I could use one more day on the couch. Alas, I’ve got too much crap to do. Looking back through the archives, I know I get sick every January and yet, every January, it feels like such an insulting surprise.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Dear Leader and I’ve been watching mental health rights advocates admonishing people not to diagnose him from afar. And, on the one hand, I get it. Mental illness is hard enough, adding to the stigma around it causes all kinds of problems for people with mental illness.
But, on the other hand, the problem with Trump isn’t just that he’s a bad president. I thought W. was a bad president. I thought he was thoughtless and incurious and I disagreed a lot with his policies and approaches. I never once doubted that he was trying to be the best president he knew how to be, as woefully inadequate as I found that.
I don’t think Trump even knows what the job of being president entails nor do I think he’s remotely interested in finding out. His interests, judging by his own words, are in being seen as the best and in being adored. He has no interest that I can see in the day-to-day experience of running the country.
If I had to try to explain to a Trump supporter why I think it’s imperative that they change their minds about him, to me the problem isn’t that he supports a bunch of things I disagree with–after all, so did W. So did Obama, for that matter. Or that he’s a terrible administrator. I don’t think Reagan was some genius bureaucrat. It’s not even that he’s a congenital liar. All politicians lie to one extent or another.
The danger to the Republic is that something is wrong with him. He appears to not be able to hold a consistent opinion for longer than it takes for the political winds around him to change. He seems easily bored and distracted. Short-tempered. Dangerously inconsistent and devoted to believing that people much tougher and smarter than him honestly adore him and think of him as their peer.
In other words, how he perceives the world is not how the world is and he acts on those false perceptions in ways that are extremely dangerous for everyone he has power over.
It’s not enough to say this is not normal. After all, Trump voters voted for him to fix a “normal” they don’t like. So, what other words are there to describe the grave situation we find ourselves in that will convey to the people sympathetic to his ideas (or whatever batch of them they glommed onto) the gravity of the situation?