After watching Donald Trump’s absolutely bizarre and inexplicably bad response to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, it’s been clear at least to me for weeks now that there has to be something behind it other than sheer incompetence.
It’s Occam’s Razor: Is it more likely that Donald Trump has the IQ of a walnut and the ego of a Las Vegas magician and that’s what’s causing him to ignore — no, push away — all science and reason in favor of mainlining something from under the kitchen sink? Or is it more likely that there are actually motives behind a response that would otherwise look like he’d recently been hit in the head with a cast-iron skillet?
I don’t mean profit motives necessarily, although that’s pretty likely. There was speculation early on that some test kits were being delayed in hopes that a business he had financial ties to could deliver some first and turn a tidy profit.
No, what I’m actually talking about comes from the limbic region of Trump’s brain — the pleasure center from which all things that make him smile originate.
Money, of course, can buy happiness, and much of Trump’s joy comes from not just having money but handling it: Making deals, trading favors, building things to show off his wealth. And money has solved the problems of other things from which he gets pleasure, in the form of hush money checks to his multiple mistresses.
But there is a more guttural, primal reason Trump does what he does, and psychologist Dr. John Gartner thinks he has a handle on it.
Gartner is a contributing author to The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump and a co-founder of a political action committee comprised of mental health professionals called “Duty To Warn” that advocates for the removal of Trump under the 25th Amendment.
His take on Trump’s outward sociopathy reads like a profile from Criminal Minds.
In an interview with Salon‘s Chauncey Devega, Gartner laid it all out:
Donald Trump is simplistic. But an atomic explosion is also very simple. Malignant narcissists are very sick people. They are sick in such a deep, disturbed, and dark way that a normal person cannot comprehend such behavior. Therefore, normal, mentally healthy people cannot imagine or understand the mind of a malignant narcissist.
Trump is also sabotaging the efforts to stop the coronavirus pandemic. This is a very important aspect of Trump’s behavior. Trump is not just deflecting blame onto the governors, he is actively interfering with the governors’ ability to do their job. Trump is not just incompetent. He is actively engaging in sabotage.
People such as Trump are malignant-narcissist sadists because they, at some deep level, are driven to cause harm to other people. Trump’s life is proof of this. He enjoys ripping people off and humiliating people. He does this manically and gleefully. He has lied more than 16,000 times. He threatens people online and elsewhere. I believe that Donald Trump is also a sexual sadist, who on some basic level enjoys and is aroused by watching people be afraid of him. In his mind, Trump is creating chaos and instability so that he can feel powerful.”
I feel just the tiniest bit bad now about having made you read about a thing that turns Trump on.
But perhaps this explanation, TV-crime-drama-like as it may be, can shed some light on why what otherwise would have to be chalked up to brain damage or an education arrested around the 4th grade is what the President of the United States has chosen to implement in response to the worst crisis of any living American’s life.
Featured image via screen capture
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