‘Trump is going to snap’: a rejoinder

The post I wrote two days ago in the first hour after waking up has proven to be hugely popular and so is generating a lot of responses. Thank you to everyone who has liked, shared and commented so far. I’m endeavouring to reply to all the comments on the site but it’s beginning to get a bit out of hand. I want to be sure in myself that I haven’t misled anyone with what I wrote. In particular I’d hate to be responsible for any sense of complacency. Here are some nagging reservations I have about what I wrote, plus some stuff I missed out.

  1. A lot of people are saying that Pence is worse: more rational, more stable, but with an equally psychotic agenda. Some of the things he stands for and has implemented in relation to women’s rights would make the Taliban nudge each other and raise an eyebrow. He would (try to) be the President from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. I can see this point but also think that while he may not be strictly speaking mentally ill as Trump appears to be, he does at least have some respect for the USA as an institution, while Trump doesn’t. I think it does show that the resistance movement has to be against not just the figurehead but the whole women-hating climate-lying agenda.
  2. It’s not inevitable that Trump will break down; there is an element of wishful thinking in what I wrote. However, the events on Sunday at the CIA suggest to me that he’s unable to cope without a cheering or baying crowd. He got that at his rallies and he gets it on Twitter but being President doesn’t work like that. I suspect that whatever happens we will see a lot less of him in public. His Government is (already, after four days) adopting a bunker mentality. They’re banking on using social media as their chief means of communication with their supporters. So much for the internet making the world a more democratic place.
  3. The men who are telling Trump what to do seem to be frontloading his Presidency with a wishlist of items (abortion, climate, restrictions on the press) which any ‘normal’ Republican President would be much more careful about. They’re also allowing him to play with his new toy by humouring him over things like his wall. They don’t care about the consequences for his mental stability if there is a popular revolt on any of these issues – they’re using him as a buffer.
  4. The most dangerous aspect of Trump’s Presidency is his censorship of all mention by the Federal Government of Climate Change. As I feared, he’s following the example of the Florida Governor Rick Scott. I pray that it backfires. It represents the singlemost authoritarian measure yet taken by any government as part of the corporate conspiracy to let the planet burn. Mussolini himself said that fascism is when corporate power and the State become inseparable. Climate denial was always going to have to lead to fascism at some point because it pits the interests of corporations against those of human beings.
  5. Anyone who was at all ambivalent on the question of the climate now needs to see and reflect on the similarity between a government banning citizens from talking about politics and prohibiting them from talking about the weather. In response we have to overcome the social taboo on talking about Climate Change. Every time we change the subject we are cooperating with Trump and Pence’s agenda.
  6. I live in Italy, so in relation to Trump I’m basically limited to ranting online. If you live in the US and you want to push Trump over the edge into total mental incapacity while helping destroy the openly psychotic agenda of this Republican Party, please join together with others offline to protest what it’s trying to do on climate, refugees and women’s rights. Facebook and Twitter are good for organising protests, but they are not in themselves forms of protest.
  7. There’s a lot of significance in the fact that upon leaving office former Presidents open their own libraries. Even George Bush did so. If you go there you will doubtlessly find a section dedicated to biographies of his predecessors. Trump, on the other hand, has never read a biography of a former President. He’s never read any books about former child stars either. He’s just doesn’t read books, period. He probably hasn’t even read the pieces of paper those five scumbags have been getting him to sign this week. There’s a genuine possibility that his reading age is no higher than that of an 8th grader. What this means for his present role is that he doesn’t have any idea what a President is or what he’s supposed to do. He has no reference points. He’s got a vague idea that he’s in a powerful position in relation to something called the United States, but he wouldn’t be able to draw its borders on a map. The reason he’s not enjoying the job is that he’s basically a kid. He thought it was a game, or a best a game show. He does not have the knowledge or the level of intellectual and emotional maturity to grasp such a complex series of interrelated concepts and tasks. Explaining a notion like ‘conflict of interest’ to him must be like trying to get a dog to understand the principles of the Slow Food Movement. No wonder he can’t get the White House staff to stop leaking stories about how nuts he is. This stuff is just so f*cking funny. And the most important thing about it is, is that the “alt-right” idiots think he’s some sort of Godhead, a Randian Supermensch. They actually think he’s smart. Which would be almost inconceivably hilarious if it weren’t for the damnable fact that this coalition of misanthrope trolls, frat boys sociopaths and outright Hitler-worshippers is now in the perfect position to wipe our species off the face of the earth for good /end of rant.


