Trump’s Mental Instability Is Now An Economic Indicator

Donald Trump isn't a president implementing calculated chaos. He is a dangerously unstable man entirely divorced from reality, and it's rattling markets.
President Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn driveway of the White House Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

President Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn driveway of the White House Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Typically, we take it for granted that a superpower is led by a mentally stable, thoroughly vetted politician in charge of their emotions. In this light, what are we to make of President Trump looking up at the sky and declaring that he is “the chosen one” to a gaggle of reporters on the same day he indirectly tried to claim the mantle of King of Israel on his Twitter feed the day after he picked a fight with Denmark over a reported desire to buy Greenland, attacked the Chairman of the Federal Reserve as an enemy of the state, and “hereby ordered” American companies to divest from business with China? This behavior is what Russians like to call “having cockroaches roaming in one’s head.”

At this point, it’s impossible to ignore his rapid cognitive decline and its consequences for the nation, which is a rather scary thought because it leads us to the conclusion that the world’s preeminent superpower is being run by a man who clearly isn’t all there and a pack of enablers terrified of him and millions of his counterparts who vote for them. Even worse, it points to the disturbing trend of some Western boomers becoming lonelier, angrier, more toxic, and more paranoid as they age, and their determination to use their power to vote not as a civic responsibility, but as a weapon.

It’s also incredibly dangerous when we consider that we’re currently seeing these unhinged, smearing-bodily-fluids-on-the-walls-of-a-padded-room antics as the economy is indicating that we’re headed for a slowdown. It could just be a correction as the markets adjust and cool off some overheated sectors, or it could be a slight recession as companies realize that having more open positions than people looking for work, and 8 in 10 workers are living paycheck to paycheck, are signs that something is fundamentally wrong. But the worst thing one can do as the economy is signaling a problem is demonstrating that instead of a calm, collected person in charge, we’ve ended up with someone whose very sanity is rather questionable.

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Markets don’t run on cold, measured calculations. That’s just a fantasy Wall Street likes to tell us and those who invest in its picks. Markets run on the opinions of traders about the future of the economy, the companies who participate in them, and the mood of investors who fund them. If the companies and investors think that a certifiable madman is wildly lashing out from the Oval Office instead of actually planning on how to create a soft landing for the economy or coming up with policies to help keep investment and confidence high, they’re going to worry. And if they’re going to worry, they’re going to start cashing out, taking the markets further down with them as they sock their money away for the rainy day they see on the horizon.

This is yet another example of what we’re talking about when we say that character matters in politicians. It’s not used in the same abstract sense as couples on House Hunters throw around when looking for old homes, primarily in suburban New England. We’re talking about discipline and the ability to make calm decisions under stress, understanding one’s limitations, and hiring a team of experts who can provide you with factual, high-quality advice, and knowing how you’ll be perceived by others. Trump is clearly incapable of all of the above and his weeklong total meltdown is just more evidence that he’s simply not going to live up to his job’s demands and his only response to being prodded out of his fantasy world by professionals is to fire them and install spineless, intellectually vacant toadies in their place.

He attacks the nation’s psyche relentlessly because he’s a prisoner of his mind’s own noxious mix of fear and hatred, and with his schedule full of executive time — also known as watching Fox News and rage tweeting — and frequent golf trips to his own courses at taxpayer expense, all he does is keep feeding himself more outrage fuel which Fox, Breitbart, OANN, and other right-wing grifters deliver with the efficiency of an automated assembly line. Like reality show producers stirring up conflict by gossiping about what other contestants supposedly said about their target, they rile up baby boomers with more paranoia and conspiracy theories, and we’ve ended up with a president gullible enough to fall for this scam every time.

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I really don’t know what more to say about Trump and those who support him because they’re just carbon copies of him without the cash and manufactured notoriety, mainlining Fox News’ open bigotry and racist paranoia to vomit it back in their families’ faces and similarly losing their grasp on reality in favor of re-re-re-regurgitated Bircherite hysteria, that I haven’t already said at least twice before. What I can say is that for the sake of our future, we cannot allow the right wing’s murder-suicide pact of an ideology, wearing the bloody skin of conservatism it tortured and killed behind a shed, keep going unchallenged and bowing to its banshee with explosive diarrhea shrieking when covering it in the news.

From resurrecting Nazi and Satanic Panic conspiracy theories, to incoherent rambling about the nation of Israel and divine interventions, to attacking their own friends and family, the starving zombie of conservatism, perpetually howling with rage, is showing us yet again that we’re not in a political faceoff between different ideas, we’re battling literal, we-the-jury-find-the-defendant, DSM V insanity for the soul of our nation and the long term survival of our civilization. We have to stop pretending their opinions are just different and based on “alternative facts,” and state flat out that they’re messily divorced from reality. We have to stop pretending they argue in anything other than bad faith. And above all, we have to vote for sane politicians and demand the ones in office now actually do their jobs and protect their country.

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Opinion // Donald Trump / Economy / Mental Health