Alan D. Blotcky

Clinical psychologist wonders if Trump fans will ever realize he actually hates them

In May of this year, Donald Trump began telling associates that he plans to run for president in 2024 if he is healthy enough. In July, he told dinner pals that he is running. Just this month, he reiterated that he is likely to run again. The twice-impeached ex-president is increasing his media appearances and planning campaign-style rallies in Georgia and Iowa.

Trump's humiliating defeat to Joe Biden — which he refuses to acknowledge even occurred — has fomented a yearning for redemption. Whether he actually runs again remains uncertain, but he wants his supporters to be ready, willing and primed.

As Trump keeps his millions of supporters in suspense, they must answer one difficult question: Do they really want to continue to support a man who despises them and hurts them?

Donald Trump has always abhorred his supporters. He does not feel an ounce of empathy or affection for those who profess their devotion to him. He sees his supporters as weak, stupid and inferior. They are losers to him. He hates his supporters as much as he wants to destroy his detractors.

Actions speak louder than words. Just look at Trump's actions toward his supporters.

The best example is his detached, irresponsible and inept handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died on his watch. He relied on conspiracy theories, magical thinking, blatant lies and distractions to fool the American public. Trump followers in red states have died in huge numbers because they erroneously and foolishly believed he was the benevolent master of their fate. Nothing could be further from the truth. He was, in fact, an accessory to murder. His supporters' lives meant nothing to him.

Another example is Trump's incitement of the insurrection of the Capitol on Jan. 6. He was willing to overthrow democracy in order to remain in power. So he fabricated the Big Lie, knowing full well that his cult followers would carry out his anti-democratic mission. Was he on the front line with his supporters? Of course not — because he is a coward. He watched it all unfold on television as he cheered them on from the protected and comfortable surroundings of the White House. Trump wanted the election undermined and demanded that followers accomplish that goal. The result was failure, destruction, deaths, arrests and widespread condemnation. Trump has left his followers dangling in defeat. He has taken no responsibility for his incitement and has demonstrated no concern or remorse for his loyalists who face damaging legal consequences. He has thrown them under the bus because he detests them.

Millions of aggrieved Americans have tethered themselves to Trump's fake persona of superiority and strength. They think he is the answer to their prayers. They think he cares about their lot in life. They think he will remedy their grievances. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Trump is a shameless opportunist. He manipulates people to achieve his personal goals, then discards them. He does not care if his supporters are racists, felons, crooks or murderers. He does not care if they are xenophobes or misogynists. He will accept the support of anyone who will blindly follow his lead and put him on a pedestal — after all, exalted status is what he longs for. He desperately wants to be a dictator so that his grifting and corrupt impulses can run wild. And, remember, dictators only care about themselves and loathe people who expect anything from them.

Trump scorns those who are weak or foolish enough to need him. He does not want to be needed — he wants others to serve and satiate his needs. He thrives on their praise, adulation and unconditional loyalty. The whole concept of public service is foreign to him because he perceives every interaction is a transactional game that must be won. And winning, for him, inevitably means defeat and humiliation of the other person. In Trump's psyche, even his supporters need to be humiliated and defeated.

It is puzzling that Trump supporters have not realized that he does not give a damn about their grievances or station in life. His Republican Party literally has no platform or set of guiding principles — all that was abandoned during the 2020 campaign. Nor does the Republican Party have a single substantive policy initiative on the table. Other than conservative judicial appointments, Trump did absolutely nothing for his supporters during his miserable presidential term. Except, of course, to let them be killed by a virus and incite them to a failed overthrow of democracy.

Until Trump is gone and the Republican Party reinvents itself, Trump supporters are all alone to fend for themselves. Their cult leader is an illusion. He is a pied piper leading them only to destruction. He has brought them only pain and suffering and sold them a bill of goods consisting of lies and conspiracy theories.

All because he despises his supporters. That's the best reason why they should dump him now, before he harms them even more.

Vaccine disinformation and partisan politics are literally killing us

More than 615,000 Americans have died during this life-changing pandemic. In recent weeks, the delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a dramatic increase in infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Even with the widespread availability of vaccines, we have not been smart enough, determined enough or strong enough to finally defeat this public emergency. If we could successfully put a man on the moon 50 years ago, surely we can figure out how to eradicate this virus. But we have not.

The first vaccine was rolled out last December. Two more were available soon thereafter. Yet just 50% of all Americans are fully vaccinated as of now. This fact is both alarming and tragic. It is alarming because Americans do not seem to understand the importance of immunization in defeating the coronavirus. It is tragic because this painful and sorrowful pandemic will not be stamped out soon at this rate.

Vaccines are the safest and most effective way to end the pandemic. This is not opinion. This is a scientific, medical fact — a certainty. But it will take reaching herd immunity to accomplish this goal. And, according to public health experts, upward of 90% of Americans will have to be fully vaccinated before COVID-19 in all its variant forms is effectively expunged.

Two major roadblocks have interfered with our ability to win this pandemic war.

First, the pandemic and the vaccines have been politicized from the very beginning. Responses to both have been a litmus test for devotion to a particular political party. Republicans, as a group, have downplayed the pandemic, have undervalued the need for mitigation measures and have been reluctant to get vaccinated. Democrats, by contrast, have acknowledged the severity of the pandemic, have utilized mitigation measures and have eagerly been vaccinated. The best predictor of whether a person has been vaccinated is his or her political affiliation. That is the essence of politicization.

Second, misinformation about the pandemic and vaccines has been counterproductive to our national response. Millions of Americans still believe the pandemic is overblown. Millions of anti-vaxxers hold the belief that our vaccines are untested, unsafe or ineffective. Misinformation has been largely promulgated by Republican elected officials and by right-wing news outlets. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, have also allowed dangerous misinformation to spread. Science and medicine have been cast aside. Public health experts have been ignored.

That combination of politicization and misinformation has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, a wrecked economy, widespread anxiety and depression and a lack of accurate understanding of the usefulness of vaccines. We now have an undefeated pandemic and a coronavirus variant that is spreading like wildfire among the unvaccinated. If we do not reach herd immunity soon, vaccine-resistant variants are all too likely to emerge and kill millions more. The lambda variant, for example, may be vaccine-resistant.

We are calling for a coordinated effort by political and medical leaders to address these two problematic influences in our country. All political leaders need to make clear in their words and deeds that vaccinations are not a partisan issue. Elected Republican officials need to encourage their supporters to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Medical experts need to continue to inform the public about the safety and effectiveness of our vaccines. Herd immunity is a concept poorly understood by many Americans — but it's absolutely crucial, because we must reach that level of nationwide immunization that will finally end this pandemic. That is an achievable goal. But to achieve that goal in the shortest amount of time, vaccination mandates in our states, cities, schools, colleges and businesses are almost certainly necessary.

Our country has an illustrious history of vaccinations, and we shouldn't forget that. Over the decades we have successfully eradicated smallpox, diphtheria, polio, measles and mumps. They have effectively been wiped out. We were only able to get rid of these diseases because the American people accepted vaccines and were immunized in sufficient numbers to reach herd immunity. Vaccines were not an instrument of partisan politics, and not surrounded by so much disruptive information.

What we know is that 615,000 deaths and counting is unacceptable in a powerful and prosperous country. It is inconceivable that we continue to witness this kind of death and destruction. It is absolutely within our grasp to turn the tide and defeat this pandemic. But doing that requires eliminating partisan politics and deliberate misinformation from our national strategy. Our attitudes and behaviors must be guided by science and medicine. If that seems a daunting challenge at the moment, we must recognize that nothing short of that will work.

No, Trump's not delusional — it's actually much worse than that

Agrowing and prevailing view is that Donald Trump has become delusional. His fixed and intractable obsession with his Big Lie is seen as proof of his psychosis.

But Trump is not detached from reality at all. He knows exactly what he is doing. He knows the difference between truth and a lie — he just doesn't care about that, if a lie gets him what he wants. He is devious, conniving and hell-bent on satisfying his needs, wants and desires at any cost.

Trump's "delusion" is simply a conspiracy theory that he thinks has gained the most traction with his millions of supporters. His "delusion" is purposeful and intentional: The election was stolen from him; he will be reinstated as president in August (or at some other time); he could run for speaker of the House in order to impeach President Biden; he is likely to run for president again in 2024. He holds onto his "delusion" because it has successfully kept him the cult leader of the aggrieved and the victimized. His "delusion" has made him the pied piper of the Republican Party.

Calling Trump psychotic misses the point. It creates an excuse for a man who deserves none. Trump is a fearful, vindictive, anti-American megalomaniac. It is this combination of features that accounts for his "condition" or "state" since leaving office on Jan. 20.

Trump is terrified because he is looking down the barrel of a long list of potential criminal charges. The empaneling of a grand jury in New York has intensified his worries. He thinks that if he is somehow returned to the presidency, he will be protected from the indictments against him. So he is seeking a way to have the November election reversed through "audits" and spreading the fiction that he will be reinstated to the presidency in August. This is not a delusion. It is the wishful thinking of a humiliated and disgraced ex-leader who, it turns out, may be a criminal as well.

Trump thrives on destroying people who have been disloyal to him. He is actively trying to tarnish the reputations of Republicans who have not supported him. Look who he hates now: Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Liz Cheney — and the list goes on. His vindictiveness is a far cry from delusion. Who he hates can change instantly, depending on how he perceives the transaction of the moment. McConnell was almost his buddy at one time.

Trump proved he was anti-American by inciting the insurrection against our government on Jan. 6. He does not love democracy and does not care about the will of the people. He wants to be a dictator, pure and simple. Disregarding the Constitution and overthrowing our government are nothing to a man desperate for the continued taste of power, greed and adulation. Nothing about that is a delusion.

Trump is a megalomaniac who thinks he is smarter, richer and stronger than anyone else. Everything he says and does is aimed at fortifying his grandiose and superior persona. He never admits to a mistake. He never acknowledges a loss. He always doubles down on a position. He does not care a whit about the people of this country. Grifting others is his sport. Despite being impeached twice and losing the national election by 7 million votes, Trump marches on with his false self of grandiosity. That is not a delusion — it is his psychic machinery of self-preservation.

It is a mistake to consider Trump psychotic. That would be to assume that psychiatric medication might alleviate his delusional thinking. But medication cannot fix a psychopath with malignant narcissism. Medication cannot fix a manipulative and exploitative opportunist. Medication does not affect shamelessness and lack of a moral compass. Medication cannot make a self-serving "delusion" disappear.

Trump remains a grave risk to democracy. He will throw anyone and anything under the bus to save his own hide and to advance his personal power and greed. If democracy gets in the way, he is more than ready to smash it or flick it away. Do not forget his glee as he watched the attempted coup against our nation our on television. He thought Jan. 6 might be his de facto coronation as dictator. That was his plan all along. He is an authoritarian, not a psychotic.

How long will we continue to enable this dangerous ex-leader? How long will the GOP remain lost, wandering through the wilderness of his psychopathic mind? How long will democracy be on the chopping block? When will a new, fresh Republican leader come forward?

These are the pressing questions of the day. Not whether Donald Trump is delusional. He is not. He is something far worse.

Here's the dark lesson Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and the entire GOP learned from their former master

Sen. Ted Cruz is a proud disciple of Donald Trump's legacy to America — his weaponization of alternate reality. In recent days, Cruz has been positively Trumpian in his betrayal and lack of empathy regarding his family's getaway to a beach resort in Mexico while his state was paralyzed by a catastrophic winter storm. To make matters worse, Cruz championed an alternate reality by concocting different versions of the "truth" with a web of lies and shifting blame to his children. For now, his alternate reality appears to have won the day.

Sen. Ron Johnson claims that the mood among the demonstrators at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was largely "positive," and that there were "fake Trump protesters" in the crowd. In proclaiming this blatant falsehood, Johnson is egging on the millions of Trump supporters who still believe that the election was stolen from their leader. Alternate reality lives on.

At the conclusion of Trump's second impeachment trial, h was acquitted for his role in the insurrection at the Capitol. Despite being presented with mountains of audio and video evidence from that fateful day, 43 out of 50 Republican senators voted to exonerate him. It was not just cowardice or foolishness that led to their votes. No, they made a purposeful decision to follow their cult leader into the abyss of his alternate reality. According to Trump, his speech that morning to the escalating mob was "totally appropriate." Alternate reality triumphed over observable truth on center stage.

Trump has created his alternate reality to bolster his fragile ego and to advance his political fortunes. He has used it to cover up his evident character defects and to persuade others to believe in his greatness and superiority. His "reality" consists of "big lies," small lies, conspiracy theories, misinformation, propaganda, false narratives and violence. He is masterful — although deeply corrupt — at blurring and even shattering truth for his political advantage. In Trump's fantasyland, there is no oversight, no accountability and no laws that apply to him. The means justify the ends. Anything he says or does is acceptable as long as it brings him attention, adoration, profit and power.

