TRUMP: HE’S NOT JUST BAD—HE’S CRAZY
Remember the second debate, when Trump followed Hillary as she approached the seated Town Hall people? Many of us, including members of the press, could see him back there, looming over her, as though physically threatening her.
Yet in the last couple of days he claimed, “She invaded my space.” Meaning something twisted in his brain.
When he finally capitulated on the “birther” issue, he said, “Hillary started it.” Another weird conclusion emanating from a damaged psyche—which he isn’t able to recognize. Instead, the candidate forgoes sleep in favor of sending out threatening tweets at 3:00 a.m. .
For our Republican nominee, this has become an ever-increasing mantra. “The elections are rigged.” “The Republicans are conspiring against me.” “The media can’t be trusted. Get that reporter out of here!” “I didn’t do any of those things. They’re all lies.” We see more of it each day, that he’s no longer functioning as a plausible candidate . . . that instead, his darkest suspicions are taking over.
If this progression weren’t so dangerous to our country, the deterioration of our Republican candidate would be a fascinating psychological event, played out before millions. I am no psychiatrist, but in another individual I’ve watched the changing nature of paranoia up close. And this is how it begins.
Overlooking the worst of his behavior—Trump’s laser-focused, wholly bizarre approach to women—he now reminds me of the person I once knew who was headed for total collapse. First, the vague suspicions about “others” whom the victim perceives as unfriendly. Then the growing conviction that these unfriendly souls have somehow morphed into enemies, ready to inflict actual damage. Eventually, the final step—an overwhelming need to protect oneself against one’s attackers.
In the person I knew, this eventually meant cowering on the front porch with a covering of tinfoil over knees and head, necessary to ward off evil rays. With Trump, extreme paranoia could result in other defensive behaviors; I shudder to think what those might be.
Having just had a call from a friend, a woman who grew up in Nazi Germany, I recognized a voice tremulous with fear--a panic that mirrors all our feelings. “He reminds me of Hitler,” she said. “In the end, he was crazy, too.” We didn’t discuss the next step—that Hitler’s generals saw him as deranged and tried to assassinate him. She added, “How do we know that Trump won’t win?”
“He won’t win,” I said. “He’s unhinged---a word the press now uses constantly. The electorate (at least most of it), doesn’t want a psychopath in charge.”
She thanked me and hung up. I just wish this wasn’t bothering me so much—watching with morbid curiosity as a public figure slowly descends into his own mad, mad world.