I think my colleagues, those who have diagnosed President Donald Trump as suffering from a Narcissistic Personality disorder, may have not gotten the entire picture of his pathology. He has made so many major mistakes because of his impulsivity, his lack of willingness to accept advice from others who are among the best specialists in their fields, his lack of preparation for virtually every responsibility of his Presidency, and he even enjoys promulgating fake news as if it were the gospel directly from his god. All of this can be part of narcissism but there is more.
This is a man who demands fealty and loyalty to himself exclusively particularly from his security services and appears to treat them as if they were his personal slaves. He negates the reality that it is the job of the security services to work for the greater good of the citizens of his country, not his simplistic ego desires. The President appears to be running the country as if he were the CEO of the United States, not an employee of its citizens. He runs the country, or should, but he is charged with doing that for the greater good, not his personal aggrandizement.
All of this indicates that he is not simply a narcissist, with all its attendant pathologies, but he seems to have a variety of Personality disorders, along with perhaps an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder. I cannot diagnose him because I have not spent enough time with him to do so officially. However, as a citizen of the US I can speak about the discomfort I, and many others, feel with a President who acts the way this President does. This is a bigger issue than the restriction suggested by the Goldwater Rule, which says that it is improper to give a professional opinion of a public figure that has not been examined in person and who has not given permission to discuss their mental health publicly.
We go from crisis to crisis with this President. He is the kid in the sandbox who pushes other children down and then cries hysterically if someone attempts to discipline him (How many people were at his inauguration?).
I write this with an enveloping sense of gloom. President Trump is in way over his head. When caught in a problem he amps up his tweeting. He demeans people with the fury of a middle school adolescent. He is insistent and yet he is often wrong. None of that seems to affect him.
He does not ever follow through completely with anything. He usually cannot follow through because many of his promises are so grandiose. The good news is that he is probably not malicious. The bad news is that his lack of malice is no excuse for the damage he leaves in his wake.
One week, he fires his Assistant Attorney General then later the FBI Director. The next week reports surface that, in a meeting with representatives of Russia, Trump divulges secret information to the very country that has gained entrée into the computer systems of several Western countries to attempt to sway the outcome of that countries elections.
President Trump threatens the well-being of all Western leaning countries. He naively views the Russians as allies. He views his own FBI as enemies.
The US is being torn apart by the lack of credibility that the American administration, led by this impetuous, wrathful individual seems to nourish itself on. Combined with a partisanship that is splitting the very fabric of the country, if we are not careful, he can bring down the entire Western leaning world.
Mr. Trump will be visiting Israel shortly. How should he be greeted while there? What should he be allowed to do and whom should he meet with, and where should he visit? Should he be taken at his word? Is he capable of being told secret intelligence information and can he hold that information in complete confidence? It is true that he has made some very positive statements in support of Israel. I think the US representative to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, is an absolute blessing and should be taken at her word. Her boss, Mr. Trump, is another story.
Will he actually move the American Embassy to Jerusalem? Is the pompousness that is his trademark a foundation on which true peace can be achieved? What is his real view on settlements? Does he even have a clear view?
This upcoming trip has the potential to be a complete failure on so many levels.
My plea to Prime Minister Netanyahu is simple – Please make sure that we do not get sucked into a fantasy that will not just upset the well being of America. America is my home for now – Israel holds my heart. Do not let him seduce you the way he did to large segments of America.