Unfortunately for our country, Trump's use of alternate reality has become the ideology of the Republican Party and nearly half of all Americans. This explains why most of the party and legions of followers still support a man who has been impeached twice, botched the deadly coronavirus pandemic, crashed the economy and incited an insurrection against our government. This is what happens when a demagogue promulgates a "reality" that carries the weight of the presidency but is inherently toxic and pernicious.

A large swath of America has adopted and internalized Trump's use of alternate reality. Millions of Americans have been brainwashed into accepting his distorted reality. They view Trump as their cult leader who possesses the qualities of greatness. They believe in his alternate reality — even his blatant lies, his outlandish conspiracy theories and his provocation of violence. And now, they believe that the use of alternate reality by both politicians and followers is smart and effective strategy.

Trump's alternate reality is wholly malignant and dangerous because it undermines objective truth. It is a myth. It is an illusion. Trump is a salesman, a carnival barker, a con man. He has no interest in people, policy or public service. All he cares about is selling himself — his personal and commercial brand — through his lies, his conspiracy theories and his propaganda. Anything is fair game, even an alternate reality that is nonsensical and poisonous.

Trump's use of alternate reality is antithetical to democratic principles and the Constitution. He does not love democracy and he does not love America. He wants to destroy it. He is an authoritarian at heart. He orchestrated and incited an insurrection against our government, intended to overthrow the will of the people. His singular goal was to maintain his power at any cost. If that had happened, his alternate reality would have lived on and flourished. We would have become a country of lies, conspiracy theories, propaganda and violence — also known as an authoritarian state.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are the antidotes to Trump's alternate reality. They function within the context of facts, the truth and science. They have not constructed an alternate reality that is self-serving and virulent. They cherish democracy and understand that its sustainability requires observable and transparent truth.

The solution is for Trump to be marginalized and purged. Even now that he is out of office, he has hit the airwaves to continue to spread the "Big Lie" that he won the election. He will never accept or understand that his alternate reality is destructive to the well-being of our people. Nor does he care. He still thinks it is his sure-fire ticket to success. After all, he became president and came close to winning re-election by convincing Americans that his "exceptionalism" could be theirs too — and that their lives would be better for it. Please tell the families of the 500,000 dead Americans that their lives are better. Please tell the millions of Americans who are jobless, broke and frightened that their lives are improved.

Americans must stop being lazy and complacent about figuring out the observable truth. They cannot let partisan bias allow their thinking to be hijacked by an alternate reality. Cable news networks and social media platforms must make truth their sole vehicle of communication. Fox News, OAN, Newsmax, Facebook and other entities must take responsibility for promoting truth over fiction, facts over lies and critical observation over conspiracy theories.

Trump's weaponization of alternate reality must be repudiated once and for all. Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and other congressional Republicans need to rebuke Trump's alternate reality — and must stop creating their own for purely selfish and political reasons.

There is only one truth — the objective truth. What Donald Trump and his cohorts do not want you to know is that truth is the one "real" ticket to success in a democracy based on freedom, rule of law and the will of the people. History shows that our country has never been divided by alternate reality versus the truth in such a stark and destructive way. It would be so much easier for us to govern ourselves if we could make objective truth our top, shared priority.

The use of alternate reality by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, or anyone else — including millions of Americans — is unacceptable, anti-democratic and venomous to our way of life. Observable, verifiable and transparent truth is what our democracy is founded upon. Without that, all is lost.

Donald Trump is still an attention addict — his appearance at CPAC will offer the latest proof

There is no rational or reasonable explanation why Donald Trump is even considering another presidential run in 2024. He has no agenda. He has no real ideology other than his self-aggrandizement and greed. He had a dreadfully inept, contentious and fractious term as president from 2017 to 2021. He is probably facing imminent civil and criminal legal charges. He is in financial dire straits. He lost his last election by 7 million votes.

Trump's upcoming appearance at CPAC this weekend, however, clearly signals that another presidential campaign may be in his sights. A return to private life may not be enough for him. There is a longstanding tradition that ex-presidents retreat into the background so the new president can shine. But that does not fit Donald Trump's psyche. Just the opposite is true: He wants to spoil Joe Biden's time in the sun by stealing as much attention away from him as possible.

The real explanation is that Donald Trump is an attention addict. He is addicted to the attention that national political life brings him. He is addicted to running for president and to being president. It is all about satiating his needs and wants — and cravings. Attention is his psychic oxygen. He feels like he is dying mentally when attention is not forthcoming. He does not differentiate between positive attention and negative attention — either will do in his jonesing mind. As with an oppositional child, even negative attention makes him feel energized and powerful.

Trump's attention addiction was in full force during his presidential term. He held more than 80 pep rallies so that he could bask in the glow of the attention from the masses. And his almost nonstop tweeting — late into the night and distressingly early in the morning — showed that he was addicted to instant attention.

The fact that Trump is an attention addict is hardly a reason for us to allow him to run for president again. We would not let a known heroin addict be mayor. We would not let an opioid addict become governor. We would not let a benzodiazepine addict be a senator. So we should not let an attention addict be our president.

Why? Because all elected officials take a sworn oath to protect the public's safety and well-being. An attention addict, by definition, cannot possibly meet that obligation. The public good is of no concern to an addict whose sole mission in life is to consume more and more of the sought-after prize.

Trump has already proven that his addiction interferes with his capacity to be a public servant. His addiction kept him from solving the existential crises that our country faced: a deadly pandemic, a crashed economy, racial and economic inequality, domestic violence, immigration and many others.

He could not even facilitate the orderly and peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden once he lost the election. He had to incite an insurrection of our government in an attempt to hold onto power — and attention. This just shows you the lengths an addict will go to maintain his addiction.

Here's why expulsion is the only remedy: Insurrectionists in Congress must be rooted out

"We fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."

These were the words of then-President Donald Trump as he addressed a large, hostile crowd in front of the White House on Jan. 6, 2021.

It has now been more than a month since Trump and his congressional allies incited and supported the insurrection against our country's democracy. It was an attempt by a mob of violent seditionists to attack the Capitol and stop Congress from affirming the Electoral College victory of Joe Biden. This was planned and orchestrated by the sitting president with the hope that he could remain in power against the will of the people. Five people died. Dozens of police officers were injured. Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi were in grave danger of being seized and murdered. It was an unimaginable and indescribable scene of terror. Many of the insurrectionists had tactical gear and communications equipment. They roamed the halls with zip ties hunting for Pence and Pelosi. They built gallows and chanted death threats. They beat a police officer with a pole bearing the U.S. flag. And let us not forget that President Trump chose not to intervene when the violence began. With the resources at his disposal, he easily and rapidly could have.

Never in our 245-year history has our democracy been actively sabotaged by a sitting president and his congressional sycophants. The events of Jan. 6, 2021 will be highlighted in all history books going forward. The insurrection of our election will never be forgotten. Its significance is on par with Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day).

Donald Trump was quickly impeached — for the second time — for his incitement of this insurrection. At this writing, he is about to stand trial in the Senate. He is refusing to testify. Trump's behavior in the insurrection is easily explained by his psychopathic personality and his unrelenting desire to remain in power, despite losing both the popular vote (for a second time) and the Electoral College vote. Those of us who are mental health professionals predicted his pathological and violent response to his election defeat. No one should be surprised by the depth of his crass, repugnant and anti-democratic behavior. After all, everything is about Trump — the welfare of the country and its people be damned.

The Republican Party has been complicit with Trump for four years and counting. It has enabledhis quest to obtain absolute authority, politicize the Justice Department in his behalf, grift the American people and break norms, rules and laws with impunity. Republicans have been walking side-by-side with Trump every step of the way during his march to transform democracy into his own brand of authoritarianism. The insurrection was to be Trump's final accomplishment in his mission. He failed — but it was a close call. It was a bungled coup attempt that matched the ineptness of his past four years in office. A more intelligent and capable man might have pulled it off.

It is unlikely that Republican senators will have the insight and courage to convict Trump during his impeachment trial. Their complicity will continue. Their support of Trump's insurrection is crystal clear. They have tried to distract us by saying we must "move on." They want us to deny the objective reality of their full-throated endorsement of Trump's self-serving conspiracy theories that the election was stolen from him.

Congressional Republicans who supported Trump's overthrow of the democratic election must be rooted out. On the morning of the Capitol attack, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado tweeted, "Today is 1776."

Some congressional Republicans had reportedly given tours to the insurrectionists on Jan. 5. Eight Senators and 139 representatives supported at least one objection to the already-certified Electoral College vote. They promulgated false and fake conspiracy theories about how the election had been stolen from Trump, and cast their votes to support an authoritarian president who wanted to remain in power in defiance of the Constitution. Their entire scenario was a lie — the Big Lie — but they maintained their allegiance to their cult leader even though an insurrection against our government had occurred just the day before.

Sen. Ted Cruz supported the insurrection and actually engaged in fundraising during it. At least three newspapers in Texas have called for his resignation. Sen. Josh Hawley was in full support of Trump's efforts to remain in power despite the will of the people. He cheered on the mob attackers with the now indelible image of his raised clenched fist. Newspapers in Missouri are calling for his resignation. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has talked out of both sides of his mouth about Trump's role in the insurrection, and has refused to disavow the dangerous conspiracy theories about a stolen election. Sen. Lindsey Graham has voiced his disapproval of the impeachment of Trump for the insurrection. Sen. Ron Johnson is blaming Pelosi for the mob's actions. Rep. Matt Gaetz traveled to Wyoming to rile up supporters to punish Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican House whip, because she supported Trump's impeachment. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a newcomer to Congress, has been an outspoken supporter of Trump's efforts to remain in power. Rep. Mo Brooks has gone on the record to support Trump and his fake conspiracy theories about the election. The list goes on and on. But Congress, the media and historians need to do what has been started here: List the seditionists by name and call out their treachery.

Since the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Republican Party has degenerated and gravitated to the fringe of the extremists, showcased by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and others. Their support of Trump is stronger and more irrational than ever — despite the fact that he has been defeated and disgraced.

There are some reasonable Republicans who have spoken out against Trump and the insurrectionists. Sens. Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Lisa Murkowski have led the way, yet their words have been drowned out by the loud voices of the Q party who are doubling down on their blatant lies and conspiracy theories.

We have just witnessed an attempted coup against our democratic election. If the insurrectionists had been successful, Donald Trump would still be in high office and our democracy would be in shambles. We would no longer have open and free elections. We would no longer have three branches of government, the rule of law and a free press. Lies, conspiracy theories, violence and authoritarianism would prevail. Our country would be transformed into the psychopathic image of Donald Trump.

Accountability must be our mantra as we try to recover from the trauma of Jan. 6. Sticking our collective heads in the sand will not help us maintain and renew our democratic experiment. Reprimand and censure are far too weak for the offenses at hand. An attempted overthrow of our democracy requires nothing short of expulsion. There is no more egregious and reprehensible offense an elected official can commit.

It is time for us to clean house of all seditionists and traitors. We cannot allow them to remain in the sacred halls of Congress. They are a cancer that has metastasized. They are anti-democratic and anti-American outliers. Their voices and their influence must be stamped out decisively.

Please remember that not one of these congressional Republicans has shown an ounce of regret or shame for their actions on or before Jan. 6. Not one has apologized to the American people. If anything, they have fortified their position and their resolve. They continue to support Donald Trump and his abortive insurrection. They have not learned a thing. This is a collective lack of conscience shown by a large group of seditionists.

They leave us no choice: The only way to save our democracy is through expulsion, banishment and lasting shame.

Here's why so many Americans still follow Trump — despite all that's happened

The persistent Trump "base" and the Republican members of Congress who maintain fealty to Donald Trump do so for a variety of reasons. They are not a monolithic body but a loosely associated conglomeration of supporters with their own individual or group reasons for remaining loyal to the twice-impeached ex-President.

"Membership" in the Trump base may include entry into one or more of the following categories.

