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Some people who attain high public office grow in their position of trust. Some, however, just bloat.
Bloat has been on spectacular display in the first months of Donald Trump’s presidential tenure. He had a disastrous start, choosing a cabinet and staff mostly made up of ideological quacks, incompetents, and Wall Street grifters. Yet, buoyed by his explosive ego, President Trump pronounced his start historic: “I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done.”
Sadly, he’s right. For example, they made a reckless, unconstitutional attempt to ban millions of Muslim immigrants from our land. They had to ax the kooky guy he chose to be his national security advisor, they’ve apparently been caught colluding with Russian meddlers in our politics. Some record!
And now Trump has embraced a GOP replacement of Obamacare, hailing the “Trumpcare” substitute that will jack-up our health care costs, cut benefits, and eliminate coverage entirely for millions of working-class and poor people – while also sneaking in yet another underhanded tax cut for the rich! It’s so awful that even hordes of Republican lawmakers have gagged, refusing to swallow it. Yet, lost in self-deception, Trump calls it “wonderful”.
We have a president who is detached from reality, careening from one mess to another. But who will say: “The emperor has no clothes”? He’s so far gone that when he read his recent address to Congress straight off the teleprompter, without his usual pugnacious ranting, Republican enablers of his antics and even the media establishment applauded him for being “presidential.”
Huh? The speech was a nasty wad of lies and right-wing nonsense. If the occasional appearance of sanity is all we ask of Trump, then his reign of insanity will be our fault.
“Letter to the editor,” The New York Times, March 7, 2017.
“Mr. Trump, Our 15th President Thanks You,” The New York Times, February 17, 2017.
“Goodbye Spin, Hello Raw Dishonesty,” The New York Times, March 3, 2017.
“A Party Not Ready To Govern,” The New York Times, March 6, 2017.
“Why President’s Agenda Is Moving Slowly: The Wonk Gap,” The New York Times, March 1, 2017.
“Some in G.O.P. See Lack Of Leadership by Trump,” The New York Times, March 1, 2017.
“Trump Supports GOP Health Care Plan, But It Isn’t Everything He Wants,” NPR, March 7, 2017.
What should we do about a mentally ill president?
It’s time to state the obvious: The President of the United States is deranged.
I don’t mean he’s merely idiosyncratic, nor do I say this as a political jab. I mean that Donald J. Trump literally is mentally ill.
Okay, I’m no doctor, but you don’t need a doctorate in mental disorders to see that his behavior in public and on Twitter is beyond abnormal – it’s psychotic. As we’ve seen, he routinely plunges into prolonged fits of petty paranoia; he succumbs to delusions of imperialist grandeur; he spouts ridiculous right-wing rumors as facts and denies that actual facts are true; and he is pathologically addicted to lying, bizarrely repeating his most blatant fabrications even after they’ve been totally debunked.
A sane, temperamentally-balanced President – possessing all the power and majesty that America’s supreme office conveys – doesn’t get into demeaning public snits with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger; doesn’t feel a constant need to puff himself up with ridiculously false claims, such as his frantic insistence that the crowd at his inaugural celebration was the largest ever; doesn’t rage rabidly at media outlets that displease him, blasting them as “enemies of the people;” and doesn’t unleash a furious, all-out attack on Barack Obama just because some radio talk-show screwball made a proof-free claim that the former president had wiretapped Trump’s campaign.
These are not mere eccentricities, not just Trump being Trump – it’s obvious that the guy is not well and is unable to handle the stress of being president. Indeed, his flaky behavior suggests he’s on the brink of a personal breakdown, and his ever-more-frequent retreats to his posh Florida golf resort tells us he doesn’t even want to do the job. His loved ones and his party should intervene – for his sake and for America’s. But they won’t. So, will we?
“Trumpism At Its Best, Straight Up,” The New York Times, March 3, 2017.
“Pause This Presidency!” The New York Times, March 6, 2017.
“The Power of Disruption,” The New York Times, February 13, 2017.