s disordered personality—his unhealthy patterns of thinking, functioning, and behaving—has become   the   defining characteristic of his presidency. It manifests itself in multiple ways: his extreme narcissism; his   addiction to lying   about things large and small, including   his finances and bullying and silencing those who could expose them ; his detachment from reality, including denying things   he said   even when   there is video evidence   to the contrary; his   affinity for conspiracy theories ; his demand for total loyalty from others while showing none to others; and his self-aggrandizement and   petty cheating .

It manifests itself in Trump’s impulsiveness and vindictiveness; his craving for adulation; his   misogyny ,   predatory   sexual behavior , and   sexualization of his daughter s; his open admiration for brutal dictators; his remorselessness; and his lack of   empathy   and sympathy, including   attacking a family whose son died while fighting for this country ,   mocking a reporter with a disability , and   ridiculing a former POW . (When asked about Trump’s feelings for his fellow human beings, Trump’s mentor, the notorious lawyer Roy Cohn,   reportedly said , “He pisses ice water.”)


The most recent example is the president’s bizarre fixation on falsely insisting that he was correct to warn that Alabama faced a major risk from Hurricane Dorian, to the point that   he doctored a hurricane map with a black Sharpie   to include the state as being in the path of the storm.

“He’s deteriorating in plain sight,” one Republican strategist who is in frequent contact with the White House   told   Business Insider   on Friday . Asked why the president was obsessed with Alabama instead of the states that would actually be affected by the storm, the strategist said, “You should ask a psychiatrist about that; I’m not sure I’m qualified to comment.”

We have repeatedly heard versions of that sentiment over the course of Trump’s presidency. It’s said that speculating on Trump’s mental health is inappropriate and unwise, especially for those who are not formally trained in the field of psychiatry or psychology.

That’s true, up to a point. Yes, it is best to leave it to experts to determine whether Trump satisfies the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, some combination of both, or nothing at all.

But if a clinical diagnosis is beyond my own expertise, Trump’s psychological impairments are obvious to all who are not willfully blind. On a daily basis we see the president’s chaotic, unstable mind on display. Are we supposed to ignore that?

An analogy may be helpful here. If smoke is coming out from under the hood of your car, if you notice puddles of oil under it, if the engine is overheating and you smell burning oil, you don’t have to be a car mechanic to know that something is wrong with your car.






Even now, almost a thousand days into his presidency, the latest Trump outrage elicits shock and disbelief in people. The reaction is, “Can you believe he said   that   and did   this ?”

To which my response is, “Why are you surprised?” It’s a shock only if the assumption is that we’re dealing with a psychologically normal human being. We’re not. Trump is profoundly compromised, acting just as you would imagine a person with a disordered personality would. Many Americans haven’t yet come to terms with the fact that we elected as president a man who is deeply damaged, an emotional misfit. But it would be helpful if they did.

Among other things, it would keep us feeling less startled and disoriented, less in a state of constant agitation, less susceptible to provocations. Donald Trump thrives on creating chaos, on gaslighting us, on creating antipathy among Americans, on keeping people on edge and off balance. He wants to dominate our every waking hour. We ought not grant him that power over us.

It might also take some of the edge off the hatred many people feel for Trump. Seeing him for what he is—a terribly damaged soul, a broken man, a person with a disordered mind—should not lessen our revulsion at how Trump mistreats others, at his cruelty and dehumanizing actions. Nor should it weaken our resolve to stand up to it. It does complicate the picture just a bit, though, eliciting some pity and sorrow for Trump.

But above all, accepting the truth about Trump’s mental state will cause us to take more seriously than we have our democratic duty, which is to prevent a psychologically and morally unfit person from becoming president.

The office is too powerful, and the consequences are too dangerous, to allow a person to become president who views morality only through the prism of whether an action advances his own narrow interests, his own distorted desires, his own twisted impulses. When an individual comes to believe his interests and those of the nation he leads are one and the same, it opens the door to all sorts of moral and constitutional devilry.

Whether or not his disorders are diagnosable, the president’s psychological flaws are all too apparent. They were alarming when he took the oath of office; they are worse now. Every day Donald Trump is president is a day of disgrace. And a day of danger.

We want to hear what you think about this article.   Submit a letter   to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.





PETER WEHNER   is a contributing editor at   The Atlantic   and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He writes widely on political, cultural, religious, and national-security issues, and he is the author of   The Death of Politics : How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump .






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Tessylo
1  seeder  Tessylo    3 months ago

I have been calling this 'president' and his 'presidency' a freak show from day one.  

 
 
 
WallyW
1.1  WallyW  replied to  Tessylo @1    3 months ago

Then he should be removed from office, if what they say is true.

 
 
 
bugsy
1.2  bugsy  replied to  Tessylo @1    3 months ago
I have been calling this 'president' and his 'presidency' a freak show from day one.  

