The Trump psychological tax

Honestly, it’s just wearing to really care about your country and have to live with the constancy of Trump’s horribleness.  Great essay from Andrew Sullivan:

One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago. It’s less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable father, who will brook no reason, respect no counter-argument, admit no error, and always, always up the ante until catastrophe inevitably strikes. This is what I mean by the idea that we are living through an emergency.

Yep.  I shared this quote with a Trump-voting friend yesterday (who had, naively, and optimistically believed Trump would just give him the big tax cuts he wanted and all the other stuff was just bluster) and he whole-heartedly agreed.  The truth is, for those of us who really care about our country, Trump places a tax on our psyches.

And, as long as I’m on it, I think this bit is spot-on, too:

Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him? If you showed up at a neighbor’s, say, and your host showed you his newly painted living room, which was a deep blue, and then insisted repeatedly — manically — that it was a lovely shade of scarlet, what would your reaction be? If he then dragged out a member of his family and insisted she repeat this obvious untruth in front of you, how would you respond? If the next time you dropped by, he was still raving about his gorgeous new red walls, what would you think? Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional. If he kept this up, at some point you’d excuse yourself and edge slowly out of the room and the house and never return. You’d warn your other neighbors. You’d keep your distance. If you saw him, you’d be polite but keep your distance.

Yep.  This man is not somebody you’d ever want to spend time with.  We should not pretend he’s not a disaster of a human being, just because he’s president.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to The Trump psychological tax

  1. Stefan says:

    In the way that Trump makes policy and deals with issues, I am reminded of Richard Pious’ book on the presidency and the exercise of prerogative powers. As in the immigration and refugee executive order, his action is always to claim the power to do whatever he wants to do. Every issue is a crisis situation, and his treating issues that way is unsettling. Here’s Pious: “At times they [presidents] claim vast prerogative powers, based on their own reading of the Constitution. Armed with these powers, they unilaterally take actions to resolve serious policy disputes or to manage crises, and then justify their actions to Congress and the American people thereafter, defending both the legitimacy of acting (their right to exercise power) and the authority of their actions (the wisdom of their policies). More is here:

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