There Is Something Wrong with the President

For reasons frustrating, inexplicable, and pathetic, the political press has decided only now, a year into Donald Trump's presidency, to have a conversation about his psychological fitness for the job — despite the fact that his grotesque temperament has been manifestly evident since the day he swaggered into the public eye.

And despite the fact that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, repeatedly warned that he was temperamentally unfit for the presidency, as did countless other people, especially women who have survived abuse, obliged by cruel men to become experts in its hallmarks. We knew who Trump is the moment we had the misfortune of laying eyes on him.

This long-delayed conversation is riddled with disablism — the substitution of mental illness or dementia as explanation where malice and indecency should be.

Maybe Trump is mentally ill, or taken by a degenerative disease like Alzheimer's or syphilis, which is exacerbating the more critical issue: That he is a terrible person, who is reckless and bigoted willfully ignorant and insecure and vainglorious and profoundly spoiled and catastrophically selfish and lazy as fuck.

That should be the center of this conversation: His personality flaws.

And a secondary conversation altogether ought to be had about why it is that meaningful discussion on this subject was delayed until after Trump was given the keys to the kingdom — and its nuclear codes.

But so it is and here we are. In today's Washington Post, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker have written a piece bluntly headlined: "The White House Struggles to Silence Talk of Trump's Mental Fitness." They note that Trump himself didn't help his cause by tweeting that he is "like, really smart" and "a very stable genius."

"In doing so," they write, "the president underscored his administration's response strategy — by being forceful and combative — while also undermining it by gleefully entering a debate his aides have tried to avoid."

But his administration's strategy isn't doing him any favors, either. Rucker and Parker further report that, in an emailed statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders proclaimed: "The White House perspective is outrage and disgust that people who do not know this President or understand the true depth of his intellectual capabilities would be so filled with hate they would resort to something so far outside the realm of reality or decency."

Yeah. That lavish hyperbole is not going to convince anyone that Trump has his shit together. To the absolute contrary, it sounds exactly like the overwrought PR issued on behalf of an intemperate, menacing tyrant.

Which is perhaps because that's precisely what it is.

People will talk around this issue, in unkind and inappropriate ways, by debating Trump's intelligence or his sanity, but that doesn't change the inescapable reality that there is something wrong with the president: He is a terrible person.

And he is a terrible person who has been given virtually unlimited power, which is what turns terrible people into dangerous despots.

There are people tasked with checking that power. They are derelict in their duty. And, because they abet him, whatever the dangerous despot does, the blood will be on their hands, too.

Because the president is observably a terrible person, and there couldn't be a press release in ten million years across ten million galaxies that could be so perfectly crafted as to obscure that fact.

We all see him. He needs to be disempowered. The only people who can do it, won't. There is something wrong with them, too.

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