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“A Train Is Coming!” / From Lubitz to Trump (abridged version)

“A Train Is Coming!” / From Lubitz to Trump

by Daniel A. Linder MFT 

At least I’m not alone. 

Two hundred years ago, it was Paul Revere. Now it is the mental health community of this generation whose duty it is to sound the alarm in the face of threats to our safety and well-being.   

The Goldwater Rule (GR 1964) considers any clinical information obtained outside of a traditional office-setting invalid, unethically obtained, and subject to criminal and civil liability (regardless of relevance or enormity of what is at stake). As a result, most mental health professionals feel prohibited from disseminating clinical information about public figures sourced in publicized information, such as clips of interviews and speeches. This gag order must be removed so we can do our jobs.   

History is repeating itself. I’m seeing a recurrence of one of the most disturbing and horrifying human events I’ve ever witnessed, playing out on an infinitely larger scale and leaving so many people scrambling for a way to diffuse this ticking bomb.  

Let’s rewind back to March 2015 when Lufthansa aircraft, Germanwings flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing 156 people aboard. All indications were that the pilot, Andres Lubitz, deliberately crashed the plane.   

Details of the investigation leaked to the newspaper indicated that concerns regarding “imminent psychosis” were noted by a psychiatrist who was treating Lubitz for a period of time leading up to this fateful flight; that he was referred to a psychiatric clinic for treatment of depression and suicidal thoughts weeks before he flew the plane into a mountain.   

Lufthansa was found criminally and civilly liable for having knowledge of Lubitz’s unfitness prior to his stepping foot on the plane, not heeding overt warning signals, and allowing 156 passengers to be flown to their death.    

There are a number of eerie similarities worth considering between Lubitz and Trump. Despite streams of questions regarding their respective unfitnesses, they were both ushered into positions where they could do the greatest harm. Other people were involved and were responsible for egregious lapses of judgment, not heeding the warnings and inaction.   

There are differences worth noting as well. Lubitz’s unfitness was based on clear, irrefutable clinical evidence. He was overtly depressed and had suicidal and homicidal thoughts.   

Trump’s unfitness is open to debate and based on an unofficial and informal analysis. His psychiatric profile is far more complicated. He’s a psychiatric anomaly, an amalgam of personality disorders, who presents with a potpourri of associated narcissistic, delusional, sociopathic, anti-social and psychopathic features, all of which, together or separately, would disqualify him for the position of president 

Trump is best known for - his off-the-charts narcissism. Trump’s narcissism makes it is impossible for him to work collaboratively with anyone, except for a select few in his innermost circle.   

Trump presents as delusional. Trump’s delusions are delusions of grandeur and omnipotence. Remember that he was going to “Make America Great Again,” by himself?  

Trump presents as sociopathic and anti-social, which is associated with cold-blooded hostility toward people and society and a propensity toward violence; a modus operandi of lying and deception, of acting impulsively and recklessly; and incapable of empathy, remorse, or humility.  

Trump takes lying to another level, having earned the moniker of pathological liar. Lying is not just something he does often; it’s a way of life for him, and is woven into his personality.  

Trump presents as psychopathic. Psychopaths are wolves in sheep’s clothes, the depth and range of their malevolence never to be underestimated. What we don’t see are his covert operations. He has somehow learned, or knows instinctively how to gaslight the people he’s supposed to be protecting.  

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation or a weapon that sows seeds of doubt in targeted individuals, that makes them question their own memories, perceptions, and sanity. Gaslighting was always a common feature of brutal totalitarian dictatorships. Now Trump has brought it to the United States.  

NOW we stand warned, “A train is coming!”  

Lubitz is dead and gone, but Trump is just beginning. Just as was the case for Lubitz, in order for Trump to stay in office, there are other people who are not heeding the blaring warning and who are responsible for their inaction.  

Now what?   

Entering Twenty-Fifth Amendment territory. . . 

If we don’t see a plan or a unified effort within the government materialize anytime soon, it’s going to be up to the American people to break new ground, by mobilizing a galvanized effort to bring about a change. We must not only remove Trump from office but also ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.    

(773 wds)

 

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About Daniel Linder, MFT

Daniel Linder

Relationships. I was born with a keen sense about relationships, was always assessing how close and intimate people are with each other. I had a knack for relationships. The importance of relationships cuts to the core of who I am. The combination of clinical training, 25 years of professional experience treating dysfunctional, non-intimate couples and families, as well as rigorous self analysis has given me a lot to work with. I put what seemed to come naturally to me under a microscope in an effort to break the process of building healthy relationships down to concrete essentials: Understanding of Basic Principles, Communication Skills, Self-realization and Intimacy.


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