How do you handle an unhinged president

❝ …Trump’s tweets reveal a leader who is compulsive, abusive and easily triggered. Trump describes all this as “modern day presidential.” Lincoln had his Gettysburg Address. Franklin Roosevelt had his Four Freedoms. But modern schoolchildren will learn the Mika bloody face-lift tweet.

What we are witnessing is not a new age in presidential communications. It is an ongoing public breakdown. And the question naturally arises: Is this the result of mental dysfunction?

❝ Most psychiatrists are (understandably) uncomfortable with diagnosing from a distance. And the particular diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder requires significant impairment — which is a hard case to make of a figure at the pinnacle of American politics…

❝ Much of the prudence and courage required to confront this problem will need to come from Republicans and conservatives. Where to start? How about refusing to play down revolting lunacy?

❝ Trump’s conservative defenders are attempting something extraordinary: to politically normalize abnormal psychology. Their sycophancy enables a sickness.

RTFA for more analysis and commentary. Informative. Not sure if it aids your own sanity in this useless fake-governing episode we seem to be stuck into.

34 thoughts on “How do you handle an unhinged president

  1. Hatchet man says:

    The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: Robert Jay Lifton and Bill Moyers on ‘A Duty to Warn’ http://billmoyers.com/story/dangerous-case-donald-trump-robert-jay-lifton-bill-moyers-duty-warn/ “There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial than ‘The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump’, the work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts to assess President Trump’s mental health. They had come together last March at a conference at Yale University to wrestle with two questions. One was on countless minds across the country: “What’s wrong with him?” The second was directed to their own code of ethics: “Does Professional Responsibility Include a Duty to Warn” if they conclude the president to be dangerously unfit?”

  2. stay woke says:

    (5:45 AM – 23 Sep 2017) President of The United States of America, Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!”
    (9:17 AM – Sep 23, 2017) LeBron James* @KingJames (reply): “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/352044-lebron-james-hits-trump-it-was-an-honor-to-visit-the-white
    See also “NFL Players Union: We Will Not Back Down on Right to Protest” http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/nfl-protest-player-football/2017/09/23/id/815289/
    * LeBron James is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). James has won three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He has also been selected to 13 NBA All-Star teams, 13 All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams, is the Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer, and is the NBA career playoff scoring leader.

  3. Tweety Pie says:

    3:59 AM (EDT) 5 Oct 2017: Donald J. Trump‏, President of the United States of America @realDonaldTrump. “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”
    [Day 257: U.S. President tacitly defends Russian propaganda news outlets while calling for the Senate to investigate the American free press]

  4. Man Friday says:

    “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” (Psychology Today, Sep 30, 2017) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-time-cure/201709/the-dangerous-case-donald-trump
    “Trump makes ominous remarks about ‘the calm before the storm’ in appearance with military leaders” (Business Insider 10/5/17) http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-military-photo-opportunity-white-house-rex-tillerson-2017-10
    An excerpt from “Ninety-Three” by Victor Hugo, in which he describes a loose cannon and “How to control this enormous brute”. https://thingsthatmadeanimpression.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/excerpt-from-ninety-three-by-victor-hugo-loose-cannon/
    “Will We Ever Return to Normal After Trump?” by James Wolcott (Vanity Fair October 6, 2017) https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/10/will-we-ever-return-to-normal-after-trump

    • Mum's the word says:

      On Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to elaborate on what, specifically, the President meant [when he slyly told reporters they were seeing “the calm before the storm.”] “As we have said many times before … we’re never going to say in advance what the President’s going to do, and as he said last night in addition to those comments you’re going to have to wait and see,” she said when asked by reporters if he was referring to military action.
      Pressed further on how seriously the public and adversaries should take his comments, Sanders replied: “I think you can take the President protecting the American people always extremely serious. He’s been very clear that that’s his number one priority, and if he feels action is necessary, he will take it.” http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/05/politics/donald-trump-military-dinner/index.html
      President Kennedy addresses the nation on the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 22, 1962) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgdUgzAWcrw

