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The Trump Dilemma

By Ad astra  

Don’t get me wrong. Trump is not the dilemma to which I’m referring. His behaviour is no longer a quandary. With every word he utters, with every tweet, he confirms that his mental state continues to deteriorate to the point where commentator after commentator expresses astonishment and alarm at his outlandish reactions to the social and political environment in which he finds himself. He has become predictably unpredictable.

Read any article about him, listen to any comment, and you will hear the same assessment. Trump is dangerously insane.

Writing in Stat Justin A. Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center and author of Trump on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (Avery/Penguin Random House, September 2018), gives this assessment after hearing him speak on Fox and Friends as far back as September 2018.

This half-hour revealed how destabilized the president can become and showed many of the disturbing patterns seen elsewhere in Trump’s actions and writing. Three of the most striking were his deep-seated feelings of victimhood, repeating himself, and difficulty answering questions or staying on point.

Writing in Salon in April, David Masciotra says:

The United States of America is now an abusive household. Donald Trump is the lunatic authority figure stalking and traumatizing the victims – the American people. It becomes increasingly evident, that with Trump’s every social media post, public utterance and policy directive, our president suffers from a severe form of mental illness. His insanity threatens millions of lives, and has become particularly dangerous during the most devastating public health crisis in the last 100 years.

If you still need more evidence, read an article by Bess Levin in the March 13 issue of Vanity Fair: The 12 Most Insane Moments From Trump’s National Emergency Presser: Germ-Swapping, Corporate Sponsors, “Big Words”.” Here is an extract:

On Friday afternoon, Donald Trump addressed the nation for the second time this week, and if you chose not to watch in an effort to protect your mental health, the quick summary is that it went as well as you might have expected, if you expected the press conference equivalent of a flaming bag of dog crap wrapped in the used bed sheets of a coronavirus patient. While his remarks didn’t cause the markets to have their worst trading session since Black Monday like they did on Wednesday, the address was somehow even more chilling.

Every day more evidence of Trump’s deranged mental state emerges: A report published by CNN from Carl Bernstein – who broke the Watergate stories with Bob Woodward, shared claims from those in Mr Trump’s inner circle that the President was “delusional” and ill-prepared for phone calls with world leaders. In addition, he was “abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies” – including Scott Morrison. Here is some of the CNN report:

Bernstein’s lengthy report claims Mr Trump “regularly bullied and demeaned” leaders of nations including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Australia, in ‘numerous’ phone calls.

“Everything was always personalised, with everybody doing terrible things to rip us off – which meant ripping ‘me’ – Trump – off. He couldn’t – or wouldn’t – see or focus on the larger picture,” one US official reportedly said. Another reportedly called the phone calls “abominations”, while a German official said they were “so unusual” and “very aggressive”.

So if Trump is not the dilemma to which this article refers, what is?

To my mind, the most disturbing dilemma is: Why did voters in the US vote him into office, as they may well do again in November? They must know him by now; they must have read or heard the damaging assessments that are emerging day after day, the most recent being that of his former national security adviser, John Bolton in The Room Where it Happened.

There has to be an explanation. The purpose of this short piece is to canvass your opinion. Please let us have your considered views in Comments.

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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29 comments

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  1. Lawrence S. Roberts

    Biden is Trump lite, just a milder form of terminal capitalism. It will just take us slightly longer to get to complete serfdom but the climate will take us out before then.

  2. Matters Not

    Re:

    Why did voters in the US vote him into office

    Because people vote with their heart and not their head? Because a significant number preferred him to the alternative? Because the American democracy is broken? Because they wanted to take revenge on those whom they once trusted? Because desperate people will do desperate things?

    Even now, the Republicans are moving to make it even harder for those who might want to vote for the Democrat. (After all, the US is the original home of the ‘gerrymander’.) Democracy in the United States is no more! Even if he ‘loses’ Trump may not agree to ‘go’. (That’s why the recent SCOTUS decision that the President is not above the law might prove to be significant. As might be the statement from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Mark Milley) that their loyalty is to the Constitution and not the person who happens to be President.

    And then there’s the guns. Always the guns!

  3. Jack Cade

    Why?
    Because he’s an All-American boy. A vainglorious, vindictive, spiteful, mendacious, bullying lout. He’s Uncle Sam in the flesh. He’s what THEY are.
    Not that I’m being judgmental, like…

  4. Princess Mombi

    ‘Imagine being so stupid that you look at Trump, at this treasonous, traitorous, totally corrupt, self-serving, ignorant clown, this racist, semi-literate moron, this sexually assaulting, pathologically lying, feeble minded, morally bankrupt, constitutionally- illiterate simpleton, this bloated nitwit with his cotton candy hair, radioactive tinted skin and obese dishevelment, and think “Now that is a guy I can admire” ….” PLUS NPD! Those who follow him are afraid to admit they were wrong and it’s a known fact that humans try and justify those mistakes plus the USA is seriously broken in every way.

