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Donald Trump is an attention addict — his appearance at CPAC will offer the latest proof

There is no rational or reasonable explanation why Donald Trump is even considering another presidential run in 2024. He has no agenda. He has no real ideology other than his self-aggrandizement and greed. He had a dreadfully inept, contentious and fractious term as president from 2017 to 2021. He is probably facing imminent civil and criminal legal charges. He is in financial dire straits. He lost his last election by 7 million votes.

Trump's upcoming appearance at CPAC this weekend, however, clearly signals that another presidential campaign may be in his sights. A return to private life may not be enough for him. There is a longstanding tradition that ex-presidents retreat into the background so the new president can shine. But that does not fit Donald Trump's psyche. Just the opposite is true: He wants to spoil Joe Biden's time in the sun by stealing as much attention away from him as possible.

The real explanation is that Donald Trump is an attention addict. He is addicted to the attention that national political life brings him. He is addicted to running for president and to being president. It is all about satiating his needs and wants — and cravings. Attention is his psychic oxygen. He feels like he is dying mentally when attention is not forthcoming. He does not differentiate between positive attention and negative attention — either will do in his jonesing mind. As with an oppositional child, even negative attention makes him feel energized and powerful.

Trump's attention addiction was in full force during his presidential term. He held more than 80 pep rallies so that he could bask in the glow of the attention from the masses. And his almost nonstop tweeting — late into the night and distressingly early in the morning — showed that he was addicted to instant attention.

The fact that Trump is an attention addict is hardly a reason for us to allow him to run for president again. We would not let a known heroin addict be mayor. We would not let an opioid addict become governor. We would not let a benzodiazepine addict be a senator. So we should not let an attention addict be our president.

Why? Because all elected officials take a sworn oath to protect the public's safety and well-being. An attention addict, by definition, cannot possibly meet that obligation. The public good is of no concern to an addict whose sole mission in life is to consume more and more of the sought-after prize.

Trump has already proven that his addiction interferes with his capacity to be a public servant. His addiction kept him from solving the existential crises that our country faced: a deadly pandemic, a crashed economy, racial and economic inequality, domestic violence, immigration and many others.

He could not even facilitate the orderly and peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden once he lost the election. He had to incite an insurrection of our government in an attempt to hold onto power — and attention. This just shows you the lengths an addict will go to maintain his addiction.

Trump needs intervention for his addiction. He needs a treatment plan that includes abstinence from attention, expression of remorse to those he has aggrieved, a concrete plan for his future without attention and ongoing, uninterrupted individual and group therapy.

The public should not exacerbate his attention addiction. It is not what he needs. Let us not make his attention addiction worse by electing him again. He would fail miserably. After all, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

It is not what we need as a country either. We are a huge, diverse republic that has many challenges ahead. We do not need an addict running our country. We need leadership that is wise, seasoned and serious. Joe Biden seems to fit the bill for the moment — he does not have an attention addiction. We go days without seeing him and hearing him. He is doing his job without fanfare. He is solving problems without the constant need to take credit. He has brilliant people around him and allows them to garner their own attention. He never brags, exaggerates, fabricates or spreads conspiracy theories.

We need to leave the attention addicts to the entertainment business. Attention addiction there is much more adaptive and rewarding since attention is the "real" currency in that business.

We are exhausted from having an attention addict run our country. He ran us into the ground, all the while just wanting our attention. Why didn't he just ask for it? Why did he have to put us through so much upheaval and tumult? That was his addiction talking.

Perhaps Trump can reprise "The Apprentice" on a major television network. That would be squarely in his wheelhouse. Had he stayed on that show to begin with, hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died might still be alive.

That is proof enough that we should not have an attention addict in our national leadership. Trump must be disqualified from elected office. We must not subject ourselves to his dangerous and self-destructive addiction again.

Let us hope Trump gets the help he needs. Even more important, let's hope we are smart enough to discourage him from running for another term. We have already fed his addiction for far too long.

Republicans in Congress have doubled down on Trump's attempted coup -- here's why we can't tolerate that

"We fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."

These were the words of then-President Donald Trump as he addressed a large, hostile crowd in front of the White House on Jan. 6, 2021.