  1. "All-in" isolationists, ultra-nationalists, white supremacists, racists and insurrectionists Arguably all those who marched in Charlottesville in summer 2017 and many of those stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are openly racist, and have felt liberated by the rhetoric and policies of the Trump era. For them, Trumpism represented an enticing outlet for perceived slights or a platform upon which to boost their identity, sense of meaning or being, and self-importance.
  2. Opportunists and political chameleons Those who fall into this category recognized that the Trump train presented itself as a vehicle by which one could achieve fame, success, ambition and political or personal gain. Those with political ambition watched Trump's tactics, saw its success and made the decision to be a Trump sycophant and copycat. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, mediocre members of society who had the financial means to run for Congress, are noted Trump exampled who will ride this train until it throws them off (and even then will continue to chase it). Fox News talking heads fall into this category as well. Following opportunity often requires suppressing any logic, rational thought or independent notions. This is a key factor behind the flip-flopping of politicians like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (who has vacillated in his defense and indictment of Trump and his insurrection), Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio (two former Republican rivals to Trump who were mercilessly dragged by him only to become full-throated supporters), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for whom every Trump-related decision comes with an eye on the next election cycle. These are the political chameleons who will change as needed to survive.
  3. Narrow-minded, limited information input and vulnerable to cultism This group of followers is either actively or passively limited in the information that they receive through on-air and online media outlets. As a result of their "soda straw" approach to Republicanism, conservatism or Trumpism, they are simply not exposed to the damning evidence that exists to show Trump and the GOP's unethical, immoral and likely criminal behavior. This is the consumer of a steady diet of right-wing sources such as Fox News, OANN and Newsmax. One cannot discuss this group without referring to the concept of shared omnipotence, a cult leader tactic by which followers are repeatedly told that the leader will take them to a "promised land" (e.g., a place of increased wealth, no immigrants or people of color, world superiority or dominance, protection from death) and if they don't follow, the result is certain doom.
  4. Voting with their pocketbook Members of this group are totally focused on individual and family wealth. They voted for Trump twice because of his tax breaks for wealthier Americans. They may be repulsed by Trump the man, but they feel compelled to vote for him because they are profiting from his policies. They are one-issue voters and they will not be deterred by any of Trump's antics, lies or dishonesty.
  5. Hold your nose and vote Republican These group members are cousins of the previous group. This faction is diehard conservative Republicans who are unwavering in their support of the GOP based on years of support and the hope that this period is an aberration that will correct itself soon. Sen. Mitt Romney is one of the remaining stalwarts of this group.
  6. But he and I are Christians! In many ways an outgrowth of the latter group, these followers maintain their identity and faith as evangelical Christians. They have consistently voted Republican for a widely varying set of reasons, the abortion issue first and foremost among them. Now, electing and supporting Donald Trump, who is arguably the embodiment of sin, requires resolution of a huge case of cognitive dissonance. To accept Trump and Trumpism requires that a "true" Christian must fit this obviously square block into a circular halo. Attempts to reconcile this dissonance include pairing Trump with known Christian leaders and evangelicals, citing scripture that appears to validate this choice, or projecting Christian values on to Trump and Trumpists.

Not all Trump supporters are alike. It is inaccurate and wrong to lump them together. It misses the point and undermines any chance for reaching out to supporters in order to reinvent a Republican Party that is reasonable, more moderate and hinged to our American democracy.

Short of convicting and repudiating Trump at his upcoming impeachment trial — which appears highly unlikely — we will be left with the task of disambiguating and understanding his followers and what motivates them, and connecting with as many of them as possible. The future of our two-party democracy, and our entire country, will hang in the balance.

Trump's radicalized followers must be forced to see who he really is

Donald Trump is gone. Jan. 20 has come and gone. Joe Biden is our 46th president and Kamala Harris is our vice president. Celebration has been on display and our democracy is breathing easier.

But our glow of hopefulness will inevitably be dampened by the penetrating darkness of the past four years. The aftermath of Donald Trump is before us. And it cannot be avoided. For example, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and several other members of the "sedition caucus" are still in Congress and stand as a constant reminder of how much accountability and healing must still occur.

Many of us are at high risk for the development of trauma, stress-related and anxiety-related symptoms (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD). We have been subjected to physical and psychological abuse by the now-departed president. The sickness and death associated with the coronavirus pandemic has been catastrophic. Our crippled economy has created widespread depression and anxiety. Trump's racism, xenophobia, misogyny, nativism, white supremacy, violence and incitement of insurrection have all been traumatic forces as well.

Post-traumatic stress symptoms are increasingly evident among us: distressing and intrusive thoughts, anxiety, worry, fear, flashbacks, nightmares, hyper-vigilance, disturbed sleep and more. These symptoms occur most notably in those with close proximity to the horrific nature of the deadly disease, such as first responders, medical providers and friends and families of victims. All are due to the impact of a cruel and corrupt leader who harmed us after swearing to be our protector. Much like a domestic abuser, Trump deceived, betrayed and mistreated us.

Beyond that, millions of Americans continue to view Trump as their beloved cult leader — even though he has been defeated, disgraced and repudiated. Trump's followers have been radicalized by the cumulative effects of his lies, conspiracy theories, magical thinking and fake narratives. Americans were bombarded with misinformation and propaganda. As a result, there are many passionate supporters who, at least until now, have refused to allow facts and the truth to shape their perceptions of their leader. Trump's demagoguery and fear-mongering has worked.

Donald Trump is a proven traitor — at least in the colloquial sense, and perhaps the legal sense as well — who spent four years disavowing the Constitution, attacking our democracy and abusing the public. He must be prosecuted and punished for his misdeeds and malfeasance.

We know that victims of abuse are better able to recover their self-esteem and hopefulness when abusers are held to account and victim safety is assured. Victims often feel unheard, misunderstood and unloved because their horrific experiences are minimized or not believed altogether. Prosecution of the abuser can go a long way to validate the intrinsic worth of the victim, and to help recapture positive mental health.

So, in a very real way, prosecution of Donald Trump is necessary for individual Americans to heal from their psychological distress and trauma and to feel liberated and positive going forward.

In a similar vein, the radicalization of Trump supporters can be deprogrammed if they see him being prosecuted and punished for his nefarious acts. He must be exposed for who he is — a con man whose cruelty, indifference and anti-democratic leanings were unleashed on the public. The realization of Trump's menace might help sweep away the false view of him as an esteemed leader. For some, this realization began last Wednesday, as President Biden was sworn in and Trump's supporters realized that their delusional belief in an ongoing Trump reign was shattered.

Dealing with the maliciousness and destructiveness of Donald Trump has begun. His oxygen of attention has been taken away. He has been banned from social media platforms. He is being ostracized and purged in most circles. But more than that, he must be prosecuted and punished for his transgressions against America and its people. He cannot simply be given a free pass because he is finally out of office. This would convey a dangerous message. We cannot stick our heads in the sand when abuse and radicalization have run rampant.

It appears that Trump is already considering another presidential run in 2024. Such is an unfathomable proposition in light of his past four years of abuse, death and insurrection. His lack of shame and remorse is appalling — but in no way surprising.

Trump must be convicted in the Senate for his second impeachment offense. He must be banned from future elected office as well. We must send a clear message to him and to all other future or potential presidential candidates that corrupt and criminal behavior will not be tolerated. We will not be abused all over again.

It will take time for us to heal, but that will happen more quickly and completely if prosecution and punishment is meted out to Donald Trump. In a democracy, no person is above the law. We must all be held accountable for our actions. Especially someone who misused and debased the highest office in the land, and whose reign of terror has traumatized us all.

Donald Trump is the now biggest loser in US political history

For four years we have heard that Republicans are afraid to stand up to Donald Trump because he will insult them and humiliate them into submission. They could not handle his childish taunts. They shrank from his barbs and slights, delivered largely on Twitter, the social media platform that has now evicted him permanently. Trump took advantage of their cowardice. He was like the big bully on the playground at school who intimidated smaller and weaker kids, then boasted about his easy conquests.

But no one should be afraid of Donald Trump now. After all, he is the biggest loser in U.S. political history. Indeed, he has relinquished the right to be feared.

Trump's record distinguishes him as the worst president ever. He has lost the popular vote in two national elections. He has been impeached twice, with conviction still possible in the second case. He has been an accomplice to the mass murder of over 400,000 Americans and counting due to the coronavirus. He has caused a massive economic crash. He has incited an insurrection against the government of the United States. He played a corrupt game of footsie with the president of Ukraine, and has been oddly but consistently subservient to the president of Russia. He has grifted the American people out of millions of dollars. He has pardoned associates and acquaintances who could implicate him in crimes. He has been incompetent, indifferent, lazy and vindictive. To top it all off, he has rushed to execute 13 people before his term is up — the most by any president in 120 years.

Trump intimidates via bullying, name-calling, threats and loud exclamations of bravado. His sense of grandiosity and superiority is enhanced when he is successful at embarrassing and humiliating others. To be sure, intimidation is his modus operandi. He rose to the top of the national political ladder through his use of intimidation. It is his only "skill."

But he is a total coward. He hides behind his lawyers and lets them do his "dirty work." He cannot fire people in person. He sent a bodyguard to deliver his letter of dismissal to former FBI Director James Comey's empty office. His specialty is to incite others to action and then deny any responsibility for their behavior. Ask Michael Cohen. Ask Rudy Giuliani. Ask the thousands of attackers at the Capitol. Trump did not have the guts to march with them to the Capitol — but he had no trouble sending them off into battle for his sole benefit.

Trump's political life has been based on lies and propaganda. His most egregious lie is that the election was rigged and stolen from him. It has been dubbed the "Big Lie." The truth is that the election was the most open and transparent in history. Joe Biden won fair and square. Trump lost by 7 million votes. He has lost more than 60 lawsuits in contesting the results. His lie about the election led to his seditious rhetoric and to his incitement of the insurrectionists.

Let us be clear: Trump actively tried to undermine and overthrow our democracy. He was fomenting a coup. He has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he does not love our democracy and does not love our country. He is addicted to power, adulation, grift and corruption — and would rather overturn democracy than give up his addictions.

Trump must be finished as a political figure. It may take some time, but his political clout will wane gradually but assuredly into oblivion. He will try to hold onto his supporters by promulgating his conspiracy theories and his victimhood, but both will be disproven as we return to a world of observable facts and truth.

His gravitas is evaporating. He has become a pathetic and tragic joke. All the major leaders in the world are ecstatic at his upcoming exit from the scene — except perhaps Vladimir Putin, who has enjoyed having Trump in his back pocket.

Trump is already kryptonite. Social media platforms have banned him. Banks will not lend him money. Lawyers are hesitant to defend him against impeachment. Corporations have paused their financial contributions. Even the PGA has yanked its 2022 championship from his New Jersey golf course. His standing will continue to drop as he is further ostracized and purged from American public life.

Trump must be punished for all his federal and state crimes. His supporters need to understand the depth of his criminality. He is a bad actor who will soon face the consequences of his malfeasance. Nothing can erase power and adulation faster than prison. But not even prison can reverse the abuse and trauma inflicted by Trump upon the American people.

His reign of corruption and incitement of insurrection was fueled by his belief that he would not be punished for it, that he could break laws with impunity. This is exactly why his prosecution is required. He must face swift and firm consequences so that others will understand the reality — that Trump's corruption is a part of his DNA. He has been compromised all his adult life. Until now, his corruption was confined to the state of New York and the Trump Organization. In 2016, thanks to his flukish election victory, he started sharing his criminality with the entire country.

Trump has been living in his alternate universe of lies, conspiracy theories and magical thinking for so long that he is unable to face reality. But his alternate universe is crumbling. And Americans are becoming acquainted once again with facts, science and truth. In 2016, Trump told the Republican National Convention and a national television audience, "Only I can fix it." But he could not fix our country because he exacerbated and capitalized on our grievances for his own personal and political gain. That is the playbook of an authoritarian.

There is encouraging news, however. In recent polling, nine out of 10 Americans frown upon the insurrection on Jan. 6. Seven out of 10 Americans say Trump bears some responsibility for the violence. Fifty-six percent are in favor of Trump being banned from future elected office. His approval rating now stands at 29%.

Right-wing extremism was present long before Trump. Cultural and economic resentments have been brewing for years. Trump has seized upon these resentments and made them more mainstream through his radicalization of his supporters. Hopefully, right-wing extremism will recede as Trump's voice is silenced. Citizens who engage in political violence must be rooted out. Trump's unforgiving act of insurrection has shown his true stripes as an authoritarian who does not give a damn about anyone other than himself. Authoritarianism is antithetical to our representative democracy — and must be stamped out at every opportunity. And Trump has given us opportunities.

No one should be afraid of Donald Trump now. He is defeated, disgraced and repudiated. This is the trifecta of the biggest loser in U.S. political history.

This is our chance to show we have finally conquered our fear of that bully on the playground at school.

A psychopathic president's last act

Donald Trump's attempted coup against our government was predictable. He had it all planned out. He would incite thousands of supporters to attack the Capitol, disrupt the proceedings of the Senate and find a way to maintain his grip on power. He knew full well that his violent insurrectionists had blood on their minds and that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence were in harm's way. He knew there was a chance that both Pelosi and Pence could be kidnapped or murdered. He did not care one whit. He was partying and celebrating as the attackers formed and began their deadly march. He was inciting an insurrection against the United States for his own personal gain. Democracy and human life were of no concern to him.

But his efforts failed. The Senate was not overtaken. Joe Biden was certified as the next president. Pelosi and Pence were both safe. The attackers are being hunted down one by one and arrested. Trump has now been impeached for the second time, with 10 Republican members of Congress joining with every Democrat. Pence apparently contemplated the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment (although he has now said he will not do so). The majority of Americans believe that Trump should be removed from office immediately for his treasonous behavior.

