This was a banner week for wannabe psychiatrists. Lots of media shrinks put Donald Trump on their couches and rendered their diagnoses.
A left-wing columnist in the Washington Post declared, ‘I am increasingly convinced that he’s just plain crazy.’ A New York Times opinion-shaper also weighed in, concluding that Trump has the emotional development of a ‘toddler.’
But when it comes to psychiatry, those guys are mere amateurs. We know of only one genuine psychotherapist-turned-pundit, and that’s our own Dr. Krauthammer.
The esteemed Dr. K has yet to render a clinical diagnosis, but even he seems totally perplexed by Trump’s erratic behavior. ‘You have to ask yourself,’ Charles pondered this week, ‘is he capable of conducting himself in any other way?’
Things are so dire that even Republican Party elders are reported to be considering an ‘intervention’ with Trump. That’s a term usually reserved for people who have wandered very far off the deep end.
So how did it come to this?
Sure, the liberal media loathe Trump and eagerly leap on everything he says. That is a given in American politics and it is not unique to Donald Trump. Even if the Republican nominee’s name was Rubio or Cruz, Christie or Walker, the press would be blasting away on a daily basis.
Any other Republican candidate would be focused on the myriad failures of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The Middle East is a mess, Europe seems to have a weekly terror attack, while Russia and China point their middle digits in our direction. Most recently, the Obama administration apparently sent an illegal ransom to Iran’s terror-sponsoring mullahs.
Our own economy is moribund, wages are stagnant, the national debt has doubled under President Obama, illegal immigration is a mess, and race relations haven’t been much worse. There is just so much red meat on which the Republican presidential candidate could feast, especially when his opponent is widely viewed as a more modern and only slightly-less-wooden Pinocchio.
Instead, Donald Trump escalates a feud with a family that lost a son in Iraq and insults senators in his own party. He complains about debate schedules and ‘rigged’ elections when he should be pounding Hillary Clinton into pudding, metaphorically speaking. You can understand why he is such a tempting target for wannabe shrinks.
When Trump entered the No Spin Zone Tuesday night, he wouldn’t budge an inch when asked about the Khan family. ‘I was viciously attacked,’ he declared, ‘and I responded.’ That may be true, but a politician cannot respond to every insult, especially when it comes from a Gold Star family.
You can try to excuse this by saying that Trump is new to politics and, hey, this counter-punching stuff worked well in the primaries. But Donald Trump has been in the arena for more than a year now, and he should know that what was effective against other Republicans is no longer working.
His only chance of winning is to stay on point: America is in decline and he can fix that. If he fights everyone who comes after him, he’ll lose in a landslide.
As you know, Donald Trump’s supporters have been predicting a ‘pivot.’ There will soon come a time, they promise, when the man will ignore the insults and begin to focus on the many problems facing America and the world. But which will come first? The pivot … or Godot? We’re still waiting for both.
In the middle of this disastrous week, Donald Trump made a vow: ‘We’re going to focus more on Hillary Clinton, absolutely.’ His loyal supporter and former rival Dr. Ben Carson added this Thursday morning: ‘Donald Trump will focus much more on the issues and on his opponent.’ But the question posed by Dr. Krauthammer remains: Is Trump actually capable of doing that?
Donald Trump would be well-advised to ease up on the tweets, shrug off the insults, and find some much-needed discipline. He may not require an intervention, but he absolutely, positively needs a ‘reset’ button. One that actually works.