Donald Trump is acting like a spoiled toddler — America must give him a permanent timeout

America's unhealthy fascination with our damaged president must end. He desperately seeks attention. Let's move on

Published December 3, 2020 8:00AM (EST)

 President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving on November 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving on November 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images)

Jan. 20 cannot get here fast enough. Donald Trump is running wild with his disingenuous and false proclamations of a rigged election, rampant voter fraud and a stolen victory. Unbelievably, he is now claiming that the FBI and Department of Justice contributed to his fantastical claims of voter fraud. We have 50 days to go to survive this madman's deceitful and harmful rhetoric.

Let us be clear: Joe Biden won the election fair and square in what has arguably been the most scrutinized election in recent U.S. history. Trump has filed baseless and frivolous lawsuits and not a shred of evidence of massive voter fraud has been offered. In fact, his attorneys, with their bar licenses on the line, have repeatedly stated on the record, "This is not a fraud case." Yet Trump persists with his attention-seeking rants and raves.

Trump has lost. His psyche cannot handle the reality of the moment — that he has been repudiated by the American people. He is embarrassed, humiliated and scared, quite likely because he knows he is facing federal and state criminal charges once he leaves office. Trump is desperately trying to hold onto power to save his own hide. This is about his self-preservation. This is about him hiding out in the Oval Office so that he can avoid incarceration. To be sure, Trump's desperation is a confession-of-sorts of his wrongdoing.

Donald Trump is our outgoing president. He is old news. His voice is irrelevant. He has lost the bully pulpit. He should be packing his bags. He should be out of view. He should be saying goodbye and making plans for his life as a civilian.

We should not be giving Trump air time over the next 50 days. His lies, conspiracy theories and fake assertions are toxic. His Twitter account should be suspended or canceled. Television networks should not air his blather. He should not be quoted in newspapers or on websites. We should stop talking about him at the dinner table at home, with co-workers or in our online interactions. He needs to be out of our minds and out of the public consciousness.

Just like a screaming and defiant young child, Trump needs to be put in timeout — indefinitely. He should be silenced. He should be sequestered. We must not allow him to have the attention he thrives on — and any attention is positive reinforcement to him. The media must not allow his virulent voice to be heard. 

Frankly, the media must stop normalizing his behavior, must stop trying to fit an ordered framework around his mentally disordered mind, and must stop using charming, storytelling descriptions such as "Mad King." The damage from this reckless and unfit president will be felt for decades. A necessary first step is to cut off the source. 

Joe Biden is our future. He and Kamala Harris are the adults in the room who will provide strong and empathic leadership. The media should attend to their ideas, their plans and their expectations. Unity, inclusiveness and honesty is their mantra going forward. Let's give them our eyes and our ears. They deserve our full engagement now.

Trump should not be allowed to cause more damage on his way out. It's not like he is trying to attend to the pandemic or solve our economic woes. It's not like he is trying to save lives or pass a stimulus package for Americans who are suffering. No, all he is doing is promulgating false and fake conspiracy theories about the election — none of which are even remotely true. Worse than that, he has unsuccessfully tried to subvert democracy by overthrowing our election results.

Donald Trump's disordered psyche is his own damn problem. We have spent the past four years trying to navigate his erratic, nonsensical and inept behavior. It should not be our country's concern any longer. Trump needs a psychotherapist and likely some very strong medicine. That's his business. What we need is for him to leave us the hell alone.

Donald Trump needs to be gone. Short of members of his Cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment — which will not happen — we need to cut off his ravenous desire for attention.

It is obvious that congressional Republicans will not put pressure on the outgoing president to be quiet. They have proven themselves to be spineless cowards who cannot put country over their own political fortunes. They need to tell Trump to abandon his pernicious rhetoric and to focus on the peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden.

We should demand the silence of this miserable, desperate, pathetic man.

He needs to be put in timeout — indefinitely.

By Alan D. Blotcky

Alan D. Blotcky, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama, and a clinical associate professor of psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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