The President has lost his Marbles

Trump was never half as smart as he said he was, but even as recently as six months ago he was a lot quicker than he is now. Pretty much every word out of his mouth these days bears witness to his declining cognitive capacities, his inability to control his impulses, and his estrangement from anything resembling reality. He has become a walking, talking poster for the symptoms of early-stage (or not-so-early stage) dementia, but because his politics are so poisonous, his administration so corrupt, and the stakes for the world so high, we continue to talk about him as if he is strategizing instead of clinically devolving.

When I read this item at Axios this morning, I suddenly saw the elephant in the room. The headline is (after his Paris Accord decision, it actually reads like a punchline): “Trump Pitched Congressional Leaders on a Solar-Powered Border Wall.”

Trump floated the idea that the wall could be covered in solar panels and the electricity generated used to pay for the cost.

Trump said his vision was a wall 40 feet to 50 feet high and covered with solar panels so they’d be “beautiful structures,” the people said. The President said that most walls you hear about are 14 feet or 15 feet tall but this would be nothing like those walls. Trump told the lawmakers they could talk about the solar-paneled wall as long as they said it was his idea.

This happened yesterday–after he broke diplomatic relations with Qatar with a Tweet (stranding our military bases in now-hostile territory) and challenged Sadiq Khan to an IQ test. This is from the guy who thinks that climate change is a fraud, solar power is a waste (Solyndra!) and that our energy future is in coal.

What else happened yesterday? A story broke that he made his dopey son Eric steal from a cancer charity on his behalf (that was when he still had all his marbles). We learned that Russia maybe did do a little more to our election than just plant fake news stories. We also learned that Trump has turned on Jeff Sessions of all people, and that he is resentful of all the attention that his son-in-law Jared is getting.

The proverbial anthropologist from Mars would take one look at any of those stories and conclude that Trump is not just an authoritarian agent of Russia but cognitively and emotionally off the rails. If he wasn’t such a monster, his unraveling would be a tragic spectacle.

I know this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but I’m pretty certain that some very important figures in the military, business, the Republican party, and even Congress have noticed this too and have already started discussing how they can ease him out of power and install Mike Pence in his place. I would bet that Mike Pence (who I just learned from Jane Mayer’s DARK MONEY was Charles Koch’s favorite for president in 2012) is an active participant in those conversations–and maybe Jeff Sessions too. And I would further bet that they’ve decided that the best way forward is to give him enough rope to hang himself with–which in his case is his cell phone and his Tweeting compulsion.

Russia stole the election, the president they installed is not only a sociopath but mentally incompetent, and Mike Pence–the Evangelicalist tool of the Koch brothers–is about to become our next unelected president.

Why isn’t everyone else talking about this? Because I’m pretty certain that I’m not the crazy one.

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2 thoughts on “The President has lost his Marbles

  1. Excellent article Arthur. We live in scary times. Yes, I think the leadership of the Republican party knows he is bonkers but they are willing (as was each and every fool who voted for him) to put the country at risk to maintain power and push through their nihilist agenda.

  2. Trump is a chronic, habitual, pathological liar and probably is certifiably suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    Trump is a salesman. Like all salesmen, Trump sees life as merely business transactions in which buyer resistance must be overcome. This process is entirely devoid of morality or factual content. Instead, the salesman intuits the prospective buyer objections (real or assumed) and then formulates an argument designed to overcome those objections.

    In Trump’s mind the only valid discussion is one which enhances his image and enlarges his reputation as an intelligent, perceptive, and persuasive person, i.e. a deal-maker and salesman.

    Careful scrutiny of individual statements made by a salesman is foreign to Trump because, ultimately, the goal of a business transaction is amoral, i.e. it is merely to convince a potential buyer (aka victim) to give the salesperson their trust and then the buyer forks over whatever money is required to close the deal. The resulting sale is, therefore, merely a transaction unrelated to moral or factual concerns.

    In this paradigm, a “fact” is whatever motivates the potential buyer to accept whatever claims and arguments are being made by the salesman — whether that argument pertains to a vehicle, or a piece of real estate, or a stock, or a public policy choice, or anything else being considered for acquisition or validation by the potential buyer.

    Lastly, Trump exhibits what psychiatrists describe as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. A general description of NPD is as follows:

    “Symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ feelings, an inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement.”

    For additional info — see Mayo Clinic webpage here:
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/….

    It is very possible that Trump will not serve his full term. He may be impeached or he may resign. What is certain, however, is that people who have NPD have no ability to control themselves and their impulses and outbursts — which means that it is almost certain that Trump will produce some sort of catastrophe because of his inability to recognize or control his own internal demons.

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), is published by the American Psychiatric Association, and is a primary reference for recognizing mental conditions. This manual is also used by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

    DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

    Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
    Exaggerating your achievements and talents
    Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
    Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
    Requiring constant admiration
    Having a sense of entitlement
    Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
    Taking advantage of others to get what you want
    Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
    Being envious of others and believing others envy you
    Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

    Sound familiar?

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