By Dr. David Laing Dawson

Author of Two Years of Trump on the Psychiatrist’s Couch

I have not written about Donald J. Trump for at least six years.

I had hoped he would fade from my consciousness. But here we are in deja vu all over again, and this time, he constitutes a much bigger threat.

As many have pointed out, during his first term in office his autocratic impulses were kept in check by his own lack of knowledge, some of the people around him, and most (but not all) American institutions. This time will be different.

There is a flaw in our democratic processes. We would be safe and well served with presidents and prime ministers who are simply reasonably intelligent, well educated, well meaning, hard working, mentally balanced, decent people. Emphasis on the word “decent”. But we are drawn to kings, orators, hucksters, potentates, showmen and charlatans. Our mental/psychological evolution has not kept pace with our social evolution.

Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a politician say, “I don’t know the answer to that. But if elected I will surround myself with the best experts in the field and take their advice.”

I am writing of Trump again because I happened to watch an old Presidential press conference from the COVID years. The medical and science experts address the press, and Trump winds up the conference with more than a few words. And he tells us that he has come up with two new ways of combating COVID that the scientists had not thought of, but promise to look into.

These are: Shining very powerful, maybe infrared, light, into the body, through the skin “or by some other means” and by injecting disinfectant directly into the body. He turns to one of the experts off camera and says, “And you’re going to look into it, right?”

This revealed that Donald Trump has the biomedical understanding of a 10 year old. But it also told us something else:

That morning Donald J. Trump looked in the mirror and saw the President of the United States of America, a pretty big honour and accomplishment. But it wasn’t enough. It still didn’t fill the hole, still didn’t salve the pain, still didn’t overcome the fear. He had to one-up the medical scientists.

Vladimir Putin looks in the mirror each morning and sees the undisputed ruler of Russia, and one of the richest men in the world, but it is not enough. He must reclaim Chechnya, then Georgia, then the Crimea, and now Ukraine.

Nicolas Maduro looks in the mirror and sees the undisputed ruler of Venezuela, but it is not enough.

Adolf Hitler looked in the mirror and saw the undisputed leader of Germany, but it was not enough.

Would that, if re-elected, Donald J. Trump will look in the mirror and see the President of the United States of America, elected a second time, and think that is enough – I shall do a good job these four years, and leave the USA and the world in a better place, and be remembered fondly.

But it will not be enough. For men like Donald J. Trump it is never enough.

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