Steps in the Unraveling of a President

By Dr David Laing Dawson

Some wondered if Donald Trump’s latest tweet storm heralded an unraveling. This time he bounced back with a somewhat adult response to gun control, in so far as raising the the age of legal purchase and banning “bump stocks” is at least a beginning. ( He later returned to the NRA talking points of “hardening schools” and arming teachers)

So he didn’t unravel completely but he certainly gave us intimations of things to come.

As the Mueller investigation grinds on with more and more indictments and guilty pleas what can we expect from Donald J. Trump?

A supreme narcissist, like a child when cornered or caught stealing or reprimanded will fall back on an ever regressive series of deflections and denials:

  • It starts with straight denial. (never happened, wasn’t me, fake news, hoax, didn’t say that, I’m the most honest person you’ll ever meet)
  • Boasting about other things is added to this to distract and shore up his sense of omnipotence. “Popularity, security, number of bills passed, military budget.” This is compared to the failing of sibs or, in this case, all previous presidents.
  • It moves quickly to blaming someone else for the current problem, usually a brother or sister when a child. In this case Obama and Crooked Hillary, the Dems, the previous administration.
  • Next comes a statement of unfairness or injustice. “You never get after my sister and she does worse things.” “Obama was worse, how come he doesn’t get in trouble? Look at what Hillary got away with? You should be looking into the Uranium deal?”
  • And then accusations of unfairness, prejudice on the part of parents (FBI, Justice Department). “You never liked me. You always liked Obama more than me. You gave Hillary a pass.” You are terrible parents (Congress, FBI, Justice Department). I hate you.
  • Then perhaps a string of unrelated accusations against a sister or brother or friend or teacher. In this case the Dems, various Senators, Obama, the Justice Department.
  • And then the temper tantrum. The weeping, yelling, pounding of fists on the floor, stomping of feet. In this case a flow of whiny, semi-coherent profanities and mutterings. A mix of self-aggrandizement and self-pity.
  • And then some lashing out.

And this is when more than the reputation and solvency of the USA is at risk. This is when we are all at risk.

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3 thoughts on “Steps in the Unraveling of a President

  1. I agree with your comments and would add a greater concern. It’s called the “Burning down the house” phenomenon. Examples from history include Nero, Hitler, and Jim Jones. A common allegory tells a story about a boy who has always had a sense of entitlement and a grandiose narcissistic worldview. One Christmas Eve, after a too common uproar in his home, the boy wandered the streets cold, hungry and tired, until he noticed a family through their big picture window. The family of parents and three kids were eating a wonderful dinner while laughing and lovingly talking with each other. Instead of knocking on the door and asking for help, he burned the house down.
    I am concerned about Trump burning down the house that out ancestors built.

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    1. On February 28 the CBC Adrienne Arseneault interviewed Daniel Ellsberg, the man who revealed the Pentagon papers, he is terrified of Donald Trump’s outbursts and his threats of unleashing a nuclear conflict
      ( CBC news adrienne Arseneault Danil Ellsberg Pentagon papers)

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  2. I agree that there are problems of the sort that you have touched upon in the article. On the other hand he is more a symptom than a disease, and the disease seems to be infecting America as a whole, not simply the Presidency. I have sensed that some of his more indecisive moments have been steered to conform to current, very worrisome, trends that are evolving. Watching his responses on guns, and on tariffs, recently being examples. It is as if he at first waiting for direction and then comes out with a decision. A point that brings into question who really is running America, and it might not really be the President. We have seen that type of scenario occur in history, always with horrific consequences. At the same time we now see news stories showing middle age and senior church members expressing a peculiarly American cult that merges church, guns, robes and crowns (resembling Templar tradition, and the crowns sometimes made of bullets), along with the NRA putting out advertisements promoting guns and white supremacy. All of that merged with a resurgence of anti-socialist Evangelical Capitalism. It is a recipe for disaster, but can the disaster be contained within America’s borders ? As Canadians we need to be concerned about that.

    Russia’s announcement, in the past few days, as to developing faster, harder to detect, nuclear weapons delivery systems, in response to the revelations from Washington of a first strike nuclear “defense” policy, places all three major nuclear powers poised on hair pin triggers, as if holding machine guns at the heads of everyone in the world. One twitch by any of them and all the guns could go off spraying the global crowd with nuclear bullets. Worse yet, the Pentagon and the White House in some sort of peculiar disconnect as to cognizance of the need to return SDI to fully operational readiness. The only weapons system that has any capability of avoiding the ever growing risks that come from a three way first strike nuclear “defense” strategy having infected the global community with its potentially species lethal implications. Is it an epidemic of insanity ? It might be. I was made aware of some specific aspects of SDI capabilities in the George H.W. Bush era. Unfortunately I am far from convinced that the today’s USA has the political will, or the financial and technical capabilities, at this point in time, to make that purely defensive system operational again. I doubt that there are many left, in the U.S. government “deep state” who even know what that really means, and I am not even sure that if there are that they will trust the current President sufficiently to brief him on it. It is that type of mess.

    It will be interesting to see if Trump’s low cost metals tariffs will bring about an unprecedented sell off of investments in American companies that increasingly relied on low cost metals for the goods they import and produce. Chalk that one up to another of Trump’s irrational and poorly informed decisions, but I am far more worried about the resurgence of first strike nuclear weapons as the leading strategy of American defense. That is the biggest step backward since the Cold War ended. However, if you had any idea as to the complexity of the SDI system, and its costs, you might wonder if America can find a way to afford to avoid the apocalypse that so many in its churches seem to perpetually crave.

    What about an article on a psychiatrist’s viewpoint on American apocalyptic obsessions ? They are becoming dangerous again as they were some decades ago, and that dangerous thinking drifted over the border, like a virus, and infected many a Canadian. The more people know about such things the better they are defended against them.

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