MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2021
Exhaustion, stupidity, anger: What are we supposed to think about Donald J. Trump's state of mind?
We refer to the commander's state of mind on Wednesday, January 6, when he made the lunatic speech which preceded the riot at the Capitol Building.
How stupid was this latest crackpot speech by the commander-in-chief? Among the ridiculous things the commander said, we'll offer the ridiculous statements found in this one passage:
TRUMP (1/6/21): Our country has had enough. We will not take it any more, and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will "Stop the Steal."
Today I will lay out just some of the evidence proving that we won this election, and we won it by a landslide. This was not a close election. I say sometimes jokingly, but there’s no joke about it. I’ve been in two elections. I won them both, and the second one I won much bigger than the first.
Almost 75 million people voted for our campaign, the most of any incumbent president by far in the history of our country. Twelve million more people than four years ago. I was told by the real pollsters—we do have real pollsters—they knew that we were going to do well, and we were going to win.
What I was told, if I went from 63 million, which we had four years ago, to 66 million, there was no chance of losing. Well, we didn’t go to 66. We went to 75 million and they say we lost. We didn’t lose.
The stupidity was general over the nation as the disordered commander-in-chief delivered his latest address. The stupidity ran rampant that day—the stupidity, or perhaps the delusion, which may not be the same thing.
What are we supposed to think about the commander's state of mind as he delivered that cockeyed address? We'll approach your thoughtful question in two different ways:
First, are we supposed to think that the commander was lying when he made those crazy remarks about his landslide win? (By the end of the day, he was crazily describing his alleged victory as a sacred landslide win.)
Are we supposed to believe that the commander was lying? Or is it possible that he actually believed his various crazy claims?
Those two possibilities are not the same. That said, we in Our Town have agreed to become so defiantly stupid that we've long since surrendered awareness of the difference.
Did the commander really believe that he won November's election? That he won it in a landslide? In a sacred landslide?
Here in Our Town, we aren't supposed to imagine the possibility that the commander really believed his ludicrous claims. We're supposed to say, again and again, that the commander was lying.
Now we move to our second approach to your question about the commander's state of mind. That second approach goes like this:
Are we supposed to think that Donald J. Trump, when he delivered that speech, was attempting to incite a riot at the Capitol Building? Are we suppose to believe that he had that outcome in mind?
Everything being possible, it's certainly possible that the commander had some such outcome in mind. But are we supposed to believe that he did? Also, what makes us think that we actually know what this highly disordered person might have had in mind?
Here at this site, we'll admit it! We'll admit that we don't know what the commander had in mind when he made that (latest) ridiculous speech.
We don't know if he was hoping to see the Capitol Building invaded. We don't know if he was surprised when the invasion occurred.
Beyond that, we don't know what the commander thought as he sat in the White House after the riot had started. We don't know who was sitting there with him, though we'll guess Stephen Miller was there.
What was Trump thinking at that point? We don't know that either! Did he know that Vice President Pence was in danger?
Despite the widely-recited scripts in Our Town, at least one of which has turned out to be wrong, we can't help you with that the answer to that question either!
Concerning the subject of this rumination, we will make one assumption. We will assume that his "mental health" has long been in a state of major disarray, as a significant number of medical professionals have publicly alleged.
Citing one example:
In a best-selling book which appeared last summer, the commander's niece, a clinical psychologist, listed an impressive array of her uncle's "psychopathologies."
Granted, she was merely stating an informed opinion. But this makes us think of a news report which appeared in the New York Times.
The news report appeared in September 2018. It concerned unusual events which may have occurred in the spring of the previous year.
According to this news report, an official in the commander's Justice Department had discussed the possibility of removing him from office because of the state of his mental health. Such as it was, that front-page report started off like this:
GOLDMAN AND SCHMIDT (9/22/18): The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.
Mr. Rosenstein made these suggestions in the spring of 2017 when Mr. Trump’s firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director plunged the White House into turmoil. Over the ensuing days, the president divulged classified intelligence to Russians in the Oval Office, and revelations emerged that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Comey to pledge loyalty and end an investigation into a senior aide.
Mr. Rosenstein made the remarks about secretly recording Mr. Trump and about the 25th Amendment in meetings and conversations with other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials. Several people described the episodes in interviews over the past several months, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe, then the acting bureau director, that documented Mr. Rosenstein’s actions and comments.
