A cry for help is coming from the White House. Even Trump’s inner circle say he’s unstable; the danger is growing
From the moment Donald Trump went down that golden escalator back in June of 2015 to announce his candidacy, people have been predicting that his improbable foray into politics was on the verge of imploding. There were a dozen disqualifying moments during the campaign, and since he’s been president, we’ve careened from one disaster to another, each time wondering if he’s going to survive. The smart money says he does, because he always has.
Having said that, there’s a shift taking place in Washington. It may just be the realization setting in that the man we saw on the campaign trail was the real, authentic Donald Trump and he’s not going to change. There are too many reports coming from inside the administration on Capitol Hill expressing concern at his behavior to write this off as just another Trump storm that will soon pass. There are alarms going off all over Washington, and it feels different this time.
First there are the reports of Trump having to be handled like a small child because of his moodiness and irrational demands. This part does not surprise me. He showed his puerile temperament on the campaign trail from the beginning. The infantile nicknames, his rage tweets, his narcissism all pointed to someone who was emotionally immature and intellectually in over his head. Here’s one example from early in the primary season:
Trump’s childish combativeness hasn’t changed since he’s been president and led to his greatest self-inflicted wound, the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the naming of special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the Russia investigation.
There is also a growing acknowledgement that Trump doesn’t understand the job and isn’t able to learn it. This too was obvious before the election. He was up-front about how he does business, admitting that he never bothered with market research or consultants of any kind. According to The Washington Post, back inJuly of 2016 Trump said he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.” He told them that he didn’t trust experts because “they can’t see the forest for the trees” and “when he makes decisions, people see that he instinctively knows the right thing to do.”
No one should have expected that he would be willing or able to learn anything new as president, and he isn’t. He believes he is omniscient.
Indeed, we’ve seen a lot of reports that the president’s behavior is getting worse. Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair published an article on Wednesday in which numerous sources told him that the White House is in crisis and that Sen. Bob Corker’s comments have “brought into the open what several people close to the president” have told Sherman in private: “that Trump is ‘unstable,’ ‘losing a step,’ and ‘unraveling.'” He is described as “increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods,” particularly since his chosen candidate in the Alabama Senate race, Luther Strange, lost the primary runoff and he began to suspect that “his cult of personality was broken.”