We joke and make light of people “going crazy” and being “insane,” which is not a good thing to say when mental illness is a real thing and there are people who are dealing with those issues on a regular and permanent basis. So that’s why I try to avoid labeling people when they do things that don’t fit into a predictable or reasonable manner.
But I’m beginning to worry about Donald Trump. I don’t think he’s holding up well under the pressure of being the Republican nominee, and the way he’s been responding to criticism and bad news — things he’s never really handled well as far as I can remember — indicates to me that these incidences, which are a part of campaigning for office, seem to be really getting to him, and it’s telling in his outbursts against the press and his meandering, apocalyptic speeches.
The conventional wisdom was that once Mr. Trump won the primaries he would pivot to running a general election campaign and try to broaden his appeal to the rest of the electorate. But if he’s pivoted, he’s gone in the other direction: he’s still trying to corner the market on the resentful and the enraged.
I’m not going to make some kind of diagnosis about Mr. Trump, but what has me worried isn’t his mental state but the fact that a large number of my fellow citizens seem to think that not only is this acceptable, they’re in favor of letting someone with this kind of temperament in a position of global power. That scares me more than anything.