Putin’s Tool has always been a vile, deranged moron.
(He’s passed these characteristics to his children, and he seems to recruit only those that also fit this description to work for him. Not that there appears to be a short supply of vile, deranged morons among the ranks of the GOP and the roster on Fox News.)
But my impression since 2016 that Putin’s Tool has been showing signs of an additional ailment: dementia.
I’m not using this term casually; I’m a clinical psychologist. His actions, his mannerisms, his episodic lucidity (my impression is he is fully lucid less often than he is not, and he didn’t have much ground to lose cognitively to start with) are consistent with those I’ve had the opportunity to observe who are definitively diagnosed with one of the many forms of dementia.
David Boddinger, writing for Splinter, provides a summary of instances in which Putin’s Tool has obviously become disoriented, and needed staff assistance to not simply meander aimlessly. For example:
In Poland, Trump delivered a speech, clapped for himself, adjusted his suit, smiled, and then strolled to a random spot on stage for no apparent reason other than to enjoy some live music away from the bullet-proof shield that was supposed to have protected him.
Descending from Air Force One, Trump once dodged the presidential motorcade parked directly in front of him and wandered off onto the tarmac. He was quickly guided back to the enormous black vehicle awaiting him with open doors and several Secret Service agents.
And then there was the ceremony in which Trump was supposed to sign an executive order, but forgot. He thanked his audience, shook a few hands, and then tried to bolt. “Mr. President, you need to sign it,” Vice President Mike Pence reminded him.
Putin’s Tool’s shameful absence from Armistice Day ceremonies in France last month, and disgusting decision to forego the Veterans Day wreath laying ceremony at Arlington (barely ten minutes from the oval office) also add to this picture: with each subsequent cancellation of official public events and meetings, it is difficult not to surmise that his handlers are aware that putting Putin’s Tool on display is becoming less tenable, as his connection to his immediate surroundings and capacity to perform the simplest of tasks (‘stand here’, ‘sign this’) are increasingly tenuous.
And this means all the things that are worst about Putin’s Tool— his Malignant Narcissism, his cognitive limitations, his delusional schema— will become more problematic over time, not less:
…contemporary views suggest: (1) some psychiatric disorders are integral to the dementia phenotype, (2) dementia may be foreshadowed by syndromes such as major depression and schizophrenia and states such as apathy and irritability, and (3) many psychiatric disorders complicate the course of the dementia by amplifying or adding to distress and disability.
Of course, the GOP will continue to lie about this and cover for his impaired functioning (just as they lie and cover for his criminality).
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.