After last week's insurrection attempt, Trump is now trying to act as if nothing out of the ordinary happened. What is the big deal if some looters swarmed through the Capitol? As he has always done, Trump relies on lies, denials, conspiracy theories and fake bravado to skirt through life and through his presidency. But rhetoric and actions are observable truth. And Trump's clear incitement of insurrection means he is a traitor. It means he disavowed the will of the people and the rule of law. It means his personal gain is more important than the Constitution and his oath of office.

This all makes sense because Donald Trump is a psychopath. He is fueled by his narcissism, his sadism, his paranoia and his antisocial proclivities. We have been eager to ignore these things, but Trump's sadism and violence have been front and center in his psyche the entire time. This is the man who separated young children from their families at the border. This is the man whose inaction has killed 372,000 Americans due to the coronavirus. This is the man who has tried to encourage violence multiple times at his campaign and presidential pep rallies. And this is the man who glorified violence in Charlottesville and in other cities.

We should not be surprised that Trump's sadism and violence boiled over in response to his humiliating election defeat. He has been hell-bent on hanging onto power at any cost. He has been willing to throw anyone and anything under the bus to ensure his self-preservation and his survival. So a violent insurrection in the sacred halls of the Capitol was the perfect plan in his mind. A few deaths would be palatable, even entirely acceptable, if it meant he could remain in power.

What should now be clear to everyone is that Donald Trump does not love democracy or our country. He is an authoritarian. He wants absolute authority and control over people. He loves adulation. He is a greedy opportunist. He is a master of demagoguery. He is corrupt and criminal. He is a traitor of the highest order. He was virtually the worst possible person to become president because everything about him is antithetical to our nation's principles and ideals. Being president is so much more than being rich. Personal character, love of democracy and love of country are far more compelling attributes.

Trump is a cataclysmic problem that will be solved soon. He will be booted out, or simply leave. Social media platforms have banned him. Companies are halting their financial contributions to his party and his supporters. The PGA has pulled its 2022 championship tournament from his New Jersey golf course. More and more Americans are rejecting him by the day. His mantra as a traitor is beginning to take hold. Ultimately, it will be set in stone.

Millions of supporters followed Trump for four years as if he were the pied piper. They did not realize or understand that he is a con man who thrives on hoodwinking and exploiting others. He lies every time he opens his mouth, and uses conspiracy theories and fear-mongering to seduce the allegiance of citizens who believe in him for various largely irrational reasons. Trump is no public servant, no brilliant businessman, no rich savant and no political leader. He is a fraud, a failure and a coward who ran for president in the first place to enhance his brand and make money off the public. Once in office, he became enthralled with power, adulation and grifting. He realized that being an authoritarian leader would allow him to express his sadistic and cruel tendencies — and that being a dictator would allow his racist and xenophobic and misogynistic impulses to run wild, without oversight or accountability. In the end, Trump decided that he wanted to remain in office so that he could establish an endless regime of Trumpism — all in his psychopathic image.

Americans should have realized back in 2016 that Trump was a bad actor who had nefarious and cruel intentions. He did not want to protect and serve the people. The oath of office was a bunch of isolated words that had no meaning to him. It was all a big lie and a big con from the beginning. Trump believed he could pull it off because he had spent his entire life promulgating a kind of alternate universe, with the help of enablers and a host of lawyers.

Trump's lies, conspiracy theories, magical thinking and corruption rapidly became normalized in our country, such that millions of Americans were radicalized. Fantasy and blather became more important than truth. Trump's alternate universe seemed to replace the real one. Our Constitution and the rule of law were corrupted. Our democracy was threatened. A psychopath was threatening democracy, and the media pretended not to notice. The opinions of mental health experts were rejected.

Ultimately, the judicial system and our Constitution stood tall throughout this presidency. Elected Republican officials did not. They either drank the Kool-aid or saw loyalty to Trump as a vehicle for personal political advancement. Either way, the Republican Party has been complicit and anti-democratic. Some of its members, perhaps most of them, want to carry on the mantle of Trumpism despite its malicious and destructive impact on our democracy. They will face their reckoning in due time.

Many of Trump's supporters will have a rude awakening when they realize that their esteemed cult leader was nothing more than a fraud. Once they see him prosecuted for his many crimes, they will understand his destructiveness to them and to our democracy. Truth will again become important. We will all be able to agree on observable facts. Negotiation and compromise will once again be central to our politics. Tribalism will gradually melt away as our interest in unity and cohesiveness expands.

Yet in many ways Trump has been a symptom rather than the sole cause of major divisions in our country. Racism, xenophobia, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, misogyny and other extreme forms of hate have been simmering in this country long before Trump. But these harmful and demoralizing issues will be easier to grapple with without a national leader who is psychopathic, anti-democratic and anti-American in his mental DNA.

ALAN D. BLOTCKY

Alan D. Blotcky, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama.

The dangerous mind of Donald Trump has been exposed

The disturbing events and images from Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, will live forever in infamy. It was on that day that insurrectionists attacked the sacred halls of the U.S. Capitol after being provoked, encouraged and fueled by President Donald Trump. It was Trump's last-ditch effort to overturn our democratic election because he is afraid of facing the criminal charges that may well await him. In his twisted and contorted mind, Trump must have believed that this mob attack on the Capitol would somehow allow him to hang onto power. This was the conniving and manipulative plan of a psychopath. In this attack we see Trump's conspiracy theories, dishonesty, victimhood, paranoia, desperation and cruelty. He is a sick man whose megalomania and violence have finally crossed the red line.

Donald Trump has proven that he must be stopped now. A psychopath lacks the ability for self-control, self-examination and self-correction. At the core is a total lack of conscience and shame. Trump is a criminal who will stop at nothing to achieve his personal wishes. Clearly, he was an accomplice to the violent acts of insurrection yesterday.

Trump has been allowed to be incompetent, cruel and corrupt for four years by his Cabinet, close associates, congressional Republicans, compliant right-wing media and millions of supporters. They have been complicit in enabling him. Mental health experts have tried to explain that psychopaths do not change their psyche and behavior unless they suffer consequences and face firm limits. Trump has suffered no real consequences and he has had few or no limits. He has been allowed to run wild. He has been allowed to kill people. He has been allowed to attack our democratic way of life.

Finally, limits were placed on him by the judicial system and by some state election officials who showed they possessed honor and spine. The judicial system provided the guardrails to contain this pathological president — if they had not, he would have disassembled our democracy by now. He would have stolen the election and assumed nearly absolute authority, with no semblance of oversight or accountability. His greed would be uncontrollable, and his cruelty toward the American people would cause even more deaths.

There is a natural tendency for the American people to admire and even adore our presidents. It is almost inconceivable that we would have elected a psychiatrically disordered monster to the highest office in the land. But that is exactly what we did.

Trump is a menace. It is an undeniable and unquestioned fact that his mental disorder is of such severe malignancy that it renders him dangerous and unfit. The red line has been crossed.

What other evidence do you need? What else must happen to convince his sycophants and followers that he is a con man and a madman all together in one?

This is not about policy or political ideology. This is about refusing to tolerate a psychopathic leader whose latest action is so anti-democratic and anti-American that he must be stopped in his tracks. He is clearly capable of causing more destruction and heartache in his final 13 days in office. Psychopaths do not cease on their own.

Trump must be stopped today. A small group of congressional Republican and Democratic leaders must tell him to cease all tweets, speeches, videos and actions during his last days. He must be totally absent from the people. He must be on house confinement. His days as an active president are over. And he must be told that the 25th Amendment will be invoked if he does not comply with this set of instructions. Impeachment is on the table as well.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, have both called for Trump to be removed via the 25th Amendment. Others will follow suit as the damn of denial breaks.

Donald Trump's mental desperation has reached its explosion point. Thirteen days is a long time for an aggrieved and violent madman to be allowed to hold any kind of power, let alone the awesome power of the American presidency.

Trump's pathology is serious business. It is intractable and incurable. He is not going to suddenly find shame and self-control and empathy. He is not going to apologize for his actions and ask for forgiveness. That would require an inner soul and heart.

We must stop this president today. He has earned our disdain and our ire by his actions. He is the aggressor — we are his victims. We must stop serving in that role.

The red line has been crossed. Swift and decisive action is needed. No rationalizations and no excuses are acceptable.

If 356,000 preventable deaths from the coronavirus pandemic are not enough, perhaps the events and images from Wednesday at the heart of American democracy will convince you that Donald Trump is a malicious criminal who does not give a damn about anyone or anything, except his own ego and his bank account.

We must make clear that our nation deserves better than this, and that we can't wait.

This could have been prevented: Mental health experts were silenced for telling the truth about Trump

There is an unambiguous reason why mental health experts have not been seen or heard or read in the national media during the past four years. The mainstream media has intentionally blocked these experts from speaking out about Donald Trump's mental pathology and its dangerous impact on the public's safety and welfare. The professionals who understand Trump the best have been gagged and muzzled. The media has been a major enabler of Trump — and that continues to this day.

Mental health experts could have helped to prevent Trump's election in 2016, minimized his destructiveness from 2016 to 2020, and/or thwarted his re-election chances in 2020. Their collective voices could have been loud, compelling and impactful. History will show that the mainstream media has been as complicit with Donald Trump as any other group of enablers, including congressional Republicans, cabinet members, close associates and his millions of supporters.

The role of the free press is vital in a representative democracy such as ours. It is protected in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The overarching purpose of the press is to be a watchdog of government and of our elected officials. The press is our indispensable friend. We depend on it to expose, inform, explain, interpret and, yes, warn. The free press is the foundation of our democratic way of life. It is what separates us from authoritarian regimes and third world countries.

A duty to warn the public is a central component of the role of the watchdog press. Politicians are under the microscope because they are our elected officials and must be held to account. That is the specific task of the press. When a politician is malicious or engages in nefarious activities, it is the responsibility of the free press to expose and warn — all for the greater good of the people.

It seems clear that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) informed prominent decision-makers in the mainstream media that its "Goldwater rule" prohibited psychiatrists — and perhaps others in the mental health field — from speaking out publicly about Donald Trump's mental health. The Goldwater rule is an ethical guideline advanced by the APA in 1973 that no one cared about until Trump became president. It asserts that psychiatrists should not comment on political figures because they have not interviewed them personally.

Far too many people in the media bought into the APA's narrative about the Goldwater rule. All mental health professionals were blocked from speaking out because it was deemed unethical. From that point on, any experts who chose to speak out anyway were to be seen as reckless and opportunistic.

The exact motives of the APA will never be known. One working theory is that the APA did not want to anger this president since that might have directly threatened the organization's federal funding and its scope of influence. After all, Trump responds with intense vindictiveness when he detects even slight disloyalty. The APA buckled, deciding that it needed to safeguard its own viability and sustainability. Its leading members did not want to rock the boat, and did not want any other members to do anything that might interfere with their organization's stature.

In fact, mental health experts are compelled to speak out when they see dangerousness or unfitness in a political figure. They have a social and ethical responsibility to voice their opinions and to inform the public. The public's safety and welfare are paramount. Experts who speak out are noble and good citizens and should be applauded, not ridiculed.

Almost immediately after Trump's election in 2016, mental health professionals were faced with an ethical dilemma imposed by the Goldwater rule. How could experts speak out in their duty to warn the public when they were supposedly prohibited from doing so by an ethical restraint?

Their conundrum was compounded by the media's decision to honor the Goldwater rule, and generally not allow mental health experts to voice their opinions.

In 2017, Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a psychiatrist, edited a bestselling book, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump." The chapters were written by mental health professionals who described Trump's mental pathology and dangerous qualities in detail. But that cutting-edge book did not open the floodgates for appearances by mental health experts in the media. In fact, they were blocked at every turn, and the Goldwater rule was often cited.

The Goldwater rule is outdated. Its relevance has passed. Today, mental health professionals have access to thousands of audios, videos, tweets, interviews, speeches, books, collateral interviews and more by politicians. A personal interview would be helpful, but it is not sufficient or comprehensive. Behavioral information over time is much more revealing, instructive and diagnostic.

Beyond that, mental health experts do not need to be shackled. They are highly trained. They have a wealth of knowledge. They are ethical. They do not discuss matters outside their area of expertise. They are fair and balanced. They acknowledge their limitations. Their political leanings are excluded in their well-reasoned opinions.

To add insult to injury, the media has had no qualms in publishing any number of articles by journalists about Trump's apparent pathology, while mental health experts themselves have been silenced. Furthermore, there is ample precedent for reporters, editors or producers to seek out experts in other medical specialties. For example, if Trump had a heart attack, cardiologists — who had not examined him — would be invited to share their expertise. The same should be true for mental health professionals.