It has now been more than a month since Trump and his congressional allies incited and supported the insurrection against our country's democracy. It was an attempt by a mob of violent seditionists to attack the Capitol and stop Congress from affirming the Electoral College victory of Joe Biden. This was planned and orchestrated by the sitting president with the hope that he could remain in power against the will of the people. Five people died. Dozens of police officers were injured. Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi were in grave danger of being seized and murdered. It was an unimaginable and indescribable scene of terror. Many of the insurrectionists had tactical gear and communications equipment. They roamed the halls with zip ties hunting for Pence and Pelosi. They built gallows and chanted death threats. They beat a police officer with a pole bearing the U.S. flag. And let us not forget that President Trump chose not to intervene when the violence began. With the resources at his disposal, he easily and rapidly could have.

Never in our 245-year history has our democracy been actively sabotaged by a sitting president and his congressional sycophants. The events of Jan. 6, 2021 will be highlighted in all history books going forward. The insurrection of our election will never be forgotten. Its significance is on par with Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day).

Donald Trump was quickly impeached — for the second time — for his incitement of this insurrection. At this writing, he is about to stand trial in the Senate. He is refusing to testify. Trump's behavior in the insurrection is easily explained by his psychopathic personality and his unrelenting desire to remain in power, despite losing both the popular vote (for a second time) and the Electoral College vote. Those of us who are mental health professionals predicted his pathological and violent response to his election defeat. No one should be surprised by the depth of his crass, repugnant and anti-democratic behavior. After all, everything is about Trump — the welfare of the country and its people be damned.

The Republican Party has been complicit with Trump for four years and counting. It has enabledhis quest to obtain absolute authority, politicize the Justice Department in his behalf, grift the American people and break norms, rules and laws with impunity. Republicans have been walking side-by-side with Trump every step of the way during his march to transform democracy into his own brand of authoritarianism. The insurrection was to be Trump's final accomplishment in his mission. He failed — but it was a close call. It was a bungled coup attempt that matched the ineptness of his past four years in office. A more intelligent and capable man might have pulled it off.

It is unlikely that Republican senators will have the insight and courage to convict Trump during his impeachment trial. Their complicity will continue. Their support of Trump's insurrection is crystal clear. They have tried to distract us by saying we must "move on." They want us to deny the objective reality of their full-throated endorsement of Trump's self-serving conspiracy theories that the election was stolen from him.

Congressional Republicans who supported Trump's overthrow of the democratic election must be rooted out. On the morning of the Capitol attack, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado tweeted, "Today is 1776."

Some congressional Republicans had reportedly given tours to the insurrectionists on Jan. 5. Eight Senators and 139 representatives supported at least one objection to the already-certified Electoral College vote. They promulgated false and fake conspiracy theories about how the election had been stolen from Trump, and cast their votes to support an authoritarian president who wanted to remain in power in defiance of the Constitution. Their entire scenario was a lie — the Big Lie — but they maintained their allegiance to their cult leader even though an insurrection against our government had occurred just the day before.

Sen. Ted Cruz supported the insurrection and actually engaged in fundraising during it. At least three newspapers in Texas have called for his resignation. Sen. Josh Hawley was in full support of Trump's efforts to remain in power despite the will of the people. He cheered on the mob attackers with the now indelible image of his raised clenched fist. Newspapers in Missouri are calling for his resignation. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has talked out of both sides of his mouth about Trump's role in the insurrection, and has refused to disavow the dangerous conspiracy theories about a stolen election. Sen. Lindsey Graham has voiced his disapproval of the impeachment of Trump for the insurrection. Sen. Ron Johnson is blaming Pelosi for the mob's actions. Rep. Matt Gaetz traveled to Wyoming to rile up supporters to punish Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican House whip, because she supported Trump's impeachment. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a newcomer to Congress, has been an outspoken supporter of Trump's efforts to remain in power. Rep. Mo Brooks has gone on the record to support Trump and his fake conspiracy theories about the election. The list goes on and on. But Congress, the media and historians need to do what has been started here: List the seditionists by name and call out their treachery.

Since the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Republican Party has degenerated and gravitated to the fringe of the extremists, showcased by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and others. Their support of Trump is stronger and more irrational than ever — despite the fact that he has been defeated and disgraced.

There are some reasonable Republicans who have spoken out against Trump and the insurrectionists. Sens. Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Lisa Murkowski have led the way, yet their words have been drowned out by the loud voices of the Q party who are doubling down on their blatant lies and conspiracy theories.