I apologise if you leave a comment and I don’t get round to responding – my wife is due to give birth any day. Feel free to email me via the Contact page.

“You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world. That is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided.” (Franz Kafka)

“Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.” (Antonio Gramsci)

142 thoughts on “‘Trump is going to snap’: a rejoinder

  1. I’m with you on all of both these posts – and I thank you for saying it – but I must make an exception for one (tiny) word: “on the other (tiny) hand”. I strongly feel we should be trying to live up to Michelle Obama’s guideline: “When they go low, we go high.”

    Body-shaming is not going high.

    Otherwise, thank you again.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sorry if this is long, but you seem bewildered that people voted for Trump; and I am not. But the reasons are not what you think. This is what endless pharmaceuticals [legal] and drugs[illegal] do to people. ADHD drugs are amphetamines for example. Who knows how many people in the USA have fried their brains?

    Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015 Mar 1;148:158-64. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.12.035. Epub 2015 Jan 13. Persistence of psychotic symptoms as an indicator of cognitive impairment in methamphetamine users. Chen CK1, Lin SK2, Chen YC1, Huang MC3, Chen TT4, Ree SC1, Wang LJ5.

    BACKGROUND: Prolonged exposure to methamphetamine (meth) has neurotoxic effects and impairs neurocognitive functions. This study aims to ascertain whether meth users who experience persistent psychosis suffer more severe cognitive impairment than those not experiencing persistent psychosis.

    METHODS: This cross-sectional study includes 252 participants: 25 meth users without psychosis
    (METH-P), 50 with brief psychosis (METH+BP), and 56 with persistent psychosis (METH+PP), as well as 54 patients with schizophrenia and 67 healthy controls. The neurocognitive function and clinical psychopathology of each patient were evaluated with the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), respectively.

    RESULTS: All cognitive domains evaluated with BACS (verbal memory, working memory, motor speed, verbal fluency, attention and processing speed, executive function, and composite scores) in METH+PP patients were similar to those in the schizophrenia patients and were worse than those in METH-P, METH+BP, and the healthy control subjects. Furthermore, cognitive functioning in meth users that did not experience persistent psychosis showed no statistically significant difference compared with the healthy control subjects. Among the meth users in this study, the negative symptom scores in the BPRS correlated to cognitive performance on the BACS, with the exception of motor speed.

    CONCLUSIONS: Meth users display heterogeneity in their psychotic symptoms and cognitive profiles. Therefore, persistent psychotic symptoms may denote a risk for cognitive decline among meth users. Further longitudinal studies should be performed in the future to clarify the causal relationship between cognitive deficits and the development of persistent psychosis.
    PMID: 25601645


      1. Bill maher brought it up in one of his shows that the three highest states that trump won also have the most drug addictions and deaths by overdose.


      2. Wow. That’s really something. There are a lot of very very desperate people who voted for Trump. I read a similar thing about suicide, I’ll try to track it down. Certainly the Dems’ rhetoric about the economic recovery meant nothing to such people. They want and need change, and horrifyingly the far-right have been able to exploit that to their advantage.


  3. Excellent posts both. I think you have hit many nails right on the head, and your writing is all the more terrifying for that!


  4. Thanks for putting into words what so many of us are thinking, but couldn’t articulate as well. And congratulations on your impending arrival!


