Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) March 25, 2020: This is my third OEN article in which I am using the same photo of President Donald Trump. I am using it to suggest that I see these three OEN articles as inter-related. Now, in the spirit of 2 + 2 = 4, I want to draw on certain points from my previous two OEN articles to interpret President Trump’s spirit of survival of the fittest (also known as social Darwinism) in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak that started in Wuhan, China.
I first used this photo of Trump with my lengthy review essay “Using Nassir Ghaemi’s Psychiatric Terminology to Describe President Trump” (dated March 13, 2020):
The Iranian American Dr. Nassir Ghaemi’s 2011 book is titled A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness (New York: Penguin Press).
In it, Ghaemi draws a line between people who are mentally healthy, on the one hand, and, on the other, people who are mildly mentally ill but not seriously mentally ill enough to be hospitalized for either clinical depression or for a psychotic manic episode.
Ghaemi describes what he refers to as delusional optimism as characteristic of people who are mentally healthy. The American salesman’s tragic propensity for delusional optimism is commemorated in the American playwright Arthur Miller’s 1949 play Death of a Salesman. No doubt Trump is a salesman with a strong propensity for delusional optimism.
Ghaemi also describes three personality types of people who are mildly mentally ill: (1) dysthymia personality types, (2) hyperthymia personality types, and (3) cyclothymia personality types. As Ghaemi operationally defines and explains the hyperthymia personality type, I would say that Trump is a hyperthymia personality type.
So I am here also suggesting that Trump is a hybrid combination to two propensities discussed by Ghaemi not a pure example of a mentally healthy person or of a mildly mentally ill person.
Next, I used the same photo of Trump with my lengthy review essay “James Shapiro Urges Us to Reflect Further on Shakespeare” (dated March 21, 2020):
The American Shakespeare specialist Professor James Shapiro’s new 2020 book is titled Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us about Our Past and Future (New York: Penguin Press).
In it, Shapiro tells us, as an aside, that “Trump had won less than a fifth of the vote in New York City” where Oskar Eustis’ 2017 production of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar was staged outdoors in Central Park with an actor playing Julius Caesar who looked like Donald Trump.
Now, we know that Trump was born and raised in New York City and that he worked diligently over the years to impress people in New York City. I surmise that winning “less than a fifth of the vote in New York City” in the 2016 presidential election was a serious disappointment for him serious enough to evoke in him his well-known spirit of revenge. But what all might Trump do to avenge himself on New York City? Vengeance is mine, saith President Trump to New York in 2020.
Now, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has been eloquent in talking about the Covid-19 crisis in New York City and elsewhere in his state. He has clearly pointed out that Trump has under the law the power to order industry to build more ventilators. But Trump has, thus far, refused to order industry to build more ventilators, because Trump doesn’t want to help New York and certain other parts of the country by ordering industry to build more ventilators. Rather, he wants revenge on New York City and certain other parts of the country where Americans did not vote for him in large numbers in 2016. Vengeance is mine, saith President Trump in the Covid-19 crisis in 2020.