I'm not a psychiatrist nor do I play one on TV but, from where I sit, it looks like Donald Trump is pure unrestrained and unfiltered id.
How else can one explain the ongoing series of offensive, outrageous and audacious statements coming from the president? What, for anyone else, would be the kiss of political death or at the very least a clear warning sign to cease and desist from such behaviour is, for Mr. Trump, nothing more than a perfectly acceptable public expression of his basest instincts.
It's as if Trump's ego is cowering in the corner, afraid to question his id's desires and his superego is nowhere to be found. Trump seems to operate on the psychological principle: "If it feels good, do it."
Thus we have the embarrassing spectacle of a grown man acting as a bullying child. Despite being publicly reprimanded by other politicians, the president persists in his playground-style name-calling and gets away with it unscathed. In fact, he seems to revel in this nasty practice.
There is a dangerous side to this selfish, childlike behaviour, especially when it comes to foreign affairs.
He has belittled women, mocked the disabled, trashed a war hero, allegedly admitted to sexual assault and recently treated a Boy Scout jamboree like one of his campaign rallies. He does and says whatever he wants whenever and wherever he wants and is totally unfamiliar with the concept of shame. What is that, except pure, unadulterated id?
Worse yet, we are saddled with a leader who chooses to be willfully ignorant of most major social, environmental and political issues. And in the rare instance where he accepts a factual assessment, he assumes that he discovered it and deigns to educate the rest of us, most of whom already knew about it long ago.
"Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated." Only an unfiltered id could make such an observation in the face of decades of complicated detailed policy debates.
"I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me." Only an ignorant id-driven narcissist could claim such nonsense.
As for the expression "priming the pump," Trump said: "I came up with it a couple of days ago and thought it was good." To the unrestrained id, everything clever appears to be invented by him.
Trump's lies are legion to the extent that he may have broken the record for presidential lying and we're only six months into his term. Plus, it's one thing to lie; it's quite another to continue to lie even after you've been caught. But Trump never acknowledges his lies or apologizes for his misstatements. Even a child will try to worm his way out of a lie but not The Donald; he plows ahead and, if anything, doubles down on each lie or tacks on an even bigger whopper.
All this is troubling, but perhaps in the end it is nothing more than harmless fun and entertainment for the rest of us. But there is a dangerous side to this selfish, childlike behaviour, especially when it comes to foreign affairs.
It's one thing for the president to undercut his staff members like his chief of staff and his press secretary. It's quite another thing for him to pull the same stunt on the international stage in the midst of a potential world crisis.
Thanks to the hard work of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, progress had been made in rounding up widespread support for further sanctions on North Korea and a possible path to a diplomatic resolution of the current standoff. Rather than support those efforts or, at the very least, shut up and do nothing, Trump's id insisted on undermining them by shooting from the lip and spouting totally unhelpful bellicose bluster.
Many on the right keep saying that Trump will change, that he will start acting presidential or at least rationally but it hasn't happened to date and it's not likely ever going to happen. As pure id, he could easily lead us into nuclear war and think nothing of it. Given that horrifying possibility, it's time for Republicans to adopt the role of Trump's ego and superego and become the adult in the room. And from where I sit, the sooner, the better.
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