  5. Thank you very much Mr. Willmsen. Love your perspective in both articles. None of us are quite sure what is wrong neurologically with our new President, but I can assure you, it’s very alarming. Most of us are still in shock, and continue to become even more frightened as each day passes. If the “snap” comes, I hope it’s not after a very egregious comment/action that puts us all in danger. I also still hope that I can look back at this comment and your articles with relief that nothing horrible happened. Well, praying that’s what I can do. Keep writing!


  6. Thank you for your elegant insights. We are in this resistance for the long haul. Whether he cracks up next week, rots from the inside or disappears behind the Nazi Bannon, we’re going to have to be prepared to help each other sustain hope through serious setbacks. SCLC, SNCC sustained many losses, they hung in. If they can do it, we can do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As a scientist, I am always hostage to ugly facts. All the climate denial in the world and suppression of valid studies will not prevent global warming from happening, and it may come more quickly than we are anticipate. A sudden increase in global melting, which seems very plausible, may flood all the “alternative facts” away, along with the charlatans.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Try as you might…stir the pot of Hate….Good will win…he’s a Patriot, Obama screwed us with the debt and has tried to break this country, we will rise again!


    1. How can turning a mother (Christian by the way, although that shouldn’t matter) around at the airport, after she has spent her life savings to try and see her son, and refusing her even a phone call be characterised as ‘good’????? Like the author of this post, you need to travel to a country where you can experience what it is like when people make assumptions about you based on your appearance – different assumptions about what ‘good’ looks like to the ones you make. And as for debt – just wait and see what your new President has in store for you in that regard.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’d be very interested to have your thoughts on the decline of education in this country as a possible reason for Trump votes. People don’t read or research facts any more and college diplomas are akin to high school diplomas thirty years ago. Teachers are not teaching anymore, just following guidelines from the state and hoping their students score well on the mandated tests. Look at other countries and how they match up with us. It’s almost impossible to fire a bad teacher…pass them on to another school…perhaps in the inner city. Thanks, teachers union! If you follow some people on Facebook, the language is very basic, thank goodness for spell check, and the ideology is fractured at best.


    1. Diane – As an educator I could not agree with you more. One of the most dangerous aspects of the Trump campaign for me was how it managed to normalise the idea that education is somehow ‘elitist’. I know you have problems with your union there – but you need to pay your teachers more also. Without a better commitment to public education you are putting the responsibility for choosing the president in the hands of an increasingly ignorant, and therefore manipulable populace.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for stating so eloquently what many in this country are feeling / experiencing. At my age I have been through the psychological ravages of the “Cold War” – from its earliest. The feeling of powerlessness, with Air Raid Drills and the sense of impending doom. The first stirrings of the Civil Rights movement, with the horror and suffering that accompanied the Freedom Riders and marchers inflicted on them by the bullies who disagreed with the declaration that”all men are created equal”. Those old disquieting feelings have now returned, and I can’t believe that I am the only one!!

    I now see an insecure bully occupying the most powerful post in the world. I have to agree that he is “catastrophically immature, venal and insecure”. His self aggrandizement was on world display on his first day when we ordered the Park Service to come up with photos that would substantiate his outrageous claim that his crowd was the biggest ever. Later to be followed to be his unsubstantiated claim that he lost due to :millions of illegal votes. Interestingly he could never provide any factual proof (not even’alternative facts’).

    I must reiterate your quote. “The madman is not only the beggar who thanks he is king, but also a king who thinks he is a king.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Has Donald Trump been caught lying?

    Rob: “Trump’s ego will be his downfall…and [his] inability to laugh at himself or take any criticism at all is already making him lose sleep. I predict that Trump will have a mental breakdown such that authority is removed from him.” My first thoug…


  12. All true, especially last point of sweeping human race. I just wonder if they going to do it long term (climate change denial) or short (nuke us all to the ground)? Is that toodler going to get to such a tantrum that he will decide on such a scenario? What’s your view? Thank you.