As Trump's mental pathology became more malignant, it was hoped that leaders in the media would wake up, accept their vital role as watchdog, and actively encourage mental health experts to express their collective voices. Nothing of the kind happened. Many in the media dug in their heels, allowing Donald Trump to continue his mission of destruction without inviting the input of mental health experts. Their abdication of responsibility to warn the public has been glaring. Their lack of courage has been disappointing.

Trump's mental pathology has been a national emergency of historic proportions. But that stark reality has been largely undermined by the media — and the public is paying a devastating price: lies, gaslighting, pandemic deaths, economic woes, tribalism, racism, xenophobia, terrorism, cruelty, corruption, subversion and so much more.

Trump has been devilishly adept at undermining the media's credibility with the public. He has called the free press "the enemy of the people." When he does not like a story, he calls it "fake news." Millions of Americans now view the mainstream corporate media as hopelessly biased, liberal, and unfair in their coverage of the president. Trump's attacks served the purpose of putting the media on its heels. It became passive and reactive. It cowered, apologized, fired back weakly. Many in the media have treated Trump with kid gloves, hoping that perhaps his barrage of attacks on them would lessen or cease.

By not allowing experts to speak out, the media has contributed to the normalization of Trump's mental pathology — also known as malignant normality. Let us be clear: Donald Trump is a psychopath. He is in a class all to himself. Look at how he has created unprecedented havoc in the country since his election defeat. His desire to subvert our democracy is a reflection of the severity of his psychopathy. He is drunk with power, adulation, greed and corruption. He has utter contempt for the will of the people. His recorded conversation last Saturday with the Georgia secretary of state shows his potentially illegal attempt to overturn the election results in that state. Trump is a menace to the safety and welfare of the public.

Mental health experts should have been front and center in warning about Trump's pathology all along. But their voices have been silenced. And the public has been profoundly ill-informed about this president. Decisive information about his dangerousness, his unfitness, his cruelty and his corruption has been suppressed. His psychopathy has been allowed to flourish.

But here is the ultimate irony. The media and mental health experts have the exact same mission: to serve the public. They are not adversaries. They do not have conflicting goals. Duty to warn the public is the cornerstone for both. They should be working together in lockstep.

Trump could have been stopped years earlier had the media taken their duty seriously and provided the platform for mental health experts to speak out. Instead, they shirked their responsibility. They ran and hid. This silencing of mental health experts is a terrible untold story. This purposeful subversion of the duty to warn the public has had — and is still having — catastrophic consequences in our country.

The darkness and heartache of Donald Trump's last days in office make that only too clear.

How fear of Trump and the 'Goldwater rule' silenced mental health experts

There is an unambiguous reason why mental health experts have not been seen or heard or read in the national media during the past four years. The mainstream media has intentionally blocked these experts from speaking out about Donald Trump's mental pathology and its dangerous impact on the public's safety and welfare. The professionals who understand Trump the best have been gagged and muzzled. The media has been a major enabler of Trump — and that continues to this day.

Mental health experts could have helped to prevent Trump's election in 2016, minimized his destructiveness from 2016 to 2020, and/or thwarted his re-election chances in 2020. Their collective voices could have been loud, compelling and impactful. History will show that the mainstream media has been as complicit with Donald Trump as any other group of enablers, including congressional Republicans, cabinet members, close associates and his millions of supporters.

The role of the free press is vital in a representative democracy such as ours. It is protected in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The overarching purpose of the press is to be a watchdog of government and of our elected officials. The press is our indispensable friend. We depend on it to expose, inform, explain, interpret and, yes, warn. The free press is the foundation of our democratic way of life. It is what separates us from authoritarian regimes and third world countries.

A duty to warn the public is a central component of the role of the watchdog press. Politicians are under the microscope because they are our elected officials and must be held to account. That is the specific task of the press. When a politician is malicious or engages in nefarious activities, it is the responsibility of the free press to expose and warn — all for the greater good of the people.

It seems clear that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) informed prominent decision-makers in the mainstream media that its "Goldwater rule" prohibited psychiatrists — and perhaps others in the mental health field — from speaking out publicly about Donald Trump's mental health. The Goldwater rule is an ethical guideline advanced by the APA in 1973 that no one cared about until Trump became president. It asserts that psychiatrists should not comment on political figures because they have not interviewed them personally.

Far too many people in the media bought into the APA's narrative about the Goldwater rule. All mental health professionals were blocked from speaking out because it was deemed unethical. From that point on, any experts who chose to speak out anyway were to be seen as reckless and opportunistic.

The exact motives of the APA will never be known. One working theory is that the APA did not want to anger this president since that might have directly threatened the organization's federal funding and its scope of influence. After all, Trump responds with intense vindictiveness when he detects even slight disloyalty. The APA buckled, deciding that it needed to safeguard its own viability and sustainability. Its leading members did not want to rock the boat, and did not want any other members to do anything that might interfere with their organization's stature.

In fact, mental health experts are compelled to speak out when they see dangerousness or unfitness in a political figure. They have a social and ethical responsibility to voice their opinions and to inform the public. The public's safety and welfare are paramount. Experts who speak out are noble and good citizens and should be applauded, not ridiculed.

Almost immediately after Trump's election in 2016, mental health professionals were faced with an ethical dilemma imposed by the Goldwater rule. How could experts speak out in their duty to warn the public when they were supposedly prohibited from doing so by an ethical restraint?

Their conundrum was compounded by the media's decision to honor the Goldwater rule, and generally not allow mental health experts to voice their opinions.

In 2017, Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a psychiatrist, edited a bestselling book, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump." The chapters were written by mental health professionals who described Trump's mental pathology and dangerous qualities in detail. But that cutting-edge book did not open the floodgates for appearances by mental health experts in the media. In fact, they were blocked at every turn, and the Goldwater rule was often cited.

The Goldwater rule is outdated. Its relevance has passed. Today, mental health professionals have access to thousands of audios, videos, tweets, interviews, speeches, books, collateral interviews and more by politicians. A personal interview would be helpful, but it is not sufficient or comprehensive. Behavioral information over time is much more revealing, instructive and diagnostic.

Beyond that, mental health experts do not need to be shackled. They are highly trained. They have a wealth of knowledge. They are ethical. They do not discuss matters outside their area of expertise. They are fair and balanced. They acknowledge their limitations. Their political leanings are excluded in their well-reasoned opinions.

To add insult to injury, the media has had no qualms in publishing any number of articles by journalists about Trump's apparent pathology, while mental health experts themselves have been silenced. Furthermore, there is ample precedent for reporters, editors or producers to seek out experts in other medical specialties. For example, if Trump had a heart attack, cardiologists — who had not examined him — would be invited to share their expertise. The same should be true for mental health professionals.

As Trump's mental pathology became more malignant, it was hoped that leaders in the media would wake up, accept their vital role as watchdog, and actively encourage mental health experts to express their collective voices. Nothing of the kind happened. Many in the media dug in their heels, allowing Donald Trump to continue his mission of destruction without inviting the input of mental health experts. Their abdication of responsibility to warn the public has been glaring. Their lack of courage has been disappointing.

Trump's mental pathology has been a national emergency of historic proportions. But that stark reality has been largely undermined by the media — and the public is paying a devastating price: lies, gaslighting, pandemic deaths, economic woes, tribalism, racism, xenophobia, terrorism, cruelty, corruption, subversion and so much more.

Trump has been devilishly adept at undermining the media's credibility with the public. He has called the free press "the enemy of the people." When he does not like a story, he calls it "fake news." Millions of Americans now view the mainstream corporate media as hopelessly biased, liberal, and unfair in their coverage of the president. Trump's attacks served the purpose of putting the media on its heels. It became passive and reactive. It cowered, apologized, fired back weakly. Many in the media have treated Trump with kid gloves, hoping that perhaps his barrage of attacks on them would lessen or cease.

By not allowing experts to speak out, the media has contributed to the normalization of Trump's mental pathology — also known as malignant normality. Let us be clear: Donald Trump is a psychopath. He is in a class all to himself. Look at how he has created unprecedented havoc in the country since his election defeat. His desire to subvert our democracy is a reflection of the severity of his psychopathy. He is drunk with power, adulation, greed and corruption. He has utter contempt for the will of the people. His recorded conversation last Saturday with the Georgia secretary of state shows his potentially illegal attempt to overturn the election results in that state. Trump is a menace to the safety and welfare of the public.

Mental health experts should have been front and center in warning about Trump's pathology all along. But their voices have been silenced. And the public has been profoundly ill-informed about this president. Decisive information about his dangerousness, his unfitness, his cruelty and his corruption has been suppressed. His psychopathy has been allowed to flourish.

But here is the ultimate irony. The media and mental health experts have the exact same mission: to serve the public. They are not adversaries. They do not have conflicting goals. Duty to warn the public is the cornerstone for both. They should be working together in lockstep.

Trump could have been stopped years earlier had the media taken their duty seriously and provided the platform for mental health experts to speak out. Instead, they shirked their responsibility. They ran and hid. This silencing of mental health experts is a terrible untold story. This purposeful subversion of the duty to warn the public has had — and is still having — catastrophic consequences in our country.

The darkness and heartache of Donald Trump's last days in office make that only too clear.

Clinical psychologist breaks down the final, desperate days of our psychopath-in-chief: How bad will it get

We must face the alarming truth. Our irrational and reckless president will spend his last 23 days in office harboring the hope that a military coup in our country will allow him to remain in power. Or that Congress will overthrow the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6. Donald Trump is totally preoccupied with his existential survival as the walls of reality are closing in on him. He has been repudiated in the election. His psyche cannot comprehend how he could have lost to such an ordinary, mortal man. He is beside himself with embarrassment and humiliation. He is driven by revenge. He wants to settle scores. His thin veneer of greatness and superiority is crumbling away. He is desperate and flailing.

Trump is a psychopath. He has all the defining characteristics in spades: narcissistic, sadistic, antisocial, paranoid. This is malignant psychopathology in the embodiment of our president. He has the kind of personality pathology that should be unacceptable in our top public servant. Trump should have been rooted out in 2016. A psychopath should never have been elected to the highest office in the land. We have been suffering for it ever since: division, tribalism, hostility, racism, xenophobia, terrorism and more.

Some mental health professionals voiced concern about Trump's mental health after his election in 2016. In late 2017, 37 mental health professionals described Trump's dangerousness and unfitness in a bestselling book, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump." But the publication of that book did not open the floodgates for mental health experts to voice their opinions in the media. In fact, there was considerable pushback from concerned colleagues. Plus, the mainstream media showed a rather strong allegiance to the antiquated "Goldwater rule" advanced by the American Psychiatric Association. Mental health experts were largely rebuffed by the media. As a result, the public was ill-informed and Donald Trump was elected.

Four years later, Trump was defeated by Vice President Joe Biden in November 2020, but not with the help of the mainstream media. Once again, the media buckled under the smothering influence of the Goldwater rule. Journalists' descriptions of Trump's pathology were published in the media, but experts themselves were muzzled. The primary exception, in fact, was Salon, which published commentary from a number of mental health professionals leading up to the November election and did not shy away from exposing the disturbing features of Donald Trump.

So here we are. Twenty-three days to go, and we are all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the next dreadful and unimaginable act from this disordered man. Our Constitution states that we are to have a peaceful and orderly transition of power to the next president. But we should not be surprised by Trump's desperate attempts to save himself by throwing democracy under the bus. Once and for all, we should be convinced that our psychopath in chief does not give a damn about the preciousness of our democratic way of life.

Trump is now totally consumed with his survival, his self-preservation. He cares about nothing else. He has totally abdicated his role as president. He is preoccupied with his anger, his grievances, his conspiracy theories and his conniving plans. He is a man on a mission to save his power and his pride simultaneously. It is a mission borne out of utter contempt for the will of the people.

He is willing to use corruption and seditious behavior to subvert democracy for his personal gain. He is trying to find the right conspiracy theory or voter-fraud narrative that will allow him to hang onto power. He does not understand why the guardrails of democracy are deterring him. He cannot fathom why the U.S. Supreme Court has not come to his rescue, especially after he has appointed three "Trump" associate justices. He does not treasure democracy. If anything, he sees it as an annoying obstacle to his goal of establishing a family dynasty. He wants to be a dictator or, better yet, a king.

He has turned his back on the thousands of Americans who are dying each week from the coronavirus. He has not mentioned the pandemic in weeks. He has not listened to a public health expert in months. He does not pay tribute to our fallen Americans. He has washed his hands of all responsibility for our pathetic response to this once-in-a-century national emergency. He is pretending that the coronavirus is gone, much as he pretends that he is smart and great and strong. He seems to derive a kind of sadistic pleasure from watching Americans die under his direction. He must see himself as the master of misery. Remember it was Trump who shut down a U.S. Postal Service plan to mail masks to all Americans. He also shut down mass testing and trace contacting.

