The (Psycho) Path to the White House


Customarily, the chattering classes pronounce their election post-mortems after the country has made its decision. This time, however, I feel a need to beat the rush. Why so early, you may ask. Because as of this writing, the contest is over, and Donald J. Trump has been fired.

There are scads of reasons why he failed in his presidential bid including all the aspersions he cast against Hispanics, Muslims, African-Americans and women. In addition, there were the myriad of insults he hurled against individuals such John McCain, the Khan family, Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, as well as the military and its leaders, the federal government and his own political party. But that’s too specific for my tastes. The underlying reason, in my opinion both personally and professionally, is that Donald J. Trump is a psychopath, who may also be living with a mental illness.

First, a brief look at my past professional endeavors. I have been employed as a broadcast journalist, radio talk show host, local director of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and at two mental health centers, as a Certified Peer Specialist. This means I have counseled hundreds of clients to deal with their mental illness and have done so successfully. The reason is I live with bipolar disorder, which has been successfully treated, and have a basis to evaluate others, who may or may not realize they’re ill.

First, let’s talk about Trump’s psychopathy. Research indicates a psychopath has several traits which differ from those with normal behavioral patterns. Science shows psychopaths have little regard for laws and social mores. They fail to feel any remorse or guilt, are devoid of any empathy for anyone but themselves. They easily manipulate others by evincing a disarming or charming personality, by which they can easily gain people’s trust while appearing normal to the unsuspecting person. Additionally, psychopaths have been found to be well educated, hold steady jobs as well as being cool, calm and meticulous. Consequently psychopaths make superior con artists all the while maintaining a grandiose notion of self-worth. In fact, when the newest editions of English language dictionaries are published in the future, there’s no doubt Trump’s picture will be listed alongside the word’s definition.

However, there is another aspect to Trump’s behavior which began to blossom during the final weeks of the campaign, and this trait was even more disturbing because from my view, as a mental health professional, his sudden deterioration into the bowels of extreme paranoia indicates his behavior mimicked that of a person living with a real mental illness.

In the mid-2000’s, I worked at the mental health facility in Austin, Texas. One of my clients was a homeless man, who from time to time, used the agency to get treatment.

He suffered from schizophrenia and truly believed in his heart that the county sheriff’s office was out to kill him. I vividly recall speaking to the head of the county’s mental health officers and asking if she would write the client a letter letting him know no one was out to get him. Needless to say, the idea failed and the man continued his psychotic notions. Moreover, he never truly understood just how ill he was and frequently insisted everyone else was “crazy.” You see, one of the biggest problems helping people living with a mental illness, in some cases, is their total lack of insight toward their current conditions, which leads to the belief there’s no need to be treated.

For the layman, schizophrenia is an illness characterized by delusion thinking, paranoid thoughts that someone was out to get them, inconsistent cognition and, at times audio or visual hallucinations. Therefore when Trump, his lackeys and his voter base began spouting gibberish about how the election was rigged, about how the media were a force against him and about how his own party’s leadership aligned foursquare against him, I finally started to treat him as a true danger to himself and others and not just another creepy clown hanging in the shadows waiting to scare someone to death.

And so Trump lost. Was it because he exhibited the symptoms of a psychopath and perhaps even a psychotic? Was it simply because there aren’t enough truly sick people in this country and that he was always headed for defeat? Or perhaps he meticulously planned this whole charade? Remember prior to his presidential announcement, Trump spoke with Bill Clinton. Did they plan this together as a way to get Hillary elected and take down her vast right-wing conspiracy?

If so, though, what was in it for Trump? As soon as the election was over and his initial outcries of “foul,” he did what he always planned to do all along: move into his new Trump International Hotel, located between the White House and Capitol Hill, and form a government-in-exile with Roger Ailes, Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, InfoWars’ Alex Jones and former KKK honcho, David Duke. This scenario would play directly into his wanting to be the most revered and hated person in the world, a goal he has always had because it allowed him fuel his own love for himself and his hatred toward our system of representative government he tried so hard to scuttle.

A man much wiser than me once said, “Paranoia will annoy ya.” Therefore, for all of you who plan to visit Washington D.C. in the future, you might want to visit Trump’s new bunker were he and his buddies are circling the wagons just like Custer. Please though, whatever you do, don’t feed or disturb these denizens of the deep. They’ll only love you for it.

Eric Blumberg is a former radio news reporter and talk show host who now teaches communications and writing at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, Iowa. See And yes, we realize the election isn’t over until it’s over. Vote on or before Nov. 8.

From The Progressive Populist, November 15, 2016

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