Is he insane?
I don’t know. I don’t even know what the word insane means, if it means anything but I once received a useful working definition of insanity from a mental health professional. An insane person, he told me, is somebody who holds false, fixed ideas and who is impervious to logic.
By that standard anyway, you’d have to conclude that Donald Trump is barking mad and yes, I know that’s not a medical term but I once knew a highly-qualified doctor who used it to describe his own psychiatric condition so I feel safe using it.
Donald Trump is barking mad, which of course is not his fault. Too much blame is attached to mental illness and I don’t want to demonise him, but we have to remember that this is the man who will have control of the Big Red Button, and this is also the man who asked why the USA doesn’t use its nuclear weapons.
This is the man who seems to say the first thing that comes into his head and who then goes on to believe what he just said, like a child playing fantasy games with an invisible friend.
This is the man who attacked the parents of a soldier killed in Iraq although of course, not being American, we might reasonably ask what this soldier was doing in another country. Still, that isn’t the point. The point is that Trump was unable to be courteous or dignified, unable to simply keep his mouth shut instead of attacking the Khan family, mourning the loss of their son.
This is the man who incited gun nuts to assassinate his political opponent and then tried, like all schoolyard bullies, to pretend he didn’t say it.
Trump’s latest lunacy is to claim that Obama and Clinton founded ISIS, a statement so deeply uninformed, so ignorant and so dishonest that it can lead to only one conclusion: this man is bonkers. Leave aside the actual foundations of ISIS as covered in this site some time ago. The fact that Trump might actually believe Obama founded ISIS suggests that he’s an illiterate, uneducated clown. On the other hand, if he understands the reality then he’s a cynical liar, but both options indicate a pandering to the stupidest, most incompetent slice of American society.
I’ve heard it suggested that Trump is experiencing dementia, which again, if true, is not something he should be criticised for, but at the same time we have to be realistic. A demented person is not somebody who should be holding the BRB. A demented president is not somebody who should be forming friendships with Vladimir Putin. A demented commander-in-chief is not what the world needs at the head of the most powerful military machine in history.
Looking at Trump’s statements in the lead-in to the election, it’s clear that he has only a passing relationship with reality. Whatever Trump says is what Trump believes. It’s also clear that he has no understanding at all of world politics and that he might well get all his information from comics and Fox News. Again, this is not something one would hope for in the president of the USA but we live in an upside-down world where words mean whatever we want them to mean.
We live in a world where an artificial bubble inhabited by fragile narcissists is called Reality TV, and Trump of course has dominated that genre through his arrogance, his stupidity and his ignorance, all fuelled by the one underlying force that holds such a universe together: money.
The Donald, all his life, has bought everything he ever wanted. He has no experience of relating to his fellow human beings as an ordinary, vulnerable person like the rest of us and therefore no knowledge of how people relate to each other and yet he tries to fake it, fooling many people in the process.
Psychopaths tend to be expert mimics. They watch other people’s emotions. They study how people respond, and they reflect it back in a highly-convincing way, but I’m not saying Trump is a psychopath. I’m just saying that if I looked for a parallel, the best one I could find would be Patrick Bateman in Brett Easton Ellis’s novel, American Psycho — but without the murders, obviously. I’m not saying Trump has murdered anyone, though I wouldn’t feel so confident if he ever got his fingers on the Big Red Button.
Truthfully, if this man becomes President of the USA, we all need to worry.