  5. Phil

    ‘ Biden is Trump lite, just a milder form of terminal capitalism. It will just take us slightly longer to get to complete serfdom but the climate will take us out before then.’

    Yep. Or a nuclear mushroom cloud. My monies on the Eco system collapsing first.

  6. Phil

    For mine Trump will book off sick. Pence will become President and pardon him. If Trump looses the election, it’s odds on he’s going to do porridge. His mate Rodger the Dodger Stone, must be able to finger him hence his pardon. I hope he does the world a favour and gets Covid-19.

  7. Michael Taylor

    It’s not so much who voted for him last time, it’s the idiots who’ll vote for him the next time.

  8. Jack Cade

    Trumps 2016 votes are probably rock solid and will be in November. The real race will be between Biden’s chosen running mate and Pence. The Democrats HAVE to choose a running mate that the Sanders, Greens and Ventura fans will get behind. Any other third parties like West will be Republican plants to leach liberals away from Biden.
    All in all there is no real hope for the USA. They’ve walked into a nightmare, and did it with their eyes open. Like the naifs they are, they think the Presidency transforms water into wine, despite almost every other president proving it doesn’t.

  9. Wanderer

    Why has the presidency come to this?
    The Kennedys were assassinated before they could work for the betterment of the community. More recent democrats were undermined or distracted. Much of the country lives by fear and guns.
    The media is dominated by capitalists spewing right wing propaganda.
    But fundamentally I’d say it’s about education, or rather the quality and lack thereof.
    In the USA many schools close down for the duration when they run out of funds, which I’m assured by locals can be often.
    Teachers have to pay to provide necessary resources the governments are not willing to fund. Teachers are often not paid, or under paid.
    Curriculum taught is heavily politically and religiously influenced, with the result that analytical and higher order thinking isn’t being developed in students.
    Wealth is worshipped and intelligence derided, gang mentalities are dominant.
    No wonder the voters are not focused on what’s truly in their best interests for their own and childrens’ futures.

  10. Matters Not

    Re:

    Pence will become President and pardon him

    Pardoning before a trial, let alone a conviction? That’s a legal minefield. Yes, Ford gave a ‘general/broad’ pardon to Nixon but can’t see that happening via Pence given his own ‘shaky’ position. Then again, would (an arrogant) Trump accept a pardon for any crime that he wasn’t found guilty of? Accepting a pardon is an admission of guilt – is it not? Would Trump agree to that? Lots of pride to be swallowed.

    Then there’s the real possibility that Trump mightn’t have Pence as a running mate. Trump is never loyal. Why not have a female as his VP? Someone like Ms Nikki Haley? Lots of twists and turns still to come.

    Further, Biden says he’ll only serve one term so his chosen VP (most probably a woman) will become the President in waiting. Will he go for a woman of color? Or Ms Warren? If Warren, the progressives will rejoice but the corporate democrats will run a mile. Interesting times.

    PS Wanderer, you need to do some more reading because there’s many errors in your claims/assertions.

  11. Phil

    ‘Pardoning before a trial, let alone a conviction? That’s a legal minefield. Yes, Ford gave a ‘general/broad’ pardon to Nixon but can’t see that happening via Pence given his own ‘shaky’ position. Then again, would (an arrogant) Trump accept a pardon for any crime that he wasn’t found guilty of? Accepting a pardon is an admission of guilt – is it not? Would Trump agree to that? Lots of pride to be swallowed.’

    Legal precedents are broken every 24 hrs by the Trump administration. Roger Stone has accepted the pardon, he claims he’s innocent. I don’t believe that but I’m just Joe Muggins. What I think doesn’t matter.

    I don’t have a clue what will happen before now and the election in November, what’s more neither does anyone else on this blog. You take the information in as provided by the different pundits, allow for about 5 cwt of bullshit, add your own perception, crunch the information add a bit of life’s experience and viola, an opinion. Sure an opinion and six bucks will still get you a cup of coffee But it’s my opinion, Trump will be persuaded to resign on medical grounds. If Pence tells the US courts he will pardon Trump no matter the outcome, I can’t see them going ahead with any prosecution. They are worried if Trump contests the election, they the Republicans will lose the Senate.

