Donald Trump has finally admitted that he will resign from the U.S. presidency sometime this fall. No, not the real Donald Trump, but Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter who wrote “The Art of the Deal,” says that what’s going to happen. It’s easy to see how Schwartz would think that he could know. In the course of writing “The Art of the Deal,” which Trump claims to have written himself, Schwartz spent 18 months shadowing Trump, even spending weekends with him and with Trump’s permission, listening to his phone calls. Some of the accurate observations Schwartz has made about Trump in the past sound like those of a psychologist. According to Jane Mayer in her article in New Yorker magazine, Schwartz considered Trump’s personality, “pathological and impulsive.” Mayer says that a journal Schwartz kept during that period describes Trump’s constant need for attention in this way: “All he is, is ‘stomp, stomp, stomp’—recognition from outside, bigger, more, a whole series of things that go nowhere in particular.” Schwartz also noted that Trump lied strategically… “[and had a] … complete lack of conscience about it.” Schwartz also perfectly describes Trump’s use of the defense mechanism called splitting, which is “the division or polarization of beliefs, actions, objects or persons into good and bad by focusing selectively on their positive or negative attributes.” More simply put, it is seeing things as either all good or all bad. It is a defense mechanism often used by persons suffering from borderline personality disorder. Schwartz said it this way: “Trump only takes two positions. Either you’re a scummy loser, liar, whatever or you’re the greatest” That’s Trump all right, dramatic, impulsive, attention seeking, lying, no conscience and polarizing. Yep, nailed it. Schwartz is right about the personality traits, but, in my opinion, not about the resignation.
From my cold red hands
Schwartz is right that circumstances and consequences of past actions are closing in on Trump. However, it is not the first time and quitting is not an option. Trump cannot give up the image, the lifestyle, the power, the glamour of the office, the adoration of his supporters who still believe the hype. Most of all, the “guilty as sin” Trump cannot give up the power of absolution, the power of the presidential pardon. He is going to need that power for his family members and close associates, and he might even cause a constitutional crisis by using it for himself. Do you think this guy would care about causing a constitutional crisis? The fact that he is making gestures of bipartisanship this very week is the signal that he is planning to fight to the end, and to make deals even through impeachment. If an impeachment hearing comes, he wants to win. Distrustful Trump smells the Republican leadership planning to offer him up, just as they tried to do during the elections, but he plans to fight—balls out. And lest someone think I am making allusions to the fight Bill Clinton made when he was caught with his zipper down, let me give this account for the true origin of the expression balls out. Old steam engines had a governor rod with ball-shaped spinning weights on the ends. When the engine was running at maximum speed, centrifugal force moved the balls all the way out. Trump has to fight “balls out” because he cannot go to prison at 71, having offended the two largest ethnic groups he is likely to meet behind bars. No, Trump will, like Hitler, fight down to the last Boy Scout, even if he has to take the government down with him.
Bad news good news
That’s the good news. The bad news is that once he survives the impeachment, he will be more dangerous, more boastful, outrageous and actually more powerful than ever. Like a superinfection fostered by inadequate antibiotics, the Super Trump that will emerge after the impeachment hearing will use his survival as evidence to himself and his minions that he is the greatest leader the planet has ever known since the Fuhrer. He will also emerge with the clear knowledge that the checks and balances of the American Constitution and the division of powers are not equipped to handle a billionaire sociopath such as himself. Last, he will test the maxim, pun intended, “troops trump paper.” If all else fails, the one constitutional power the president has that is indisputable is that he is the commander in chief of the armed forces. His ascension to the presidency has been over the bones of those who have analyzed his personality and only seen the weaknesses. You don’t have to be a training analyst at École Européenne de Psychanalyse to know there is something wrong with Trump. A quick hair inspection and it’s clear. Everybody knows he’s a blowhard. Everybody knows there is something wrong with a 71-year-old man, looking like Elvis on estrogen, defending his hand size during a presidential debate and offering that you can confirm with his wife whether or not he is lacking in “that department.”