As you can see, the Times didn't claim to have spoken with anyone who witnessed, or participated in, these alleged discussions. The paper said it had spoken to unnamed people who had been "briefed" on the discussions or on memos written by Andrew McCabe, acting head of the FBI.
Rosenstein quickly denied the report. Six months later, McCabe said, in a CBS interview, that these discussions had occurred, and that the discussions were not tongue-in-cheek.
Is former commander Donald J. Trump seriously disordered on a psychiatric or cognitive basis? It has long seemed to us that he most likely is.
This makes it harder for us to imagine that we know what goes on inside his disordered head. At any rate, the mainstream press corps agreed, as of January 2018, that this possibility must never be discussed—that this blindingly obvious possibility must be disappeared.
In this way, the press corps again adopted a familiar stance—a familiar stance which would merely be comical if it weren't so destructive. The press corps adopted a familiar stance according to which the guild agrees that there must be no public discussions of any serious topic.
Health care costs? Lead exposure? National test scores? No-knock raids by police?
Citizen, please! Within the press corps' prevailing culture, script and Storyline take the place of serious discussion of serious topics. We'll talk about Al Gore's earth tones and, of course, his bald spot. We'll pretend to be shocked, shocked by whatever it is Donald J. Trump most recently said.
(In fairness, this is very good for ratings. Profits and salaries soar.)
The question of Donald Trump's mental fitness was declared off limits for public discussion in the wake of this New York Times editorial in January 2018.
Dr. Bandy X. Lee had said that the commander's disorder would only get worse as time went by. By now, we can see that Lee and others were prescient. But the upper-end press corps agreed that this possibility should be ignored.
This left it to our politicians, and to our corporate cable hacks, to negotiate the way we'll discuss the impending end of our world.
As far back as 2009, we found ourselves pondering that possible end of days. We did so by quoting Norman O. Brown, a classicist who became a major public intellectual during the street-fighting 1960s.
Brown is completely forgotten today, but he was very big then. In a Phi Beta Kappa address at Columbia in 1966, he foresaw the possible end of the world, or at least the the end of our world as we know it:
BROWN (1966): I sometimes think I see that societies originate in the discovery of some secret, some mystery; and end in exhaustion when there is no longer any secret, when the mystery has been divulged, that is to say profaned...And so there comes a time—I believe we are in such a time—when civilization has to be renewed by the discovery of some new mysteries, by the undemocratic but sovereign power of the imagination, by the undemocratic power which makes poets the unacknowledged legislators of all mankind, the power which makes all things new.
According to Brown, who was big at the time, societies eventually "end in exhaustion." They end in exhaustion "when there is no longer any secret, when the mystery has been divulged."
At this point, we don't have the slightest idea what Brown was talking about. We don't know how we ever happened to know about that address. We don't know why that excerpt from that address had begun coming to mind as of 2009.
But at least as early as 2009, that ancient divination began to pop into our heads. Brown had described the end of days, the way worlds come to an end.
Is our society now in the process of "ending in exhaustion?" Relying on our discussions with experts, we'll explore that possibility all week long at this site.
As we do, we'll focus on the gruesome behavior observed over here, in the low-IQ clamor widely heard all through the streets of Our Town.
The Crazy Train has been running through the streets of Their Town for a good long while now. Over in Their Town, citizens tend to believe the crazy claims by the former (and future?) commander.
Over here, we all can see the Crazy Train as it runs through the others' towns. Our vision may perhaps be blurred concerning our own behaviors.
On Saturday afternoon, we watched the tribunes of Our Town pile into a clown car all our own as they committed the ultimate political crime—as they refused to accept the gift of a very large win.
Which part of "yes" don't they understand? Our young analysts moaned as they asked us.
On Saturday, after the Senate trial ended, we saw them insist on extending a tribal wat which is now yielding acts of violence. And please make no mistake:
According to experts, when numbskulls like us lodge requests for war, such requests are quite rarely denied.
Our Town is begging for the right to see our world end in exhaustion. Our war-inclined species is wired this way, despondent top experts have said.
Tomorrow: How crazy is our former commander? Also, McConnell and Schumer speak