We have just witnessed an attempted coup against our democratic election. If the insurrectionists had been successful, Donald Trump would still be in high office and our democracy would be in shambles. We would no longer have open and free elections. We would no longer have three branches of government, the rule of law and a free press. Lies, conspiracy theories, violence and authoritarianism would prevail. Our country would be transformed into the psychopathic image of Donald Trump.

Accountability must be our mantra as we try to recover from the trauma of Jan. 6. Sticking our collective heads in the sand will not help us maintain and renew our democratic experiment. Reprimand and censure are far too weak for the offenses at hand. An attempted overthrow of our democracy requires nothing short of expulsion. There is no more egregious and reprehensible offense an elected official can commit.

It is time for us to clean house of all seditionists and traitors. We cannot allow them to remain in the sacred halls of Congress. They are a cancer that has metastasized. They are anti-democratic and anti-American outliers. Their voices and their influence must be stamped out decisively.

Please remember that not one of these congressional Republicans has shown an ounce of regret or shame for their actions on or before Jan. 6. Not one has apologized to the American people. If anything, they have fortified their position and their resolve. They continue to support Donald Trump and his abortive insurrection. They have not learned a thing. This is a collective lack of conscience shown by a large group of seditionists.

They leave us no choice: The only way to save our democracy is through expulsion, banishment and lasting shame.

Senate Republicans could still save their party from disaster -- but we already know they won't

Make no mistake about it: This is Donald Trump's Republican Party. The party has become a wasteland of Trumpism. Rather than embracing Trump's exit and beginning to reinvent itself, the party has chosen to double down on Trumpism. As a result, the Republican Party is in grave danger of becoming a fringe group, unmoored from reality and antagonistic to democracy. All because of Donald Trump and his four-year history of pathology and self-serving maliciousness.

Trump's mental pathology has been projected onto the country. Divisiveness, tribalism, cruelty, violence, lies, propaganda and conspiracy theories are all manifestations of his pathology. In the beginning, Republicans were enablers who were complicit in Trump's mission of securing absolute power, politicizing the Department of Justice, grifting the American public and breaking all norms, rules and laws with impunity.

Even at the tail end of his regime, many Republicans supported or participated in Trump's incitement of insurrection against our democratic election. Nothing could have been more anti-American and treasonous than an attempted coup of our election process, led by a sitting president. Trump understood that Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were in grave danger and could have been murdered. He did not care a whit. Many congressional Republicans were on board. Some may have given tours to the insurrectionists the day before the Jan. 6 crisis at the Capitol. To be sure, the attempted rebellion against our government was orchestrated and sanctioned by President Trump. It was a history-making, jaw-dropping, America-bashing maneuver by a president who was trying to overturn the will of the people.

After Jan. 6, the Republican party could have reawakened and changed course. Instead, it has regressed into an abyss of extremism, lies, conspiracy theories and threats of violence. House Republicans have refused to repudiate or expel Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who in effect has now become the poster child for the party. Her vile and incendiary rhetoric has not been rebuffed or stamped out, and at best has only been set aside for the moment. Rep. Matt Gaetz has traveled to Wyoming to rile up supporters to denounce Rep. Liz Cheney for the sin of voting to impeach Trump.

Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who led the attempt in the Senate to overturn a legitimate election, have not repudiated the insurrectionists. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has traveled to Florida to kiss Trump's ring and enlist his further influence in the party. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell talks out of both sides of his mouth. Sen. Lindsey Graham is a firm supporter of Trumpism, even while voting to reject the coup attempt itself. The list goes on.

It is inconceivable that all of Trump's 74 million voters are supportive of the aberrant and imploding Republican party. They cannot possibly all believe that wildfires were started by "Jewish space lasers," that school shootings which devastated the entire country were elaborate hoaxes, that Trump won the election by a landslide, and that the attempted overthrow of democracy is to be rewarded. Most reasonable and thoughtful Americans must understand that the Republican Party has devolved into an extremist faction that does not have our country's viability and sustainability at heart. These conspiracy theorists, and those in Congress who support them, are anti-democratic in their basic belief system. They are unhinged from reality, and their unimaginable conspiracy theories are now at the core of Trumpism.

Donald Trump was never a healthy and effective national leader — and most certainly will never be one in the future — because his mental pathology will not allow it. Because of his disorder, Trump will forever be divisive, hostile, cruel, paranoid and wedded to propaganda. It is impossible for him to be rational, compromising, empathetic or unifying. He is a transactional opportunist who simply does not understand public service, care for others, sacrifice or mutual understanding. He is a destroyer rather than a builder. He is consumed with greed and self-aggrandizement rather than an altruistic desire to help others.

