By Arnie Dodge
Recently I sat down in New York with Donald Trump’s therapist, Dr. Rufus T. Quackenbush, the renowned Yale-trained psychiatrist. It should be noted that Dr. Quackenbush, a Freudian, is the second major analyst to work with Mr. Trump. Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, who died 55 years ago, worked with him during the ’90s, Trump preferring to be alone during the sessions. Trump claims this was a great experience despite Jung’s absence because Trump has “the best” unconscious and the “most interesting” dreams. Fortunately for me, Trump sanctioned my interview with Quackenbush, giving us both license to discuss any matter that arose.
AD: Thank you for sharing some of your observations about Mr. Trump. Let’s get right down to it. Why do you think he agreed to let us talk?
RQ: It comes as no surprise to me that he agreed. Donald is suffering from extreme narcissism, the worst case I’ve seen in my 40 years in the mental health field. In such extreme cases the patient believes that any and all things about him will be adored by others. I am sure that no matter what we talk about he will consider our discussion another testimony to his greatness. One time, Donald used the bathroom in my office. When he was done, he asked me to look at his bowel movement. He quipped, “I’ve had thousands and thousands of terrific bowel movements.”
AD: I bet that was a bit unnerving.
RQ: It was, but I showered him with praise because he is my patient, after all. He is quite proud of his achievements but there’s always an underlying element of intense insecurity.
AD: What is your assessment on his candidacy for president? Do you think he can serve the American people with integrity?
RQ: Donald is clearly a sociopath managing to fool others that he has their best interests in mind. He has risen to the top of the business world through a global sleight-of-hand that is breathtaking, convincing the wealthy and the powerful to partner with him, even in dubious endeavors. Trump “University,” promising a world-class education with Trump’s name on the diploma, bilked students out of thousands of dollars in tuition costs. His career is rife with similar examples. If integrity is a prerequisite for the presidency, then he surely is not suited for the position. He has a genius for dissembling and manipulation, characteristics that are informally known in the psychiatric community as Dissociative Sadistic and Psychotic Malevolent.
AD: If he does become the President, do you foresee his condition affecting him in his new role?
RQ: Yes, I am worried about the relationship between his illness and his ascension to the presidency. For example, he has shared with me that his role as Commander-in-Chief will be exhilarating. He has likened his position to a childhood game in which he set up toy soldiers as “good guys” and “bad guys.” He would douse the “bad guys” with gasoline and gleefully set them ablaze with the toss of a lit match. The display was submitted as his science project while attending military school. This pyromania is certainly cause for alarm in someone who will have his finger on the “trigger.” As an aside, I might mention that when he discusses his new title, he salivates uncontrollably. I have to have our custodial staff sanitize the area before my next patient arrives.
AD: That must cut into your hours.
RQ: Well, I try to schedule Donald at the end of the day but then he wanted to just call in when it was convenient to him and I couldn’t have that. It was totally unacceptable.
AD: Mr. Trump has often said that he will confront those in Washington who do not agree with him and they will succumb to his will. Recently he suggested that if the Speaker of the House disagrees with him, the Speaker will “do as I say.” How would you characterize this behavior in psychological terms?
RQ: Our protected rights against domestic tyranny notwithstanding, Donald has shared with me that the Constitution was poorly negotiated, and written by low energy people.
AD: That’s an important distinction to him, isn’t it?
RQ: No doubt. As a deal maker—and a billionaire—he told me that he will “make the Bill of Rights great again.” In addition, my notes include the following statement from Donald: “I am already making an ‘enemies list’ for those who will not follow orders, especially those creeps in the media, some of the worst people I have ever met. Would I shoot them? Maybe yes, maybe no.” A temperament that includes violent fantasies typically requires involuntary hospitalization.
AD: That may not be possible in his case.
RQ: It’s worrisome, indeed. He could prove very resistant.
AD: What about his obsession with the “wall” he wants to build?
RQ: There is no mistaking the indicators of a borderline personality. Of course, in his mind it’s all about keeping out “the other.”
AD: It is common knowledge that mental health professionals probe their patients’ sub-conscious mind through an analysis of their dreams. Have you applied this technique to your work with Mr. Trump?
RQ: Most definitely. Here is where we examine the layers of the troubled psyche. Donald recounts a recurring dream from childhood—a dream that appears occasionally even today—of being castrated by gangs who pass around his severed member, laughing at its uncommonly small size. I am fairly certain that building very tall structures that bear his name is his way of compensating for his shame.
AD: What other characteristics have you observed, Doctor?
RQ: Screaming epithets at his opponents, “making faces” that an adolescent might present in a grammar school lunchroom, referencing bodily functions to insult women. These are gestures that reflect a serious conduct disorder and a dangerous lack of impulse control. Quite frankly, I worry about these aberrations if he were to facilitate a meeting in the Oval Office or address the United Nations General Assembly.
AD: What is your long-term prognosis for Mr. Trump?
RQ: Donald has survived so well this far that I believe he will continue to present his disruptive behaviors because they have worked for him. Unchecked psychosis emboldens a distorted mind. However, I am more concerned about the pathology we see in his followers. The public displays are quite unsettling. The most recent example—the most disturbing one of all—is the spectacle of his acolytes pushing, shoving and punching those who disagree with Donald’s message at his rallies. People who cannot discern right from wrong—they’re countenancing violence, adhering to deformed logic and cheering at the prospect of dismantling democracy as we know it—they are easy targets for impostors promising to fulfill their desires. Donald should engender outrage from any sane individual. But here he engages people on a primitive level, stroking their id. Mobs of people under the spell of a lunatic can only lead to catastrophic outcomes.
AD: Thank you very much for sharing your professional perspective with us. Would you like to make any final comments?
RQ: Yes. God help us.
(Editor’s Note: Of course, this is fiction. But yes, God help us.)