Politics - News Analysis
World Renowned Psychiatrist: ‘Trump is a Psychopath Who Will Destroy Democracy’
In a breathtaking new interview published in Salon, Dr. Lance Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and supervising analyst emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, is shouting out a warning about the cornered and wounded Donald Trump, the damage he could inflict when his life and legacy is threatened, and the dangers it poses to our country.
It is not hyperbole. Dr. Dodes points to specific Trump acts and statements made just in the last couple of months indicating we’re getting closer.
Dr. Dodes specifically pointed to information coming out of John Bolton’s book as confirming observations made earlier in the Trump presidency. He also says that as election day nears and Trump senses the ultimate narcissistic injury – a loss – Trump is capable of starting a war, imposing martial law, or creating a crisis (a Reichstag moment) to stay in power indefinitely. Dodes points to Trump’s scream about “stop the testing please,” the abusive language about Democrats and threats to the media. It all proves he’s incapable of empathy or care for others. Most concerningly, he says Trump will find a way to follow through on threats of death and destruction if he has the opportunity.
Dr. Dodes was asked how Trump will react if he continues to trail Joe Biden by double digits, the answer is terrifying:
As Hitler did to consolidate his power, it is likely that Trump will create some type of Reichstag incident, such as starting a war with China or Iran, attempting to fool the American people into thinking there is a crisis that requires total obedience to him. There is a serious probability that he will try to cancel the 2020 election, given that he has already claimed the election will be invalid and is fighting to disallow or prevent votes by people who oppose him. Trump is telegraphing his plans for all to see. What we need to see is that Donald Trump is fundamentally psychologically defective, that he is a psychopath who will destroy decency and democracy if his efforts to do this are not recognized in time.
Before anyone thinks that these actions cannot happen here, we should pause for a moment and look back at all that Trump has done since his inauguration. On inauguration day, would we have believed that Trump would step into criminal cases and pardon his friends? Would we believe he’d fire the FBI Director for investigating him? And get away with it? Would we believe Trump could condition US aid on helping to destroy his political opponent? Wave away the murder of an American-based journalist by Saudi Arabia? Would we have believed that Trump could openly say Russia didn’t influence our election? Would we believe that Trump could purge every non-loyal official? Fire someone for nothing more than testifying, firing his brother, too?
No. Trump has already moved the nation so far into fascism that we don’t see it. We are the frog in the pot of boiling water.
Donald Trump is incapable of tolerating losing without withdrawing into delusional paranoid explanations of what happened. His fundamental need to be always right and an absolute ruler, a God above all criticism, is what has led to his inability to tolerate democracy, and his repeated efforts to destroy it with his attacks on Congress, the judiciary system and a free press.
No serious argument can be made against any of that. Trump cannot take criticism, and he is destroying Congress, the judiciary, and the free press.
The biggest problem according to Dr. Dodes is that Trump can function with some normality if he’s being worshipped. This is the reason Trump seeks out his base exclusively. He doesn’t try to win people over, he needs to be worshipped. Being president has helped fill that need. If Trump sees himself as losing, and people turning against him, such as falling polls, then things get increasingly dangerous:
Trump is able to appear more in touch with reality when he is being worshiped. Indeed, when his primitive needs are not being challenged, he can look like a normal person — it’s what has made him a successful con man. When he is challenged, however, his cruelty, sadism, paranoia, lack of conscience, incitement to violence and active pursuit of policies that kill people become obvious. These traits are properly described as “evil.” In professional terms, they mean he is a psychopath.
We have structures in place that can restrain some of Trump’s worst instincts, so there is reason to hope that he cannot accomplish all that of which he’s capable. However, it is best to keep in mind the amount of structure in the government that he’s already destroyed, a loyal AG, loyal DNI, loyal Inspectors General, and a loyal GOP Senate. He could burst through some of those structures. War is possible.
Someone knows the danger is increasing and someone is doing something about it. Think of all that’s leaked lately. Bernstein wrote a CNN article about the NSA seeing Trump as a national security risk. The New York Times got the leaks about the Russian bounty story. The Washington Post obtained evidence that the Russians paid the Taliban. It is all happening as Bolton’s book is released, and we get a possible SCOTUS ruling on Trump’s taxes. Someone very high up on the inside is flashing a red-light message to us. “Do Something! Danger! Danger!”
We best pay attention.
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