Why Trump Had To Go Down
According to Sigmund Freud, human beings are motivated by two principal drives. One is the drive toward Life called Eros. Eros included motivations such as love, sexuality, and creativity. The other is the drive toward Death, also known as Thanatos. Thanatos included motivations such as aggression, violence, and destruction. To simplify Freud, we can picture both of these drives on a continuum as shown below.
For ease of understanding, we could say that all of our motives fall somewhere on the Life-Death continuum. For a visual example, love would be located somewhere between the midpoint of the continuum and the Life anchor word. Hatred, on the other hand, would be located somewhere between the midpoint of the continuum and the Death anchor.
Within ourselves, there is conflict between these two drives; and of course, there is also conflict between the drives of one person and those of another. Each of us, with help from our socialization, decides, even if unconsciously, which drive has primary control over our behavior. Most of us make Life our primary drive and act from negative drives (i.e., those from the midpoint to the Death anchor) only when frustrated, threatened, or provoked.
Many religions including Christianity also proposed that human beings act out of good or evil intention. Thus Freud really only renamed these drives and sought to explain their functioning in human beings. While Freudian theory left much to be desired in the way of explaining human motivation and behavior, it is nonetheless difficult not to see some truth in these ideas. It is as if every one of us has an inner potential toward both good and evil. In Christianity, God is the only Being that is all good. That is, he has no evil drive within him. On the other hand, the Devil is the Being who is all evil; and he has no good drive within him. We humans are beings with both of these qualities and can reflect God in our behavior or the Devil depending on our will.
While you may be wondering what all this has to do with Donald Trump, I say, “It has everything to do with what is wrong with Donald Trump and why he has to go.” I believe, as do many mental health professionals, that Trump is an antisocial narcissist. An antisocial personality is someone who thinks that rules and laws apply only to other people and not them. They have no problem exploiting others for personal gain and violating the rights of others. They lie, cheat, manipulate, deceive, steal, and even kill. They can be impulsive, hostile, and irresponsible. Further, they have little if any remorse over the evil that they do.1 Often they think that if a person is victimized, it is because they somehow deserved it for being weak or stupid!
A narcissistic personality is someone with an exaggerated sense of self importance and entitlement. They have great need for outside admiration that reinforces their specialness. When they don’t get this admiration, they can respond with anger or even rage. Narcissistic people lack empathy for others and are self-absorbed. They are envious. It is difficult for them to be happy for others’ achievements, assets, and good qualities often thinking that they deserve these things more than others. Often the narcissist is obsessed with fantasies of great beauty, fame, wealth, or power.2
We humans are beings with both of these qualities and can reflect God in our behavior or the Devil depending on our will.
While there have been infinitely worse antisocial narcissists throughout history3 than Trump (e.g., Adolf Hitler), we cannot and should not make light of Trump’s sickness. Trump began his campaign by making immigrants from Mexico his villains. He said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”4
Here we can see him exploiting innocent men, women, and children to gain election to the Office of President. When in fact, there is evidence that crimes are committed much more often by US citizens than by immigrants.5 Immigrants are just people who are trying to find better jobs, a better economy, and a better future for themselves and their families. Sometimes they are fleeing oppression, crime, and even war in their native countries.
Almost immediately after Trump was elected President, he appointed a White Nationalist, Stephen Miller, as his senior advisor for policy. The Trump Administration then began a cruel, immoral, and violent policy of separating immigrant children from their parents. I have previously written how psychologically scarring and permanently destructive losing one’s parents can be for a child. These children, not having committed any crime, were then locked up in facilities as if they were in jail.
Why did Trump do this? It was done to make immigrating to the US unattractive and fearful. It did not work, and it led to a massive outcry from the American public. Likewise Trump set out to stop immigration from Muslim countries and later from China. This was little more than xenophobia and prejudice directed against other nationalities and world religions. Again here we see a disregard for the rights of others, exploitation of the vulnerable, and skillful manipulation of his morally-weak followers to justify these human rights abuses.
I have previously written about Trump’s problems with lying. It is unclear to me whether Trump has a decent grasp of reality. He acts as if he can change any reality merely by declaring it so. For example, he would say that he was the most generous man around and pointed out how he donated all his salary as President. For the record, I think Presidents make about $400,000 per year. However Trump would visit his own properties especially golf resorts almost weekly. This alone netted him millions of taxpayer dollars in hotel rooms alone.6 Further he tried very hard to direct government business to his properties. Remember when he tried to have the G7 Summit at his Doral Miami golf course? Regretfully, Trump misrepresented facts or outright lied practically every day of his Presidency!
Each of us, with help from our socialization, decides, even if unconsciously, which drive has primary control over our behavior.
Trump once said in a TV interview that his favorite president was Richard Nixon. He admired criminals and authoritarian leaders like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un. Trump opposed the principles on which the US was founded – namely the establishment of power in three separate but co-equal branches of government.
Trump tried to run over the legislative branch when he refused to cooperate with the impeachment investigations. He bull-dozed everyone who did not agree with him even firing people for not being adequately loyal to him. Trump thought that by appointing right wing extremist judges who are unqualified for their office that he would be able to run over the judicial branch. He is currently doing everything in his power to overturn a legal election where he lost both the popular vote and the electoral vote.
The above behaviors only skim the surface of Trump’s misbehavior while in office. Honestly, it would require an entire book for me to describe his misdeeds these last four years. In the final analysis however, Trump is not like most of us. That is, he is not primarily governed by drives that are directed toward Life. Trump is primarily governed by drives that will ultimately result in the suffering and death of others. I don’t believe he is capable of really loving other people. Trump is too busy using others for the purpose of furthering his wealth and power. He is aggressive and can be violent and destructive. He is irresponsible, impulsive, and incapable of feeling remorse for the evil that he does.
Trump is primarily governed by drives that will ultimately result in the suffering and death of others.
It is my clinical opinion that if Donald Trump is given the opportunity, he will rise as an authoritarian leader equal to the most brutal in history. It is all there in his personality. Additionally it is rather difficult and at times impossible to rehabilitate someone like Donald Trump. You either deprive him of power, or he will deprive you of your basic rights and freedoms! Finally, he will rejoice and celebrate your defeat while calling you out as a loser.
- Emamzadeh, A. (May 28, 2019). Comparing narcissistic and antisocial personality. Psychology Today. Retrieved November 8, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-new-home/201905/comparing-narcissistic-and-antisocial-personality#:~:text=Narcissistic%20personality%20disorder%20and%20antisocial%20personality%20disorder%20share,and%20unforgiving%20and%20tend%20to%20exploit%20others.%201
- Flamehorse. (November 14, 2011). 10 Monumental Malignantly Narcissistic Sociopaths. Listverse. Retrieved November 8, 2020 from https://listverse.com/2011/11/14/10-monumental-malignantly-narcissistic-sociopaths
- Edelman, A. (August 31, 2016). A look at Trumps most outrageous comments about Mexicans as he attempts damage control by visiting with country’s president. NYDailyNews. https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-outrageous-comments-mexicans-article-1.2773214
- Doleac, J. (February 14, 2017). Are immigrants more likely to commit crimes? Econofact. Retrieved November 8, 2020 from https://econofact.org/are-immigrants-more-likely-to-commit-crimes
- Durkee, A. (May 15, 2020). Report: Taxpayers have paid the Trump Organization nearly $1 million for hotel rooms alone. Vanity Fair. Retrieved November 8, 2020 from https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/05/taxpayers-have-paid-the-trump-organization-nearly-1-million-dollars-for-hotel-rooms