After the Fall

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

It is hard to predict when it will hit him.  Maybe stepping out of Air Force One for the last time, or at Mar-a-Lago, when he realizes that from now on he’ll have about one fifth of the space he had in the residence and Melania still wants her own bedroom, or in a couple of days, when it’s clear that Lindsey and Rudy are not calling anymore.  Recapping, according to the Mayo Clinic Trump’s mental illness, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.  Behind a mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.  On top of this people with megalomania, which is forged with NPD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, have delusional fantasies about their powers, beliefs and accomplishments.  Obviously each of those symptoms has been enlarged, if not squared, by the pomp and power of the US presidency, which has now been taken away from him.  Trump was a sick puppy when he won the 2016 election but now he is an even sicker full grown Rottweiler that’s being put into a tiny dog house, and something’s got to give.  

There is plenty of speculation about the harm Trump can still do after the disastrous last four years, as the leader of the GOP or of a modern fascist spinoff of that party, supported by a new Internet platform of his own design, but before he can re-establish himself he’ll undoubtedly have to get through a serious depression, and there is no telling how much mental damage his most recent demise has done.  Dealing with his election loss to Joe Biden he has never moved beyond rage and denial, and in fact he has been regressing, because although initially he appeared to understand that Biden had won, gradually he started to believe the stories that were told by the loonies surrounding him, about a stolen election and massive voter fraud, primarily committed by black voters.  After having used the full power of his position to thwart everything Biden wants to do both domestically and internationally, after sabotaging the transition into Biden’s presidency from the very beginning and after calling for an insurrection that ended with the defiling of the Capitol by a white supremacist mob he is now without a communication channel, without a staff,  without a lawyer and without a plan, but with a mind full of grievances.

Whining about a fantasized injustice is not a political program, and other than getting out of the past and into the future Trump may face bigger challenges.  He’ll almost certainly be sued for tax and insurance fraud in New York and for election tampering in Georgia, and the incoming Attorney General will have to decide whether to indict him for the obstruction of justice that was documented in part two of the Mueller report and for the incitement to insurrection on January 6th.  Instead of leading a party or building a new platform Trump may spend most of his time with lawyers and in courtrooms, and eventually in prison.

In a farewell address that raised the question if Hitler could have given a similar speech touting his achievements if he had had the chance Trump said that the movement he started was only just beginning, but also condemned the violence at the Capitol.  The fact that even Mitch McConnell holds him responsible must have both scared and infuriated him, and opens the possibility of conviction in a Senate trial that would take away his Secret Service protection and, more importantly, keep him out of public office forever.

Trump’s last act as president is a slew of pardons, mostly for white collar criminals who will be able to repay him at some point in the future, because the grift never ends.  For his departure from DC Trump wanted a band and a red carpet at Andrews Air Force Base, and he got both, but of the people he invited almost nobody showed up.  Even Mike Pence decided that Biden’s inauguration is much more important, and justifiably so.

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