Joe Biden exhibits no symptoms of a serious mental illness. None of his policies or messaging has increased the odds of someone getting sick or dying. Regarding COVID-19, Biden intelligently and without political calculation influencing his judgment, has followed the scientist’s recommendations in support of protecting American lives and livelihood. The serious psychological disorders that influence Trump’s behaviors are becoming more apparent as he is forced to navigate the possibility of humiliation if he loses the election. Mary Trump, Trump’s niece, has written that his fear of humiliation is a major trigger for the dangerous, impulsive behaviors that result from his narcissism.
Michael Cohen reveals in his book, Disloyal, that Trump’s decision not to run for president in 2012 was based on the fear of the potential humiliation he could face if he lost to Obama, a black man. A narcissist can outwardly appear strong and confident; however, they experience intense feelings of insecurity and fearfulness inwardly. This vulnerability renders a narcissist prone to highly destructive behaviors to bolster their fragile egos. Most presidents have narcissistic traits, but none seem to have suffered from malignant narcissism, which thousands of mental health professionals suspect Trump suffers from. His handling of the pandemic has exposed to what lengths he is willing to go to avoid the potential humiliation of a presidential loss. His belief that denying the virus’s proven danger will protect the economy and make him appear macho has caused him to lie, while Americans keep dying.
Bob Woodward’s tapes reveal Trump knew the virus was deadly and, despite having that knowledge, lied and downplayed the facts, making him the driving force behind the failure to control the infection and death rates. Never in our history has a U.S. president blatantly chosen not to protect the population’s public health and became directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people. A secondary diagnosis of Anti- Social Personality Disorder has been suggested to explain the pattern of pathological lying, manipulation, and lack of empathy exhibited by Trump.
Before Trump, the Constitution’s flaws regarding how the executive branch functions were not apparent; for example, the criteria to be president is 35 years old and American born. That’s a low bar for a job as complex and vital as president of the United States. That limited criterion allows for stupid, criminal, or mentally compromised people to be the free world leader. Now that American democracy is hanging by a thread, it is clear that having someone as unqualified and mentally compromised as Trump can happen. Hopefully, a future Congress will expand the presidential criteria to include having extensive knowledge of the Constitution and no history of pathological patterns of aberrant emotional functioning and behavioral patterns. The power of executive order, the right to pardon, and to declare war are dangerous powers for a person who might not be fit for the job. The degree of incompetence and corruption that pervades this administration compromises this country’s safety and integrity.
Trump’s narcissism has led to many other patterns of corruption. For example , he has routinely fired officials who were more competent than him and hired unqualified people, rendering them so indebted to him they will do his bidding despite any legal and ethical violations involved in their actions. When those officials become too problematic or lose their value, he distances himself from any accountability for their failures or transgressions. His betrayal of Michael Cohen is a perfect example of how incapable Trump is of any degree of loyalty, yet he insists on loyalty oaths from everyone in his life. Loyalty pledges are common practice among mob bosses, autocrats, and dictators.
Joe Biden does not have enemies who he has wronged criminally or emotionally. He has the respect and friendship from members of both political parties. He exhibits the capacity for empathy and selflessness, traits that are considered to be signs of mental healthiness. He isn’t vindictive, dishonest, corrupt, insecure, or unstable. Biden is presidential. If America elects a psychologically stable and qualified leader with the knowledge and experience necessary for a president to possess, we might avoid becoming an autocracy in Russia’s image.