A couple of passages in Dr. Mary L. Trump’s new (best-selling) book “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” particularly stand out:
Nothing is ever enough. This is far beyond garden-variety narcissism; Donald is not simply weak, his ego is a fragile thing that must be bolstered every moment because he knows deep down that he is nothing of what he claims to be.
Elsewhere she writes, “The fact is, Donald’s pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuro-physical tests that he’ll never sit for.”
“Now she tells us,” some will say.
While Mary Trump has the unique insider perspective, clinical psychology education and intimate familiar relationship to render an accurate “diagnosis” of what ails Trump – psychologically, mentally, morally, emotionally, etc. — she is just the latest in a long series of professionals, journalists and psychologists who have come to similar conclusions much earlier. It is worth noting that several of those “analysts” are of the same political party as Trump.
One of the most prolific and insightful commentators on “what ails Trump,” and his Party and his supporters, is none other than a staunch conservative, veteran of three Republican administrations: Peter Wehner.
In his most recent essay at The Atlantic, “Donald Trump Is a Broken Man,” Wehner summarizes what he has been predicting about Trump for years.
Reflecting on Trump’s pitiable, pitiful and self-pitying performance during his interview, on home turf, with Fox News Chris Wallace last weekend, Wehner observes:
Donald Trump is a psychologically broken, embittered, and deeply unhappy man. He is so gripped by his grievances, such a prisoner of his resentments, that even the most benevolent question from an interviewer—what good parts of your presidency would you like to be remembered for?—triggered a gusher of discontent.
Wehner describes how Trump spouts his bitterness, his victimhood, vindictiveness and pettiness throughout the interview.
While such a disposition might be “unfortunate” enough in other careers, the fact that Trump happens to be commander in chief and head of the executive branch…along with the fact that “[Trump] is devoid of any moral sensibilities or admirable human qualities—self-discipline, compassion, empathy, responsibility, courage, honesty, loyalty, prudence, temperance, a desire for justice…” is “a problem” Wehner suggests.
A problem that doesn’t end there, Wehner continues, as “Trump has reshaped the Republican Party through and through…”
After paying tribute to Reagan and his administration (which Wehner was part of) and admitting to some of Reagan’s flaws, Wehner writes:
[Reagan] has since been replaced by the crudest and cruelest man ever to be president. But not just that. One senses in Donald Trump no joy, no delight, no laughter. All the emotions that drive him are negative. There is something repugnant about Trump, yes, but there is also something quite sad about the man. He is a damaged soul.
Wehner has no time or room for pitying Trump. “In another time, in a different circumstance, there would perhaps be room to pity such a person,” he writes and concludes: “The American public faces one great and morally urgent task above all others between now and November: to do everything in its power to remove from the presidency a self-pitying man who is shattering the nation and doesn’t even care.”
This is not the first time – and hopefully will not be the last time — that Wehner has tried to open the eyes of his fellow Americans, especially of Republicans.
He has done so numerous times at The Atlantic, The New York Times and in books such as “The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump”.
The following are just a few of his articles at The Atlantic since Trump was elected, in reverse chronological order.
The titles speak for themselves.
The Malignant Cruelty of Donald Trump.
The President Is Unraveling.
The country is witnessing the steady, uninterrupted intellectual and psychological decomposition of Donald Trump.
The President Is Trapped.
Trump is utterly unsuited to deal with this crisis, either intellectually or temperamentally.
The Trump Presidency Is Over.
It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain.
Trump Betrayed the Kurds. He Couldn’t Help Himself.
Trump Is Not Well.
Accepting the reality about the president’s disordered personality is important—even essential.
Trump’s Words Are Poison.
The president has done more than any politician in living memory to fan the flames of ethnic and racial antipathy and nurture a culture of bigotry.
Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth.
A Damaged Soul and a Disordered Personality.
Trump’s continuing attacks on John McCain reveal a worrisome state of mind.
At the New York Times, Behold Our ‘Child King’
On the eve of the 2016 presidential election, Wehner warned/predicted in “Is There Life After Trump?” at The New York Times:
If Mr. Trump should win on Nov. 8, the Republican Party will be fundamentally redefined, to put it mildly. Many of us could not continue to be a part of a political institution defined by Donald Trump, by Breitbart.com and Ann Coulter…if Mr. Trump wins, it won’t simply be the Republican Party that faces its moment of reckoning. Our republic will, too. That worries me a great deal more, because I love my country far more than I love my party.
Sadly, Trump was elected by a minority of the popular vote and, in early 2019, Wehner left the Republican Party to join a growing list of notable Republicans who have abandoned the GOP in the era of Trump.
Wehner explained his reasons for leaving in his lengthy and revealing “What I’ve Gained by Leaving the Republican Party.”
Other articles prior to the 2016 elections include, in The New York Times:
The Indelible Stain of Donald Trump.
Republicans have not changed Mr. Trump for the better; he has changed them for the worse.
The Man the Founders Feared.
Make no mistake. Donald Trump is an advocate of political violence.
Already back in 2011, when Trump was just a gleam in some Trumpistas’ eyes, Wehner warned the GOP about Trump. In a Wall Street Journal article, “The GOP and the Birther Trap,” he decried Trump’s birtherism.
Years later, Wehner laments, instead of rejecting Trump, “the Republican Party eventually nominated [him]”
The rest is grim history still in the making.
“If Republicans Had Just Listened to a True Conservative.”