When it comes to Trump’s mental health and unfitness for office, I have suggested from the beginning that he won’t get better. Tony Schwartz, who was the ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal, recently explained why.
Growth and development are about seeing more. The wider, deeper and longer our perspective, the more variables we can consider — and the more capable we become. Likewise, the more responsibility we take for our behaviors, and the less we blame others for our shortcomings, the more power we have to influence our destiny.
None of this is possible for Trump…
In reality, Trump’s worldview remains remarkably narrow, shallow and short-term. It’s narrow because he is so singularly self-absorbed, which has been true throughout his life…
Trump’s knowledge and understanding remain shallow because he resists reflection and introspection and struggles mightily to focus…
His need for instant gratification prevents him from considering the longer-term consequences of his actions. Instead, he simply reacts in the moment…
The only wall Trump has built is around himself, to keep his own insecurity and vulnerability at bay.
That wall is self-reinforcing because the only way to improve would be to engage in self-reflection, which Trump is unable to do.
But the self-reinforcing nature of the president’s state of mind means that he will continue to deteriorate in the face of stress, which pretty much guarantees that he will get worse. That is happening at an even faster pace lately. We see that in his impulsive move to pull our troops out of Syria, and the floundering he has done since he made that decision. Behind closed doors, even some Republicans are beginning to notice. Here is what they told CNN after his “meltdown” at the White House last week.
A Republican source with knowledge of the meeting told CNN that participants were “shell-shocked” by the President’s behavior adding, “Republican members were shaken by what they saw and heard” from Trump.
The source went on to tell CNN that the President’s conduct was unsettling. “He is not in control of himself,” the source said. “It is all yelling and screaming.”
Those who fact-check Trump’s lies have noted that the pace is accelerating. For example, during Monday’s cabinet meeting, he made at least 20 false claims in a little over an hour—going so far as to refer to the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause as “phony.” Then on Tuesday morning, he tweeted this.
The senator from Alabama nailed it with this response.
No sir! No, @realdonaldtrump: this is NOT a lynching, and shame on you for invoking such a horrific act that was used as a weapon to terrorize and murder African Americans.
— Doug Jones (@DougJones) October 22, 2019
Obviously, Trump is getting worse. He will continue to do so until he is removed from office. That is why this is a fair warning to Republicans.
Now that it is clear that Trump will be impeached, the pace of deterioration will only increase and Republicans will be left with a decision to make: can they continue to defend the increasingly indefensible, or is it time to call this president out and remove him from office? The longer they wait, the more shame they will heap on their own legacy.