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Is Trump sane?

Posted by Simon Parke, 08 January 2018, 5.30pm

Is Trump sane?

The new book by Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury, certainly presses the issue upon us… though it’s hardly a fresh discussion.

The question: ‘How on earth did that man get elected?!’ has been asked once or twice before, with clues of dysfunction more obvious than Wally.

Wolff’s book describes a narcissist – a low-boundaried individual, open to slight, with poor concentration and the need for everything to be about him.

When asked to summarise people’s White House opinions about him, he said, ‘Most of all, they say he’s like a child.’

Though perhaps child-ish rather than child-like.

He struggles to read a page of writing, with ADHD being offered as a possibility or ‘the compounded affects of age.’

(Trump’s father, Fred, whose photograph sits behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, developed Alzheimer’s in his 80s.)

Trump has fought back describing various tremendous episodes of brilliance in his life including the tremendous making of billions of dollars and a tremendous reality TV experience.

With his CV before us, he reassured us that he is, ‘Like, really smart,’ and ‘a very stable genius.’

This has all happened before.

Some of President Ronald Reagan’s aides also privately worried their boss lacked the mental fitness to carry out his job. Some considered invoking the 25th Amendment that would relieve him of power.

Reagan was 73 when he was re-elected; Trump is 71.

Though I don’t sense the sanity issue is going to affect him unduly.

Democracies don’t vote for sane people. They vote for people who will serve their purposes.

Trump is POTUS because of the anti-immigration lobby and Evangelical Christians…not because he is sane.

‘He is the most wonderful Christian man,’ as one evangelical leader recently told us.

Whether he’s sane is irrelevant. He’s pro-Conservative religion, he’s giving them the legal backing they want - and that’s enough.

Democracies are not pro-sanity. They are pro-interest groups, pro-vested interests.

‘If a jackal gives me what I want, he has my vote ahead of the Buddha.’

Trump will reportedly have a check-up this week, but he himself will determine what is made public, so we won’t learn a great deal.

(Unless it’s tremendous, of course. Any other finding by the doctor would be ‘fake news’, the sad ramblings of a loser.)

While clearly the team around him have a vested interest in keeping the show on the road. He is both their status and their pay-check.

Standing back a little, with half an eye on politics in this country as well, the question is not whether our politicians are sane.

Like ‘love’ it’s a difficult word to define.

They are all high-functioning in their way, so there are shards of sanity in them; they know how to make their way in the world, how to coax, calculate, bluster, demonise, manipulate, cover-up, charm, deny, repress and fawn.

It’s low-grade sanity, but that is all the vested interests of democracies ask for.

The bigger question of whether these people are healthy, whether they are well human beings.

That’s more for the dinner table discussions rather than the ballot box.

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