To have any kind of healthy future in American politics, the Republican Party must divorce itself from Trump immediately. It must reinvent itself with renewed democratic principles and ideals. The party must find fresh leaders who are courageous and fearless. Unfortunately, we already know this is unlikely to happen.

Senate Republicans still have a chance, at least hypothetically, to forge their final divorce from Donald Trump during his upcoming impeachment trial. This their chance to make their mark in history. This is their chance to shape the new trajectory of their party, and create the possibility of a healthy political future. Convicting Trump and banning him from future elected office would send a dramatic message to all Americans. Republicans have a chance to be true heroes — rather than spineless cowards. Many of them must understand that their party is dead in the water if they hitch their wagon to Trumpism going forward. It has no chance of success. Americans are not ready to lose their cherished democracy in the name of treasonous Donald Trump. It is not going to happen.

Even beyond Trump, the Republican Party must jettison its extremist and fringe followers. There must be no room for lies, conspiracy theories, white supremacy, radical violence or insurrection against our democracy.

We are at an inflection point in the American experiment. Donald Trump is gone from office at last, but his influence is still metastasizing like a cancer within the Republican party.

Senate Republicans face a historic choice. They can nail Donald Trump's political coffin closed, or send our democracy down a dark and rocky path.

This could have been prevented: How mainstream media silenced mental health experts who sounded the alarm on Trump

There is an unambiguous reason why mental health experts have not been seen or heard or read in the national media during the past four years. The mainstream media has intentionally blocked these experts from speaking out about Donald Trump's mental pathology and its dangerous impact on the public's safety and welfare. The professionals who understand Trump the best have been gagged and muzzled. The media has been a major enabler of Trump — and that continues to this day.

Mental health experts could have helped to prevent Trump's election in 2016, minimized his destructiveness from 2016 to 2020, and/or thwarted his re-election chances in 2020. Their collective voices could have been loud, compelling and impactful. History will show that the mainstream media has been as complicit with Donald Trump as any other group of enablers, including congressional Republicans, cabinet members, close associates and his millions of supporters.

The role of the free press is vital in a representative democracy such as ours. It is protected in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The overarching purpose of the press is to be a watchdog of government and of our elected officials. The press is our indispensable friend. We depend on it to expose, inform, explain, interpret and, yes, warn. The free press is the foundation of our democratic way of life. It is what separates us from authoritarian regimes and third world countries.

A duty to warn the public is a central component of the role of the watchdog press. Politicians are under the microscope because they are our elected officials and must be held to account. That is the specific task of the press. When a politician is malicious or engages in nefarious activities, it is the responsibility of the free press to expose and warn — all for the greater good of the people.

It seems clear that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) informed prominent decision-makers in the mainstream media that its "Goldwater rule" prohibited psychiatrists — and perhaps others in the mental health field — from speaking out publicly about Donald Trump's mental health. The Goldwater rule is an ethical guideline advanced by the APA in 1973 that no one cared about until Trump became president. It asserts that psychiatrists should not comment on political figures because they have not interviewed them personally.

Far too many people in the media bought into the APA's narrative about the Goldwater rule. All mental health professionals were blocked from speaking out because it was deemed unethical. From that point on, any experts who chose to speak out anyway were to be seen as reckless and opportunistic.

The exact motives of the APA will never be known. One working theory is that the APA did not want to anger this president since that might have directly threatened the organization's federal funding and its scope of influence. After all, Trump responds with intense vindictiveness when he detects even slight disloyalty. The APA buckled, deciding that it needed to safeguard its own viability and sustainability. Its leading members did not want to rock the boat, and did not want any other members to do anything that might interfere with their organization's stature.

In fact, mental health experts are compelled to speak out when they see dangerousness or unfitness in a political figure. They have a social and ethical responsibility to voice their opinions and to inform the public. The public's safety and welfare are paramount. Experts who speak out are noble and good citizens and should be applauded, not ridiculed.

Almost immediately after Trump's election in 2016, mental health professionals were faced with an ethical dilemma imposed by the Goldwater rule. How could experts speak out in their duty to warn the public when they were supposedly prohibited from doing so by an ethical restraint?