Trump has abandoned the economic mess he caused. He did not lift a finger in the negotiation and passage of the new COVID relief bill, held it hostage for a couple of days for the drama of it all, and finally signed it. His erratic behavior has cost millions of Americans one week of their unemployment benefits. He acts as if the economy is humming along well when, in fact, we have had a net loss of 11 million jobs during the pandemic. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed permanently since March. He has not had a concrete plan for restoring the country's economy. Such a plan is not possible while the coronavirus is still surging in infections and deaths. To this day, he will not acknowledge the interconnectedness of the pandemic with our collapsed economy. And our economy is getting worse, not better.

His paranoia is raging as his desperation mounts. Trump is lashing out against even his most ardent apologists. He is accusing others of disloyalty and abandonment. He asked for Joe Biden to be arrested weeks before the election. He always sees himself as the victim when he is exposed or challenged or cornered. To be sure, his victimhood is both inaccurate and disingenuous. He is never the victim. He is always the one who is aggressive, cruel and reckless. His victimhood is a cynical psychological ploy to garner sympathy from his supporters and to try to wriggle out of a jam. But this jam is too much for him: He has lost the election fair and square, he has been abysmal in his handling of the pandemic and the economy is in dire shape. This trifecta cannot be overcome.

Trump is now issuing a spree of sleazy pardons. He has pardoned two people who lied to the FBI during the Mueller investigation, two corrupt ex-congressmen, and four war criminals who were involved in a 2007 massacre of civilians in Iraq. A few days ago, he pardoned his son-in-law's father and two of his closest associates (Roger Stone and Paul Manafort). Trump has always been aligned with criminal friends and associates. Psychopaths are attracted to other psychopaths. They have a shared lack of conscience and an obvious absence of shame. This is the president who put young children in cages at the border and now has pardoned murderers — a glimpse inside the hollow heart and soul of Donald Trump.

If Trump pardons his children and himself during the next three weeks, it will be a clear confession of wrongdoing by the psychopath in chief. Innocent presidents do not need to pardon themselves or their family members. A pardon is intended to absolve criminal actions. It would prove that Trump's victimhood is pure mythology.

Let us not forget Trump's unrelenting adulation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has recently turned a blind eye to Russia's massive cyberattack on our country. Trump has consistently put Putin's interests above ours. Two psychopaths in collusion will be the confirmed story.

Trump has been grifting nonstop since his election defeat in November. He has received more than $220 million in donations from his supporters, under the guise of fighting election fraud. In truth, the money will be used to pay off his campaign debt and to fund his PAC. It will be his personal piggybank. He is fleecing his supporters, and they do not seem to notice or care. Grifting others is Trump's only natural skill. But it is hardly the makings of a president who deserves to be on Mount Rushmore.

Trump still finds time to play golf on weekends and holidays. Nothing will stop that — not even a car bombing in downtown Nashville on Christmas Day. He would never let responsibility or care for others interfere with his pleasure at taxpayer expense ($151 million and counting). He has no understanding of how pathetic he looks on the golf course while thousands of Americans are struggling to take their last breaths or standing in food bank lines because they have been unemployed since March. A chance to cheat at golf while the country is not looking is way too much fun for him to pass up.

Trump is on a collision course with self-destruction. He is the Titanic and everyone around him is beginning to jump ship. Former Attorney General Bill Barr has jumped ship. Evangelist Pat Robertson has jumped ship. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has jumped ship. Even Vice President Mike Pence has one foot in the water. It is just a matter of time before Trump wakes up in an empty room of silence and gold toilets.

Republicans must accept their share of blame for their complicity with this destructive president. At any point along the way they could have found their collective voices and stopped him. Their party is teetering on the brink of irrelevance if they do not separate themselves from Trump. They have a chance to begin that separation on Jan. 6 in Congress when they refuse to participate in Trump's demand — fueled by bribes and threats — to reject the Electoral College results.

Because loyalty is a one-way street for Trump, he will end up alone. He will still have his children and his son-in-law, of course — they are stuck with him. But one or all of them may turn on him when criminal charges are finally filed. Before it is over, Trump's closest friend may be his cellmate.

Democracy will prevail. Trump will be gone on Jan. 20. He will not attend Joe Biden's inauguration because he cannot tolerate the embarrassment of his loss. He cannot even fake humility and kindness for an hour or two for the good of the country. He will slither away through the back door of the White House, all the while proclaiming victory and affirming his exalted status as the best president ever. After all, he has to maintain his "idealized self" of indispensable greatness.

Historians will be extremely unkind to Trump. He will be seared by presidential scholars. He will deserve all their harshness and condemnation. He will likely be remembered as the worst president in U.S. history. His legacy will be one of incompetence, cruelty and corruption. If he thinks he is humiliated now, wait until his supporters wake up and finally reject him for being such a failed, miserable and treasonous leader.

Hopefully, Donald Trump will be our one and only psychopath as president. We must not put ourselves through this national anguish and darkness again. Above all else, we must make sure the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans teach us an unforgettable lesson.

Lesson learned. Never again.

Here's how we can neutralize Trump during his dangerous last month in office

His diagnosis is clear. The remedies for his pernicious impact on America are clear as well.

In just over a month from now, Donald Trump — a malignant narcissist— will be removed from office by the will of the people and by the Constitution. Until then, his seditious, conspiratorial and corrupt influence will be front and center. He continues to promulgate the false narrative that victory in the election was snatched away from him by widespread voter fraud. He keeps filing baseless and frivolous lawsuits, even as high as the U.S. Supreme Court. He is ginning up his supporters, and at least 126 congressional Republicans have publicly supported him, out of a combination of misguided loyalty, opportunism and fear. Joe Biden will be our next president, but it is undeniable that Trump will exert a dangerous and destructive presence to his final day in office, and beyond.

It is unhealthy for us to sit back passively and allow this soon-to-be ex-president to continue to inflict damage on America. Trump's abusive impact is not unavoidable. It can be stopped.

Ten remedies exist to deal with Trump in his final days.

  1. The media must stop giving him attention. They must stop covering his every utterance. No more videos, audios, print stories or interviews. Attention is Trump's oxygen and lifeblood. He cannot negatively influence others if his visibility is curtailed or ended. If Trump organizes an alternative inauguration or a "campaign rally" on Jan. 20, it must not be broadcast or covered in any way. Bizarre and anti-American activities must not be given credibility. It must remain a part of his pathological fantasyland — not a part of our political and social reality.
  2. Americans can do their part by not watching or listening to him. Turn off the television and the radio. Do not watch him on social media. He is old news. He is irrelevant. His message must be abhorred and soundly repudiated.
  3. His Twitter account should be suspended. Stopping his Twitter activity would go a long way to neutralizing his impact. Trump tweets frequently — it is his most direct way to stay in contact with the public. His tweeting must be interrupted for the good of the country.
  4. Facebook and other social media platforms must do a better job of rooting out disinformation. Trump supporters have been ramped up by false and toxic rhetoric. That is unhealthy for them, and for the country. Making money as a business is one thing; contributing to seditious unrest in the country is another. Social media platforms must assume a more responsible role in our democracy.
  5. The mainstream media needs to allow mental health professionals to speak out. Experts have been almost entirely blocked out. It is long overdue to hear from professionals in the mental health field. Duty to warn the public is far more compelling than the outdated "Goldwater rule." Let experts be at the forefront of the discussion about this destructive and irrational traitor.
  6. Congressional Republicans need to put country over party and begin to speak out — loudly and forcefully. They need to abide by their oath of office. They need to find courage and boldness in Trump's final days. They must condemn his anti-democratic rhetoric and behavior. Loyalty to him is unacceptable. Fear of him is weakness.
  7. A small group of congressional Republicans need to speak with Trump in private and compel him to stop his rhetoric, concede the election and participate in the peaceful and orderly transfer of power. That's what Sen. Barry Goldwater and other Republican leaders did with Richard Nixon at the end of his presidency. These Republicans would be remembered as heroes.
  8. If Trump does not heed the private warning, he should be publicly asked to resign. Invoking the 25th Amendment remains a viable option.
  9. Trump needs to resign and allow Mike Pence to finish out the last few weeks of his term. He may well do this anyway, so that Pence can pardon Trump and his entire family. Regardless of how distasteful that is, it would at least get him out of the Oval Office and extricate ourselves from his dictatorial maneuvers.
  10. Finally, Americans should speak out and contact their elected officials to let them know that it is time for Trump to either shut his mouth or resign. Let your opinions be known. Being a citizen in a representative democracy requires active participation. Make a phone call or send an email.

It's fine that Trump does not want to attend the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. He does not deserve to witness it. We should demand that he slither away through the back door of the White House so that we do not have to endure his parting rants and raves.

The Trump nightmare is coming to an end. Let us hasten his exit from the scene. He has done too much damage to our institutions and to the collective psyche of America to tolerate this any longer.

Achieving a sense of closure from this man's malevolence will take time. It will not happen overnight. His pathological impact will dwindle slowly as we go forward. Positive, optimistic and hopeful political discourse will lead the way. We cannot remain hostage to his era of divisiveness and regressive decay.

Trump must be held accountable. He must be prosecuted for his crimes. That is the only way to demonstrate to all Americans — both those who support him and those who do not— that his criminal behavior has serious consequences.

Trump has done this to himself. He is not the victim. He uses victimhood to garner sympathy and to enlist the support of others who feel aggrieved. Victimhood is a deeply cynical process when it is false, fake and manipulative. It always is for him.

Trump's place in the history books is set. "Worst president in history" will be in every first and last paragraph. It will be his unchanging legacy.

So let us put Donald Trump in the rearview mirror sooner rather than later, where he belongs. As we do that, let us remember the 300,000 fallen Americans who will not be celebrating the holiday season, or our new dawn in America, with the rest of us. Their memories will be a constant reminder of what we have endured — and overcome.

ALAN D. BLOTCKY

Alan D. Blotcky, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama.

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SETH D. NORRHOLM

Seth D. Norrholm is an associate professor of psychiatry in the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

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ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI

Anthony Scaramucci is a financier and past White House director of communications. He lives in Washington.

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41 days of pure hell: Donald Trump can't handle the emotions triggered by his defeat

Donald Trump has 41 days to go before his presidency is over. Instead of assisting with the peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden, he has chosen to spend his final days exhibiting his psychiatric disorder. His rhetoric and his behavior are manifestations of his pathology. He shows every day that he has no self-control, no insight and no capacity to function effectively at his job.

Trump lost the election fair and square. But he cannot handle the defeat because his narcissistic injury has triggered outrage, hostility, accusations and victimhood. Despite his loud proclamations of a rigged election, there is absolutely no evidence of it. Trump has been rejected by a majority of the American people, and now he is an angry, miserable and destructive loser.

Trump is not capable of experiencing true depression. His psyche is not equipped for such a normal response. Rather, he responds to loss or disappointment by becoming enraged and accusatory. He feels and acts as if he were a victim. Trump's response is primitive and pathological. It is pathognomonic of personality pathology. It is entirely outside the realm of normalcy. It is dangerous.

Trump's "alternative universe" is being threatened by the reality of his election loss. He is desperate to maintain the persona of being smart, superior, strong and almighty. This is his "false self," a fantasy created to cover up the truth: that he is not very smart, that he is lazy, that he is disinterested, that he is not as rich as he claims, that he does not care about people, that he is corrupt and that he is cruel. That is Trump's "true self." He has spent his entire life spinning a fake web of grandiosity and superiority with enablers along the way to keep the ruse alive. As president, he has convinced millions that his false persona is more true than observable reality. That, my friends, is a skilled con man, an accomplished grifter, an unabashed criminal.

From all reports, Trump has stopped working. His days are filled with angry outbursts, watching television, promulgating conspiracy theories and playing golf. He is incapacitated by his psychiatric symptoms. He is abdicating his responsibility as president. The idea that he is our ultimate public servant could not be further from the truth. Trump is totally self-absorbed with his narcissistic injury and his grievances. Governing others is beyond his psychic capacity. In fact, it is his vindictiveness and his irrationality that have risen to the forefront.

So Trump's mental pathology is not allowing him to tackle the existential challenge facing the American people: the deadly pandemic that is raging and the resulting economic fallout. He has washed his hands of it. He has not mentioned it in months. He has not attended a task force meeting in months. He has not mentioned the 288,000 deaths under his watch — a number that will have grown by the time you read this. He continues to oppose mask wearing and favor herd immunity, for no coherent or rational reasons. He just endangered the lives of many other people a few nights ago at his pep rally in Georgia. Trump's lack of empathy, his inability to govern and his deep-seated cruelty are all on display in their most naked form.