  13. Thanks for your wonderful posts, which are ostensibly about Trump, but more about the problems we need to tackle within ourselves and our communities if we are to find a way out of this mess. Not, as you have pointed out, that this in any way abnegates our responsibility to oppose him. I live in Australia, and like others the world over, I feel powerless to do anything to stop this viciousness – other than to keep reading, and keep commenting.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Although I agree with most of what you’ve written, I think that your article would be stronger and make a more persuasive argument if you stuck to the facts and not espouse unsubstantiated rumor. One specific example from the above article is the claim that Trump has never read a book before.

    Clearly, he must have read some books to achieve his accomplishments, for example graduating from the Wharton School of Business :O

    PS, best of wishes on your new born child 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I think that’s a fair point. I’ve changed it to ‘never reads books’, as that’s very well-documented. I do think that his time at business school would reward some investigation, however.


  15. Coming from a third world country (the Philippines) and having the same type of leader with narcissistic, egomaniacal and man-child tendencies, I could not help but feel alarmed about this seeming rise of the villains across the globe. But at least Americans can find solace in the thought that the voice of reason still covers the majority in your country while the moronic self absorbed leader that we have now enjoys popular support from his dutertards. I can not help but relate this to meth dependency as mentioned in one of the comments. It is not without a sense of irony that the very nitwits who voted for him are the ones he is trying to obliterate now. There is hope though that since now that duterte is going on a tear in eliminating his meth dependent supporters–there will be less of them in the coming elections.


    1. I appreciate your comment and send you my utmost commiserations for having to suffer what that deranged monster is doing. It’s horrifying to hear Phillipino people I’ve spoken to hear in Rome express support for his campaign of mass murder. They obviously don’t have to live with it. As you say, the US still has institutions which we can pray will preserve some measure of democracy but the message about human rights that Trump etc send out will be gleefully heeded by tyrants across the world. Has there been much official or popular opposition to Duterte? Also, slightly off-topic but I saw a movie a couple of years ago called Norte: End of History, a harrowing take on the reality in the The Phillipines for many people today, I’d be interested to know if you’ve seen it and if you have any opinion on it. I found it a gruelling but salutary experience.


      1. Hi Richard,

        Oftentimes, portrayals such as this “Norte” (I have yet to see it though) magnifies and exagerrates the actual condition. Although there may be some truth to it; overall Filipinos are positive, fun loving people who thrives in chaos and adversities. But this glaring similarities between trump and duterte is just so harrowing to ignore. This strongman that we have right now simply would not listen to reason other than his own. He obviously has no regards for human lives and he basks in the glory of his retarded followers asking for more blood. This fascist brilliantly sorrounded himself with power and publicity hungry “yes men” who would simply not say no to him. To him, the means justify the end at the expense of justice and fair play. But let’s go back to trump, I am in total agreement that he is just about ready to snap. That’s at least can be a source of hope for the Americans because, if he doesn’t, then maybe some semblance of leadership may be expected of him. Our president though has snapped a long time ago. But both are the same and cut from the same cloth. These two basterds are the type of egomaniacs who calls out their names when they climax. Villains both.


  16. Richard, I can’t tell if there is a Kurt Vonnegut quality to your writing or a Richard Willmsen quality to Vonnegut’s writing.

    Great job on both Trump posts although I got so excited that Trump was going to self destruct with certainty that my head exploded so I am not sure I was fully able to comprehend your second post with your certainty retraction. Congratulations on the birth of your child.


    1. Wow, thank you!!! I doubt that Vonnegut was ever called ‘Willmsenesque’ in his lifetime but you’ve just inspired me to read some of his work again. Yes, the course Trump’s implosion is hard to predict, he’s one hardy motherfucker but at least now he can’t just throw money at lawyers and walk away as he has in the past, so here’s hoping.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s