On those occasions when you imagined what meetings within Trump’s White House must entail, and all the disjointed hell, the panic, the cringe-worthy insanity, all of it, whatever awfulness you conjured up? You fell short. Or, at least I did.
Honestly, there is nothing that could have prepared me to read the latest New York Times article, excerpting portions of a new book, “Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration,” by Michael D. Shear and .
Zoomers, we engage in just the right amount of hyperbole around here, and sometimes we laugh because the alternative is to cry or scream in rage. But right now I want to say something with clinical clarity, and understate it.
Our president, is mentally ill.
Not only is he mentally ill, he is exhibiting symptoms that ought to be apparent to the steward in the room serving coffee.
Our president is so mentally ill, that the head of Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan, having just accompanied Trump while Trump spoke to a room full of agents, having just heard Trump tell the agents to turn away every asylum seeker at the border, all of them, McAleenan – a patriot – made clear that the agents could not do what the president just ordered.
After the president left the room, Mr. McAleenan told the agents to ignore the president. You absolutely do not have the authority to stop processing migrants altogether, he warned.
That is chilling, because it was the exact right thing to do, and it was the right thing to do precisely because the nation doesn’t have a sane leader right now.
Let us be perfectly clear on this, no one knows who is actually in charge. We only know that the man who thinks he is in charge is not mentally competent to execute the duties of the office.
As is a recurring theme, the people within the White House not only ignore the law, but openly hate the idea of being under laws:
Mr. Miller, meanwhile, saw an opportunity.
It was his view that the president needed to completely overhaul the Homeland Security Department and get rid of senior officials who he believed were thwarting efforts to block immigrants. Although many were the president’s handpicked aides, Mr. Miller told him they had become part of the problem by constantly citing legal hurdles.
“Constantly citing legal hurdles” translates as “people who repeatedly note that something cannot be done because it is illegal.” Miller and Trump don’t seek to change the law, they wonder why they can’t do what they want without regard to the “law.”
When you merge reckless hatred for the idea of “laws” with abject insanity, you get meetings in which our “leader” advocates the unthinkable.
Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.
No more of my smug jokes, no more playful banter, no more deep analysis needed. The man is mentally ill.
The officials surrounding Trump know he is mentally ill.
Government officials know to tell their agents to ignore the president. They know they are right to do it. They know that if they did not tell agents to ignore the president, there could be problems. What could possibly evidence the president’s insanity with greater clarity?
I dearly hope that I’m a good enough writer such that you’re picking up on the fact that this article scares the ever living shit out of me, and I take this dead seriously. In my mind, this New York Times article is actually a more damning indictment on Trump’s fitness for office than the Whistleblower complaint.
On a trip to California late in the week, Mr. Trump turned to Mr. McAleenan, the Customs and Border Protection chief, with a new idea: He wanted him to stop letting migrants cross the border at all, with no exceptions. If you get into any trouble for it, Mr. Trump told him, I’ll pardon you.
“Fuck the law. I am the law. Do what I say. There will be no consequences.”
This is all out in the open. It is in the paper of record, the New York Times. Much of it was already known. So, I now ask, which is more insane? The president of the United States, or the people surrounding him that possess the power to remove him, but have yet to do it?
I encourage all of you to read the full article, and pass this around. Because it ought to wake everyone up as to the precariousness of our situation.
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @MiciakZoom
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.