There are two broad reasons for being appalled at the Trump presidency. One is that this now appears almost certain to be the most radically reactionary administration in American history. The second is that Donald Trump is a sociopath–psychologically unfit to be entrusted with the well-being of any large number of people, much less with the well-being of an entire nation, or planet. For a good discussion of the latter set of concerns, this piece by Peter Wehner is well worth reading. It’s especially noteworthy because Wehner, a mainstream Republican, shows no particular unhappiness with the policy orientation of the Trump administration.
Wehner doesn’t use the term “sociopath,” but he sees Trump as a deeply disordered, transgressive personality, with an incapacity “to distinguish between the good of the nation and his own vanity”:
He thrives on creating disorder, in violating rules, in provoking outrage. He is a shock jock. This might be a tolerable (if culturally coarsening) trait in a reality television star; it is a dangerous one in a commander in chief. He is unlikely to be contained by norms and customs, or even by laws and the Constitution. For Mr. Trump, nothing is sacred. The truth is malleable, instrumental, subjective. It is all about him. It is always about him.”
I just came across another astute discussion of Trump’s disordered personality by a right-winger, neo-conservative Charles Krauthammer, who happens to be a psychiatrist. According to Krauthammer, Trump
“is beyond narcissism. I used to think Trump was an 11-year-old, an undeveloped schoolyard bully. I was off by about 10 years. His needs are more primitive, an infantile hunger for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied. He lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has value—indeed exists—only insofar it sustains and inflates him.”