Trump May Need Help

There are reasons to be keenly observant of his mental condition. The President has recently made wild allegations, calling Kamala Harris a communist and spoken of indicting Joe Biden. There was also talk of bringing the troops from Afghanistan to be better able to fight China.

Is he becoming paranoid?

While he has been known to be unpredictable, the situation is now different because he is recovering from CoVid 19, a condition that affects the brain. He appears to be bouncing back, but he’s still infected and is presently taking steroids, which are known to impair mental functioning.

Trump is a vigorous man with a great deal of energy that puts him in the hypomanic category.

But he is also under tremendous pressure, both financially and politically.

The political factor is the heaviest burden.

He is behind significantly in the polls and the gap is growing.

His performance in office has been poor and yet he nurtures the fiction that he has been a great President. The very likely defeat on November 3rd would be a tremendous blow to his already battered ego. It is reasonable to believe that he is already anticipating the loss but has much trouble accepting it which increases the possibility of his striking out impulsively.

As things stand, consideration ought to be given to tapering him off the steroid, if it hasn’t been done already, while simultaneously considering the addition of an antimanic agent.

I am not sure if the staff at Walter Reed, who has competently taken care of him, has consulted with their department of Psychiatry. If not, this should be done as soon as possible.

Even if the President would be opposed to an examination, if a consensus of psychiatrists deemed it appropriate, such recommendation needs to be made public, given the enormous consequences for the nation of a poor decision on Mr Trump’s part.

Meanwhile, an independent body of experts, drawn from our prestigious medical centers, such as Stanford, the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Mayo Clinic, ought to be convened to monitor his behavior from afar and give their considered opinion when indicated.

The stakes are very high.

We must act.

Oscar Valdes

Harris Beats Pence

In last night’s debate, Kamala Harris attacked early and kept it up through the 90 minute exchange. She did it elegantly, firmly and with a smile for good measure.

The most consistent feature in Pence’s performance was his long windedness, repeatedly going over his time limit, causing the very polite lady moderator to keep insisting, ‘Please Mr Vice President, please,’ which Pence kept ignoring as if entitled to it, no doubt making sure that the audience knew that he would copy Mr Trump’s style, regardless of propriety.

It reminded me of the time Pence paid a visit to the Mayo Clinic some months ago. While escorted by a group of doctors who all wore masks, he chose not to.

Something about the Trump Pence administration and science. Oil and water.

‘Biden is raising your taxes!’ said Pence last night, as if he had found the magic words to bury his rival.

Harris calmly replied, looking straight into the camera, ‘Biden is raising taxes on people earning over 400 thousand.’

Pence again, ‘Biden is raising your taxes!’

‘Biden is raising taxes on people earning over 400 thousand.’ repeated Harris, unruffled.

In response to a question about fighting systemic racism in America, Harris gives a clear answer. Yes, the Biden administration was making it a high priority.

Pence replies, ‘There’s no systemic racism in the country…’

No systemic racism? Which country are you living in Mr Pence?

Harris was steady, confident, purposeful. The democratic side may not have all the answers but they are willing to work with the opposition to find them.

That is not what the Trump Pence administration has done and is the reason they have botched their chance at making a difference.

Harris had many salient moments, one of which was when she proudly defended the Obamacare health program’s coverage of people with preexisting conditions. Trump Pence have fought the program during their entire term, while offering nothing better in its place. But whatever they came up with, people with preexisting conditions would lose out.

So Harris made her point. ‘People with preexisting conditions? That is you (the viewer) they’re coming after, yes, you,’ she said with verve.

Whatever Pence said in reply was unforgettable except for his going over his speaking limit, finally prompting the very kind moderator to say, ‘Please Mr Vice President, we have agreed to rules to be able to hold this debate,’ or something to that effect.

Surely Trump was proud of him.

And so it is, folks. Twenty six days left before election day. One hundred and four till Biden Harris are inaugurated.

We’re making it happen. You and me. And if you can, watch the debates. It’s not the same to read about it. Writers have filters of their own. Please vote. And God bless America.

Oscar Valdes

No More Stimulus! Until After I Get Elected.

