Trump’s Condition: Unfit by Many Standards

It’s enough, as an indictment of Trump, to see and then reject his role on purely political grounds: a bigoted autocrat of limited knowledge & reasoning ability with a love of foreign dictators and contempt for American liberal democracy.  One doesn’t need a training in medicine to reject Trump.

There are, however, compelling critiques of Trump that address his defective character in clinical terms. George T. Conway III, an attorney, has spent well over a year interviewing and assessing professional opinions of Trump as a clinically impaired narcissist.  See Unfit for Office (‘Donald Trump’s narcissism makes it impossible for him to carry out the duties of the presidency in the way the Constitution requires’).

More recently, Conway explained why Trump was so bitter about a recent video critique (Mourning in America) describing Trump’s responsibility for death and economic decay:

Trump’s narcissism deadens any ability he might otherwise have had to carry out the duties of a president in the manner the Constitution requires. He’s so self-obsessed, he can only act for himself, not for the nation. It’s why he was impeached, and why he should have been removed from office.

And it’s why he reacts with such rage. He fears the truth. He fears being revealed for what he truly is. Extreme narcissists exaggerate their achievements and talents, and so Trump has spent his life building up a false image of himself — not just for others, but for himself, to protect his deeply fragile ego. He lies endlessly, not just in the way sociopaths do, which is to con others, but also to delude himself. He claims to be a “genius,” even though he apparently can’t spell, can’t punctuate, can’t do math and lacks geographic literacy, and even though his own appointees have privately called him a “moron,” an “idiot,” a “dope,” and “dumb.” Now, God help us, he fancies himself an expert in virology and infectious diseases.

Via George Conway: Trump went ballistic at me on Twitter. Here’s why he reacts with such rage.  (Trump’s complaints about the Mourning in America video drew more attention to it – it’s now been seen millions of times.)

By contrast, Nate White describes how Britons seen Trump without reaching a clinical conclusion:

A few things spring to mind. Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem. For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.


This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss. After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum. God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

As politically unworthy, psychologically ill, or merely as a limited man, the conclusion is the same: Trump is unfit.

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