Part of Trump's pathology is his scorched-earth mentality in response to his electoral defeat. He is filing baseless and frivolous lawsuits to try to overturn our free election. He is trying to subvert democracy by pressuring election officials to be dishonest and corrupt. He is exacting his revenge on Americans for rebuffing him. He is trying to undermine his successor so that he will be unsuccessful. He wants to pardon everyone in sight so that the rule of law will not apply to them. He wants to reinstitute executions by firing squad. He is not allowing the Biden transition team to talk with our intelligence agencies. Fascist sycophants are coming out of the woodwork to condone Trump's anti-democratic and anti-American rants.

He is so angry, embarrassed and humiliated that he cannot stand it. His instinct is to lash out, blame others, hurt others, distort reality, claim victory and exhibit false bravado. Nothing about his response is healthy, mature or normal. He is out of control. Our country is being forced to tolerate his crazed rhetoric and behavior.

Forty-one more days of hell are ahead of us. What could possibly save our country from this man's decompensation before our eyes? His immediate removal from office would minimize his damage to America. But, of course, congressional Republicans are enabling him and will not intervene in any way, let alone appropriately. Short of that, we will just have to endure the angst of the next six weeks.

Historians will be critical of Republicans because of their complicity over the past four years. Their unwillingness to deal with this irrational and destructive president right now will stand as their unforgivable legacy. Almost to a person, they have been silent and absent. They have been weak. As of this week, only 27 congressional Republicans are willing to acknowledge publicly that Joe Biden is our president-elect. Donald Trump could have been contained by a Republican Party that put country over party, good over evil, and courage over cowardice. But it did not.

The moral of this nightmare is that we must never again elect a mentally disordered president. We must require a psychological and psychiatric examination of all presidential candidates going forward, to be administered by a team of qualified experts. We must have a process whereby dangerous psychopathology can be identified and specific recommendations for public service can be offered. We could have saved our country from the past four years of anguish if we'd had a such a process in place in 2016.

Forty-one days to go to rid ourselves of this toxic and self-destructive man. We will prevail. But it will be hell getting there.

Donald Trump will make sure of that. He wants it that way.

ALAN D. BLOTCKY

Alan D. Blotcky, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama.

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SETH D. NORRHOLM

Seth D. Norrholm is an associate professor of psychiatry in the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

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Trump's disordered psyche cannot handle his loss — and he must be stopped from wreaking havoc now

Jan. 20 cannot get here fast enough. Donald Trump is running wild with his disingenuous and false proclamations of a rigged election, rampant voter fraud and a stolen victory. Unbelievably, he is now claiming that the FBI and Department of Justice contributed to his fantastical claims of voter fraud. We have 50 days to go to survive this madman's deceitful and harmful rhetoric.

Let us be clear: Joe Biden won the election fair and square in what has arguably been the most scrutinized election in recent U.S. history. Trump has filed baseless and frivolous lawsuits and not a shred of evidence of massive voter fraud has been offered. In fact, his attorneys, with their bar licenses on the line, have repeatedly stated on the record, "This is not a fraud case." Yet Trump persists with his attention-seeking rants and raves.

Trump has lost. His psyche cannot handle the reality of the moment — that he has been repudiated by the American people. He is embarrassed, humiliated and scared, quite likely because he knows he is facing federal and state criminal charges once he leaves office. Trump is desperately trying to hold onto power to save his own hide. This is about his self-preservation. This is about him hiding out in the Oval Office so that he can avoid incarceration. To be sure, Trump's desperation is a confession-of-sorts of his wrongdoing.

Donald Trump is our outgoing president. He is old news. His voice is irrelevant. He has lost the bully pulpit. He should be packing his bags. He should be out of view. He should be saying goodbye and making plans for his life as a civilian.

We should not be giving Trump air time over the next 50 days. His lies, conspiracy theories and fake assertions are toxic. His Twitter account should be suspended or canceled. Television networks should not air his blather. He should not be quoted in newspapers or on websites. We should stop talking about him at the dinner table at home, with co-workers or in our online interactions. He needs to be out of our minds and out of the public consciousness.

Just like a screaming and defiant young child, Trump needs to be put in timeout — indefinitely. He should be silenced. He should be sequestered. We must not allow him to have the attention he thrives on — and any attention is positive reinforcement to him. The media must not allow his virulent voice to be heard.

Frankly, the media must stop normalizing his behavior, must stop trying to fit an ordered framework around his mentally disordered mind, and must stop using charming, storytelling descriptions such as "Mad King." The damage from this reckless and unfit president will be felt for decades. A necessary first step is to cut off the source.

Joe Biden is our future. He and Kamala Harris are the adults in the room who will provide strong and empathic leadership. The media should attend to their ideas, their plans and their expectations. Unity, inclusiveness and honesty is their mantra going forward. Let's give them our eyes and our ears. They deserve our full engagement now.

Trump should not be allowed to cause more damage on his way out. It's not like he is trying to attend to the pandemic or solve our economic woes. It's not like he is trying to save lives or pass a stimulus package for Americans who are suffering. No, all he is doing is promulgating false and fake conspiracy theories about the election — none of which are even remotely true. Worse than that, he has unsuccessfully tried to subvert democracy by overthrowing our election results.

Donald Trump's disordered psyche is his own damn problem. We have spent the past four years trying to navigate his erratic, nonsensical and inept behavior. It should not be our country's concern any longer. Trump needs a psychotherapist and likely some very strong medicine. That's his business. What we need is for him to leave us the hell alone.

Donald Trump needs to be gone. Short of members of his Cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment — which will not happen — we need to cut off his ravenous desire for attention.

It is obvious that congressional Republicans will not put pressure on the outgoing president to be quiet. They have proven themselves to be spineless cowards who cannot put country over their own political fortunes. They need to tell Trump to abandon his pernicious rhetoric and to focus on the peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden.

We should demand the silence of this miserable, desperate, pathetic man.

He needs to be put in timeout — indefinitely.

ALAN D. BLOTCKY

Alan D. Blotcky, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama.

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SETH D. NORRHOLM

Seth D. Norrholm is an associate professor of psychiatry in the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

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ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI

Anthony Scaramucci is a financier and past White House director of communications. He lives in Washington.

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A new beginning: Experts explain how we'll survive our bad breakup with Donald Trump

The breakup of a relationship with a malignant narcissist is fraught with danger and uncertainty every step of the way. Such is the case with Donald Trump. Our breakup with him will be on center stage for the next 60 days. It has already proven to be grueling and disruptive and painful. Democracy feels like it is teetering. Republicans are silent and absent. Trump supporters are disappointed and unwilling to severe their cult-like bond with him.

But we will emerge from this bad breakup. We will survive. We will be stronger than before, especially if we take steps to minimize the damage and strengthen our healthy resolve.

As we have predicted, Trump's election defeat has triggered tremendous embarrassment and humiliation for him. He is now throwing a big temper tantrum — what we call narcissistic rage. He is like a screaming, stomping petulant child. His self-image of grandiosity and superiority is melting away. He is desperately afraid that we will all see that the emperor has no clothes.

Trump is refusing to concede the election for fear that he will be perceived as a loser. He is filing frivolous and baseless lawsuits. He is pushing Republicans to manufacture voter fraud in certain states. He is ginning up his base to support his false and fake narratives of victory.

Trump is now refusing to do his job. Yet playing golf on the weekends at taxpayers' expense is acceptable because he can cheat and win. He cannot work because he is totally consumed with figuring out a way to hang onto power at any cost. He is a desperate and pathetic man. His loud bravado belies his personal and political weakness. He does not mind that his corruption and lack of moral compass are on full display.

President-elect Joe Biden's transition team has been stopped cold in its tracks by a government employee who is showing fierce loyalty to the president. Trump is not allowing Biden to have access to intelligence briefings and coronavirus data. Trump is a bully who is acting as if the federal government were his own personal playground. He has no understanding that he is a public servant who holds office at the will of the people. And the people have spoken loud and clear at the ballot box.

Worse than defiance and obstructionism is Trump's scorched earth mentality. Consistent with being a malignant narcissist, Trump believes that everyone and everything should go down with him. He will seek revenge and destroy people if he can. He will undermine democratic norms and institutions. He wants to make sure that the Biden administration starts out with a mountain of ashes rather than a unified and hearty country. He is ignoring the spike in COVID cases across the country and he does not care that 252,000 American souls (and counting) have perished under his direction.

What we are seeing now is Trump's psychopathology gone amok. He is not capable of reigning in the dysfunctional and destructive parts of his personality. His self-control is nil. The pressures and stress of losing this election have overwhelmed his psyche. He is agitated and hostile and flailing. His breakup with America is going poorly because he is an unhealthy man. This is not politics or love of country — this is one man's psychopathology creating turmoil and havoc for millions of us.

But we will survive this breakup. Trump has lost the election and he will be removed from office at noon on Jan. 20, 2021. His official voice will be retired. He will lose his bully pulpit. His pep rallies of misinformation and lies will come to a halt. Trump will slither away behind the scenes so that he does not have to show the face of defeat to the world. Fortunately, our Constitution provides the guardrail for ridding us of this failed and defeated leader.

The best way to survive this breakup is to invest energy and hope in our new president, Joe Biden. Biden is the father figure we need to confront the existential challenges we face. He is experienced and committed and wise. He has been a true public servant for over 40 years. He will address and fix the pandemic, the economic recession and the recent undermining of democratic institutions. Biden has the temperament, empathy, gravitas and skill to navigate this complicated and anxiety-producing time.

Biden will be the anti-Trump in many important ways for the mental health of our country. There will not be an "alternative universe" of false narratives and self-aggrandizement. There will be a return to an emphasis on science and the truth. The Biden administration will be a corrective emotional experience for those of us who have been traumatized by Trump's reign of terror for the past four years.

Many Americans will get closure from this breakup. For some, it will be the image of Trump walking out of the White House for the last time, or Biden placing his hand on the Bible at the inauguration. For others, it may take the legal, financial and social fallout that will come to Trump once he emerges from the protective bubble of the Oval Office.

Our successful breakup with Trump must be promoted by the media. Trump's Twitter account should be suspended because of his corrosive and toxic propaganda. Media coverage of him must be curtailed. Fox News should dissociate from him. OAN and Newsmax ought to do the same. Trump's attempts to establish a media presence must be thwarted.

Donald Trump's oxygen is attention from the public — he cannot maintain an influence in America without it. For our safety and well-being and sanity, we need Trump to vanish from our public consciousness. But he will not disappear voluntarily — we must force him out with clear intentions and firm boundaries.

Once Trump is removed, the tone and tenor of our country will change. We will adopt the mantra of unity, inclusiveness and honesty going forward. Racism, xenophobia, sexism and terrorism will be rejected without exception on a national level. It will be our new normal.

Trump's supporters and sycophants have had a tight emotional and irrational bond with him, largely because of the phenomenon of collective narcissism. Their connection will be broken once Trump is removed from power. Their gradual deprogramming from their cult leader will take time. A return to political discourse with negotiation and compromise will eventually occur.

Trump supporters are not the enemy. Their grievances and concerns merit attention. They want to be heard and valued. They want to count. Their sociocultural and economic issues must be addressed. Biden has already announced that he wants to be the president for all Americans.

A bad breakup with Donald Trump was inevitable. Relationships with malignant narcissists always end badly with great angst. This is no exception.

We will survive this breakup. What now feels so confusing and frightening will soon lead to sunshine and a new beginning.

Ex-Trump official: Here's how the 'morally bankrupt' GOP will help 'coward' Trump cheat on Election Day

This Election Day has the potential to be epic. The repudiation of Donald Trump will bring unprecedented challenges to the results. Undoubtedly, Trump's response to defeat will be dramatic and unsettling and anti-democratic. We all need to be prepared with a heightened sense of anticipation and watchfulness.

Anthony Scaramucci is a lifelong Republican and former White House Director of Communications. He has had a front row seat to Donald Trump and his presidency.

We asked Scaramucci a number of questions about Trump and his response to defeat on Election Day. His thoughts are both revealing and frightening.

What would you anticipate Trump's reaction will be to a loss?

Trump will have a fight and then flight response. He'll tweet furiously, try to discredit the process and appeal to his judges to overturn the results, but when he realizes it's all over, he'll slink out of the White House in shame. People say he'll have to be forcibly removed – there is no chance of that happening. He's too much of a coward to put up a fight.

Will he ultimately help Biden in a peaceful transition?

No, I don't think Trump will offer any help to Biden in the transition. Given his deep narcissism and insecurity, any success in the Biden administration will be viewed as an affront to his legacy. He and his acolytes will do everything possible to sow division and sabotage the Biden administration. During Trump's term we've seen that today's Republican party is morally bankrupt. The modern GOP is focused exclusive on accumulating power, not improving the lives of the American people.

Why is he so absolutely desperate to be re-elected?