Their conundrum was compounded by the media's decision to honor the Goldwater rule, and generally not allow mental health experts to voice their opinions.

In 2017, Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a psychiatrist, edited a bestselling book, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump." The chapters were written by mental health professionals who described Trump's mental pathology and dangerous qualities in detail. But that cutting-edge book did not open the floodgates for appearances by mental health experts in the media. In fact, they were blocked at every turn, and the Goldwater rule was often cited.

The Goldwater rule is outdated. Its relevance has passed. Today, mental health professionals have access to thousands of audios, videos, tweets, interviews, speeches, books, collateral interviews and more by politicians. A personal interview would be helpful, but it is not sufficient or comprehensive. Behavioral information over time is much more revealing, instructive and diagnostic.

Beyond that, mental health experts do not need to be shackled. They are highly trained. They have a wealth of knowledge. They are ethical. They do not discuss matters outside their area of expertise. They are fair and balanced. They acknowledge their limitations. Their political leanings are excluded in their well-reasoned opinions.

To add insult to injury, the media has had no qualms in publishing any number of articles by journalists about Trump's apparent pathology, while mental health experts themselves have been silenced. Furthermore, there is ample precedent for reporters, editors or producers to seek out experts in other medical specialties. For example, if Trump had a heart attack, cardiologists — who had not examined him — would be invited to share their expertise. The same should be true for mental health professionals.

As Trump's mental pathology became more malignant, it was hoped that leaders in the media would wake up, accept their vital role as watchdog, and actively encourage mental health experts to express their collective voices. Nothing of the kind happened. Many in the media dug in their heels, allowing Donald Trump to continue his mission of destruction without inviting the input of mental health experts. Their abdication of responsibility to warn the public has been glaring. Their lack of courage has been disappointing.

Trump's mental pathology has been a national emergency of historic proportions. But that stark reality has been largely undermined by the media — and the public is paying a devastating price: lies, gaslighting, pandemic deaths, economic woes, tribalism, racism, xenophobia, terrorism, cruelty, corruption, subversion and so much more.

Trump has been devilishly adept at undermining the media's credibility with the public. He has called the free press "the enemy of the people." When he does not like a story, he calls it "fake news." Millions of Americans now view the mainstream corporate media as hopelessly biased, liberal, and unfair in their coverage of the president. Trump's attacks served the purpose of putting the media on its heels. It became passive and reactive. It cowered, apologized, fired back weakly. Many in the media have treated Trump with kid gloves, hoping that perhaps his barrage of attacks on them would lessen or cease.

By not allowing experts to speak out, the media has contributed to the normalization of Trump's mental pathology — also known as malignant normality. Let us be clear: Donald Trump is a psychopath. He is in a class all to himself. Look at how he has created unprecedented havoc in the country since his election defeat. His desire to subvert our democracy is a reflection of the severity of his psychopathy. He is drunk with power, adulation, greed and corruption. He has utter contempt for the will of the people. His recorded conversation last Saturday with the Georgia secretary of state shows his potentially illegal attempt to overturn the election results in that state. Trump is a menace to the safety and welfare of the public.

Mental health experts should have been front and center in warning about Trump's pathology all along. But their voices have been silenced. And the public has been profoundly ill-informed about this president. Decisive information about his dangerousness, his unfitness, his cruelty and his corruption has been suppressed. His psychopathy has been allowed to flourish.

But here is the ultimate irony. The media and mental health experts have the exact same mission: to serve the public. They are not adversaries. They do not have conflicting goals. Duty to warn the public is the cornerstone for both. They should be working together in lockstep.

Trump could have been stopped years earlier had the media taken their duty seriously and provided the platform for mental health experts to speak out. Instead, they shirked their responsibility. They ran and hid. This silencing of mental health experts is a terrible untold story. This purposeful subversion of the duty to warn the public has had — and is still having — catastrophic consequences in our country.

The darkness and heartache of Donald Trump's last days in office make that only too clear.

Our pathological president is sunk in worsening delusion: With three weeks to go, how bad will Donald Trump get?

We must face the alarming truth. Our irrational and reckless president will spend his last 23 days in office harboring the hope that a military coup in our country will allow him to remain in power. Or that Congress will overthrow the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6. Donald Trump is totally preoccupied with his existential survival as the walls of reality are closing in on him. He has been repudiated in the election. His psyche cannot comprehend how he could have lost to such an ordinary, mortal man. He is beside himself with embarrassment and humiliation. He is driven by revenge. He wants to settle scores. His thin veneer of greatness and superiority is crumbling away. He is desperate and flailing.

