Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Stop misdiagnosing and misjudging Donald Trump

Trump is not crazy nor increasingly getting unhinged

There is a rule for health professionals not to diagnose famous people, historic or present, they have not checked out up close. This is not an ethical but a practical rule. It just can’t be done from a distance.

Yet, dozens of serious health professionals have done so anyway, claiming that they had no choice. They assert, this US president is so dangerous — we cannot, for some principle, withhold our professional opinion while we see that the country and world are being endangered.

They published a popular book compiling dozens of pieces by psychiatrists and psychologists diagnosing Trump from a distance. They just issued a second, expanded edition. They are so worried that not only they violated their professional code, they totally forgot to check if their opinions could be substantiated. I’ll show you where they went wrong.

Most health professionals do not know people like Trump from very close by because they won’t come to therapy. (Or if they do, for show or having been obligated by a judge, they won’t open up. They’ll tell stories. When therapists get suspicious or puncture their balloon, they’ll at once distract and volunteer a totally different tale, preferably a sob story.)

In contrast, I got to know such people from (way too) close by. Very honest people and big con artists are often hard to tell apart for the untrained eye. That’s how they got so big, by being expert pretenders.

This is a short profile of such people: ● control freaks, ● iron will power, ● con artists, ● cold, ● inflated ego, often ● abusive. Jerusalem-based Psychologist Miriam Adahan has dubbed it the Abusive Personality Syndrome. This disorder has not yet been professionally acknowledged.

Don’t think that these people are obvious monsters with only negative qualities.
● Their fear of losing control makes them very industrious. Laziness doesn’t fit them.
● Their will-power shows in how they stay optimistic no matter what, how they seem to have endless energy, and how they (almost) never give up.
● Their playing fast and loose with truth and reality, often helps them being very creative, also in a positive way, as great storytellers and artists (though their art may be bizarre).
● They may try to hide their big egos behind a mask of humbleness. Yet, when they don’t get it their way, their thin skin and thick feeling of entitlement will show.
● Their abuse, which could be verbal, physical, emotional, and/or sexual, serves but one purpose, to assert control. But typically, this is not what they show initially.
● At first, they can be cunningly charming. Many are so taken in by their flattery and friendliness that they overlook another quality, a real coldness. They’re reptiles. Their coldness may be anywhere on the scale between lacking empathy to outright ruthlessness. Their coldness makes that they don’t get confused or distracted by or lost in sentimentality.
● A second way to find them out is to be nice to them. That won’t get you likes or respect. They have only disdain (and jealousy) for nice people, thinking of them as useful idiots. Real respect they only feel for fellow snakes. They love hanging out with them.

Their coldness doesn’t mean that they don’t suffer from loneliness. They would like closeness and warmth but at the same time, these are beyond their grasp because they are too scared of them. But they often marry a feeling person as they find them intriguing — and safe, assuming, always to have the upper hand against such “feeble” people. While feeling people, crushed as babies — horror of horrors — often marry them as they feel so strangely familiar to them and their — fake — confidence seems so attractive. Sex with them may be routine or grotesque but in any case, is not about the other and will bring no closeness. Closeness scares them, distance and discord energize them.

Us normal people don’t categorize humans into powerful or idiotic. We distinguish between nice and cold. It helps us normals to understand these powerholics when we know how they became like this.

When they were very young, a power-addict has tried to totally crush them — or scared them even more by crushing another close-by normal feeling person they loved. Such a small person (we’re talking about one or two years old) may decide, I’d rather squash everyone around me than letting anyone so close that they can hurt me like that ever (again). And that is why they often feel under constant attack. Even when they attack, they see it as defending themselves. There is no power-sharing with such a person. Therapy won’t work because they won’t open up. The only way to tame them is to corner them. But — don’t try this at home — if there is even one way out, they’ll take it. If they are men, they might even kill rather than stay cornered. And/or commit suicide.

Part of their temporary success comes not from being so talented but from their rarity and our unfamiliarity with these kinds of people. But, when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all (almost) — they all seem to have been trained at the same course.


Trump has most of the above but does seem lazy. But that’s because he’s brilliant and therefore gets bored quickly. So, he doesn’t read and doesn’t listen. He wings it and enough of the time, that works for him. He has no trouble being an amateur or charlatan. In fact, he’s proud of doing “such a good job” while not having any clue.

He supposedly doesn’t drink alcohol because it destroyed a close relative of his. It could also be that he fears to get out of control.

He seems to abhor physical violence (different from sexual violence) and murder. He got incensed from pics of kids in Syria who were gassed.

He does lie a lot, enjoying how upset or confused people get from that. (If he’d really have lost a notion of reality, he wouldn’t be able to lie systematically nor get upset when others insult him or lie to him.)

He’s been pseudo-diagnosed for being a narcissist. A lot of leaders are. And it won him the election. Why should he change it then?

Trump’s dictatorial attitude is also most likely to be fingered as sick for no good reason. Raised a spoiled brat, he never worked under anyone. Now he’d be expected to be any good in cooperating and giving account?

Major effects of being dishonest all the time are, not empowering others with clear information, keeping others at a distance, being maximally flexible in what one says, one does, and the relationship between those two, and reminding oneself constantly never to trust anyone. What is so damaging in those points for someone who has decided to go it alone?.

He’s been accused of being a sexist, a racist, an antisemite, a bigot. He’s not. His understanding of human relations is not sophisticated enough to comprehend things like that. For him, calling an idiot (in his perception) an idiot is calling a spade a spade. The world should thank him for his clarity. Feeling people are just objects, props strewn around in his play.

One of the major problems in diagnosing someone not first-hand is that reports about him may be unfair. So did Trump recently gleefully quote someone who practically called him King Messiah. It is reported as if he thought so himself. He obviously doesn’t. Atheistic Trump must have had great fun when he sanctimoniously stared at the heavens when he talked about this. (Much of it all is for him just a game or a sport. He’s into entertainment, not philosophy.)

Trump may be not morally exemplary to us, be a disappointment, have priorities different from ours, and annoy us, but he’s not crazy.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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