Back to Diagnosis:
I mentioned above, that the psychodynamic diagnoses, even the ones I entertained, did not convince me. There are several reasons; the most important was that they do not take in consideration the mental and cognitive anomalies Trump kept revealing more of every day. In other words, no psychodynamic diagnosis could explain the other none psychodynamic pathologies his behaviour revealed. I did not have any explanation for the glaring deficiencies in Trump’s psychological life, even before the nomination for the elections. However, Dr. Jackson’s suggestion of neuropsychological testing kept ‘teasing’ my thoughts. I never administered a neuropsychological battery in my clinical psychology career. I know very little about them, but some of the symptoms I mentioned above fall within the known famous battery of test in my time The Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery. Only when I though seriously about that possibility I remembered a radio interview and discussion of more than twenty year ago with a young woman who wrote a book about her autism. I still remember my amazement that autism is so many degrees and of several types and not only the typical condition of childhood disintegrated intellectual faculties. She also indicated that she had moments or sort of periods when she was in touch with “your reality” but still was unable to have full contacts with US. I compared Trump’s symptoms to this case and others that I reviewed to prepare for my post. I was more comfortable with the diagnosis of autism than any psychodynamic diagnosis. What encourages me to stick to that possibility is what is known about Winston’s Churchill’s known diagnosis as a child of being autistic. One of the Nobel prize winners (Dr. Nash was a severe case of autism). My internet part of my survey brought to me a memory of a grandmother who told me about her autistic grandson. She said that he sometimes had what looked like clear up of his autism for a couple of hours. During that period, he liked to draw and she showed me some of his drawings. They were of apartment buildings and streets that were very neat and had unusual details. On one of the pages in an article on autism there a drawing by an autistic person which was very similar to that child’s drawings, both in the subject and the details of the subject. I think the young woman’s statement of being in our reality explains the drawing of the autistics: they sometimes get fully if not intensely immersed in external reality. The review of the recent literature on autism gave me the impression that trump could easily fit in this category of psychopathology, but even explain many contradictions in his image as a normal person.
My suggestion that Trump could have a degree or a type of autism which gives this unusual clinical picture is not based on positive neuropathological signs but on the insufficient presence of psychodynamic signs that could also take care of his mental and cognitive symptoms.
3. Trump the Misfit that Fits Perfectly:
Trump’s inability to navigate a thinking process, to realize the necessity of taking definite positions from the reality he is facing, and his innate limited affective life are truly handicapping factors in his performance as the president of a country with size and importance of the USA. There is no way to avoid two questions: What could that historical anomaly mean in general terms? How could we understand such gross historical mistake?
The election system in the US is not strait forward one person one vote. There are certain other provisions related to an early (historical) reservation that required creating a checks and balance way to avoid a simple one person one vote system. As a result, Trump did not get the majority votes but was elected by the power of his party. To put it bluntly, according to one person one vote principle Trump did got the presidency the common meaning of the term democracy. Coincidentally, this result is logical under the general circumstances. I mentioned before that there is another factor in social movements beside the nature of the leader that determines the outcome. At a time when history is at a major general turning point the political succession in the different parts of the world seem to happen in a predetermined way, where the change in political authority gets more systematized according to stable dialectical system.
Since the end of the second world war the world was reorganizing it self in a way that evades world wars again. In a very brief note: the world got organized on the principle of networking instead of hierarchy. There are few large political constellations of countries that are relating globally without the old notion of a leading nation (the principle of empires). The short form of it: for five or six decades the USA was at the summit of the world: the leader of the ‘good’ nations. Now, the USA is one of a worldwide net of nations. This fact is not sitting well with the US political leadership that maintained that the US is the leader of the ‘free world’. The political administration before Obama entered two unjustified wars to exercise its influence. The two wars did not give the desired result. The outcome was electing the antithesis of bush, a savvy internationalist president who endeared the US and himself to the world. Eight years of that was not enough to turn the US around, and the US is back to the phantasy of “America Great Again”. There came the misfit who fitted this idea perfectly. Trump exemplifies and personifies the US reaction to historical change: a muddled up mind, a white house in disarray, an administration that survives on denial and autistic thinking. Americans stumbled over the best leader for the moment. However, the consistency of historical evolution gives us some clues to what to expect next.
There are some political Taboos in the life of the average America citizen that hinders making changes in the status quo. There are also some Totems that are worshiped and it would be blasphemous to get rid of or replace. The term working class was a taboo because it was associated with the labor parties in the rest of the world, which were left wing and liberal Thus they were against Americans idealization of individuality and some traditional thought related to ‘moral values”. But, unemployment and wages showed that is called middle class is actually a working class. Lately, the word socialism was mentioned with some difficulty but it is no longer a taboo. The clear defined aspirations of the youth in the states is also a sign of the death of another taboo which is the need for more political parties in a country as vast as the US with its population diversity. Till now there are factions in the two parties that seem to be clearly ignoring the social, political, and ideological taboos. The Totem of the forefathers seem to be losing is absolutism and sanctity. There are significant questions raised about the rights of the individual and the authority of the government in regard to social versus moral conflicts.
Trump is fit for this stage in American and Global change. He is so imposing to let us forget what should be done. Whether the antithesis of Trumpism will com in two years or six is not easy to predict.
What about psychoanalysis!
Because this posting is written with psychoanalysis and psychoanalysts in mind I wish that what I am concluding from politics (in the US in particular) can be applied to the crisis of psychoanalysis: it has taboos and Totems that need to be examined so we get ourselves rid from our self-imposed chains. We need to get rid of the taboo of training and adopt the natural idea of education. We should get rid of the taboo of personal analysis as therapeutic necessity and accept it as a didactic step in the formation of the analyst. We should get rid of the taboo that the psychoanalysis is a profession of psychotherapy and look at it as a human science instead. We should get rid of the Totems of the old schools and avoid forming new Totems of the new forming schools. We should get rid of the Totem of the training analysts and accept the fact that analysis is not transmitted from generation to generation through ‘master’ but thorough teaching systems.
We should accept that we are not a special breed of professionals because we a closed community of practitioners; no autism.