Trump is a psychopath. He has all the defining characteristics in spades: narcissistic, sadistic, antisocial, paranoid. This is malignant psychopathology in the embodiment of our president. He has the kind of personality pathology that should be unacceptable in our top public servant. Trump should have been rooted out in 2016. A psychopath should never have been elected to the highest office in the land. We have been suffering for it ever since: division, tribalism, hostility, racism, xenophobia, terrorism and more.

Some mental health professionals voiced concern about Trump's mental health after his election in 2016. In late 2017, 37 mental health professionals described Trump's dangerousness and unfitness in a bestselling book, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump." But the publication of that book did not open the floodgates for mental health experts to voice their opinions in the media. In fact, there was considerable pushback from concerned colleagues. Plus, the mainstream media showed a rather strong allegiance to the antiquated "Goldwater rule" advanced by the American Psychiatric Association. Mental health experts were largely rebuffed by the media. As a result, the public was ill-informed and Donald Trump was elected.

Four years later, Trump was defeated by Vice President Joe Biden in November 2020, but not with the help of the mainstream media. Once again, the media buckled under the smothering influence of the Goldwater rule. Journalists' descriptions of Trump's pathology were published in the media, but experts themselves were muzzled. The primary exception, in fact, was Salon, which published commentary from a number of mental health professionals leading up to the November election and did not shy away from exposing the disturbing features of Donald Trump.

So here we are. Twenty-three days to go, and we are all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the next dreadful and unimaginable act from this disordered man. Our Constitution states that we are to have a peaceful and orderly transition of power to the next president. But we should not be surprised by Trump's desperate attempts to save himself by throwing democracy under the bus. Once and for all, we should be convinced that our psychopath in chief does not give a damn about the preciousness of our democratic way of life.

Trump is now totally consumed with his survival, his self-preservation. He cares about nothing else. He has totally abdicated his role as president. He is preoccupied with his anger, his grievances, his conspiracy theories and his conniving plans. He is a man on a mission to save his power and his pride simultaneously. It is a mission borne out of utter contempt for the will of the people.

He is willing to use corruption and seditious behavior to subvert democracy for his personal gain. He is trying to find the right conspiracy theory or voter-fraud narrative that will allow him to hang onto power. He does not understand why the guardrails of democracy are deterring him. He cannot fathom why the U.S. Supreme Court has not come to his rescue, especially after he has appointed three "Trump" associate justices. He does not treasure democracy. If anything, he sees it as an annoying obstacle to his goal of establishing a family dynasty. He wants to be a dictator or, better yet, a king.

He has turned his back on the thousands of Americans who are dying each week from the coronavirus. He has not mentioned the pandemic in weeks. He has not listened to a public health expert in months. He does not pay tribute to our fallen Americans. He has washed his hands of all responsibility for our pathetic response to this once-in-a-century national emergency. He is pretending that the coronavirus is gone, much as he pretends that he is smart and great and strong. He seems to derive a kind of sadistic pleasure from watching Americans die under his direction. He must see himself as the master of misery. Remember it was Trump who shut down a U.S. Postal Service plan to mail masks to all Americans. He also shut down mass testing and trace contacting.

Trump has abandoned the economic mess he caused. He did not lift a finger in the negotiation and passage of the new COVID relief bill, held it hostage for a couple of days for the drama of it all, and finally signed it. His erratic behavior has cost millions of Americans one week of their unemployment benefits. He acts as if the economy is humming along well when, in fact, we have had a net loss of 11 million jobs during the pandemic. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed permanently since March. He has not had a concrete plan for restoring the country's economy. Such a plan is not possible while the coronavirus is still surging in infections and deaths. To this day, he will not acknowledge the interconnectedness of the pandemic with our collapsed economy. And our economy is getting worse, not better.

His paranoia is raging as his desperation mounts. Trump is lashing out against even his most ardent apologists. He is accusing others of disloyalty and abandonment. He asked for Joe Biden to be arrested weeks before the election. He always sees himself as the victim when he is exposed or challenged or cornered. To be sure, his victimhood is both inaccurate and disingenuous. He is never the victim. He is always the one who is aggressive, cruel and reckless. His victimhood is a cynical psychological ploy to garner sympathy from his supporters and to try to wriggle out of a jam. But this jam is too much for him: He has lost the election fair and square, he has been abysmal in his handling of the pandemic and the economy is in dire shape. This trifecta cannot be overcome.

