By Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist
Heather "Digby" Parton is one of my three or four favorite columnists. She writes for Salon. Today she wrote:
Trump has lost the shield of the presidency that kept him safe for four years and the rule of law is coming for him
Trump has acted in inexplicably suspicious and self-defeating ways since he first ran for president in 2016. From calling on Russia to hack his rival's emails to his strange affinity for the worst dictators on the planet to his pathological lying about everything, Donald Trump has acted in ways that only cult members could excuse as normal.
This Mar-a-Lago case is especially vexing. When he decided to tell the government to go pound sand, he was not some naif who hadn't been in government before and didn't know the rules. He'd been president for four years by that time and knew very well that he was not supposed to keep classified documents at his beach club. And if they had been taken by accident in his chaotic move from the White House, he also knew very well that he should just give them back. But he refused, once again raising suspicions that he must be doing something nefarious with them. His behavior ever since then has done nothing to allay those concerns. Again, nobody normal would behave this way.
Trump is now (see "Psychiatrists warn Trump's psychosis will grow as he becomes more desperate"), and Hitler was, a despot whose behavior many experts tried to understand though psychology. Lincoln is said to have struggled with clinical depression . It has also be speculated that Churchill suffered from bouts of depression and mania.
One of the most quoted sayings since Trump became a threat to democracy and mental health professionals began to write about how dangerous his psychopathology made him (a best selling book by mental health professionals was even titled "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump") was from "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu written in the 5th century BC. In it's various translations it means in essence that the best way to win at war is to know your enemy as well as you know yourself.
The best way to assure victory in a war or battle is to predict what your opponent will do before they do it. There are two way which work in tandem to do this. One is to look at past behavior as indices of future behavior and the other is to fully understand the personality of your opponent.
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