Trump Incited a Violent Coup Against Democracy. Now What?

President Trump incited a riot in Congress in which five people died. This riot is the culmination of an election result. President-elect Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump in Georgia by 11,779 votes. But Trump could not accept it. He wants to believe that he is the winner. And he is desperate to have others believe he won. “We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it,” said Trump. He was fixated on overturning the election.

On Jan. 3, the Washington Post broke the news of an hour-long call in which Trump attempted to persuade Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to recalculate the state’s vote in his favor. On tape, Trump told officials, ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’. Raffensperger said, “We now have irrefutable proof of a president pressuring and threatening an official of his own party to get him to rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place,” he said. A national election security coalition announced that, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” Trump lost nearly 60 election fights in court (and counting). “Calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” said Judge Stephanos Bibas, one of Trump’s own nominees. In essence, the emperor has no clothes. But now, after an attempted coup, even prominent Republicans have disavowed the president. They would like him to resign.

As I understand it, there are three courses of action to remove Trump from office before he causes more damage in the two weeks remaining in his term. He can resign, he can be impeached, or he can be subject to the 25th amendment, which states that if the president dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the vice president becomes president. No president has ever been impeached twice. If Trump were convicted, the Senate could vote to bar him from holding office again. Strong action is required. If we normalize bad behavior, we unleash more of it in the world.

This outcome is not a surprise. We’ve known of his weaknesses all along.  “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”, is a book from experts in the psychology field that repeatedly point out Trump’s malignant narcissism. These professionals made the cry of a “clear and present danger” that Trump’s mental health poses to the nation. They argue that the President places the country at risk of undermining democracy itself due to his dangerous pathology. This pathology is largely, but not exclusively, due to Trump’s narcissistic personality disorder. As these authors predicted, Trump has only grown more erratic and dangerous as the pressures on him mount.

Claire Jack, PhD, wrote “5 Reasons Why Narcissists Are So Dangerous”, published in Psychology Today. She said they do not respect experts. They act without consulting others’ opinions. If a narcissist wants to do something, they will. They’ll put other lives in danger if it meets their needs. They have low empathy. Being right, winning, and dominating are far more important than worrying about how someone will feel. They like drama. Narcissists thrive on drama. She nailed it, and here we are.

Losing the election caused a narcissistic wound for Trump. He cannot tolerate losses. People without narcissism can self-correct. Trump’s impeachment did not result in a more tempered attitude or behavior. Instead, Trump called the process “a dangerous attack”. In fact, he doubled down on his efforts to rally loyalty from his base, to the point of calling for violence.

There is no fury like a wounded narcissist. Trump has plotted with others how to get revenge against anyone who did not go along with him. “Policy doesn’t animate him. Revenge animates him,” said an adviser who had recently spoken with the president. “He can’t admit that he lost. He would literally do anything in the world,” one official said. A second administration official said: “Guy can’t just help himself and go away.”

Let’s be clear, Trump is not going away by resignation, impeachment or by the 25th amendment. Narcissists don’t resign from office. He can be stripped of his office, but he will not stop his pursuit to be vindicated. He will remain a danger to democracy.

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