Trump is now issuing a spree of sleazy pardons. He has pardoned two people who lied to the FBI during the Mueller investigation, two corrupt ex-congressmen, and four war criminals who were involved in a 2007 massacre of civilians in Iraq. A few days ago, he pardoned his son-in-law's father and two of his closest associates (Roger Stone and Paul Manafort). Trump has always been aligned with criminal friends and associates. Psychopaths are attracted to other psychopaths. They have a shared lack of conscience and an obvious absence of shame. This is the president who put young children in cages at the border and now has pardoned murderers — a glimpse inside the hollow heart and soul of Donald Trump.

If Trump pardons his children and himself during the next three weeks, it will be a clear confession of wrongdoing by the psychopath in chief. Innocent presidents do not need to pardon themselves or their family members. A pardon is intended to absolve criminal actions. It would prove that Trump's victimhood is pure mythology.

Let us not forget Trump's unrelenting adulation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has recently turned a blind eye to Russia's massive cyberattack on our country. Trump has consistently put Putin's interests above ours. Two psychopaths in collusion will be the confirmed story.

Trump has been grifting nonstop since his election defeat in November. He has received more than $220 million in donations from his supporters, under the guise of fighting election fraud. In truth, the money will be used to pay off his campaign debt and to fund his PAC. It will be his personal piggybank. He is fleecing his supporters, and they do not seem to notice or care. Grifting others is Trump's only natural skill. But it is hardly the makings of a president who deserves to be on Mount Rushmore.

Trump still finds time to play golf on weekends and holidays. Nothing will stop that — not even a car bombing in downtown Nashville on Christmas Day. He would never let responsibility or care for others interfere with his pleasure at taxpayer expense ($151 million and counting). He has no understanding of how pathetic he looks on the golf course while thousands of Americans are struggling to take their last breaths or standing in food bank lines because they have been unemployed since March. A chance to cheat at golf while the country is not looking is way too much fun for him to pass up.

Trump is on a collision course with self-destruction. He is the Titanic and everyone around him is beginning to jump ship. Former Attorney General Bill Barr has jumped ship. Evangelist Pat Robertson has jumped ship. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has jumped ship. Even Vice President Mike Pence has one foot in the water. It is just a matter of time before Trump wakes up in an empty room of silence and gold toilets.

Republicans must accept their share of blame for their complicity with this destructive president. At any point along the way they could have found their collective voices and stopped him. Their party is teetering on the brink of irrelevance if they do not separate themselves from Trump. They have a chance to begin that separation on Jan. 6 in Congress when they refuse to participate in Trump's demand — fueled by bribes and threats — to reject the Electoral College results.

Because loyalty is a one-way street for Trump, he will end up alone. He will still have his children and his son-in-law, of course — they are stuck with him. But one or all of them may turn on him when criminal charges are finally filed. Before it is over, Trump's closest friend may be his cellmate.

Democracy will prevail. Trump will be gone on Jan. 20. He will not attend Joe Biden's inauguration because he cannot tolerate the embarrassment of his loss. He cannot even fake humility and kindness for an hour or two for the good of the country. He will slither away through the back door of the White House, all the while proclaiming victory and affirming his exalted status as the best president ever. After all, he has to maintain his "idealized self" of indispensable greatness.

Historians will be extremely unkind to Trump. He will be seared by presidential scholars. He will deserve all their harshness and condemnation. He will likely be remembered as the worst president in U.S. history. His legacy will be one of incompetence, cruelty and corruption. If he thinks he is humiliated now, wait until his supporters wake up and finally reject him for being such a failed, miserable and treasonous leader.

Hopefully, Donald Trump will be our one and only psychopath as president. We must not put ourselves through this national anguish and darkness again. Above all else, we must make sure the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans teach us an unforgettable lesson.

Lesson learned. Never again.

'Psychopath' Trump will need to be pushed out of the White House -- according to this mental health expert

We know that Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist. Despite dozens of explanations of this disorder, many Americans still don’t understand. Trump does not care a whit about you or our democracy. He is willing to attack, undermine, and destroy our America in order to save his power and to exalt his very presence. It is the pathology of a dictator. It is the pathology of a menace to our democracy.

