He’s an old white guy full of rage, despair, and vindictiveness; all of the strategies he’s used throughout life to be a winner have lately failed, and he now finds himself a very public loser.
Because he is narcissistic, the public nature of his failure is close to unendurable, and he continues to try everything in his power to reverse events. The collapse of these efforts only adds to his public humiliation.
He has been in bad physical health. It’s quite possible that at his age, and just having recovered from the corona virus, he has a number of serious medical problems, though these will not have been disclosed to us.
Many of his former friends and associates are bailing on him, or giving him the silent treatment. He feels lonely, isolated. He has isolated himself. Maureen Dowd calls him “a child isolated and miserable living inside a national landmark, lashing out and spiraling into self-destructive acts.” Former FBI counterintelligence director Frank Figliuzzi goes so far as to describe Donald Trump as currently a “barricaded subject.“
Hey. I ain’t drawing the pictures.
He is the very embodiment, in other words, of the suicide.
Demographically, he stands smack in the center of the self-slaughter sweet spot.
You’re shocked. You think it’s a crazy notion. Allow me to quote a recent NYT headline:
Try to keep in mind two salient features here (You probably won’t be able to, because people HATE to think about suicide.):
- A suicide epidemic. In some states (Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico), the numbers are staggering.
- General ignorance about the suicide epidemic.
“Utah has very permissive gun laws, but we also have a very low homicide rate. What we didn’t realize was we have a huge suicide rate.”
How can you not realize that you have enormous suicide numbers, like Utah? How can you fail to notice that three of your counties have suicide rates 58% higher than the rest of the state? Than the rest of the state with close to the highest suicide rate in the nation? You can only succeed in not seeing this carnage if you’re totally determined not to see it. Just the way you will not see – will laugh off – the idea that the president of the United States might not be immune to the suicide epidemic, even as he’s flagrantly melting down in front of the nation.
I don’t say it’s likely. I do say it’s possible.
Suicide, writes A. Alvarez, is “a terrible but utterly natural reaction to the strained, narrow, unnatural necessities we sometimes create for ourselves.” Donald Trump is trapped in exactly this way: he has created necessities having to do with power, prestige, money, sexual conquest, cruelty, and above all victory in every contest. Yet he is about to lose power; he is widely viewed as a vulgarian; he has much less money than he boasts, and stands to lose a large chunk of what he does have as a result of many lawsuits; he is too old for sexual conquest; most people regard his cruelty as contemptible, and it certainly no longer works as well as it once did to frighten people into giving in to his demands; he has lost by six million votes to Joe Biden. Only the all-out paranoid or self-servingly degenerate are willing to appear on television to defend him. He himself has become quite paranoid. He moves in a paranoid world: “Under Trump, the Republican identity is defined not by a set of policy beliefs but by a paranoid mind-set.”
This horrible outcome is a result of extensive conspiracies against him (he appeared in front of the nation last evening, ranting in this instance about pharma conspiracies). There are too many of these conspiracies to count, and he feels undone by unrelenting deep state machinations.
What are his options? He lacks the courage and the cohorts to stage a coup; the prospect of doing anything on the outside after having been in the Oval Office is completely depressing. Degrading. For all his talk of 2024, he knows he’s already too tired to do the job, and that, realistically, he won’t have the energy to run again.
There’s no compensation in affective life awaiting him – a cold wife; various ex-children, some of whom (paranoia, and an intolerable sense of being displaced, rising again here) clearly intend to ride his coattails into political positions of their own; a dwindling number of people willing to be seen with him on a golf course.
Then there’s guilt. People think he’s incapable of it, but his fatal failures in the matter of the pandemic gnaw at him. He knows he acted badly there; and not only badly. At night, in bed, he considers whether it’s true as many say that he is responsible for a lot of deaths. During daylight hours he can convince himself he’s a great man who saved many people. At night, images of the sick and suffering, of funerals, visit him. He thinks he begins to be haunted.
Another conspiracy against him. A conspiracy of the dead.
The only real pleasure left derives from the thought of the dread and misery he’s inflicting on his enemies. Also from the reception and broadcast of his suicide note, which he has written a thousand times in his head: Hope you enjoy seventy million Americans rising up to beat the shit out of you now that you’ve driven me to this…
Strangely, what sticks in his craw the most from all of this is his own daughter-in-law, Lara Trump. It’s so clear that, of the second generation, Bionic Woman, who even named her daughter for the state she plans to run in, will be the mid-twenty-first century Trump. Jesus.
Finally: It is in the nature of cults that the cult leader kills himself. He may, like Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite or David Koresh, take everyone with him one way or another; but Trump has far too many followers for this to be practicable. He’ll have to take one for the team.
How? Barricaded subject shoots himself in the head, at his desk in the Oval Office.