  5. Puzzling Evidence™ says:

    “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.” Sen. Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, after President Trump attacked him in a Twitter tirade this morning.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/10/08/trump-attacks-gop-sen-corker-didnt-have-the-guts-to-run-for-reelection/ Trump’s public lashing of a fellow Republican comes after Corker made headlines last week when, in response to being questioned about reports the U.S. Secretary of State called the President ‘a fucking moron’, he told reporters that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly “are those people that help separate our country from chaos.”
    In an unrelated story: “Trump Is the Star of These Bizarre Victorian Novels : And the Internet is losing its mind.” http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/07/baron-trump-novels-victorian-215689

  6. HAR says:

    Fox News host rips Trump: “You’re the president, why don’t you act like it?” http://thehill.com/homenews/news/361308-fox-news-host-rips-trump-youre-the-president-why-dont-you-act-like-it
    NIGEL WILKINSON‏ @NS_Wilkinson Replying to @TeamCavuto (2:45 PM – 20 Nov 2017)
    “We are Fox viewers and my wife and I were very offended by how you addressed the President. It sounded like we were listening to CNN. You owe us and the President an apology.”

  7. Puzzling Evidence™ says:

    “Trump boasts that he’s ‘like, really smart’ and a ‘very stable genius’ amid questions over his mental fitness” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/01/06/trump-boasts-that-hes-like-really-smart-and-a-very-stable-genius-amid-questions-over-his-mental-fitness/

    Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump
    (4:19 AM – 6 Jan 2018): “Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence…..(4:27 AM – 6 Jan 2018)….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star…..(4:30 AM – 6 Jan 2018) ….to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

  8. Nuts 2 squirrels says:

    “Callous and unemotional traits (CU) are distinguished by a persistent pattern of behavior that reflects a disregard for others, and also a lack of empathy and generally deficient affect. The interplay between genetic and environmental risk factors may play a role in the expression of these traits as a conduct disorder (CD). A CU specifier has been included as a feature of conduct disorder in the fifth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callous_and_unemotional_traits
    “…The term callous-unemotional (CU) traits refers to a pattern of behaviors including a lack of empathy, guilt or remorse, shallow or deficient affect, as well as a lack of concern about the person’s actions or one’s own and others’ feelings (i.e., limited prosocial emotions). High levels of CU-traits are often observed in youths with severe aggression and antisocial behavior. Therefore, CU-traits have mostly been studied in children and adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs, including oppositional defiant and conduct disorder. Notably, children and adolescents with DBD form a very heterogeneous group in regard to etiology, associated behavioral symptoms, developmental trajectories, future risk for impairment, or response to treatment” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213158217303200

  9. Day 353 says:

    Trump physical unlikely to shed light on mental fitness http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/politics/donald-trump-health-physical/index.html President Donald Trump’s staunch defense of his own mental acuity this weekend all but ensured the questions mounting about his fitness will increase in the coming week, which is set to culminate Friday with his first known medical exam since taking office. …What precisely will be disclosed about the President’s health isn’t yet clear. Trump himself will determine what information to make public, a person familiar with the process of presidential exams said.
    In defending himself against accusations of mental instability this weekend, Trump referred to his Republican forebear. “The Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook,” he wrote on Saturday.
    On Sunday, he went on: “Ronald Reagan had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!”