Two reasons. One, it's an ego thing. He doesn't like to lose. He compares himself to other people, especially President Obama, and if he loses it will be a personal failure. Two, he wants to avoid prosecution for his multitude of high crimes. I don't think he ever wanted or expected to win in the first place. His 2016 campaign was an elaborate branding exercise for the Trump organization. He had prepared his entire messaging campaign around blaming voter fraud for his defeat, a narrative he's repackaged for 2020. Nobody was more shocked and scared on election night 2016 than Donald Trump. Once he got comfortable in office and realized the cowardice of his Republican colleagues, he dialed up the brazenness of the corruption – shaking down foreign leaders for bribes in exchange for foreign policy concessions, diverting federal funds to his businesses and stealing money from his campaign. Now he's in too deep to back down, but the walls are closing in.

You know him. Does he have any capacity for insight? Or is he totally self-absorbed?

Trump is completely self-absorbed and has no capacity for insight. He doesn't listen to or take advice from anyone. That's what I got most wrong in 2016 – I thought he would grow into the office of the presidency and be a pragmatic, post-partisan type of leader. What I didn't realize is that he had no interest in learning, growing or serving the American people. He only thinks about how he can bend a situation to his own self-interest.

Will he enlist Bill Barr to try to have mail in ballots thrown out?

Yes, the GOP's entire campaign strategy in this cycle is to cheat and suppress votes. The Justice Department and Supreme Court are like a venomous snake lying in wait to steal the election. We've already seen the groundwork being laid with challenges to mail-in ballots in places like Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Obviously, we know the history in Florida. Barr has been eerily quiet, I suspect in anticipation of an attempted heist the likes of which America has never seen. The GOP has no shame, which is why we need to tear the whole party down.

Why has he proven himself to be incapable of pivoting on any issue? Why he doubles down every time?

Trump doesn't like to admit he's wrong. In fact, it's a core part of his personal philosophy: never apologize. I've only seen him apologize twice in his life. The first, to Melania after the release of the Access Hollywood tape. The second, to the family of the real Pocahontas for linking them to Elizabeth Warren. Also, he's so insecure that he feels loyalty to those who show him support. He doesn't really have any closely held convictions, other than self-interest. Even though it has hurt his reelection chances, he refuses to veer away from his base.

How will he try to steal the election?

The GOP is trying every which way to invalidate ballots, especially mail-in ballots. They sabotaged the postal service so delivery is heavily delayed. They have eliminated ballot drop box locations in places like Texas. They tried to reintroduce a poll tax in Florida. In South Carolina, they'll use signature matching to try to invalidate ballots. They've purged voter rolls in Georgia. But the ace up their sleeve will be last-minute legal challenges to mail-in ballots. For example, in Minnesota, there are still around 500,000 mail-in ballots in transit. In a 2-1 partisan ruling, Minnesota judges instructed the board of elections to segregate ballots received after election day. The newly conservative Supreme Court will likely order those ballots tossed out, despite no precedent for such a decision. Judge Kavanaugh already issued a highly flawed and dishonest ruling about ballots post-marked before election day. The groundwork has been laid for an election day heist.

He seems ultimately self-destructive. Always shoots himself in the foot? How do you see that?

People who hate themselves are ultimately self-destructive. When things are going well for them, they find ways to self-sabotage. That was true of Trump's mentor Roy Cohn, and it's true for Trump. I think if he had opened the tent and been a more inclusive leader, he could've won in spite of the pandemic. Nobody hates Trump more than he hates himself, and it comes down to his father's disapproval of him from an early age.

Beware of Donald Trump on Election Day. Scaramucci describes him as desperate, conniving, and anti-democratic. He will do anything to preserve his power and to fend off criminal charges against him.

Let's be clear: Democracy itself is on the ballot tomorrow. Trump must be stopped. And his efforts to hijack the election must be thwarted.

Alan D. Blotcky, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama.

Seth D. Norrholm, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Wayne State University Medical School in Detroit, Michigan.

Trump is desperate — and his mental pathology is getting worse every day: mental health experts

Despite the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus at the White House, Donald Trump still insists that "it's going to disappear." To make matters worse, he proclaims, "We have a cure." We have lost 220,000 Americans to a deadly pandemic. And what does he say? "I'm immune. So the president is in very good shape to fight the battles." He continues to promulgate lies and misinformation about the pandemic.

At his rally in Florida in front of 7,000 supporters, Trump announced, "I feel so powerful. I'll walk into that audience, I'll walk in there, kiss everyone in that audience. I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women, just give you a big fat kiss." This is hypomanic hypersexuality from our president.

Last Thursday evening at his town hall on NBC, Trump admitted that he had retweeted a QAnon conspiracy theory that the killing of Osama bin Laden was fake and had been staged by Barack Obama and Joe Biden. A bizarre conspiracy theory gone awry.

On Friday, Trump told a crowd in Georgia that he "might have to leave the country" if he loses the election to Biden. That sounds like a semi-confession of his corruption.

At a campaign rally in Wisconsin on Saturday, he asserted that the National Guard's physical altercations with protesters were "beautiful." Trump's glorification of violence.

At his rally in Michigan on the same day, he criticized Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — recently the subject of a kidnapping plot busted by the FBI — and the crowd chanted, "Lock her up." His response: "Lock them all up." Trump's vindictiveness toward political foes.

Donald Trump is a desperate man. His recklessness is growing by the hour as his poll numbers are failing and his presidency is coming to a crashing end. His mental pathology is front and center. His psyche is unraveling before our eyes.

Trump is in an existential crisis of his own making. George Conway — a lifelong Republican, Washington attorney and co-founder of the Lincoln Project — summed it up best when we reached out to him: "We've seen how he is continuing to reach new depths. He realizes he is headed toward destruction."

Trump is now wildly out of control with his ranting tweets, lies, conspiracy theories, threats, gaslighting and erratic behavior. His pronouncements are getting more disturbed and destructive. He is telling senior citizens that they are not vulnerable to the coronavirus. He is telling the public that they should not let the coronavirus dominate their lives. He even stated that he must be a perfect physical specimen because he recovered from COVID-19 so quickly (completely disregarding the powerful cocktail of drugs he received). He was recently live on the air twice in one day on Fox News, airing his unmoored grievances, soothing his injured ego, projecting ridiculous grandiosity and collecting narcissistic fuel.

Alarmingly, Trump is losing his grip on reality. He is agitated. He seems to be hypomanic — quite likely exacerbated by his COVID-19 medications. He has become paranoid. He has been calling out for his political opponents to be indicted. He has been preoccupied with a totally fake conspiracy theory about Barack Obama and Joe Biden spying on his campaign. He is lashing out at some of his most loyal cabinet members. He is even blaming Gold Star families for giving him COVID-19.

Trump is on a collision course with self-destruction. He has lost all ability for rational and reasonable discourse with the American people. His performance during the presidential debate on Sept. 29 was shocking and disheartening. He was hostile and rude. He showed no self-control. He was flailing. Trump even canceled his second debate with Biden — he was looking for a way out.

Trump now feels cornered and exposed. His sense of entitlement is threatened. His grandiosity and superiority are crumbling. What he fears most is being embarrassed and humiliated. After all, he has spent his whole life branding himself as smarter and stronger and richer than anyone else. His "false self" persona is being chipped away hour by hour.

The emperor is about to have no clothes.

As Trump's desperation grows, his mental pathology is becoming more amplified. He is looking unhinged because he is unhinged. It is all we can see — a man who is erratic and unrestrained and debilitated. He is always defensive. He grumbles and roars and blames others. He is incapable of taking responsibility for his own decisions and behavior. He is incapable of leading and governing.

Trump's desperation includes a scorched-earth mentality. If he is going down, he wants to bring everyone and everything down with him. He has no hesitation to break laws or destroy people. Democratic institutions and principles mean nothing to him. All that matters is his survival, his preservation, his continued power.

The end is in sight. But Trump will go down fighting. He will hold onto power until the last possible moment. It will have to be stripped away from him. He will not facilitate a peaceful transfer of power to Biden. He will cry out that he is the victim of a conspiracy. Unbelievably, he will seek sympathy for himself. He will urge his supporters to strike out in anger and aggrievement. He will bask in the glow of his victimhood.

Trump will leave behind a deadly pandemic. He will leave behind a country that is divided and tribal. Racism and xenophobia and terrorist groups have become prominent. Far too many of us have stopped believing in science, the truth and the free press.

We are facing two more weeks of Trump's desperation and mental pathology. Each day will seem unending. Each day will be exhausting.

Two more weeks until our votes are finally cast and counted.

Two more weeks until Trump's chaos, incompetence and corruption can be ended.

Mental health experts: Biden far exceeds Trump in psychiatric fitness

Most Americans would agree that the President of the United States should be a normal, honorable, and effective leader of the country.  Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has said this about Joe Biden: “He is as good a man as God created” and “He is the nicest person I’ve ever met in politics.” In contrast, Graham has said this about Donald Trump: “I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.” The stark differences between Biden and Trump are revealed in these strong comments.

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New Trump revelations have made the destructive consequences of his malignant narcissism disturbingly clear: psychiatrists

Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” reveals that Donald Trump has been purposefully lying to the American people about the coronavirus pandemic. Trump admits he knew that COVID was “deadly stuff” but he did not want the public “to panic.” Instead, he fiercely denied the severity of the pandemic by acting as a “cheerleader” for the country. Sadly, William Haseltine, PhD, a world-renowned scientist, told CNN that we could have saved as many as 180,000 lives had Trump not lied to the public and had developed a proactive national strategy.

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Mental health experts break down the 4 main psychological factors driving Trump supporters to cling to the president — despite his many failures

A looming question in today’s political climate is:  Why do Donald Trump’s devotees continue to support him despite the carnage of his well-documented failures?  Although we are in the middle of a deadly pandemic that is surging and not contained, Trump seems to maintain a base support of 35% to 40%.  What are the psychological factors that influence or underpin his supporters’ attraction to him? And might this provide some perspective on how to change these supporters’ minds?

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Donald Trump’s pathology of victimhood: A clinical psychologist breaks down the president's classic and destructive pattern of malignant narcissism

Donald Trump uses victimhood as a means of manipulating and exploiting others. Whenever he fails or is caught in a lie or does something corrupt, he reflexively twists it around and blames others. Not only that, he then claims he is the victim. That is the classic pattern of a malignant narcissist.

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Donald Trump's desperation is pathological — and deeply dangerous for the nation

Donald Trump knows his re-election fortunes are fading. He knows his time is about up. He thinks he is entitled to eight more years "because they spied on his campaign." He thinks he is "the greatest of all presidents." He thinks he has "done more for women than just about any president in history." These grandiose and false statements belie a man who is scrambling, flailing, agitated and plainly desperate.

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Chaos, shared irrationality and fear: Experts explain why supporters are still clinging to Trump -- despite his many failures

A looming question in today's political climate is:  Why do Donald Trump's devotees continue to support him despite the carnage of his well-documented failures?  Although we are in the middle of a deadly pandemic that is surging and not contained, Trump seems to maintain a base support of 35% to 40%.  What are the psychological factors that influence or underpin his supporters' attraction to him? And might this provide some perspective on how to change these supporters' minds?

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Experts explain the 4 main psychological factors that drive Trump's rabid fan base

A looming question in today’s political climate is:  Why do Donald Trump’s devotees continue to support him despite the carnage of his well-documented failures?  Although we are in the middle of a deadly pandemic that is surging and not contained, Trump seems to maintain a base support of 35% to 40%.  What are the psychological factors that influence or underpin his supporters’ attraction to him? And might this provide some perspective on how to change these supporters’ minds?

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'He is a malignant narcissist': Expert explains the psychopathology that 'underlies' Trump's dictatorial and autocratic preferences

I’m not being hyperbolic or melodramatic when I say that democracy itself is on the line on November 3. Donald Trump has been on a mission to subvert our democracy and to push it toward an autocracy. No president has ever disavowed democracy like Trump. No president has ever wanted to change our democratic way of life like Trump.

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As mental health professionals, we cannot remain silent: Trump's authoritarian presidency is a national emergency

Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist with antisocial proclivities and a core sadism. It is this combination of psychopathology that leads him to be intensely attracted to the powers of a dictator. Indeed, Trump has proven repeatedly that he wants America to be an autocracy, not a democracy. He has systemically and purposefully guided our country toward dictatorial rule during the past four years. He has frequently embraced, admired, complimented, envied and even fawned over autocratic leaders throughout the world.

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Trump’s pandemic botchery must be his undoing

Donald Trump has willfully botched our national response to this pandemic. We have lost over 150,000 American lives over the past five months and all Trump can say is, “We are in the process of developing a strategy.”

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Trump's unraveling: Mental health experts explain why the next 4 months could be really dangerous

Donald Trump on Friday commuted the sentence of his crony, Roger Stone. As Mitt Romney tweeted, “Unprecedented historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person  convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.”

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