The mental health and public-health crisis created by Donald Trump’s administration and the destructive forces it has unleashed is unprecedented. Trump’s fascist political movement and the political party he leads continue to cause harm even though he is no longer president.
Trumpism is both a political cult and a narcissistic manifestation. According to the Big Lie, hundreds of millions of Trump supporters now live in an upside-down universe where Donald Trump is still the “actual” president of the United States.. Many Trump backers believe that terrorism and other forms of political violence should be employed to help him win re-election.
Millions of Americans have suffered physical, emotional, and psychological trauma as a result of the Trump administration and Republican policies in general, including the deaths of at least 700,000 individuals as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Author and clergyman John Pavlovitz discusses this in a recent essay:
“For the first time in America’s history the latent ugliness in people was revealed and validated and celebrated by a sitting president — it was officially normalized. And what we’re experiencing now; this staggering, insensitive posturing in the face of so many people’s suffering, is the late-ripening fruit of something that has been set into the bedrock of half our nation. It is the malicious entitlement that MAGA was designed to nurture from the beginning…
“This quickly metastasizing moral cancer is something we’ve never experienced on this level in our lifetimes and it’s something we’re going to have to reckon with regardless of the political outcomes of the next four years. If the former president somehow takes that office again, these stories will surely grow exponentially more violent and more commonplace, but either way, the ugliness is here now.”
“The Trump Effect on America is that once reasonable, rational human beings whose prejudices, fears, and phobias were all bound by some baseline decorum and common courtesy that kept them from intentionally harming others — have been empowered to revel in the worst of themselves. They believe cruelty is their birthright,” he wrote.
Many mental health specialists have been warning since 2015 that a Trump administration would be devastating for America and the world. They were practically all correct in their predictions.
Donald Trump is expected to be the Republican Party’s presidential contender in 2024. (In fact, the only unknown factor is whether or not he will actually run.) Trump, whether as president or not, will be a fixture in American life for the foreseeable future, contrary to the naive thinking of those Americans who hoped he would miraculously disappear.
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What will happen to the American people’s mental and emotional health if Donald Trump runs for president again or is elected? What kind of harm may Trump inflict to America and the globe if he gets a second term? And how can we explain why the avalanche of revelations about Trump’s mental disorders and antisocial, anti-democratic behavior continues to “surprise” so many Americans — ordinary citizens as well as members of the political and media classes?
The most recent Trump discoveries reaffirm what we’ve known for years. His former press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, claims, “the truth was that pretty much everyone eventually wore out their welcome with the president.” This points to Trump’s inability to comprehend or value other people; he can only use them while they serve his endless need to aggrandize himself, then discard them when they do not.
She adds, “When I began to see how his temper wasn’t just for shock value or the cameras, I began to regret my decision to go to the West Wing.” Here, she finally sees that Trump is not “crazy like a fox” but is truly a severely disordered person, in poor control, and a danger to others. In Bob Woodward’s book on Trump’s way out of office, he drops F-bombs, “spewing expletives” and screaming at cabinet colleagues: “I don’t care a fuck. You’re all f**ked up. You’re all f**ked.”
Elizabeth Mika is a psychotherapist and contributor to the 2017 bestseller “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” recently stated on the Chauncey DeVega podcast that “It is a triumph of collective narcissism in America. It is also an inevitable historical, political, and psychological turn. We’ve seen this before in history. People are feeling extremely unhappy, unable to prosper or see hope for themselves and their children. There is, however, a certain segment of the population that is excluded from this: the elites. They are victims of their own blindness and we saw this in the 2016 election when supporters of Hillary Clinton were so convinced she would win. There was no question in their minds that would be the case, so they missed what was really happening.”
She adds, “So we have a troubled society. One aspect of this societal disorder is the lack of value. We lose the distinction between right and wrong. We become more and more psychopathic — the main feature of which is the lack of conscience.”
She then stated that “Trump is a symptom of a disease that has been brewing for decades, if not centuries, as a matter of fact. When you go back to the foundation of the country, it was based on genocide of Native Americans and on slavery, cardinal sins that have never been atoned for. So part of the narcissistic pathology has to do with the disavowal of guilt. Narcissists are incapable of experiencing guilt.”