  10. Uh-oh says:

    “Trump was angry and ‘unglued’ when he started a trade war, officials say” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-was-angry-unglued-when-he-started-trade-war-officials-n852641 “With global markets shaken by President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to impose strict tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the president went into battle mode on Friday: “Trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he wrote on Twitter.
    But the public show of confidence belies the fact that Trump’s policy maneuver, which may ultimately harm U.S. companies and American consumers, was announced without any internal review by government lawyers or his own staff, according to a review of an internal White House document.”
    “Trump’s tariff decision is one of the worst fears about his presidency come to life : Trump was in a bad mood. So he decided to maybe start a trade war.” https://www.vox.com/world/2018/3/2/17072300/trump-tariffs-steel-aluminum-disaster “…there was no diplomatic strategy for how to alert foreign trade partners, there was no legislative strategy in place for informing Congress and no agreed upon communications plan beyond an email cobbled together by Ross’s team at the Commerce Department late Wednesday that had not been approved by the White House.
    No one at the State Department, the Treasury Department or the Defense Department had been told that a new policy was about to be announced or given an opportunity to weigh in in advance.”
    “As NAFTA weighs, Trump’s tariffs drive new U.S. auto concerns” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-nafta-autos/as-nafta-weighs-trumps-tariffs-drive-new-u-s-auto-concerns-idUSKCN1GF0K4 The U.S. auto parts industry employs about 880,000 workers and the U.S. Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) represents motor vehicle parts manufacturers, the largest U.S. manufacturing sector and largest employer of manufacturing jobs in the United States.

  11. Canute says:

    “Spotting CNN on a TV Aboard Air Force One, Trump Rages Against Reality” (NYT 7/24/18) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/24/us/politics/trump-putin-cnn.html
    “According to an email obtained by The New York Times, President Trump “caused a bit of a stir” onboard Air Force One after he spotted his wife’s TV tuned in to CNN, the newspaper reported. The email, which also requested that the president and first lady should have two additional TVs so that they could watch their own shows in separate hotel rooms while traveling, said TVs should be tuned in to Fox News as standard protocol going forward.” (Newsweek 7/25/18) https://www.newsweek.com/trump-threw-tantrum-after-spotting-melanias-tv-tuned-cnn-report-1041111

  12. Non Compos Mentis says:

    President of the United States of America Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump:
    [12:35 PM – 29 Jul 2018] “There is No Collusion! The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!”
    [1:12 PM – 29 Jul 2018] “Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend..”
    [1:20 PM – 29 Jul 2018] “….Also, why is Mueller only appointing Angry Dems, some of whom have worked for Crooked Hillary, others, including himself, have worked for Obama….And why isn’t Mueller looking at all of the criminal activity & real Russian Collusion on the Democrats side-Podesta, Dossier?”
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/rudy-giuliani-collusion-not-crime/566336/

  13. 'Administrative Coup D'etat' says:

    Bob Woodward book, ‘Fear: Trump in the White House’ — The 5 most explosive claims (USA TODAY) https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/09/05/bob-woodward-book-5-most-explosive-claims/1199666002/
    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 5:18 PM – Sep 4, 2018:
    “The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly. Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?”
    (9:01 PM – Sep 4, 2018): “The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and “a dumb southerner.” I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. He made this up to divide!”
    Woodward’s response, via The Washington Post: “I stand by my reporting.”

  14. 4theRecord says:

    Re: Donald Trump’s letter to Nancy Pelosi https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/17/politics/trump-letter-nancy-pelosi-impeachment/index.html
    The complete letter from Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, December 17th, 2019: https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/17/politics/read-trump-impeachment-letter-to-house-democrats/index.html

    “On the eve of his impeachment, a stain that obviously torments him more than his enablers have let on, President Trump issued a rambling, unhinged and lie-filled letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). It is difficult to capture how bizarre and frightening the letter is simply by counting the utter falsehoods (e.g., repeating the debunked accusation that Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin was fired for investigating Burisma; claiming Congress is obstructing justice; arguing he was afforded no rights in the process), or by quoting from the invective dripping from his pen.
    What is most striking is the spectacle of the letter itself — a president so unhinged as to issue such an harangue; a White House entirely unable to stop him; a party so subservient to him that it would not trigger a search for a new nominee; a right-wing media bubble that will herald Trump for being Trump and excoriate Democrats for driving the president to this point; and a mainstream media not quite able to address a public temper-tantrum (resorting instead to euphemisms such as “scorching,” “searing,” etc.). The letter and the response (or lack thereof) is the perfect encapsulation of the state of American politics — in which one major party has bound itself to the mast of a raging, dangerous narcissist while the other cannot uphold the norms and institutions on which our democracy depends.” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post Op-Ed (12/17/19) https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/17/so-many-hysterical-men/

