A former speechwriter for George W. Bush said President Donald Trump’s tweets revealed he was lacking essential character traits, and he said Republicans should stop ignoring the growing evidence of a possible mental disorder.
Peter Wehner, who also previously served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that his fellow Republicans should start publicly expressing the concerns they privately share about the president’s fitness for office.
“These tweets shouldn’t be ignored because I think they are an insight into a disordered personality,” said Wehner, author of the forthcoming book The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump.
“These things speak to something deeply worrisome about this man,” he added. “It’s not just the narcissism, it’s the callousness, it’s the cruelty, it’s the vindictiveness, it’s the lack of shame. Those qualities are essential in human life, and they’re very important to have in a president.”
Tom Nichols, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, said many of his fellow conservatives had abandoned their principles to cover for a corrupt president.
“People who now call themselves conservatives or Republicans have completely lost their moral bearings,” Nichols said. “At this point it’s about tribalism, it’s about making other people angry. They judge their success politically about how angry other people are no matter what it takes to get there, which is really not a political movement so much as it’s a kind of childish reflex that doesn’t really have any of ideology or political content to it.”
Nichols said the GOP had taken on the personality flaws demonstrated by the president.
“It’s mostly just an oppositional defiance disorder amongst an entire political party,” he said. “There’s a loss of decency amongst people who once prized things, or at least claimed to prize things like character, honor, decency, civility — that’s all gone now.”