In many ways, Donald Trump has the dubious distinction of being the alter ego of Il Duce, Benito Mussolini. Typifying his approach is to declare that he is the greatest, the smartest and the best at everything. Such as bombastic, narcissistic, bragging and bullying demeanour is a divisive technique for a leader. At best he was suppress dissent but will never win an argument through cogent reasoning.
Much more troubling is what his speech indicates about his neurological condition with its emotional equivalent of a five-year-old.
Main picture: A smirking Donald Trump
Even when uttered by a five-year-old, when they boastfully claim that they are the best, the fastest or the most intelligent, it jars. Frankly, any caring parent will correct their child and explain why it is so ungracious to use such expressions. Such exaggerations display two negative attributes: narcissism and lying simultaneously. At the other extreme, why would a person always refer to their opponents in the most demeaning manner possible? Again, this action reflects a lack of EQ which, in essence, is the ability to co-exist with one’s fellow man irrespective of whether one agrees with their views of life or not.
What comes to mind is a meeting that Trump had with his Russian counterparts when he referred to his former F.B.I. Director, James Comey, in the following manner. ““I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job.” Why would Trump feel the need to make a comment about firing his FBI Director to the Russians and secondly why would scoop so low as to label him a “real nut job.”
By any objective measure, most politicians are known to be economical with the truth or to overstate their achievements but, so as to maintain credibility with their audience, they will maintain a modicum of connection with reality. To make matters worse, Trump does not adhere to the latter injunction. Instead on a daily basis Trump will unabashedly utter untruths, exaggerations and flat-out falsehoods without a sense of shame or guilt.
When the lie is unmasked or verifiable as untrue, Trump will remonstrate like a child caught red-handed with the evidence in their hand. Why did Trump feel the need to stick to his guns that his inauguration ceremony attracted more well-wishes than Obama’s when it was patently incorrect? The reason is self-evident. Even at 70 years of age, Trump has a tenuous connection with reality. And has always possessed this trait. A surprising titbit of information came to light during 2017 when an old primary school report card came to light. In it, his teacher berated Donald for lying so egregiously probably due to his difficulty in distinguishing right from wrong.
Coherence, content and style
In spite of these abovementioned characteristics being emotionally immature, or being indicative of a lack of EQ, yet none of these attributes would allow one to classify Trump as manifesting neurological problems. Possibly the smoking gun in this regard is his speech, not in tone and intent, but in structure and coherence.
Much has been made of Obama’s lack of competence by Donald Trump. Yes, not once even in ad hoc settings, was Obama not lucid, coherent and accurate in what he stated. As a president renowned for his soaring oratory, it was perhaps inevitable that Barack Obama would deliver several memorable statements over his eight years in the White House.
In his 2008 Victory Speech, Obama had this to say: “Where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”
While Obama’s speech might have been prepared, even when Trump is engaged in off-camera discussions as this one was with The New York Times, Trump’s reply lacks any coherence and finesse.
This is what Trump had to say about the impending tax bill:
The tax cut will be, the tax bill, prediction, will be far bigger than anyone imagines. Expensing will be perhaps the greatest of all provisions. Where you can do something, you can buy something … Piece of equipment … You can do lots of different things, and you can write it off and expense it in one year. That will be one of the great stimuli in history. You watch. That’ll be one of the big … People don’t even talk about expensing, what’s the word “expensing.” [Inaudible.] One-year expensing. Watch the money coming back into the country, it’ll be more money than people anticipate. But Michael, I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest CPA. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most. And if I didn’t, I couldn’t have talked all these people into doing ultimately only to be rejected. Now here’s the good news. We’ve created associations, millions of people are joining associations. Millions. That were formerly in Obamacare or didn’t have insurance. Or didn’t have health care. Millions of people. That’s gonna be a big bill, you watch. It could be as high as 50 percent of the people. You watch. So that’s a big thing …
Here is yet another example of the meandering, incoherent, staccato bursts during an interview with the Associated Press: “People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall, my base really wants it—you’ve been to many of the rallies. Okay, the thing they want more than anything is the wall. My base, which is a big base; I think my base is 45 percent. You know, it’s funny. The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the Electoral College. Big, big, big advantage … The Electoral College is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it. They want to see the wall.”
If his current style of speech is compared with that of ten years ago, it now exhibits a “clear reduction in linguistic sophistication over time” with “simpler word choices and sentence structure.” Not only that but Trump has been unable to string together complex sentences except in a few interviews. Indicative of higher neurological processing ability, is the ability of a person to construct articulate sentences with a beginning, middle and a conclusion whilst still conveying to the listener the essence of a complex topic. Trump’s comments present an ineloquent jumble of words whilst often repeating a particular word at arbitrary intervals.
Compare those inarticulate jumble of words with Trump’s 1987 interview with Larry King on CNN:
King: Should the mayor of the city be someone who knows business?
Trump: Well, what we need is competence. We don’t have that. We have a one-line artist. That’s all he is …
The volume of the brain is known to decline in volume by 5% per decade after the age of 40. Clearly the rate of decline in Trump has been much more severe.
This raises the obvious question. Ignoring his inability to express himself cogently, is Trump still able to function rationally. One such concern relates to his access to the “nuclear option.” President Donald trump’s decision to brag in a tweet about the size of his “nuclear button” compared with North Korea’s had been widely condemned as both bellicose and reckless. Whilst some of braggart behaviour can be equated with his underdeveloped emotions, it does correlate to a confluence of symptoms which does not bode well for America.
This could place the G.O.P. in the same situation as Alexander the Great of Greece faced with the Gordian Knot. Perhaps the Grand Old Party will confront the dubious distinction of being the first party to dismiss its President for dementia. Having narrowly escaped it with Ronald Reagan’s final years, this time they might not have the luxury of awaiting Trump’s graceful exit.