Thursday, 7 January 2021

An Insurrection Trumped

How should we respond to the insurrection in Washington DC on 6 January? Millions of words have been expended in print, in broadcasts, and on digital media, to accompany some of the most jaw- dropping photography and television footage ever to come out of the United States, that beacon of democracy shining on the Hill. And that is the less than 24 hours since the insurrection- incited by the siting President of the nation!!- began its menacing march down the Washington Mall from the Ellipse park south of the White House to the Capitol, the cradle of US democracy, and until yesterday, the hope of millions living under an oppressive yoke in China, or Russia, Israel or Saudi Arabia. The tyrants are laughing now, or are they? I think the best way to illustrate the malign narcissistic personality of the US President that led to yesterday’s danger to democracy is to turn to existing studies made of what has formed his personality, drives his manic thoughts, and led to the nadir of nihilism that peaked yesterday. “Fire and Fury” by investigative reporter, Michael Wolff, who embedded himself inside the Trump White House for its first year, is replete with insights. But I turn to a second volume, “Rage” by the doyenne of Washington insider reportage, Bob Woodward, who was part of the Washington Post duo that broke the Watergate story that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency in August 1973. Here are a few insights into Trump from “Rage”: In April 2018, defending his relationship with Russia to conservative Republican senator Lindsey Graham, an inveterate Trump supporter, he said of allegations emerging from the Mueller investigation into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 US Presidential election campaign, “I’ve done a lot of bad things, but I didn’t do this.” On 19 July 21018, Trump told his Director of National Intelligence “I don’t need a National Security Council, I just need myself.” When General “Mad Dog” Mattis, Trump’s dense secretary proposed Air Force chief of staff “Fingers David L. Goldfein to be the new US Chief of the Defense Staff, Trump turned him down, Woodward observed wryly it was because he would have brought a “level of intellectualism” to the job that the President had resisted. Later, Mattis recalled briefings with the President on intelligence gathered by one of the US’ 17 intelligence agencies. Trump, he said, would just shoot off onto another subject… something that had been said on Fox News was more salient to him.” The facts would just be dismissed.” Woodward commented: Trump lived in his own head, and if he wanted, out came an idea or a decision. It did not matter what anyone else thought.” Dr Mary L. Trump, the President’s dissident niece, also wrote a highly personal book in 2020 about her uncle, “To Much is Never Enough,” subtitled “How my family created the world’s most dangerous man”- which gives a very clear flavor of her perspective as a trained psychotherapist. She writes in her Prologue that “I have no problem in calling Donald a narcissist – he meets all nine criteria as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders (DSM5).” Meanwhile, this unstable person has total control over whether 9,000 nuclear weapons can be launched in the two weeks running up to the transition, when Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President . It may be an opportune time for the members of the Trump Cabinet- the U.S. Government’s executive- to invoke US constitutional Amendment 25, which enables the removal of the President if he is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Section 4 reads: “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.” (

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