    You didn’t have to be Walter Cronkite or Richard Dimbleby to work out Epstein was never going to see the inside of a court. If Prince Andrew leaves the UK and attends any court in the US. I will eat shit. Assange will die either in England or a US prison. Maxwell will sing like a Canary, she does not want to end up in prison after the pampered life she has led, she will do a deal. Again if any high profile US politicians including the Clintons get prosecuted I will be very surprised. This will all just go away, as per usual. I don’t have a crystal ball but I’ve read one or two books. If I’m wrong I wont spin it.

  12. Matters Not

    As I understand it, Roger Stone has NOT been pardoned. His sentence has been commuted. There is a difference.

    A commutation of sentence is a reduction, either totally or partially, of a sentence currently being served. A President’s decision to commute a sentence does not eliminate a federal conviction. It also does not imply that the person was innocent of the crime for which he or she was convicted, nor does it remove the ramifications of a criminal conviction, such as losing the right to vote or inability to hold elected office

    More here.

    https://clemency.com/pardon-vs-commutation-what-is-the-difference-between-a-pardon-and-a-commutation

  13. Matters Not

    Further, while a President can ‘pardon’ for a Federal offense, a President can’t pardon for a State offense. Note that the SDNY could/would probably proceed against Trump for State misdemeanors – particularly in relation to (illegal) non-payment of State taxes.

    Whether or not a Democratic administration would proceed against Trump is an unknown. Time heals all wounds but there will be great disappointment if they don’t.

  14. Phil

    ‘As I understand it, Roger Stone has NOT been pardoned. His sentence has been commuted. There is a difference.’

    That’s pedantry. It probably means a lot to the lawyers but, down in Alabama the folks think he’s been pardoned. Most of the people down there have only heard the word commuted when one of their cousins has been let off from facing the electric chair. End of. There would have been reasons to do what they did. An advantage must have been obtained, to believe otherwise after was has transpired in the last four years just doesn’t make sense.

    Yes I know they can’t pardon for State offense. SDNY are waiting if we believe what they are telling us, for the minute Trump leaves office.

    ‘ Whether or not a Democratic administration would proceed against Trump is an unknown. Time heals all wounds but there will be great disappointment if they don’t. ‘

    Sure it will disappoint but, they will do as they please. At the end of the day, this game show called the US government, is about survival for the parasites involved in it. It has to be noted, that some die hard Republicans are turning on Trump. I don’t believe for a nano second, any of them in their capitalist duopoly give a shit about their people. As an aside, that opinion applies here. Even Fox the Trumpsters personal media outlet, that would put the good Doctor Goebbels to shame, are turning against him.

    What ever happens nothing will shock me, I’m still getting over the reelection of Morrison.

  15. wam

    the dilemma in 2016 was between a dud woman and a real dud man.. To my mind few women should vote for a pussy grabber and a great should vote for another woman. The spoiler is last minute with pencils poised and a change of mind. I was wrong in that enough americans voted for a woman to make it close.
    This time it is a dud democrat man vs real dud, failed republican incumbent trump needs to give his 2016 voters a reason to stick with him, a reason to accept his presidency, a reason to fear biden.
    That seems an impossible task but trump has till melb cup to catch a scummo miracle.
    So if the odds get to the heights of 2016 11/4 grab it.

  16. Jack Cade

    The USA is now acting like a cornered rat, which is what it is.
    Yesterday ‘their ABC NEWSRADIO, which is the Voice of America for people who don’t have FOX, featured an item about a Chinese war ship almost colliding with a US war ship in the South China Sea, and announced in outrage that all Chinese ships had a Communist government spokesman on board, with equal power to the captain.
    No mention of the fact that the CIA has personnel in every US vessel (and likely Japanese and South Korean vessel – maybe even Chinese vessel).
    It is surely not in our interest to allow a public broadcaster to disseminate US propaganda. New Zealand’s balls dropped years ago with respect to the USA. Australia’s balls just fell out.

  17. New England Cocky

    What a great discussion, thank you.

    @Princess Mombi: Are you attempting to steal Phil Pryor’s thunder with your accurate description of Trumpery?

    @MT: Still too many similarities to Germany 1935 ….. Sadly, I think Jack Cade is correct.

    @Wanderer: The beneficiaries as always are the corporations and their executives who corrupt the political system with huge political donations and receive lucrative government contracts in return as a quid pro quo, then exploit the deliberately lax corporate taxation system for personal pecuniary benefit thus becoming the greatest economic parasites in an allegedly capitalist system.

