Our Deranged President

In 2016 America’s electoral college gave Donald Trump the presidency. Within a few months we came to realize that this man has serious mental problems. Within a year, some psychologists concluded that Trump was a narcissist, among other afflictions. Now, nearly four years later—it has to be said, since the media won’t—we realize that he is deranged, a man on the edge, flailing at allies and enemies alike with uncontrolled rage.

Doctors suggest Trump’s erratic behavior may stem from his coronavirus treatment, but that slides by a history of mental instability, as his niece, Mary Trump, recently revealed. His behavior has been erratic, and unpredictable, for many years—demanding absolute loyalty from subordinates, lashing out at critics, spewing racist and misogynist insults—all while proclaiming his superior wisdom and leadership. The virus only illuminates the worst in him.

Trump has always been a threat to national security, as numerous former officials, Republicans as well as Democrats, have pointed out. But now he’s a different kind of security threat as he parades around the Oval Office and prepares to venture out for more mass rallies, all the while insisting his illness is really a positive thing and the experimental drug Regeneron is a “cure.”

He raises the question whether a president who carries a dangerous disease can be stopped from becoming a super-spreader. House speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to use the 25th Amendment to sideline Trump, but that’s a long shot at best—just like the “coup” Trump says she’s planning. Only his spineless confidantes can stop Trump, but with the election only weeks away, that is not going to happen either.

It seems that we will have to put up with this very sick man awhile longer.

We’re fortunate that the US is not in the midst of an international crisis. Can you imagine what Trump might say or do, pumped up with steroids and determined to show he’s in charge? Bad enough that he’s demanding that Obama, Hillary, and Biden be jailed and denouncing Michigan’s governor Gretchen Whitmer, the victim of a far-right plot by crazed Trump supporters.

What if North Korea were to conduct another nuclear weapon test, or China were to down a Taiwan aircraft, or Russia were to intervene in the Azerbaijan-Armenia dispute over Nagorno Karabakh? Would Trump respond rationally to such events?

What many commentators have said bears repeating: The best and only answer to this intolerable, illegitimate president and his followers is a massive Democratic victory at the polls.

That prospect looks better every day, thanks largely to Trump’s rants. He must be left with no excuse for malingering in the White House and looking for ways to end democracy in America.

He needs to be fired and seek treatment.

Mel Gurtov is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University, Editor-in-Chief of Asian Perspective, an international affairs quarterly and blogs at In the Human Interest.