And very few outside the loony left cares.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  JohnRussell    3 months ago
Donald Trump’s disordered personality—his unhealthy patterns of thinking, functioning, and behaving—has become the defining characteristic of his presidency. It manifests itself in multiple ways: his extreme narcissism; his addiction to lying about things large and small, including his finances and bullying and silencing those who could expose them ; his detachment from reality, including denying things he said even when there is video evidence to the contrary; his affinity for conspiracy theories ; his demand for total loyalty from others while showing none to others; and his self-aggrandizement and petty cheating .

It manifests itself in Trump’s impulsiveness and vindictiveness; his craving for adulation; his misogyny , predatory sexual behavior , and sexualization of his daughter s; his open admiration for brutal dictators; his remorselessness; and his lack of empathy and sympathy, including attacking a family whose son died while fighting for this country , mocking a reporter with a disability , and ridiculing a former POW . (When asked about Trump’s feelings for his fellow human beings, Trump’s mentor, the notorious lawyer Roy Cohn, reportedly said , “He pisses ice water.”)

The fact that a person with this phenomenal off the charts level of personal failings could be elected President of the United States is undoubtedly the major news story in the U.S., and probably the world, in the 21st century so far. 

 
 
 
WallyW
2.1  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @2    3 months ago

It will be an even bigger story when he is easily reelected.

Biden is floundering and flailing in a shitstorm of gaffery,

whilst the socialist faction is out of touch with most decent Americans....

and simply not electable.

afb090619dAPR20190906054507.jpg
 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  WallyW @2.1    3 months ago
The fact that a person with this phenomenal off the charts level of personal failings could be elected President of the United States is undoubtedly the major news story in the U.S., and probably the world, in the 21st century so far. 

It's not good Wally, at all. It speaks incredibly poorly of a fairly large segment of our population. Generically I would call them the consumers of right wing media. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
2.1.2  MrFrost  replied to  WallyW @2.1    3 months ago

512

 
 
 
WallyW
2.1.3  WallyW  replied to  MrFrost @2.1.2    3 months ago

The Democrats appear to have no plan for the country other than impeaching Trump.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
2.1.4  Sean Treacy  replied to  WallyW @2.1.3    3 months ago

Their plan  is to spend four years  talking  about impeaching Trump, without actually doing it.

 
 
 
Tacos!
2.1.5  Tacos!  replied to  MrFrost @2.1.2    3 months ago

I actually think that graphic is fair, but no one is presenting a superior alternative. Until they do, expect him to be reelected.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Tacos! @2.1.5    3 months ago
I actually think that graphic is fair, but no one is presenting a superior alternative.

Then I would suggest you tune in for the next debate, or at least look through some policies on the leading Democrat's web pages.  You may not agree with them, but most have plans, and most of the plans are very popular with voters when you remove the right wing rhetoric.

 
 
 
WallyW
2.1.7  WallyW  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.6    3 months ago
but most have plans, and most of the plans are very popular with voters when you remove the right wing rhetoric.
Most ignorant people are for the idea "free everything" until they realize
there is no way to pay for it all,

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1.8  Ozzwald  replied to  WallyW @2.1.7    3 months ago
Most ignorant people are for the idea "free everything" until they realize

I said, "remove the right wing rhetoric".  The first thing you do is spout right wing rhetoric. 

If we can afford to give billionaires a trillion dollars of tax cuts, we can afford to help the average American citizen.

 
 
 
Galen Marvin Ross
3  Galen Marvin Ross    3 months ago

Trump hasn't been well for many years and, ya'all are just noticing it? jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
MrFrost
3.1  MrFrost  replied to  Galen Marvin Ross @3    3 months ago

Oh most people noticed it, it's extremist right wing that may have noticed, but don't really care. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.2  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Galen Marvin Ross @3    3 months ago

I've known he was a freak/freakshow for a long time.  It's those supporters who refuse to see/acknowledge it.  I get tired of the endless tRumpsplanations for his failings.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
4  Tacos!    3 months ago
Every day Donald Trump is president is a day of disgrace. And a day of danger.

The haters have been forecasting this danger and disaster since before he was even elected. Two and half years after being sworn in, it has yet to emerge. You can only "cry wolf" so many times before the people stop listening.

 
 
 
freepress
5  freepress    3 months ago

He truly isn't well, even a terrible person can suffer from dementia. Really, I think he knows the only way out for him to avoid any prosecution is to exploit his condition so he can use his medical condition and only reveal it when either loses the election, or public opinion drops his approval even lower than it is. Then he can keep his followers, avoid prosecution due to health and dementia issues and his family saves face. His family can play dumb saying they didn't know how bad off he really was, his doctors can testify to his condition and he will play for sympathy. It is the only scenario that leaves his family intact and Republicans in a position to recover.

 
 
 
It Is ME
6  It Is ME    3 months ago

"At the top of my list: Talk to psychologists and psychiatrists about the state of Trump’s mental health , since I considered that to be the most important thing when it came to understanding him."

I hope these psychologists and psychiatrists don't rely on watching all their patience from afar, to make their diagnoses. That could be a problem all on it's own. jrSmiley_32_smiley_image.gif

Unless all the psychologists and psychiatrists that comment about Trump and his mental state, have had face to face, one on ones with him. 

Then I'll retract what I noted at first.

 
 
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