This is a quick post outside of my regular schedule because the nation I love is in terrible peril and it’s clear that far too many people do not appreciate the real problem:
The president is not sane.
Everything else is irrelevant. The executive orders, North Korea, even the Russian hacking of our election are completely secondary to the immediate problem in front of us. The most powerful person in the world is not sane and we have to do something about it immediately.
The admission to NBC finally laid this bare – Trump was going to fire Comey no matter what and that was that. How does this go down?
The firing took place in Trump’s alternative universe. This exists entirely in his mind and is not encumbered by reality. It has no relationship to reality. It is an entirely separate place altogether.
Trump knows that from time to time he has to influence reality and follow certain social protocols and rules. They confuse and irritate him because he does not really understand them. They impinge on the fantasy world he actually inhabits and constrain it in ways that simply do not make any sense to him.
He was told that he had to come up with an excuse to fire Comey. He understood that need enough to order it to be done. Rod Rosenstein complied, but clearly did not want to do it. The fact that he did a terrible job of justifying it shows this.
Rosenstein, and everyone else on the staff, are all starting to question their own sanity about now. Their proximity to the alternative Trump universe is warping their judgement and rendering them largely useless. They are simply trying to survive and cope with this on a day by day basis.
The process is referred to as “gaslighting”, from the play later made into a movie. This process is usually seen from the perspective of the victim, starting out in reality, where the perpetrator is clearly some kind of psychopathic monster. All of that is true enough, but see it for a moment from the perspective of the perpetrator.
Trump knows, deep down, that his universe is not reality. He depends on reality to support him but is incapable of understanding it. The only hope he has is to control it as much as possible and warp it around the needs of his alternative universe. His whole life he’s had the resources, especially the charm, to do this. So he is going to rely on all of those to do it again as long as that works.
To him, this is a defensive move. His universe is being threatened.
Once charm fails it’s time to lash out. He is a cornered animal being forced to deal with reality, something he does not understand any longer. He has to gain control over reality to put it once again in a servile position to his own universe. This has always worked for him in the past largely because those who present a threat back down in order to preserve their own sanity. Trump will continue to do what has worked for him so far.
Diversion is a big part of this process. Change the subject and the threat will go away. Projection is also a tool, which is where his own transgressions are absorbed and turned around as if they were things done to him. He remembers something bad happened but not the details – it must have been one of those threats from the outside. They are absorbed and put to work for the Trump alternative universe.
This is all extremely dangerous in any situation, but when the president has his own universe with his own facts it is a great peril to everyone. We have to see everything that he says from the perspective of a cornered animal, alternating between charm and outrage to do whatever it takes to defend an alternative universe that exists entirely in his own mind.
Nothing else matters. He has to be removed.
During Watergate there were many basically sane and responsible Republicans in the House, making impeachment a credible threat to Nixon. I question whether this is so at the moment. Plus the VP, Ford, was a tolerable mediocrity whereas Pence is, in his own way, as nutty and dangerous as Trump. I wish I could see a non-cataclysmic way through this……
You are right, there are two immediate problems. I think the first will resolve itself as the insanity becomes more clear – which is why I think we have to speak in clear, concise, language. He is insane.
The second problem I am afraid we will have to deal with when we have to deal with it.
I share your urgency, but HOW we move forward really stymies me. Who do we have in a position of authority able to do something about this? As near as I can see, no one in power will say or do anything. The people who will, and do, press for action do not have the authority to actually do anything. It may be that the people (us) will need to rise up and protest in the streets, and never let up on phone calls to our representatives. But that is exhausting and numbing, along with the fact that nearly half of the country ridicules everything we say and do, twisting and turning our words and actions into an ugly caricature of their meaning.
I don’t see a good ending for our country. Maybe we’ll win through eventually, but it’s going to get very dark for a while.
We must speak with clarity and urgency. Nothing else matters. He is insane.
This will get very dark but we can hold the candles up bravely.
About time someone calls it like it is.
From the wikipedia article on insanity. I think we have met the legal definition. He cannot distinguish right from wrong because his understanding of reality is at best very limited:
In United States criminal law, insanity may serve as an affirmative defense to criminal acts and thus does not need to negate an element of the prosecution’s case such as general or specific intent. Each U.S. state differs somewhat in its definition of insanity but most follow the guidelines of the Model Penal Code. All jurisdictions require a sanity evaluation to address the question first of whether or not the defendant has a mental illness.
Most courts accept a major mental illness such as psychosis but will not accept the diagnosis of a personality disorder for the purposes of an insanity defense. The second question is whether the mental illness interfered with the defendant’s ability to distinguish right from wrong. That is, did the defendant know that the alleged behavior was against the law at the time the offense was committed.
Additionally, some jurisdictions add the question of whether or not the defendant was in control of their behavior at the time of the offense. For example, if the defendant was compelled by some aspect of their mental illness to commit the illegal act, the defendant could be evaluated as not in control of their behavior at the time of the offense.
I concur. Nothing else matters.
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Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
Long-time blogger-friend Erik Hare, writing as Barataria, wrote a post a week ago that, in my perpetual state of being behind, I just happened upon tonight. It is telling, I think, when those who were, initially, willing to ‘give Trump a chance’, determine within a few short months that “THE MAN HAS TO GO!” Please take a moment to read Erik’s post … he combines wit with wisdom in a way that most of us only aspire to, and it is well worth the read. Thank you, Erik!
I would agree that he is insane, but I question one of your statements: “Trump knows, deep down, that his universe is not reality.” Does he? I’m not so sure … I wonder if he hasn’t been living in his own fantasy world so long that he is truly disconnected from reality … the reality that most of us live 24/7. Good post, Erik, and I am re-blogging! Thanks!
I think you’ve made some great points here Erik, but I agree with Jill. I think at 70 years old, Trump has gotten so used to his universe that even if (and that’s a big if) he realizes he’s not truly living in the same reality the rest of are, from his perspective that’s our problem not his. He’s already done so much harm to this country and our reputation abroad in just a few short months, I absolutely agree he needs to go. Now that Robert Mueller has been appointed as special counsel I don’t think it’s going to take as long as some think. In the case of Nixon up until the end he knew how to stymie the investigation. Trump doesn’t. Every word out of his mouth just gets him deeper into hot water, and a big part of that is because he truly believes that as President he can do and say whatever he wants. Don’t forget this is the same man who bragged that he could kill someone in front of thousands of witnesses and people would still support him. As far as Pence goes, I absolutely despise him and everything he stands for, but at least he’s not mentally unstable. Of course my real dream is that Pence is found to have participated far more than anyone realized in this treason, and he goes down as well. Then we’d be stuck with Paul Ryan but I could live with that until hopefully a strong democratic candidate can take back the reigns.
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
Dear Erik Hare,
Thanks for looking at the big picture. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health experts have been opining about this issue for months. But this is like the story of the naked emperor where all the supporting cast (President Trump’s supporters, republican legislators and DDT’s team) say otherwise.
It’s hard to say anything from far away, but no one can say that this is healthy behavior.
OMG, how true. I am so scared for this country right now.
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I like the post. It’s quite amazing to see all of this happening in an advanced society. Back in August, I did some writing on the topic of Donald Trump and sociopathy, and invite your readers to take a look at it. https://twoifbycharmwordpress.wordpress.com/
We knew Trump was a psychopath before he was elected. What does that say about our society? As a world leader…America is finished.
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