For months, many of America’s and the world’s leading mental health professionals have been sounding the alarm for several years about President Donald Trump’s behavior and pleading that he be removed from office as a matter of public safety as Trump has shown himself to be a malignant narcissist and a habitual liar.
The Washington Post’s ongoing tally of Trump lies is now at almost 14,000. These are not “misstatements” or “gaffes” or the semi-harmful utterances of a fabulist: Donald Trump behaves like a pathological liar.
During a recent interview with MSNBC’s Laurence O’Donnell, psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes, a Harvard scholar, described Trump’s overall mental condition as a “psychotic-like state.”
In an interview with Salon reporter Chauncey Devega published Tuesday, Dodes warned that his supporters will not abandon him, even if he publicly commits a crime.
“He is a fantasy figure for the rank-and-file Trumpists, especially his famous “white working class” supporters. His supporters wish they could do all the horrible things Trump does without suffering any consequences.”
He then explained what would happen if Trump is removed from office:
“If Trump is actually ever forced out it will have to be with Republican support. Consequently, his supporters will have people in their own party to turn to, and they and their politicians will create a version of reality that they can live with. There will likely be a mass denial that they ever really supported Trump.
A lot of people have said that he won’t leave peacefully. I think that he will. He’s clever that way; he perceives it would not be in his personal interest to have to be carried out of the Oval Office by the FBI. His focus on his personal benefit at any cost is why he’s a successful sociopath.
My guess is that he will find a way to leave with an invented rationalization. He’ll say he was pushed out by the bad people: the Mexicans, the crooked media, etc. He’ll continue to portray himself as a victim, and he’ll encourage people to rally around him and, not incidentally, around his companies. He’ll maintain the near-psychotic view that he is not diminished at all but has been attacked by heathens. And a certain number of people will follow him.”
At the conclusion of the interview, he warned that Donald Trump is “the most dangerous person on the planet.”
Sadly, as noted by Devega, Republican leaders are more loyal to power, and to him, than they are the country’s well-being. Just like his supporters, they are members of Trump’s political cult. They share his collective narcissism and other pathologies. To abandon or criticize their leader would require them to engage in a level of critical self-reflection they may no longer be capable of.
Conservatives and their propaganda media provide outside validation for the president’s delusions. Collectively they are enablers of the Mad King, which in turn amplifies Trump’s ability to engage in lawlessness, corruption and the debasement of American democracy.