The President of the United States is About to Fall Apart Before Our Eyes
“They don’t want to use guns because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others, and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long. Well, they’re not being protected any longer, folks.”
I’m not a psychological professional, so I’m not bound by the Goldwater rule. So I’m gonna break this down, and if there’s anyone in the press seeing this, I’d suggest following up.
Most of us know that all those politicians and preachers who obsessed about gay and straight men sharing showers in the military were indulging in homoerotic sexual fantasy. The obsession revealed the contents of their own psyches, and nothing about the real conduct of real troops in real life.
Many of us have recognized that, for his part, Donald Trump reveals unusually aggressive, self-empowering and sadistic sexual fantasies. We have seen that he imagines grabbing women and forcing them to his will; we’ve seen him boast about entering the dressing rooms of teenage girls and exulting at their powerlessness before his gaze. He brags of seducing other men’s wives. At the same time, he has almost literally collapsed at the mere mention of women breast-feeding, using the toilet, engaging in sexual activities that don’t require male partners — anything that suggests their autonomy and reality.
A lot of people have asked what this highly driven person, who is obviously not sleeping with his wife, can be doing with his libido. Is his staff covering up his liaisons? Is he using Fox News and Breitbart as porn? Or is he channeling all his sexual energy into fantasy?
It does not surprise anyone to see that Donald Trump’s fantasy life is dominated by images of rape and torture, but it’s surprising, and virtually unprecedented, for a President of the United States to indulge these fantasies in detail in public — before a gathering of Boy Scouts, during an appearance with a foreign statesman, in a constant barrage of tweets intended to humiliate and psychically torture one of his most loyal adherents.
So if it isn’t clear yet: What Donald Trump is doing is decompensating, disinhibiting — no doubt as response to the stress of his elaborate facade finally cracking as his incompetence and betrayal of his nation and his followers are revealed. Even in Nixon, there is no precedent in our country for such a powerful man having his mask ripped away. It no longer means anything to him that he still has millions of followers blinded to his crimes and his deficiencies of character; his knowledge that he is fundamentally incomplete, living a lie he has managed (just barely) to sustain for decades, compels him to twist every public appearance into a howl of denial and defiance, ventilated through his increasingly bizarre and violent fantasies.
As Mother Jones says, this is just going to get worse. But the reason is that like an addict who needs bigger and bigger doses of his drug of choice, Trump is now almost completely inoculated against the effects of the adulation he finds in public appearances, and the nauseating spectacle of his compelled paeans of praise from his cabinet. Now he turns away from one appearance where he fantasizes about orgies and imprisoning his opponents, and hours later, he must verbally assault his closest colleagues, and the next day, he vomits forth a gruesome, wholly fantastic scene of torture and rape. He can’t stop because he’s fighting against an internal conflict, and nothing he gets from public praise is going to appease his need to externalize his violent impulse toward himself.
Decompensation doesn’t turn around. Disinhibition doesn’t suddenly yield to sweet reason. If you want to indulge in predicting the President’s behavior in the coming days and weeks, you might do well to step back from his attitude toward the Attorney General or the health-care fiasco. He is not a rational actor in a political landscape. He is going to turn to increasingly violent and repellent images; he is going to project even more than he has already done; he may very well enter the psychotic world of child prisons on Mars and forced gender reassignment surgery. This is the guy who started his political career in earnest with his outlandish obsession with birtherism — yet for some reason the press still doesn’t seem to acknowledge that his presidency was founded in paranoid racist fantasy, and racist fantasy isn’t a political ideology but a debilitating mania. It doesn’t go away just because you’re forced to kinda-sorta disavow it. It takes increasingly disturbing forms, increasingly difficult to dismiss or explain away.
Russia is a big story, but if I were a journalist right now, I’d be going into his medical, psychiatric, and sexual history (it wouldn’t hurt to follow up on his drug use, either). There are some astounding revelations to come, and they’re ultimately going to be far more relevant to understanding his time in office, and how his presidency will ultimately collapse, than parsing emails to and from Russian agents. My guess is that the end is going to come very suddenly, as the result of one devastating revelation, or of his own impulsive action. He might find himself unable to resist parading his long history of evil deeds in public forums. In leering references to wild sex parties in a speech to Boy Scouts — to Boy Scouts! Jesus Christ, people, are you listening? — the President almost begged the public and the press never to lose sight of his appalling sexual history, especially the open secret of his assaults on women, and by some accounts, girls, at similar wild parties. Yet this was covered as some kind of lapse of taste rather than stunning evidence of the President’s deranged state of mind, which will drive to him to more and more open airing of his abuses, crimes, and violations of decency. In appointing Scaramucci as his director of communications, Trump proclaimed as publicly as possible that the sitting President of the United States is far less concerned with the operations of the executive branch; the prospects for Republicans’ pet initiatives, or for that matter, their re-election; national security; the health of the American public or the national economy; and even the ultimate result of the investigation into his flagrant collusion with agents of the Russian government, than he is with getting himself unmuzzled. In clinical terms: his obvious oral sadism compels him to value opportunities to spew his venom, even at the cost of his own security. He’s either going to step up his attacks, in both their frequency and their horrifying imagery, or run out into the street and actually bite someone to death.
Therefore, I think — and I could be all wet, of course — that conventional journalists have it all wrong when they read the President’s attacks on his Attorney General as indications that he is strategizing a way to rid himself of Sessions and thus of the special counsel and his investigation (which is a remarkable enough fantasy in itself — it’s obvious that firing Mueller wouldn’t keep the President from an eventual reckoning, no matter how long it drags out). The President has no strategy; he’s assiduously surrounded himself with hacks and time-servers whose only expertise is in “public relations” — that is, lying in desperate efforts to keep liars from getting caught in their lies — and avoided working with anyone who knows anything about how government — and law enforcement in particular — works. The one person near him who could give him effective advice on how to save himself is . . . Jeff Sessions, and let us all give thanks that he’s pissing off Mr. Sessions irredeemably. All he really cares about is increasing his opportunities to spin out his sick fantasies, like some kind of avant-garde Sadean performance artist unaccountable given a national TV show. It doesn’t serve his aims to let go of Sessions, unless he can dismiss him and somehow retain him as an eternally renewable target of his fury. It seems odd that reporters who follow his every attack on Hillary Clinton don’t get this; or that they keep asking Why, why, why does he keep turning back to the glory days of his vicious yet preposterous attacks on a public servant? Their account of him is an inversion of his perverted reality: he didn’t attack Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to get himself elected; he ran for office to ensure a larger audience for his attacks on Obama and Clinton. And his motivation wasn’t anything so ordinary as revenge. He just surrenders to his impulse to project his deficiencies, to deflect his burden of guilt, and to inflict psychological pain on people he manifestly considers more powerful, accomplished, and deserving of love and loyalty than he is. (Have you ever in your life encountered a boss, a co-worker, a friend who insisted on loyalty who wasn’t making it absolutely clear that they did not deserve it? Have you ever encountered an abysmally stupid person who didn’t insist they were surrounded by morons — the preferred spelling among Trumpistas is “moran,” of course.)
Personally, I’m actually less worried about his finding a way to fire the special counsel than his finding allies who will bring charges against his perceived enemies — round up Clintons, use the voter rolls to go after people who voted Democrat, trump up charges against the state attorneys general who are preparing charges against him and the members of his family. It’s the kind of thing tyrants do when they go nuts.
This isn’t to say, of course, that the Republican leadership aren’t aware of all this; they may just be biding their time til the right moment to remove him.