Lies or delusions?
So, Mr. Trump has reportedly made at least 12,000 demonstrably false or misleading claims during the course of his presidency thus far, which is truly quite an unprecedented achievement. In addition, he has never acknowledged the fallacy of any of these claims nor admitted to any mistakes on his part whatsoever, apparently because he views owning up to such human failings as signs of weakness and thus chooses instead to obsessively and relentlessly “double down” on such claims and attack those who dare to fact check and call him out on such false statements (“Fake News!”). Of course, as we all know, the ability to own up to our mistakes is actually an indication of true inner strength and sound character.
So, the question arises: does he really know these claims are untrue and is thus knowingly lying? Or does he actually believe them and clings to them even the face of irrefutable evidence demonstrating their falsity, which is essentially the defining feature of a delusion? And in either case, what does this say about his current mental fitness for serving in the highest office of our nation? Paired with his evident emotional instability and volatility, serious concerns must be raised regarding his capacity to effectively lead our nation through these complicated and turbulent times.
One cannot help but wonder about his ability to effectively process information, his reality-testing capabilities, and his consequent judgmental capacities given these habitual patterns which we have all witnessed over the course of his presidency thus far. Whether these patterns are anchored in the dynamics stemming from his underlying personality disorder(s) – a mixture of sociopathy and malignant narcissism – and/or some degree of age-related mental deterioration paired with the impact of the increased stresses now converging upon him from various angles, it is surely time for mental health professionals to more fully and openly step up and point out the dangers now facing our nation in light of this frightening situation, as some have already done, as this is clearly the time to set aside their timidity and embrace their “duty to warn.”
Do we want someone who constantly warps facts to fit his conception of how things are or should be to fulfill his own emotional needs as dictated by his raging narcissism, who ignores and dismisses any evidence not fitting in with his desired view while angrily attacking those daring to present him with such fact-based information, and then makes consequential choices affecting us all on the basis of such an alarmingly defective decision-making style?
This is not a partisan issue. It is a national one warranting serious attention at the highest levels, as any individual serving as president, Republican or Democrat, displaying such patterns of behavior and thought clearly would pose a serious risk to our great nation. We can no longer afford to look the other way and pretend everything is fine.
Dale E. Buonocore,