What do we make of the increasingly dangerous situation our nation is in, we are all in, as I and my colleagues warned would happen when Donald Trump became president? What I have been calling, “Trump Contagion,” has spread and morphed into new forms, even as the unprecedented criminal indictments against him have finally begun.
Last Saturday, with a giant screen behind him flashing scenes from the January 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection three years ago, Instigator-in-Chief Donald Trump stood, hand on heart, while a version of the National Anthem titled, “Justice for All,” played dramatically to open his first official 2024 “Rally” in Waco, Texas. Trump had arranged for the singing to be done by “the J6 Choir,” a chorus of men imprisoned for their roles in the insurrection—while a recording of Trump himself reciting lines for the Pledge of Allegiance was interspersed throughout.
All this followed from the previous week when Trump asserted, “potential death and destruction,” if and when he is indicted. As we recall from what happened when Trump called for his supporters to “show strength” and “fight like hell”—we know that he understands very well the effects his words will have.
We psychiatrists and mental health professionals realized we had an important professional and civic responsibility back in 2017 to educate the nation about the dangerous psychology of this man. We began with our conference at the Yale School of Medicine, then our bestselling public-service book, and then our many media appearances and meetings with members of Congress. We followed with the full C-Span broadcast of our major multidisciplinary conference at the National Press Club and with our “Prescriptions for Survival.” There is a good summary of what I and my colleagues have done in a Mother Jones article from last September.
A Call for Your Input:
We are reaching another pivotal point in “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” where the psychological aspects will matter almost as much as the criminal/legal/political aspects. We will be outlining in the coming days what we are going to try to do, but as medical professionals with a duty to public health, our obligation is to you. Perhaps you have suggestions and are able to help. If so, please feel free send in your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
- As per thesis of Ruth Ben Ghiat. Trump will be happy to continue his Presidential run even under indictment, even if he's convicted and even if he's sent to jail. For Trump, elections is not about national governance. For him, its about serving his own financial and psychological needs. He wants to become President again to become greater than rule of law, to pardon himself & his cronies and to unleash vendetta against his opponents.
- Ruthless accountability is needed in prosecution of Trump and his cronies. He's like the epitome of what's wrong with the "system" and how the most corrupt, incompetent and even mentally unfit leaders rise to the very top. And when they reach the top, they destroy everything with absolute brutality.
- There is window of opportunity to give a decisive blow to Trumpism provided there are people who can act swiftly, courageously and decisively (Bragg is American Hero). The trial of Trump should be thorough and swift. All the details of Trump's criminal records should be made public. The feckless Merrick Garland should speed up investigations and indictments (or else resign) on other fronts including Mar-a-Lago Documents, Jan 6 Riots, fake electors plot, attempt to overturn elections and in general committing acts of treason.
- Trump should be put under a gag order as he has already threatened courts and DA. While granting bail, Trump should be ordered to stop incendiary comments against prosecutors, court, jury etc. If Trump behaves otherwise, he should be put in strict detention. Take away his Megaphone. Trump may also realize that he's going down. When people like Trump finally realize that they are near their end, they try to destroy everything including their own supporters. When Germany's defeat was inevitable, Hitler gave Nero Decree to destroy Germany's own industry and infrastructure. Trump will fight tooth and nail to get back to WH to escape all accountability. If he realizes that retaining power is not possible, he will unleash his MAGA dupes (wretched poor people with no intellect) onto America - Death and destruction - as he has himself said in his own words.
- Trump while being the central figure of Fascism in America but there are strong backers behind him. That is why Trump has been escaping accountability all through his life. The oligarchs like Rupert Murdoch, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Mercer family etc (& stooges like Carlson, Hannity, Glenn Beck) and their organizations (Fox, Facebook, Newsmax, infowars etc) have long propagated dangerous anti-civilization agenda in America & throughout the world. Trump is like the lightening rod who protects these backers. These Oligarchs should be destroyed alongside Trump. (I am optimistic about outcome of Dominion lawsuit).
- All public intellectuals and organizations (specially ones like APA) should break their silence and start speaking boldly to inform public about the dangers posed to society by Trump and Trump contagion. All people of intellect and goodwill should realize we are like boiling frogs and at a juncture where they must realize that we will die eventually if the trends of Fascism are not reversed, and then social and planetary destruction may become inevitable.
- America is a special country. While Fascism and other forms of totalitarian/authoritarian political extremism is happening worldwide like in China, Israel, Russia, India, Brazil etc - maybe the tide can change. Maybe the tide will start changing starting with America.
- Activists, politicians, intellectuals, journalists, law enforcement officers etc of goodwill should stay motivated, courageous and dedicated to fight political extremism. We wish them best of luck.
Much like Dr. Lee I had no idea who Donald Trump was until 2015, eventually being shocked by his subsequent behaviors. As early and often he was described as a yard school bully and "how to treat such behavior?" has greatly enlarged so that he is a world wide danger. Regardless the setting he remains a dangerous character for whom rigid bounds must be constantly reinforced. How to do this? Given the pervasive lack of general awareness I suggest a nation campaign of public education on all fronts (political, legal) and broadcast news. Testimonials galore! It's an old point. It's still relevent. AND Urgent! Similar tactics have fallen on deaf ears but maybe someday these truths will be heard. Perhaps loud public "protests"?