Kevin Drum argues that serial sex offender Donald Trump (SSAT) is showing signs of steady decline in cognitive ability and gives a list of recent statements that SSAT has made in support of that claim.
September 16: Says you need ID to buy a loaf of bread. (No you don’t.)
September 18: Claims that under Biden, we would be in World War II. (World War II already happened.)
September 18: Says he beat Obama in 2016. (He beat Hillary Clinton in 2016.)
September 26: Tells a rally audience that Jeb Bush invaded Iraq. (George W. Bush led us into Iraq.)
October 8: Says Hannibal Lecter was a great actor. (Lecter was a fictional character played by the great actor Anthony Hopkins.)
October 13: Thinks Obama is currently president. (Joe Biden is the current president.)
October 14: Says Republicans “eat their young” when they attack him. (The teleprompter probably said “eat their own.”)
Of course, SSAT says so many outrageous things on a routine basis that it is hard to know which things are due to ignorance, which are due to deliberate lying, and which are delusional. Drum is aware of this problem but says that these statements fall outside those realms.
These aren’t examples of routine Trump crackpottery. He says crazy stuff all the time. These are examples of Trump flatly forgetting or confusing things that he once knew. He’s losing it.
There have long been suspicions that SSAT has dementia, according to some even held by his supporters like Steve Bannon. But it is always dangerous to diagnose people’s mental capabilities without direct examination by a competent professional.
I am open to the idea that SSAT is suffering from serious cognitive decline but am not convinced by the evidence cited by Drum. This is because all of us have slips of the tongue or the memory where we say flat-out wrong things. Normal people immediately self-correct when made aware of the mistake. But SSAT knows that is supporters really don’t care what he says as long as he hits their emotional hot buttons and targets their enemies, and the people around him seem to be just intent on pleasing him which means not making any criticisms or corrections whatsoever. As a result, he has no need to monitor what he says to make sure that it is accurate or to make a correction when he is in error and can even make up outright falsehoods just to suit the moment and to make some kind of point. So he can be sloppy as he riffs in his speeches.
What all that shows is that if he is not suffering from dementia, he is a man who has absolutely no regard for the truth. In some ways, that is even more disturbing, because an unprincipled, pathological, narcissistic liar is more dangerous than some one with dementia.