Most pundits interpret the US president’s outbursts as playing to his political base, or preening for the cameras, or blustering for the sake of striking future deals. In fact, Trump suffers from several psychological pathologies that render him a clear and present danger to the world... Most pundits interpret Trump’s outbursts as playing to his political base, or preening for the cameras, or blustering for the sake of striking future deals. We take a different view. In line with many of America’s renowned mental-health experts, we believe that Trump suffers from several psychological pathologies that render him a clear and present danger to the world... Trump shows signs of at least three dangerous traits: paranoia, lack of empathy, and sadism. Paranoia is a form of detachment from reality in which an individual perceives threats that do not exist.
- .. Paranoia is a form of detachment from reality in which an individual perceives threats that do not exist. The paranoid individual can create dangers for others in the course of fighting against imaginary threats.
- Lack of empathy can derive from an individual’s preoccupation with the self and a view of others as mere tools. Harming others causes no remorse when it serves one’s own purposes.
- Sadism means finding pleasure in inflicting pain or humiliating others, especially those who represent a perceived threat or a reminder of one’s weaknesses.
.. Psychological expertise tells us that such traits tend to worsen in individuals who gain power over others.
.. his lying seems to have escalated in recent weeks. Moreover, Trump’s confidants describe him as increasingly likely to ignore any moderating advice offered by those around him. There are no “grownups in the room” who can stop him as he surrounds himself with corrupt and bellicose cronies prepared to do his bidding – all of which is entirely predictable from his psychology.
.. Trump’s wild exaggerations in recent weeks reveal the increasing severity of his symptoms.
.. Consider, for example, his repeated claims that the vague outcome of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un constitutes an end to the nuclear threat posed by Kim’s regime, or his blatant lie that Democrats, rather than his own policies, caused the forced separation of migrant children from their parents at the southern border with Mexico. The Post recently counted 29 false or misleading statements in a mere one-hour rally. Whether intentional or delusional, this level of persistent lying is pathological.
.. Since Trump actually lacks the ability to impose his will on others, his approach guarantees an endless cycle of threats, counter-threats, and escalation. He follows any tactical retreat with renewed aggression.
.. Such is the case with the spiraling tit-for-tat trade war
.. Traditional allies, not accustomed to dealing with US leaders with severe mental defects, are clearly shaken, while adversaries appear to be taking advantage.
.. Many of Trump’s supporters seem to interpret his shameless lying as bold truth-telling, and pundits and foreign leaders tend to believe that his bizarre lashing out reflects a political strategy.
Trump has been playing right into China’s hands
U.S. steel jobs have been mostly lost due to technological change (i.e., robots, not China). U.S. aluminum jobs have been mostly lost to places with cheaper electricity (i.e., Iceland, which is coincidentally also not China).
.. Right now China isn’t even among the top 10 producers of U.S. steel imports. The top country we import from is Canada ..
.. If hurting Canada is Trump’s best strategy for intimidating China, our next step should be maple-syrup taxes.
.. Every time, he has played right into Chinese hands.
Take, for instance, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This 12-country pact deliberately excluded China; it was to make sure the United States rather than China got to “write the rules of the road for trade in the 21st century,” as then-President Barack Obama put it.
.. Their version stripped out some of the conditions won by U.S. negotiators, such as increased intellectual property protections for pharmaceuticals.
.. After it became clear the Chinese constitution would change to allow President Xi Jinping to hold power indefinitely, Trump didn’t criticize the authoritarian move. Instead, in comments secretly recorded at a fundraiser last weekend, he expressed admiration for Xi as “a great gentleman” who “treated us tremendously well when I went over there.” Xi, Trump cheered, had just made himself “president for life. . . . I think it’s great.”
.. Trump jokingly added that “maybe we will give that a shot someday,” the line that got the most attention. But the comments letting Xi off the hook, in fact praising Xi for consolidating power, were far more consequential. They signal to China that not only do we not care about the country’s increasing authoritarianism; we encourage it.
.. Xi has charmed the pants off Trump, who appears envious of the Chinese government’s military parades, press controls, disregard for human rights and other totalitarian perks.
China’s most dangerous possible export to the United States isn’t a metal. Increasingly, it’s a style of political leadership.
The real cost of Trump’s ‘fake news’ accusations
in Russia, Syria’s most powerful ally, Trump’s broadsides against U.S. news outlets are being used to dismiss reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad deployed chemical weapons against his own citizens earlier this month:
the Russians had a ready answer borrowed from Mr. Trump himself.
As the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia put it, “Apparently it was for good reason Donald Trump called unverified information in the mass media one of the main problems in the U.S.”
It was the best evidence I’ve seen of the folly of Mr. Trump’s anti-press approach. You can’t spend more than a year attacking the credibility of the “dishonest media” and then expect to use its journalism as support for your position during an international crisis — at least not with any success.
.. When there is an international dispute — as there is between the United States and Russia over who was behind the chemical attack in Syria — it is in the president’s best interest for the reporting of U.S. news outlets to be regarded as legitimate on the world stage. Yet Trump claims constantly that The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN and others are not to be believed.
.. Last week, for example, the White House issued a two-sentence, information-starved summary of a phone call between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. China, meanwhile, issued a 14-paragraph statement describing its version of the conversation.