We have watched over the past 3 years as the man elected to serve our great nation as our President has demeaned, debased and abused this office in the service of his own needs and desires, while belittling and alienating our allies and warmly embracing many of the world’s most brutal dictators — whom he openly admires for their “strong leadership” and supports with policy decisions which clearly further their agendas rather than those of our nation. Certainly, these leaders (including Putin of Russia, Erdogan of Turkey, Kim Jong-un of North Korea, and Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia) must be delighted with Mr. Trump’s support and help over this period.
He consistently bullies, attacks, threatens and retaliates against anyone whom he sees as criticizing or opposing him in any way, or who just does not show him adequate deference and “loyalty.” He uses the powers of his office to advance his own personal and political goals (i.e., money and power), and has fostered the development of the most rampantly corrupt administration in American history. Most recently, he directed a scheme to extort the newly elected President of Ukraine to help him get re-elected in 2020, which is what triggered the beginning of the current impeachment inquiry hearings. And then, incredibly, he attacked the former Ambassador to Ukraine (whom he had smeared and pushed aside because she was an obstacle in the way of his scheme) by Twitter while she was testifying, demonstrating his alarming inability to effectively control his emotions and impulses yet again.
He has hollowed out and undermined most of our nation’s vital institutions (including, among many others, the State Department, the EPA, the Department of Education, and the intelligence community in general), and surrounded himself with “yes men” who meekly do whatever he wishes no matter how outlandish such actions may be due to their fears of being viciously attacked should they question or express any disagreement with them. He has done everything in his power to demolish the checks and balances wisely built into our democratic system by our Founding Fathers in order to further expand his own power.
He promotes fear, hatred, division, and white nationalism, separating families and caging children at our southern border. He weaves an alternate reality with his unrelenting disinformation and outright lies, with over 13,000 demonstrably false statements reportedly made thus far over the course of his presidency. He demonstrates no human decency, no ethical center, no capacity for empathy or compassion, no idea of what it means to serve any cause other than himself, and clearly sees himself as above those laws governing the behaviors of everyone else.
His pattern of behaviors over many years clearly meets the criteria for diagnoses of malignant narcissism and sociopathy. If there is any doubt about this, please look up the pertinent diagnostic criteria for yourself.
Having an individual like this in this position of such power is truly terrifying, as it poses an undeniable existential threat to our democracy — indeed, the damage already done is quite chilling. And if it were a Democratic president doing these things, we all know that these same shameless Republicans now enabling such appalling actions on Mr. Trump’s part would be rampaging through Congress demanding his/her immediate impeachment, removal from office, indictment and imprisonment.
So it now falls on all of us to pay serious attention to what is going on in our nation right now, as our democracy is in real jeopardy and it may very well fall upon us to save it in the 2020 election. We must not let this lifelong self-centered con man mesmerize us and suck us in a second time. History is watching.
Dale E. Buonocore,