Everyone knows that there is something wrong with a billionaire, would-be macho man, who takes pride in images of his wife projected as a vacuous hooker or perhaps a so-called James Bond Girl—nude and handcuffed to a briefcase on his private jet, holding a chrome pistol. The O.S.S. knew that the same things were wrong with Hitler, but they did not do one-sided algebra or one-sided ledger analysis and predict that he would quit the war in a few days. Their commissioned psychoanalysts, Dr. Henry Alexander Murray, Dr. Walter C. Langer, Dr. Ernst Kris and Dr. Bertram D. Lewin, also looked at how Hitler’s personality flaws would make him a tenacious adversary. Those counting Trump out by fall’s end might get a surprise. Trump’s need for attention and adoration won’t allow him to step down gracefully from power. He was still projecting himself as a powerful business guru in the early 1990s, even as four of his businesses went belly up: Trump Taj Mahal Associates in 1991, Trump Castle Hotel & Casino in 1992, Trump Plaza Associates in 1992, and Plaza Operating Partners in 1992. In the midst of that financial maelstrom, Trump was still boastfully offering, way back then, to negotiate peace with the Russians. It seemed an odd comment at the time. “The Russians?”
When his financial situation was at its worst, he survived and ultimately parlayed his self-advanced reputation as a great businessman into the presidency of the United States of America. In that case, it was not only character assets that saved him. According to The New York Times, over the past 20 years, Deutsche Bank has blessed Trump with $4 billion in loan commitments and potential bond offerings during and after the periods when the man had a total of six bankruptcies (there were two more in 2004 and 2009, respectively). That does not include the $285 million lent to Jared Kushner with a K, just before Election Day.
Nothing to do with Soviet hookers
That same bank, Deutsche Bank, in circumstances probably unrelated to Trump, is currently paying $600 million in fines for laundering Russian money. According to The New York Times, probably unrelated, Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer, met with Donald Trump Jr. during the campaign, he says, to discuss Hillary Clinton. Veselnitskaya has clearly stated that Clinton was not the topic of discussion as Donald Jr. maintains, but the lessening of sanctions against Russians. Veselnitskaya, also probably unrelated to Trump, represented a firm that, with a partner, got $90 million in financing from Deutsche Bank and laundered the proceeds of an alleged Russian tax fraud by purchasing luxury real estate in New York. The case had been initiated by then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara but was settled two months after Trump suddenly fired Bharara. Trump’s deceased lawyer and mentor Roy Cohn would have ripped up any witness at the McCarthy Army Red Scare Hearings with half the connections to the Soviet Union that Trump has with Russia, without even counting Veselnitskaya and Deutche Bank. Fortunately, Trump has had nothing to do with “hookers” in the Soviet Union. We know because he told FBI Director James Comey without even being asked. Two of his wives, however, were “models” born in countries that were, for most of their lives there, behind the so-called Iron Curtain—Czechoslovakia and Slovenia (Yugoslavia). Trump’s father-in-law was a member of the League of Communists that ran Slovenia. Clearly, capitalist numero uno, Donald Trump, is not a communist. Tony Schwartz says Trump has no ideology. Perhaps not, but he is one witness I would like to see the evil and abrasive Roy Cohn cross-examine. The point of this last section is that bank ledgers, governments and personalities often have assets as well as deficits. In the case of Deutsche Bank, Russia and Donald Trump, these assets are often hidden assets.
Dr. McIntosh will speak about this series of articles, “The Unauthorized Psychoanalysis of Donald Trump,” Saturday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m. at CEMOTAP Center, located at 135-05 Rockaway Blvd., Queens, N.Y., and again with Larry Hamm in a program called “The Unauthorized Psychoanalysis of Donald J. Trump and Fighting Fascism Round 2,” Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. in Newark, N.J. at 224 W. Kinney St.