As the reality of his loss in the 2020 presidential election fully sinks in, Donald Trump’s mental health is said to be careening between “rage and denial,” with some White House advisers reporting that Trump is in “rapid decline,” according to a revealing report from Peter Baker of the New York Times.
“Moody and by accounts of his advisers sometimes depressed, the president barely shows up to work, ignoring the health and economic crises afflicting the nation and largely clearing his public schedule of meetings unrelated to his desperate bid to rewrite the election results. He has fixated on rewarding friends, purging the disloyal and punishing a growing list of perceived enemies that now includes Republican governors, his own attorney general and even Fox News.”
Trump has made very few public appearances, and when he does speak publicly, he seems at times to be in a sort of fugue state, slurring his words and carrying on for minutes at the time about how he “likes cucumbers.”
“The final days of the Trump presidency have taken on the stormy elements of a drama more common to history or literature than a modern White House. His rage and detached-from-reality refusal to concede defeat evoke images of a besieged overlord in some distant dictatorship defiantly clinging to power rather than going into exile or an erratic English monarch imposing his version of reality on his cowed court.”
It’s safe to assume that Trump is probably worried about the legal problems facing him once he leaves office and indictments are issued from various courts. He also has to be coming to a fuller realization that he will probably go down in history as a failed president who joins only Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton as having been impeached.
The rise and fall of Donald Trump is Shakespearean in its pathos, Baker concludes:
“At times, Mr. Trump’s railing-against-his-fate outbursts seem like a story straight out of William Shakespeare, part tragedy, part farce, full of sound and fury. Is Mr. Trump a modern-day Julius Caesar, forsaken by even some of his closest courtiers? (Et tu, Bill Barr?) Or a King Richard III who wars with the nobility until being toppled by Henry VII? Or King Lear, railing against those who do not love and appreciate him sufficiently? How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless electorate.”
Even worse for Trump: Knowing that his downfall is self-created. His failure to adequately care about the human toll from COVID-19 and unwillingness to behave in a dignified manner are the main reasons his days as head of state are running out the closer we get to January 20.