Powell, the Federal Reserve Chairman whose monetary policy has played a crucial and salutary role in softening the economic effects of the pandemic, had said earlier that the absence of further fiscal assistance would severely slow the nation’s recovery.

Then yesterday, fresh from ‘deep’ introspective moments while hospitalized at Walter Reed Hospital for a few days, Trump rebuffed Powell, saying there would be no further fiscal aid until after the election.

The message is clear. Elect me and you’ll have the money.

It’s the message of a drowning man.

The message of a man who could not find a way to govern the nation, a man who has only 105 days left in the White House and only 27 days before he watches on his adored Fox News, that Biden/Harris beat him soundly.

Soundly. As in not by a thin margin.

Meanwhile, there will be privations and hardship for those who have lost jobs that are not coming back as the economy restructures.

But their troubles are not Trump’s concern.

Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, are mum about their leader’s whims. They’re hoping against hope that Trump will pull off another miracle. But it won’t happen. We’ve had it.

Twenty seven days from now, after the vote comes out in favor of Biden/Harris, these same lawmakers, no longer feeling bound to the president, will rush to stand up against him and join with the democrats to pass a delayed stimulus bill and so stave off a grim Christmas.

Trump’s decision to not move forward with the stimulus bill is petty. Manipulative. Cold.

He’s going down because of the cumulative weight of his poor decisions and doesn’t mind piling on yet another burden on people without jobs.

But people who will not have enough will remember. Remember Trump and his lawmakers.

Oscar Valdes

PS: Trump, sinking as he is in the eyes of the nation, cannot resist the chance of seeing how the markets react to his decisions. It feeds his vanity. He will need to really feed it, though, because the election results will deliver much grief.

A New TV Show. Trump’s Next Act.

I watched the president’s return to the White House last night, following his short stay at Walter Reed Hospital. I saw him walk up the stairs to the balcony. If there was, perhaps, a hint of uncertainty to his movements, he was now summoning all the determination he could muster. This was a moment he had been looking forward to. He came up to the center of the balcony and stopped to face the cameras. The moment was dramatic. His head up, he wanted to exude confidence. He had been engaged in fierce hand to hand combat with the lethal coronavirus – with a still uncertain outcome – but there he was, undiminished. Like a good soldier, he was returning to duty. He had climbed those stairs unassisted. Proudly. As he stood looking out, twice he fumbled with the buttons of his jacket waiting for the precise moment. He breathed. And then he reached up and took off his mask. Yes. Even though he’s still in the midst of his struggle, he had an image of himself he had vowed to preserve. And no, the Coronavirus would not defeat him and he wanted the world to see it. No matter how vicious Corona might be, Trump would prevail.

His followers surely cheered. His detractors surely gasped. Virologists and health scientists surely squirmed.

So now, what?

First of all, my best wishes for the president to recover promptly. And thank you to the wonderful medical staff at Walter Reed Hospital. The nation appreciates your efforts.

But Trump knows he has only 106 days left in the White House and that Biden will be taking over on January 20th.

During his tenure, Trump was not able to figure out how to be an effective leader but he will keep trying. He is 74 years old and vigorous. He likes to wheel and deal, so why not think about what to do next?

While at Walter Reed, forced to stay in that suite, not tweeting or tweeting less, he did a little thinking. And he figured out his next step. He will start a new show. If it hadn’t been for the exposure he got on ‘The Apprentice’, he would not have been elected president. So now he has to come up with a different act. He reminded himself that he is, primarily, a showman. He has always been a showman and he will forever be one. So he hit upon this new idea. As soon as he leaves the White House, he will return to TV with a new show aptly titled, ‘The President.’ That’s right. Once a week, broadcast from studios at Mar-A-Lago or the Trump Tower in New York, he will beam out to the world an inside look at the presidency of the United States. He will reenact episodes of his term, like the events that led to his impeachment, so as to set the record straight. Trump figures it’s in the airwaves and on Twitter that truth now lives and he will put his truth out there. Imagine all the people he met, how eager they will be to make an appearance on the show. Why, they will knock themselves over for the chance. He might even have Putin do a guest appearance. And Xi Jinping, the Saudi prince, maybe even Kim Jong-Un, god knows he needs the income. In fact, Trump might reenact the talks he had with him, to set the record straight that he nearly got Kim to disarm. Almost. And so on.

