In the TV comedy Kim’s Convenience, there is an episode in which a mother comes with her young son into the convenience store run by Mr. Kim, a Korean immigrant who believes in being stern when bringing up his own children. The mother’s child-rearing philosophy is that one must never use the word ‘No’ with children because its stifles their creativity or something. Mr. Kim is horrified as the child runs berserk in the store, toppling racks, breaking things, and so on with the mother not able to prevent him, and when he orders the child to stop, the mother remonstrates with him for using the ‘No’ word.
I was reminded of this episode when serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) went to a tear this weekend on his social media site, issuing volleys of deranged missives on all manner of things.
Here’s one where he is urging Republicans to shut down the government unless they get all his demands.
The Republicans lost big on Debt Ceiling, got NOTHING, and now are worried that they will be BLAMED for the Budget Shutdown. Wrong!!! Whoever is President will be blamed, in this case, Crooked (as Hell!) Joe Biden! Our Country is being systematically destroyed by the Radical Left Marxists, Fascists and Thugs – THE DEMOCRATS. UNLESS YOU GET EVERYTHING, SHUT IT DOWN! Close the Border, stop the Weaponization of “Justice,” and End Election Interference – WE MUST HAVE HONEST ELECTIONS. It’s time Republicans learned how to fight! Are you listening Mitch McConnell, the weakest, dumbest, and most conflicted “Leader” in U.S. Senate history? HE’S ALREADY GIVEN THE DEMOCRATS EVERYTHING, THEY CAN’T BELIEVE HOW LUCKY THEY GOT. WE NEED NEW, & REAL, REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, NOT A CLONE OF MITCH, & WE NEED IT NOW!!!
In that above link, there is also has an angry rant that Chief of Staff of the armed forces Mark Milley should be executed for treason because in the days before SSAT finally left the White House, there was palpable fear that he would do something truly crazy like start a war so that he could declare an emergency and stay in office and Milley was reassuring people on background that it would not happen.
Then SSAT says that all Senate Democrats should resign because of the allegations against New Jersey senator Robert Menendez and that, should he win the presidency again, he will order the investigation of NBC, MSNBC, and even the internet provider Comcast because he thinks they have been unfair to him. He then went on a rant against the practice of automatic voter registration, something that is being done in both Democratic and Republican states.
The point is that he was not simply presenting arguments about all these things. His rants are over-the-top, like what one might hear from someone suffering from paranoid delusions. To read those screeds is like listening to someone who is seriously mentally disturbed.
What to make of all this? Chauncey DeVega interviewed various mental health professionals to see what explanations they had to offer. One of them, Dr. Justin Frank, a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center, says that SSAT has “a classic God complex driven by a persecutory delusion” and discusses what he observed during the interview SSAT gave to Kristen Welker on NBC.
“When most people feel angry or defiant, they become more focused. Such is not the case with Donald Trump. He was wearing his mug-shot face, but the eyes were uncomprehending. When talking to a reporter who’s not on his payroll, he often looks like he’s struggling to listen – especially when he anticipates that he won’t like what hears. But in this interview, he was unable to muster even the semblance of a conversation.
In my opinion, Trump’s incessant, word-salad repetition reflects chronic substance abuse or impending dementia, which is consistent with the blank eyes. His blotchy red and puffy face (and constant sniffling) are not new but underscore a clinician’s natural suspicion that he is not cognitively healthy. His cartoon character menacing and bellicose posture is second nature to him.”
SSAT’s acolytes may think that his behavior is all part of some shrewd game plan of his to ramp up anger among his followers and to create the impression of such widespread chaos that his own misdeeds get buried in the mud. But even if one does not go as far as Frank in ascribing pathology, it seems clear to me that SSAT’s increasingly deranged behavior is similar to that of the child in Kim’s Convenience and may have similar causes. No one in his immediate circle or in the Republican political establishment is willing to say no to him even when he continues to utter rampant and obvious falsehoods, and his MAGA base cheers him on. Is it any surprise that he is exhibiting paranoid behavior even if it has not (as yet at least) reached the level of a full-blown psychotic breakdown?