A Madman Comes to Power: A guest post by Frank Zindler.
It is the greatest Constitutional crisis our nation has faced since the Civil War. A madman is soon to enter the Oval Office. His mission is not to assassinate a sitting president; it is much more serious than that. His mission is that of the madman who burnt the Reichstag and swept away the trappings of democracy — paving the way for a frighteningly different type of government to come to power. Although our new government will have the swagger and style of Mussolini’s Fascism and Hitler’s National Socialism, at this moment the madman of whom I write is preparing a government that differs in substance from anything ever seen on this continent. It will be a plutocratic, military kleptocracy—a puppet power that appears by all indications to be directed and controlled by a hostile foreign power.
As many psychiatrists have already claimed on record, I shall argue in my next posting in this series that Donald J. Trump is certifiably insane; he suffers from a mental disorder known as “Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” as defined in DSM-5—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association. The implications of this illness for the future of the American presidency—indeed the future of our democratic civilization—are ominous and dire. In this initial essay, I shall merely mention some of them, but I will discuss them in more detail in later postings.
If I am correct that Trump suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it means that far from being “unpredictable” in his actions as president, he will be extremely predictable—to the point of being helplessly locked inside the behavioral boundaries that define the disorder. He cannot behave otherwise than what a psychiatrist would expect from so archetypal an exemplar of this disease. He is an actor who is coerced by a disordered psychic constitution not to stray from the role he’s been assigned to play, and he appears to be acting out a script imposed upon him by an enemy of our nation — Vladimir Putin. It is not clear if Trump is consciously carrying out Putin’s orders or if he is unwittingly the “useful idiot” of the Russian strongman — himself an example of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Credible arguments have been adduced for both possibilities.
The Russian connections of Trump’s picks for his cabinet and personal advisors are already well known, and they will be further explored as they relate to the nature of Trump’s possible relationship with Putin as well as with regard to what they portend for the future of our representative democracy. Suffice it to say at the beginning, it looks like all efforts are being made to create a secret government—a shadow government that will lurk inside the traditional governmental structure, eating it away from the inside and transforming it into a military kleptocracy. Then, like the parasitic wasps whose larvae eat out the living innards of caterpillars, the pirates of the new Trump order will burst out of their constitutional constraints, leaving the treasury of the United States of America as empty as a caterpillar carcass consumed by wasps.
The need for secrecy in implementing Trump’s plans have been evident since early in the campaign. His one-way communication via Twitter; his bypassing press interviews that might reveal information not desired to be known publicly; his refusal to publish any of his tax returns lest they reveal his domestic holdings, his foreign entanglements, and the probability that he is bankrupt, not a billionaire; his refusal to hold a consistent position on any of his campaign promises; his evasion of questions seeking information on his views of important matters of foreign and domestic policy; his efforts to intimidate the press and then impede its access to the most basic information — these things all sum up to indicate it’s reasonable to fear the worst.
Oh, yes. There was the abortive attempt by the Republican minions to gut the House Ethics Committee that was investigating some of the Trump supporters. While at first we had the paradoxical spectacle of Trump appearing to tweet unto them not to do that — and momentarily earning undeserved kudos for integrity — it turns out that it was a massive social-media wave of protest by citizens such as we that belatedly indicated to him that there were more important things to be doing right now; we can abolish the ethics committee later when no one will notice.
Already, climate scientists are rushing to back up in private servers all the data pertaining to global warming held in governmental databases that could well be shut down the day Trump comes to power. Already, a failed attempt has been made to procure a list of all the names of scientists who anywhere in government have been involved in climate research. A creationist, religious fanatic and enemy of the Public-School System is about to take over the destruction of public education. An enemy of the environment — and by logical inference an enemy of the human race — is poised to begin dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency. A security advisor on the payroll for Russia Today-America (RT-America)—a propaganda outlet funded by the Kremlin — will be in the White House. And so it goes.
Trump refuses to accept the joint findings of all the intelligence-gathering organizations of our government. He has his own sources of information. As I will show subsequently, apart from the neo-Nazi sources used in his early campaign (and still apparently supplied by his aide Steve Bannon), most if not all the rest of his “information” comes from Russia. Via the Russian propaganda agency RT, Trump has gotten his talking points and policy positions from the Kremlin. The declassified report is a must to read. It may be the last objective assessment of Trump that shall ever issue from an agency of an American government. It clearly and unequivocally indicates that Putin wanted Trump to win—partly because of his business connections in the Russian sphere of influence. It also shows that he interfered in the election not only by an act of cyberwarfare, but also by an elaborate campaign of disinformation and trolling that we now know created the basis for Trump’s campaign.
As I reread what I have written here, I am horrified. Almost every sentence includes a claim so outrageous, so unimaginable, so unbelievable, that as recently as yesterday I could not have imagined myself writing such alarming prose at any time in my life — unless I had gone back to trying to write screenplays, a failed adventure of my youth. But I have written this, and I shall endeavor in subsequent postings to justify this multifaceted indictment of Donald Trump. These are perilous times.
Photo credit: Jill Carlson (jillcarlson.org); https://flic.kr/p/w5fe2F