And it will be Trump’s way of saying to the world, ‘I’m still the president. The Chinese, upset with the tariffs I’d imposed, conspired with Joe Biden and the treacherous democrats to unseat me. I have not yet found the proof of it but I’m getting there. But I shall return. And yes, I’m already running for president in 2024.’ Hallelujah. The Lord have mercy.

He has said that ‘The Apprentice’ was making him 3 million dollars a day. Now imagine what ‘The President’ will be netting. And the show will be broadcast all over the world. Even in the smallest villages in Africa, Trump’s image will appear.

He anticipates the revenues to be fantastic, which will help offset the huge personal debt that is coming due very soon. But he’s always found a way to borrow to keep afloat. And with the new show he will be doing it again. Deutsche Bank get ready.

Additionally, for the sake of his next run for the White House, his show will be a weekly commentary on all that the Democrats are doing wrong, because yes, they are the bane of this country. He will make it clear how things should be done. Anyway, in the show he’s in complete control. He gets to write the script for the other side.

So Trump will lose in November because the nation cannot stand him any longer. We’re done.

We’ve seen through the act. We’ve learned.

But he will live on, who knows for how many years given his sturdy constitution and the magic of makeup.

He will live on, principally, because his supporters have got hooked on the love he gives them, never mind the alternate reality he sells them.

The rest of us, will take note and switch channel.

God bless America.

Oscar Valdes

107 Days to the Inauguration of Joe Biden.

A new dawn is upon us, a new set of possibilities, a new chapter in our history.

Every one of us can be part of this moment. It is up to us to be a participant.

Our future is in our hands.

What we saw in the first presidential debate in Cleveland – likely the only one we will have – was reflective of what has happened during the past 4 years.

We need dialogue in the nation, dialogue between Americans no matter how far apart in views we may be.

We have not had that for the past 4 years. We have not because our leader did not make it a priority.

We have not because our leader is not suited for it.

Trump has fallen short when it comes to confronting thorny matters.

On July 16th 2018, when sharing a stage with Putin in Helsinki, he was asked by a reporter to confront Putin with the ample evidence gathered by our intelligence services that there had been Russian interference in the 2016 elections. But Trump replied that, while he believed American intelligence reports, he also believed Putin’s denial of involvement.

What does that mean?

If you cannot confront a foe, then, what can we trust you to do?

Trump could not reach across the enormous divide in our land and say to the opposing parties,

‘We have to put aside the anger and hatred that is consuming us,’

‘We have to stop thinking in black and white.’

‘No one owns the truth, no one.’

‘We all contribute to this great land and so all must be heard.’

‘And I will be the great mediator between the divided parts of this land, because I am convinced that if we learn how to talk, then we will find the fullness of our strength.’

But he couldn’t do it.

He could not because it is not in him.

That’s his truth. But he does not own up to it. He does not come clean with himself and with us.

As a result we are less than we can be.

And that has to stop.

How do we stop it? By voting for change.

It is our task to do so, our national duty.

You don’t have to believe in what I say nor I in what you say, but we must concede that we have to talk to each other to find out where we can agree.

It is up to a thoughtful leader to bring us to the table and to moderate such dialogue.

Trump didn’t even try.

Biden is committed to the task.

Oscar Valdes

Trump and the virus. My take.

He’s getting excellent medical care, the expertise of many talented people focused on his symptoms. The virus may be unpredictable and Trump is obese, but the man is vigorous. So he will walk out of Walter Reed Hospital having beat the virus.

How will the experience affect his psyche is worthy of speculation.

Will he say to the public, as he leaves the hospital, ‘It was nothing, really, I knew I’d beat it, but it was great that I had the attention I got, just in case. Thank you all the doctors and the nurses and the support staff. But folks, nothing worse than the flu, I mean, I’ve been sicker than this. So, sure, wear a mask if you want, but just don’t get crazy about it, like Joe Biden does. Every time I see him he’s got a mask on, sometimes two. Thank you for your concern everybody, and vote for me and against the Socialists.’

