The Unauthorized Psychoanalysis of Donald Trump

The Unauthorized Psychoanalysis of Donald Trump

Donald Trump has finally admitted that he will resign from the U.S. presidency sometime this fall. No, not the real Donald Trump, but Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter who wrote “The Art of the Deal,” says that what’s going to happen. It’s easy to see how Schwartz would think that he could know. In the course of   writing “The Art of the Deal,” which Trump claims to have written himself, Schwartz spent 18 months shadowing Trump, even spending weekends with him and with Trump’s permission, listening to his phone calls. Some of the accurate observations Schwartz has made about Trump in the past sound like those of a psychologist. According to Jane Mayer in her article in New Yorker magazine, Schwartz considered Trump’s personality, “pathological and impulsive.”  Mayer says that a journal Schwartz kept during that period describes Trump’s constant need for attention in this way: “All he is, is ‘stomp, stomp, stomp’—recognition from outside, bigger, more, a whole series of things that go nowhere in particular.” Schwartz also noted that Trump lied strategically… “[and had a] … complete lack of conscience about it.” Schwartz also perfectly describes Trump’s use of the defense mechanism called splitting, which is “the division or polarization of beliefs, actions, objects or persons into good and bad by focusing selectively on their positive or negative attributes.” More simply put, it is seeing things as either all good or all bad. It is a defense mechanism often used by persons suffering from borderline personality disorder. Schwartz said it this way: “Trump only takes two positions. Either you’re a scummy loser, liar, whatever or you’re the greatest” That’s Trump all right, dramatic, impulsive, attention seeking, lying, no conscience and polarizing. Yep, nailed it. Schwartz is right about the personality traits, but, in my opinion, not about the resignation.

From my cold red hands

Schwartz is right that circumstances and consequences of past actions are closing in on Trump. However, it is not the first time and quitting is not an option. Trump cannot give up the image, the lifestyle, the power, the glamour of the office, the adoration of his supporters who still believe the hype. Most of all, the “guilty as sin” Trump cannot give up the power of absolution, the power of the presidential pardon. He is going to need that power for his family members and close associates, and he might even cause a constitutional crisis by using it for himself. Do you think this guy would care about causing a constitutional crisis? The fact that he is making gestures of bipartisanship this very week is the signal that he is planning to fight to the end, and to make deals even through impeachment. If an impeachment hearing comes, he wants to win. Distrustful Trump smells the Republican leadership planning to offer him up, just as they tried to do during the elections, but he plans to fight—balls out.  And lest someone think I am making allusions to the fight Bill Clinton made when he was caught with his zipper down, let me give this account for the true origin of the expression balls out. Old steam engines had a governor rod with ball-shaped spinning weights on the ends. When the engine was running at maximum speed, centrifugal force moved the balls all the way out. Trump has to fight “balls out” because he cannot go to prison at 71, having offended the two largest ethnic groups he is likely to meet behind bars. No, Trump will, like Hitler, fight down to the last Boy Scout, even if he has to take the government down with him.

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