Featuring essays by Elizabeth George on the future of our country
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A LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
MEA CULPA
GIVE THE GOP A LANDSLIDE VICTORY
THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART II
THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART I
MONEY GRUBBING FEMALES, UNITE!
WE AREN’T ELECTING A HOMECOMING QUEEN
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN
THE TOOTSIE ISSUE
Toddlers 4 President!
CRYING BABIES AND OTHER PRESSING MATTERS OF STATE
Democratic Convention 2016: How It Might Have Been
I’D LIKE TO FEEL THE BERN, ONLY…
AN UNFORTUNATE REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST
On Matters of the Lie, the War, and Judgment
EGO, POLITICS, AND THE PRESIDENCY
On Getting What We Deserve
HOW JANUARY 2017 WILL LOOK
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CRYING BABIES AND OTHER PRESSING MATTERS OF STATE


When Donald Trump asked the mother of the crying baby to remove herself and the infant from his rally last week, he created another news story to be added to the massive number he’s prompted in the last twelve or thirteen months. To the growing list of individuals and groups that the GOP’s candidate for President appeared not to be able to tolerate in his world were added babes in arms. In the usual chatter of talking heads afterwards, the story became synonymous with Mr. Trump’s apparent inability to stay on message as well as his propensity for shooting from the hip, which has apparently endeared him to a significant number of his followers, who have called it “not being politically correct” and who have also seemed to delight in it.

If interrupting himself mid-speech to deal with a crying baby were only an indication of shooting from the hip or being politically incorrect, that would be a minor consideration in the greater scheme of Donald Trump’s campaign for President. But the request—when considered along with other spontaneous pronouncements at various rallies around the country—suggests something else about the candidate, and it might be a good idea for the public to take a look at what that is.

Talking heads of various professions and of both major political parties seemed to have concentrated on several questions:

Why can’t he stay on message?
Why does he say the outrageous things he says?
Why won’t he “pivot” (for that you can read “change into someone more acceptable by announcing more reasonable and achievable goals”)?
Why does he seem to be constitutionally incapable of letting go of grievances?
Why does he offend the very people whose support he needs?

Most people see him as a narcissist and while this appears to be true, what’s also appears to be true is that he can’t do any of the things that are expected of him not only for psychological reasons but also for reasons that may well have to do with his brain and how it does and doesn’t function.

Whether you like Donald Trump or despise Donald Trump, whether you are a Republican, a Democratic, a Libertarian, a member of the Green Party, or an independent, it might be a good idea to see what Donald Trump’s brain is suggesting about Donald Trump before you go into the voting booth in November.

After all these months of all-Donald-all-the-time on the television news, it seems to me that Donald Trump’s brain might not be functioning the way it should function. Call it ADD or ADHD or an impairment in the executive function capability of the brain, what seems to be happening with Donald Trump is that he lacks cognitive control, which makes it impossible for him to stay on task, whether that task is simply to speak to people or to organize an effective campaign. He is unable to tune things out—such as a crying baby—as other people are able to tune things out. His brain malfunctions in such a way that he lacks the normal inhibitions that govern the behavior of people with a normal brain function. Hence he is unable to stop himself when he begins to rev up to an idea that has just occurred to him. For this reason, his off-the-cuff remarks have contained everything from misinformation to outright lies, from promises that can’t be kept to delusions that have the ring of possibility, from spontaneous declarations of his admiration for proven dictators to in-the-moment lies about his opponents, about the economy, about President Obama’s record.

The real problem in all of this is that Donald Trump doesn’t seem to be aware of the manner in which his brain is clicking along on a wandering track. Were he aware of it, he might be able to do something about it. Additionally, his support team in the race for President also seem to be unaware of what’s happening inside their candidate’s head. So they continue to give him everything from pep talks to talking points, and they hope the intervention of his children will prove effective in altering his behavior.

It’s my belief that the way Donald Trump’s brain functions is one of the critical reasons that he should not be elected President of the United States. A President’s brain needs to be firing on all cylinders and firing well. It needs to be able to focus and to execute, to gather information and to retain it, to problem solve with the involvement of others and to inhibit spontaneous inclinations that lead to remarks and behaviors causing problems rather than solving them.

Most classroom teachers know from experience that when someone has a brain that isn’t working as brains are meant to work and when that person receives no assistance for this problem, what develops is a set of coping skills to disguise the difficulties that their brains cause them. In Donald Trump’s case, we’ve seen this in the early part of his campaign when he dodged real political issues in favor of identifying his opposition through the use of a pejorative term or a pejorative phrase directed at other candidates. These he repeated often enough to coax each one into defining not only the narrative of the race but also the individual to whom the term or phrase was applied. Hence, Mr. Trump regularly mocked Jeb Bush for his “lack of energy”, which allowed the former governor’s narrative to be not about his experience and the positions he took on various issues but rather about the forcefulness with which he spoke. Once Mr. Bush was disposed of as a candidate, Mr. Trump moved on and systematically defined each of his other opponents until his definition of them became the reality of who they were. My guess is that Mr. Trump learned this—among the other behaviors we’ve seen—as a child, using it as a way to cope with a brain that wasn’t functioning normally.

Voters have to ask themselves if the evidence they have witnessed with their own eyes and ears shows them an individual whose brain is capable of taking on the unimaginable burdens of the Presidency. In my opinion, Mr. Trump’s brain is one of the primary reasons he should not gain entrance to the Oval Office. For this election—as bizarre as it has been—will place into a position of worldwide influence an individual who must be firing on all cylinders as those cylinders are meant to be firing. The individual must be a detail person, someone who can organize, someone who can listen to a passel of opinions and sift through them to find the grains of truth, someone who can assemble a team of talented, skilled, and experienced men and women in whom the President can place absolute confidence, someone who can cope with and deal with the endless and entirely unexpected distractions that demand attention on a daily basis.

It is my belief that Donald Trump’s brain does not allow him to be that person. Whether you love him or hate him, I encourage you, before Election Day, to weigh carefully what you have seen of him and heard from him since the moment he stepped onto the national political stage, in order to decide if he ought to be given the power, prestige, and authority that go with the Presidency.

- Elizabeth George
Whidbey Island
Washington State

 

 
 

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