Donald Trump and Addictive Behaviors, Part II
Vainglorious in victory, denying defeat, Donald uses strategies of the addicted
Um, Mr. President? No votes were taken with Democrats present.
Psychological projection is a syndrome in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.
Donald Trump‘s speech on the defeat of the health care bill he supported was a model of projection.
Let me digress to describe a story from my life. Way back when my oldest child was in diapers, a neighbor across the street had a son the same age. The mother of that child and my wife and I — since we shared a babysitter — purchased a twin stroller together.
Only our friend’s husband never bought into the arrangement. One day I accidentally left the stroller at our friend’s house (we usually stored it at ours). I then heard a commotion outside our door — it was the husband kicking our jointly own stroller all over the street.
Several days later, the husband showed up at our door, with his wife standing silently behind him. But he didn’t actually apologize. He praised me — and attacked my wife as somehow being responsible for his outburst.
Now, to return to the Trump announcement that the Republicans were pulling their health care bill without voting on it. Did this failure represent a miscalculation of his or on his party’s part? (For those of you who don’t follow these things, the bill was withdrawn because not enough Republicans supported the bill for it to pass — more than 30 had indicated that they wouldn’t vote for it.)
Yet, there Trump sat, with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price standing silently behind him, blaming the Democrats for the loss, since they wouldn’t have supported the bill if it came up before the entire House of Representatives.
Of course, no Republicans had voted for the bill that was supposed to be replaced — the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) — when it was passed in 2010. As a result, Trump didn’t even try to negotiate with Democratic members of Congress.
Meanwhile, as it typical for his approach to life — where he never acknowledges personal mistakes or errors — Trump lied and said he never promised to repeal and replace the ACA in the first 60 days of his administration. No, he promised to repeal and replace it, immediately, on the first day.
But, most important, Trump couldn’t afford to blame the Republicans who didn’t support him and the bill. To do so would have upset Republican stalwarts and been a disaster for the party — like the two men standing behind him. (Remember the wife of the stroller bully?)
Instead, Trump proceeded to lambast Obamacare, and to say the Democrats now owned it (and who thought otherwise — besides, a majority of Americans like it, unlike the 17% approval for the Republican plan).
“I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because now they own Obamacare, 100% own it.” He said that Obamacare was set to explode, nothing he could do to help it.
The man who sold himself to America as a deal maker predicted another moment for negotiation — albeit far off in the legislative calendar. He returned to his campaign predictions that Obamacare would “explode” and that would eventually push Democrats back to the negotiating table.
“I believe Democrats will come to us and say, ‘Look let’s get together and get a great health care bill or plan that’s really great for the people of our country’ and I think that’s gonna happen,” Trump said.
Trump didn’t lose. No, that would be impossible. The Democrats lost. He was the victor. The Democrats would come to him hat in hand.
Oh, let me return to the stroller-kicking-husband story. He and his wife moved to California, where they divorced. Another woman he was dating broke up with the now ex-husband. He responded by sending her threatening emails, for which he was convicted of making terroristic threats and sentenced to several years at San Quentin.
This man could never accept responsibility for his behavior and its consequences. He blamed the woman for breaking up with him, and struck out at her.
Remind you of anyone?