It's always painfully obvious when Donald Trump is fuming over events he can't control. He lashes out wildly in all directions seeking to land blows on the vast armies of enemies that he imagines, in his paranoid stupor, are conspiring against him. This is especially evident after some humiliating experience such as his Fiasco in Tulsa or his floundering reelection campaign.
On Monday Trump exhibited one of the most profoundly disturbing meltdowns of his presidency. He elaborated on recent comments he made that vaguely insinuated that President Obama was guilty of some unnamed criminal acts. Now Trump revealed to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) that the crime he believed that Obama had committed was treason.
Trump's justification for that charge was the already debunked conspiracy theories that his 2016 presidential campaign had been spied on by Obama and others in the mythical “Deep State.” And he went on to muse wistfully about executing his political foes like “they” did 50 or 100 years ago. Apparently Trump still regards Joseph Stalin as a role model.
Trump's fixation on maligning political opponents as treasonous is neither new nor limited to prominent figures like Obama. In fact, the Washington Post has compiled a list of people or entities for whom Trump is advocating the death penalty (the video wouldn’t post on dKos, but you can see it here). According to the Post…
“Trump suggested five times in the month of May alone that individuals and entities may have committed treason against the United States. It’s a theme he has pushed over four dozen times in his term. […] Trump has accused no fewer than 11 people and entities of treason over the past three years, even though fewer than 30 have been charged with the crime in U.S. history.”
Indeed. Trump has been pursuing this slanderous narrative for most of his term. His first tweet on the matter was the single word, all-caps, quizzical outburst, “TREASON?” in September 2018. More recently, in May he rage-tweeted “The Russia Hoax is the biggest political scandal in American history. Treason!!!” He even said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “every bit as guilty“ of treason. And that's just for starters. Here are the myriad berserk accusations of treason that he's made as documented by the Post:
- President Barack Obama
- Congressional Democrats
- The news media
- The author of an anonymous op-ed
- Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page
- Former FBI director James Comey
- Former top FBI official Andrew McCabe
- Rep. Adam Schiff (4 times)
- The attorney for the Ukraine whistleblower
- Obama's Justice Department
Experienced Trump watchers are well aware that nearly every criticism he lobs at others is what psychologists refer to as “projection:” a defense mechanism in which one denies the existence of unpleasant characteristics in themselves, while attributing them to others. Consequently, Trump's plaintive whines of treason are evidence of his true self-appraisal. Deep down he knows that his words and actions are un-American and anti-democratic. But since his mental state is too fragile to process those feelings, he projects them unto his perceived adversaries.
This mental trickery is totally contrary to the tough guy image that Trump is so desperate to present. In fact, it is the behavior of weaklings and cowards who are unable to face their own shortcomings, or the strengths of those that challenge them. It's a way of running away from one's problems and reality. Trump is the textbook example of this psychological defect. And while it's fascinating to see this unfold in such a public manner, it's frightening to know that the one stricken with it is ostensibly running the country. But hopefully not for too much longer.
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