• The Disintegration of Donald Trump

    Donald Trump has such an outsize personality and dominating manner that it comes as a surprise to realise how fragile he is.

    The answer to what seems to be a paradox lies in a single word – ego.  Donald Trump is the embodiment of ego – he is ego made man.  Much of his behaviour – according to psychologists – is conditioned by his experience in his formative years of trying to match up to the expectations of a dominating father.  He seems to have spent much of his early adult life trying not only to impress his father but to insulate himself against his father’s potential disappointment and displeasure.

    The consequence is that he built himself a sort of protective carapace – a self-obsessed assertion that he was, indeed, all that his father could have wished.  The maintenance of that ego seems to remain his principal obsession.

    The problem with an ego, however, is that it is so easily pricked or punctured.  Even while it remains intact, it is a perilous guide to sensible behaviour, since it provides an often irrational imperative that is not immediately apparent to outside observers.

    But it becomes truly dangerous as it deflates.  Donald Trump now shows all the signs of someone who no longer knows – or has confidence in – who he is.

    Many objective observers could have foreseen – and did – the scenario that is now unfolding.  Here after all is someone who built a fortune and reputation as business tycoon and television personality, but whose experience equipped him not at all for the challenges of politics, diplomacy and government.

    It was always on the cards that such a person would flounder – out of his depth and comfort zone – and that the ego that had hitherto sustained him would quickly become, as he trod water, not a lifebelt, but a dead weight.

    What we have been witnessing is the disintegration of Donald Trump – not quite a Shakespearean tragedy, since his problem is more than just a fatal flaw, but is rather a total absence of the qualities and competencies that his role now requires of him.

    The evidence that he has come to realise that he is simply not up to the job is pretty compelling.  The fact that he would rather be anywhere than in Washington and the White House, and that he cannot get away often enough and quickly enough, is one such pointer to the truth.

    Another is the frequency with which he returns to the scene of earlier triumphs – to the campaign-style rallies – and to the themes – the “fake media” and the supposed crimes of Hilary Clinton – that served him well.

    The problem is that Trump’s personality type is one that is least able to withstand a loss of self-confidence.  With the realisation that the job is beyond him, the Trump ego is punctured irretrievably.  The Trump personality collapses – the hissing sound is almost audible – without the ego to sustain it.

    And the further problem is that this takes place under an almost unprecedented glare of publicity.  Each stage in this public decline does further damage to the Trump psyche and makes the next stage even more unavoidable.

    The damage to the Trump ego is exacerbated by the fact that he has little by way of public affection and respect to draw on and to cushion the blow.  There is no shortage of observers – and voters – who will treat his decline as a proper judgment, not just on his inadequacy as President but also on his deficiencies as a person.

    Even if we could summon up some sympathy for his plight, the primary task is to find a solution to the problem that someone of such manifest frailty has his finger on the nuclear trigger – a situation described as “pretty damn scary” by former US intelligence chief, James Clapper.  We cannot afford to run the risk that the US President might seek to re-establish his credentials as a hero by launching a nuclear war.

    Trump himself may be so disturbed by what is happening that he is suffering a mental breakdown.  Don’t his colleagues owe it to him and to us to help him to find the way out?

    Bryan Gould

    25 August 2017

     

     

     

     

     

     

4 Comments

  1. Jon says: August 26, 2017 at 7:50 pmReply

    Let’s get Clinton in so the fed and banks can blow up assets even further. Let’s invaded countries like Clinton wanted too.

  2. Bryan Gould says: August 27, 2017 at 12:21 amReply

    Why is this comment even remotely relevant to a critique of Trump’s many and increasingly obvious deficiencies? Are you saying that because Clinton can be criticised (which I don’t dispute) we should forebear from any criticism of Trump?

  3. mikesh says: August 28, 2017 at 6:12 amReply

    The trouble with American politics is that campaigns cost a lot, and are usually paid for from large corporate donations. This gives corporations a lot of control over elected presidents. Trump, however, seems to have mostly paid for his campaign himself so the corporations don´t have the same control over him, and there are aspects of his policies which they don´t like , such his attempts to stop outsourcing of work, and his desire to establish a friendlier relationship with Russia. So of course others in government, backed by the corporatocracy, won´t cooperate with him and would like to get rid of him.

    It´s not so much that he is out of his comfort zone, but that he is outside of the corporate´s comfort zone.

  4. Bryan Gould says: August 28, 2017 at 7:46 pmReply

    The two are not mutually exclusive.