The fashionable thing to do these days is to call Donald Trump crazy. According to many on the left he’s unhinged, not mentally stable, and not fit for office. Go watch virtually any mainstream news network and you see a parade of characters spewing this sort of rhetoric about Donald Trump ad nauseam. Brian Stelter from CNN is routinely promoting this argument on Twitter, as is virtually every left wing media journalist. Donald Trump is obviously INSANE, and we all put him in the highest, most powerful office in the land. How can this not be an existential crisis for the country? He is routinely calling people names, threatening nuclear war, and engaging in extremely petty behavior. These are not the actions of a man who is mentally well, as several psychiatrists have been happy to point out for the rest of us dunderheads. In addition, he displays all the characteristics of a “malignant narcissist” and of course you don’t want to be around anything malignant do you?
Let me postulate another theory in the form of a question:
How can he be insane one if everything he does works? If he did everything you wouldn’t do, and got elected President in one shot, who is it that’s inferior again?
By any measure, his first year was a runaway success for conservatives. I won’t rattle off the entire list, but suffice it say the agenda he was able to get through in the first year is, by any measure, the most conservative agenda in decades. Virtually all conservatives are extremely happy with the agenda, there’s only one problem: some don’t like HOW he got there. I understand that. On some level just about everyone would prefer less drama in their politics. So before I break this down, let’s take an extremely simple macro look at the accomplishments of Donald Trump, the man.
2. President of the USA.
3. Bestselling author.
4. Massive Companies.
5. Large family that loves him.
6. World Famous Celebrity.
By any measure that is an amazingly successful life to have lived. That list of accomplishments cannot possibly be attained by someone who is insane. And yet, a significant number of people, who have attained an infinitesimal amount of his success, assure us he is nuts. My hypothesis is that Trump looks crazy because he is one of a kind, and his tactics only work for him. History is absolutely littered with geniuses who were thought to be utterly insane by the people of their time. Take a look at a veritable who’s who of history. From Galileo, to Dickens to Michelangelo to Tesla, there are dozens of outliers whose greatness it took years to process. I believe we are in such a time. Donald Trump does everything “wrong” by every standard we have. And yet, he constantly wins. He defeated the most stacked Republican field, maybe ever. Then defeated a candidate with essentially unlimited money and name recognition. Then, he accomplished an agenda any conservative would be proud of, and managed to drag former enemies into the fold. Donald Trump reminds me of another controversial man:
Steve Jobs, by a lot of accounts, was nuts. Read the Walter Issacson book on Jobs and the insane things he did. Jobs was legendary for being a gigantic jerk to a lot of people. There are urban legends all over Apple about the absurdly malicious things he’d say and do to people. Viciously berating people who couldn’t measure up to his standard of perfection. He did ridiculous things like trying to cure his cancer with a vegan diet. He was fond of parking his Mercedes in handicapped spaces just because he could. The list of erratic behavior by Jobs over the years might only be rivaled by Trump. And yet, Jobs undoubtedly saved Apple. The man who everyone thought was such a colossal jerk was fired from his own company, then ended up being the savior. It got to a point where Apple was in so much trouble that it needed to try insanity just to survive. When going under was imminent, it stopped making a difference if he was insane or not. Apple needed a miracle. Mediocrity was not going to work.
Apple was willing to try insanity. Or crazy, as their own ad says.
Maybe we are the mediocre ones. Maybe Brian Stelter, Rachel Maddow, “the resistance”, NeverTrumpers, and even myself can’t process Trump, because we are incapable of understanding him. We have a litany of people without a fraction of the success standing in judgement over the tactics of one of the most successful men that ever lived. Take a look at the North Korea situation. Finally, after years and years of failure, they are coming to the table, just now. Why now? After decades of “professionals” failed, somehow it’s now that something worked. What happened? Donald Trump happened. He talked a ruthless game, and then used ruthless sanctions to all but cripple that country into nothingness. The oil tankers being shut down and called out the other day was flat out ruthless. He was willing to talk a big game, and back it up. For all his playground trash talk about “nuclear buttons” somehow he is the one to do what no administration for 3 decades has been able to do: Bring North Korea to the table. If Donald Trump had listened to every “expert” we’d be doing the same thing we’ve been doing, and getting nowhere.
Over the weekend, Trump called himself a “very stable genius” and said “like, really smart”. First of all, it’s unbelievable to me that people are so utterly incapable of recognizing humor, and the obvious trolling. He can’t possibly be more obvious about the fact that he’s trolling the left and the media. Predictably, they freak out, and yet unfortunately for them, he might be right about being a “very stable genius”. Schopenhauer taught us that all truths are at first ridiculed, then violently opposed, then accepted as self evident, which is the exact template we are currently following. I remember watching Joy Reid, Seth Meyers, and Stephen Colbert laugh raucously at the very idea of Donald Trump becoming President, then progress into hysteria mode, where a lot of people on the left currently reside. In the book A First Rate Madness, Dr. Nassir Ghaemi argues that the greatest leaders of humanity have all had, to some degree, some mental abnormality. A lot of people forget that Lincoln had crippling levels of depression, so much so that he could barely function at times. Maybe Trump does have a narcissism problem. Maybe he does think wayyyyyy too highly of himself and is far too combative.
To that I say: Who cares?
What I believe is happening is that we have a man that is so beyond what we are used to, that it has to be classified by some as insanity. Take a look over the past two years. Every pundit on the planet has been wrong over and over and over. About everything. Every day there’s a pundit on TV saying “Trump can’t do this that or the other thing” and then he just does it. Think of how many “experts” have been so utterly wrong for two years. Donald Trump’s persuasion technique coupled with a unstoppable will to win are ushering in what several experts are starting to refer to a “golden age”. We are in uncharted territory on the stock market, unemployment, confidence, national security, immigration, and a host of other areas. Then, on top of all that, you have the fact that Trump hasn’t changed one iota from the campaign in which he was elected President. In other words, those of us that voted for him knew what we were getting. Any attempt at illegitimate removal would be considered a coup attempt. We knew what we were doing, because maybe it’s his brand of sane insanity we need to pull off making America great again.
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Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.