  18. Jack Cade

    Wam

    The 2016 vote was between more of the same and a man who promised to effect pub talk as national policy. Trump appealed to the disenfranchised in America, the people who went from 20% higher than national average incomes in places like Detroit to having no jobs at all, and then no homes. Those who got work got it in Wal-Mart and such, at incomes less than half what they’d earned as Motown. You can’t blame them for going for Fart. Even then, they were in the minority, expanded into a majority by the nefarious Electoral College.
    While the USA has dozens of major cities in turmoil, Trump has now switched attention to the poor down-trodden citizens of HongKong, taking the attention off Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia…
    I have no idea what caused the HongKong riots, but they were only ever going to end one way. It is part of China, after all. The two-systems were an expedient, and bound to fail sooner or later.
    For now.

  19. Zathras

    Trump himself is really not the problem – he’s the symptom of a society in decline.

    In an age of wild conspiracies and the cult of celebrity for many he’s the weak man’s image of a strong man, the stupid man’s image of a smart man and the poor man’s image of a rich man.

    He’s morally and financially corrupt and paranoid and has surrounded himself with apparatchiks whose aim is to please him rather than serve the American people and has made the “fake news” media into “the enemy within” – a typical strategy of a fascist regime, yet somehow he still has a strong power base of disgruntled supporters.

    Things seemed so broken over there that a voter reaction was to try something from outside the usual system and he was used by the Republicans solely to get themselves into office but will now become part of their legacy.

  20. Jack Cade

    The point is that China didn’t ‘steal’ US jobs. Corporate greed stole them. But Americans have had 150 years of bring told they were the greatest nation the world has ever seen, could do no wrong. It’s hard to grow out of the arrogance and complacency that breeds.

  21. Geoff Andrews

    I think Trump has been working on rorting the electoral system for six years. Any system that involves computers determining the result has to be suspect, be it from Trump or the Republicans, the Democrats or just Russia or China having a bit of sport. It seems to be a tradition in America: I remember something to do with “chats” some time ago; both Bush’s, I think, was elected under a cloud of suspicion and, as appears to be occurring now, attempts to disenfranchise minorities pops up every so often. Trump’s “miracle” win in 2016 wasn’t due to his statesman-like, scintillating wit and personality but his self-proclaimed ability to grab pussies could have been decisive in some southern states,

  22. James O'Neill

    What a sorry choice for American voters this November. The options are between a manifestly deficient and dangerous incumbent and a man exhibiting all the symptoms of dementia which will assuredly get worse.
    The intelligent US voter will therefore closely scrutinise their respective running mates. But who said the average US voter was intelligent or informed?

  23. Vikingduk

    The trump/republican criminal syndicate, the trump nepotism, the trump taxes, the trump/republican corruption, the trump insanity, the trump fascism, the trump/republican lies, lies and more lies. This revolting sack of congealed vomit isn’t so much running for re-election but to stay out of jail. Only recently have a few republicans sniffed the wind and are beginning to wind back their slavish devotion to this traitor trump, this bunkerbitch, this rotten thing that is called trump. What of the enablers remaining? The absolutely corrupt Barr? These things disguised as humans that still support and excuse and lie and trash whatever morals they may have had. And, of course, the repulsive rupert at the heart of the propaganda to keep this narcissistic, spoiled child as president.

    But, of course, the smirking jerk and his followers approve and are and will continue to ape the actions of the trashing of democracy, our very own crime syndicate masquerading as government. Sickening and disgusting is our revolting spiral into serfdom. Three fucking cheers to the braindead, you’ve won a hollow, worthless victory, because as certain as the sun rising in the east, we are deep in the shit, the environment we have so willingly trashed has had enough and we will pay the price. Yep, my money is on the ecosystem collapsing, my way of thinking tells me that is our last hope.

    Perhaps, to understand that way of thinking is to appreciate that I think most humans aren’t worth a pinch of shit and that I would be much happier to see the planet and what remains of this rooted ecosystem survive.

  24. Graeme Henchel

    Trump is the monster.
    Murdoch is Dr Frankenstein.

  25. Terence Mills

    The last time America had a mad despotic leader it was George III and it led to the American War of Independence and the people of the United States prevailed.

    History repeating itself ?

  26. Jack Cade

    But Americans are exceptional at doing what they are told. Their recruitment policy for the armed forces concentrated on drafting ‘expendables’, the type of soldiers they nicknamed ‘McNamara’s Morons’ in Vietnam. Many of the conscripts could not read or write. Deliberately.
    That’s why both political parties screw them, and why the same corporates own both. It guarantees continuity. Next time will be no different – Trump/Biden. One sociopathic moron, the other majorly senile already. Reagan was senile but senile people can recite enough of the same platitudes by rote.

  27. Ad Astra

    Folks

    Once again, I thank you all for your comprehensive responses to this piece, which add so much. I have enjoyed reading all of them.

  28. DrakeN

    @ Ad Astra,

    It’s a bit like the Caterpillar said to Alice: “You’re mad, I’m mad – we’re all mad down here…” 😉

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