Psychologist Abraham Maslow is famously quoted as saying, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
To borrow from that metaphor and anthropomorphize it, show a hammer a screw and it doesn’t know what to do, show a hammer a piece of wood without a nail and it doesn’t know what to do, show a hammer a place where a hole needs to be drilled and it doesn’t know what to do. If that hammer realized how much of the world is not a nail, it would begin to feel incompetent, lose its confidence in what it was doing in the world and lose a sense of control.
If feeling in control was essential to that hammer and if it wanted to cause the rest of the world to have confidence in it, you could imagine it doing everything it could do to convince the world that the only thing that exists are nails.
Furthermore, if that hammer equated not being in control with feeling out of control and if that feeling threatened to throw it into a panic, you can imagine that hammer banging on everything (a.k.a. tweeting) as if they were nails.
Is it possible that to Trump, everything looks like a deal that he is the master of where he continuously tells himself how much more successful and competent he was and is than any elected official who only had to run for office and never had to run a business? Is it possible that he imagines realities, intentions and facts not in evidence so that he can feel competent, confident and in control?
One of the qualities most written about Steve Jobs was his “reality distortion field” with which he could and would convince almost anyone of anything and ironically and tragically convinced himself that he could treat and cure his cancer by using his alternative approaches.
Is it possible that Trump has a similar “reality distortion field,” but the only people he can convince that what he is saying is true are his most ardent, dyed-in-the-wool supporters and himself?
To a certain extent is there a parallel between Trump distorting reality to convince himself he is correct and Jobs’ lethal distortion of believing he didn’t need to deal with his pancreatic cancer with the conventional approaches (doesn’t that sound like Trump’s M.O.?)?
If you find the above a compelling and convincing enough hypothesis, what, you might ask, can be done to cause Trump to stop acting like a hammer and to break out of his destructive self-hypnotic trance imposed by his reality distortion field?
For Jobs, maybe it took making that sad painful resignation speech on August 24, 2011 when he stepped down as CEO.
Assuming Trump, as far as we know, is not terminally ill. What could cause him to step down as President?
That’s my question to all of you.
I don’t have any good answers although, on second thought, I can imagine Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner being indicted, and Ivanka beseeching her father to pardon Jared.
At that point, I could imagine him pardoning them and himself and cutting a deal saying that he will step down because it has become clear that there are too many conflicts of interest to serve in the best interests of the American people and that he is therefore turning over the office of Presidency to the able hands of Vice President Pence.
What do you think?
Or perhaps your retort to me is, “Hey Doc, when you’re a shrink, everything looks like some convoluted psychological theory. Give this idea and us a break!”