The psychic cost of Donald Trump

| January 12, 2021 1:00 AM

There was a time in this fair land when we were much more positive than we are presently.

We looked forward to a future with an optimistic vision and outlook. Before Vietnam split the country into factions, we were looking forward to putting a man on the moon, helping to promote a better world as we envisioned it, and were relatively civil in our discourse with others. We had a history of achievement: electrifying rural America, preserving the freedom of the world in World War II, and building the strongest economy worldwide in the history of man. Yes, there were problems to solve such as civil rights, containing a continuing communist menace, and other undreamed-of concerns in our future. But, we had a positive outlook on our national problems and knew that we would rise to the task before us of solving them. Then we elected donald trump, who promised to “drain the swamp”. in reality,  he and his cronies are “the swamp.” He substituted the rule of law, of procedure based on precedence and procedure, with one based on executive fiat, akin to what some have described as the machinations of a mafia don.

Today, we are in the midst of division that sees no end in sight. Right against left, left against right, and hardly anyone in the middle. I am a moderate who sees little good that has come from our current leader, Donald Trump. I have never been a hater in my life, but for six months I verbally hated Trump. Then I realized that one cannot hate someone who has mental problems. How did we come to have a so-called leader who has such a poor understanding of basic leadership principles? We have a hyperbolic, megalomaniacal, misogynistic, immoral, unprincipled man who cannot find it in his thinking to admit a mistake, let alone offer an occasional apology. He is a prevaricator at best, a liar, in truth. there are a wealth of other descriptive words that characterize this man’s personality; most of which are detrimental to the welfare of our country. They are referenced daily in the description of his actions, which are published in his “tweet storms." He is so erratic in his policy pronouncements and immediate decisions that few can predict the direction of the government or the president himself. We have lost the respect of a great many leaders both here and throughout the world.

People like me who detest the “scowling huckster” cannot escape his influence. Seemingly, he is everywhere; from legitimate public policy pronouncements or media coverage and criticism of his actions. It leads to a mental tension that we live with, wondering if we will survive his rancorous demeanor and ill-advised decisions. This mental tension  is a psychic cost that we are forced to pay, simply from being an informed citizen who gives attention to the direction of our government.

It is not just the left-leaning and moderate citizens like myself who are subjected to this cost. Trump supporters must have some ambivalence about his leadership and his direction, let alone his demeanor,  and a history of flouting his indiscretions. Have they not felt some pause concerning how so many people believing differently than themselves have such a radically different viewpoint? Can they not entertain the possibility that Trump might be misguided? Somewhere in their minds may exist a certain doubt. Their possible ambivalence is also a generalized psychic cost to themselves.

It would seem that citizens on both the right and the left are forced to pay a psychic cost for putting up with such a leader. It would seem that only those who are either uninformed or have given up caring, are free from the machinations of a government presided over by a person of questionable abilty, integrity and moral sense.

We have a strong country; we will survive this man as we have survived crises in our past. But it does not lessen the daily psychic cost that each of us is forced to pay.

TIM HARTSOOK

Priest River