Trump’s Cognitive Decline
Trump’s deterioration is alarming
There is a new documentary called “Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump” by psychologist John Gartner in conjunction with Duty to Warn, a group of mental health professionals led by Dr. Bandy Lee, who have been advocating for the removal of Donald Trump from office because he is mentally unfit. The documentary explores Trump’s psyche, part of which is his striking cognitive decline.
Trump’s cognitive decline is not news for those of us who live in the New York City area and who have had a chance to observe Trump for decades. For those Americans who have only been acquainted with him since he began his campaign in 2015, the way he speaks now, the incomplete sentences, word salads, jumping for topic to topic, is not normal for him.
He used to speak in complete, grammatically correct sentences. He was able to organize his thoughts, to stay on topic, even speak in paragraphs. There are recordings of interviews from 10 or 15 years ago and it is like listening to a completely different person. He was a polished speaker with a large vocabulary.
I’m not saying that he was smarter then. Trump is not a smart man. His wealth has allowed him the luxury of being a complete screw-up and not end up homeless under a bridge. Money bought him accountants and attorneys to protect him from himself.
We who have watched his career, if you can call it that, viewed him as a buffoon. We were in disbelief when he announced his candidacy. Here in the East, his run for the presidency was initially regarded like Kanye West’s run for the presidency, a vanity project just to grab headlines. No one ever thought he would win.
His sister, Maryanne, is on tape calling him a clown. I disagree. A clown intends to be funny. Trump never intends to be funny. “Buffoon” is a better description. A buffoon is a stupid person who is trying to be serious but instead is unintentionally funny, a more apt description of Trump.
And now he is an old man, slipping into senility while occupying one of the most powerful offices on the planet. I am not a mental health expert but my understanding of senility is that it emphasizes existing personality traits. So that means that Trump’s malignant narcissism will grow worse as time goes on. His paranoia will grow worse over time. His disordered thinking will grow worse over time.
And he is running for a second term. Four more years of mental decline. Or, according to him, 12 more years of mental decline.
Trump’s supporters claim that Biden is the one who is suffering from cognitive decline. I don’t see it but I have to tell you, given a choice between a senile malignant narcissist and a senile decent man, I’ll take Biden any day.
Think about that as you are filling out your ballot. Yes, your choices aren’t ideal, between two possibly senile old men, but if senility accentuates existing personality traits, which personality would you want running the country? The one who hid the severity of the pandemic from the public because he didn’t want to cause panic in the stock market? The one who destroyed the post office so that your mail in ballot may not make it on time? The one who wants to defund cities run by mayors who don’t support him? The one who gasses peaceful protestors so that he can have a photo op in front of a church that he doesn’t attend while holding a bible (upside down) that he doesn’t read?
A lot of people don’t vote because they feel that both parties are the same, that they have no real choice. This year you do have a very real choice.
Worsening malignant narcissism or common decency.