It’s all too easy to dismiss any politician on the “other side” as being mentally or psychologically compromised, and it’s usually not true. George W. Bush was a small minded lazy idiot who was financially corrupt and made one horrible decision after another, but you can’t make a credible case that he was a deranged mentally ill person. You just can’t. Then we get to Donald Trump, and suddenly everything changes.
Trump began yesterday by ranting and raving before dawn about former FBI Director James Comey on Twitter, and as midnight approached, he was still ranting about Comey. Trump falsely accused Comey of having committed one crime after another, doubling down on his earlier insistence that Comey be thrown in prison for these imaginary crimes. Trump is trying to pin phony charges on Comey in the hope of fending off his own criminal scandals, but this isn’t merely some cold calculated corrupt strategy. There is something wrong with Trump.
Yes, that’s an obvious statement to any reasonable person who’s been paying attention. But it needs to underlined that this isn’t merely about politics or political villainy, or even criminality. It’s not partisanship or ideology, because Trump is so far gone, he’s not even governing. He has no legislative agenda. What side is he on when it comes to most of the issues these days? We don’t know anymore. He certainly doesn’t know. He has no ability or desire to work with anyone who’s been elected to the government. He’s just a rage monster who comes up with ridiculous lies about those who are trying to expose his criminal scandals, and then he repeats those lies in increasingly berserk fashion until he’s convinced himself they’re true, while convincing everyone else that he’s an immediate danger to himself and others.
Over the past few days alone, Donald Trump has posted semi-coherent rants about the House Minority Leader, the former FBI Director and Deputy Director, OPEC, the Governor of California, his former election opponent, China, the former Attorney General, and too many others to list. Half the time, no one can figure out what he’s talking about. He sits around coming up with juvenile nicknames for these people, and then it turns out he can’t remember their real names.
Millions of people struggle with mental illness, and almost none of them act like Donald Trump. Not only is Trump mentally ill, he’s a deranged kind of mentally ill. He’s the kind of deranged, unstable person you’d call the police on if you encountered him on the street. That’s not meant to be a joke. It’s really the case. When this guy is inevitably sentenced to prison for his various crimes, they may have to put him – in all seriousness – in a rubber room instead.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report