  15. Doc says:

    “American Psychiatry’s Complicity with the State” (July 2019) https://medium.com/@bandyxlee/american-psychiatrys-complicity-with-the-state-8aaf3cee1397

    …By silencing professionals, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) acted as an agent of the state, potentially to deprive the public of critical information at a critical time to be able to protect itself. Since knowledge is power, suppressing knowledge is a form of control and an essential implement of tyranny. When those best positioned to identify would-be tyrants are censored, and the inevitable consequences of handing power to them hidden, it gets to the heart of the Constitution — whose purpose is to prevent tyranny. Silencing experts, therefore, is akin to silencing and intimidating whistleblowers and journalists, and perhaps equally detrimental to democracy.”

    Bandy X. Lee https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandy_X._Lee

  16. Intervention says:

    “Trump history and behavior suggest destructive mental processes that put America at risk : Trump is not just a childish man having a tantrum or a selfish man who can’t accept defeat. His actions are dangerous to America’s health and security.” Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg and Norman Ornstein (USA Today 11/20/20) https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/11/20/trump-behavior-history-suggest-mood-personality-disorders-column/6332417002/

    “If Vice President Pence and the cabinet had an ounce of fortitude and spine and patriotism, I think they would seriously consider invoking the 25th Amendment and pushing Donald Trump out because he is just very unpredictable now,” he continued. “I’m very concerned what he might do in his remaining 70 days in office. Is he going to take some type of military action? Is he going to release some type of information that could in fact threaten our national security interests?” Former CIA Director John Brennan (CNN 11/9/20) https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/11/10/brennan_pence_must_invoke_25th_amendment_to_stop_trump_from_declassifying_some_type_of_information.html “After Trump’s apparent loss in the election, his supporters, including Donald Trump Jr., suggested the president should “declassify everything” before he leaves office.”

  17. Update says:

    Donald Trump is getting worse” (6/3/21) https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/03/politics/donald-trump-2020-election-fraud/index.html
    “…The desperate hope of the likes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was that in the wake of the 2020 election, Trump would simply fade away. That, yes, he would remain a figure of some stature for some within the Republican Party, but that his ability to command the national stage or exert considerable influence over the direction of the Party would wane considerably.
    It just hasn’t happened. Which creates this reality for Republicans: As Trump swerves more and more into ever-wilder fantasies about his return to power, the GOP base follows right along with him. And since no politician can hope to win elections without the base of their party behind them, Republican elected officials go along for the ride.
    Which means they are now on board with a man who believes he will be reinstated as president this summer because of a series of outlandish recounts and audits in swing states.”

  18. Eighty-sixed says:

    Woodward/Costa book: Worried Trump could ‘go rogue,’ Milley took secret action to protect nuclear weapons (CNN 9/14/21) https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/14/politics/woodward-book-trump-nuclear/index.html
    “Two days after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, President Donald Trump’s top military adviser, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, single-handedly took secret action to limit Trump from potentially ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons, according to “Peril,” a new book by legendary journalist Bob Woodward and veteran Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.
    Woodward and Costa write that Milley, deeply shaken by the assault, ‘was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies.’
    Milley worried that Trump could ‘go rogue,’ the authors write.
    “You never know what a president’s trigger point is,” Milley told his senior staff, according to the book.
    …Milley’s fear was based on his own observations of Trump’s erratic behavior. His concern was magnified by the events of January 6 and the ‘extraordinary risk’ the situation posed to US national security, the authors write. Milley had already had two back-channel phone calls with China’s top general, who was on high alert over the chaos in the US.”

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