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Trump's mental pathology is still inflicting abuse on Americans -- even after he has lost the election

Malignant narcissists do not simply or easily go away. In romantic relationships, extricating oneself from a narcissist is difficult and fraught with danger. After all, narcissists are capable of creating great turmoil, chaos, and fear. Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist. Although the reality is that he has lost the election, our extrication from him is just beginning. Trump’s pathology is still front and center. And he is still abusing us.

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Expert: Donald Trump’s pathological projection is more abuse on America—and it must be stopped

Donald Trump is clamoring that the Democrats are stealing the election. He has voiced baseless accusations of voter fraud. But it is actually Trump who is attempting to subvert the election process and to undermine our democracy. This is Trump’s use of projection once again. Over and over again it is this psychic mechanism that Trump uses to manipulate and brainwash his half of America. It is pathological. It is destructive. It is a reflection of how disordered Trump is. And it is more abuse on Americans.

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Trump has made it clear: He expects you to die to advance his narcissist agenda

Donald Trump announced Tuesday night that he wants Americans to develop herd immunity, what he called “herd mentality,” in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  According to the experts, that will result in millions of deaths.

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Expert explains how Donald Trump's pathology of victimhood is as dangerous for the GOP as it is for the rest of us

Donald Trump uses victimhood as a means of manipulating and exploiting others. Whenever he fails or is caught in a lie or does something corrupt, he reflexively twists it around and blames others. Not only that, he then claims he is the victim. That is the classic pattern of a malignant narcissist.Trump has tweeted the phrase "Presidential harassment" 37 times in the past 2 years. In March 2019, he tweeted that he had faced "the most vicious and corrupt mainstream media that any president has ever had to endure." In July 2020, Trump asserted that he was the victim of "political prosecution" by the U.S. Supreme Court after he lost his tax returns case.Trump's constant victimhood is a byproduct of his psychiatric disorder. It is false. It is distorted. It is manufactured in his mind. Trump feels victimized as a way of protecting his self-image of superiority and grandiosity. Otherwise, if he accepts blame for his thoughts or actions, his self-image will crumble and wither away. That is totally unacceptable to him; his grandiose self-image must be maintained at all cost.

Trump's victimhood has been used throughout his presidency. In his mind, he is the victim of the pandemic, of the economic collapse, of our racial problems. He is the victim of the protests in the cities, of the Russia probe, of his own impeachment, of his associates' criminal activities — and the list goes on and on.

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Time is running out for Republicans to finally stand against Trump's malignant narcissism and sociopathy

Donald Trump’s narcissism and his sociopathy and his sadism have been dominant in his political life as president. It is this psychopathology that underlies his yearnings for power and control and greed. He has felt empowered and emboldened to push the limits on the guardrails of democracy. As Philip Rotner writes in his 2019 Bulwark piece, “Americans have spent generations during which the largest threats to our political system were external. Today, the threat is coming from inside the house.”

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Psychologist explains how Trump's 'delusional' alternative universe will be celebrated this week at the RNC

Donald Trump lives in his own alternate universe. He sees the world not as it really is, but how he wants it to be. He relies on magical thinking—the belief that his thoughts can directly make something happen in the real world—and conspiracy theory—the belief that other people are making something happen in a sinister fashion behind his back.

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Here are 15 things Trump could have done to thwart the coronavirus crisis instead of gambling with American lives

I have written several pieces about Donald Trump’s personality pathology. It is baked-in news now. The fact that the coronavirus pandemic is beating us up because of major blunders by Trump is beyond obvious. It is old news too. But what is much more worthwhile to talk about are the steps a competent president could have taken from the outset to defeat this pandemic.

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Expert explains the psychopathology that underlies Trump's dictatorial behavior

I’m not being hyperbolic or melodramatic when I say that democracy itself is on the line on November 3. Donald Trump has been on a mission to subvert our democracy and to push it toward an autocracy. No president has ever disavowed democracy like Trump. No president has ever wanted to change our democratic way of life like Trump.

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Trump's psychiatric disturbance could destroy democracy if he wins a second term: clinical psychologist

I’m not being hyperbolic or melodramatic when I say that democracy itself is on the line on November 3. Donald Trump has been on a mission to subvert our democracy and to push it toward an autocracy. No president has ever disavowed democracy like Trump. No president has ever wanted to change our democratic way of life like Trump.

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