Or will he be chastised by the experience, just slightly humbled, and instead say, ‘fellow Americans, this is not easy for me to say… but please wear a mask. I realize I’ve been pigheaded in going against the medical advice to wear masks… and if I had… well, I would not have contracted CoVid 19. I’m sure Dr Fauci is smiling as he hears me say this. If I had worn the mask I would’ve been able to keep campaigning so I can beat Joe Biden and his socialist supporters on November 3rd. By not wearing the mask I’ve lost precious time to attend rallies and remind you of how important it is for the nation to have four more years of Trump.’

I wouldn’t hold my breath but it is possible that he is slightly humbled by the experience.

It would be good for him and for all those Americans who, not wearing a mask, may end up getting the virus and, because they will not be getting the care the president is getting, will be more likely to do poorly.

So, let’s hope for the best.

I’m counting on your big heart, Mr Trump. Thank you.

In the meantime, in light of all that has transpired during the past 4 years and, convinced as I am that most Americans are able to see the difference between our two candidates, I am today predicting that Joe Biden will be the clear winner come November 3rd.

On January 20th, Joe Biden will become our president.

Looking ahead, I think Biden will govern for only one term and Kamala Harris will run for President in 2024.

During his tenure, Biden will give Harris much responsibility and many chances to shine but, when she runs for President, she will still face stiff opposition from other candidates, and primarily from many other women. Guaranteed.

I am here predicting also that, inspired by seeing a woman Vice President, a woman will become President in 2024.

As far as male candidates is concerned, the outlook seems bleak. Which makes sense.

Since 1789 we’ve had men Presidents, one after another, the women patiently waiting and quietly asking themselves, ‘now, what does this guy have that I don’t?’ So it makes sense that women run the country for the next 20 or 30 years, in a row. I have no doubt the nation will be much better off because of it.

Trump will return to his hotels and, finally, build his Trump Tower in Moscow. Good luck.

Oscar Valdes.

Dear Mr Trump

May you and your wife recover promptly from CoVid 19.

Both of you are strong so the expectation is that the two will have the fewest of symptoms.

We hope so.

Do follow the medical guidelines you will be given.

This is not a time to be careless.

The two weeks of quarantine will go fast and you’ll be able to return to the fray.

Meanwhile, your close associates will stand in for you.

We also need you back as quickly as possible because the political battle for the hearts and minds of the nation needs to be fought.

It is good for all Americans.

In my opinion, your presidency has not been a good one but still you have your supporters that embrace your viewpoints.

With Joe Biden in the lead, we must win them over because they are our brothers and sisters and we need everyone to strengthen the country as we move forward.

Good luck.

Oscar Valdes

Trump Doesn’t Want to Debate, He Says.

He’s just announced that, if new rules are set to mitigate the disorder that reigned in the first debate, he will not participate. Why should he since he won the contest?

In his mind he did.

The reality, though, is starkly different.

So, Trump’s statement is his way of bowing out of two other encounters where his flaws would be broadcast even more widely to the American public.

Smart move on his part.

But here lies an opportunity for Biden too. And I think he should take him up on it.

We will learn nothing that we don’t already know from the two subsequent debates.

Election day is drawing close and we can do without the distractions.

Spare the energies. Focus.

Do keep the debate between Harris and Pence.

Oscar Valdes

American Women. Moral Reconstruction in America. The Dawn of A New Era.

White American Women had been waiting a long time for the chance to be president and, suddenly, they’re having to queue up behind Harris. What happened?

The riots did.

Of course, they can look back on Hillary Clinton’s effort and find consolation there, saying that in the very first try by a white woman as presidential candidate for a major party, she won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

That will have to do for now, though, since if all goes well, it will be Harris going up as party favorite once Biden chooses to step down (Yes, Biden will win the election, unless we’re insane)

To the credit of White American women, there has been widespread support for the Harris choice. That should give us men inspiration in the struggle against racism.

Come 2024, Kamala may end up being challenged for the presidential nomination by other women, as they are entitled to, but if she does a good job supporting Biden it will be a Democratic woman versus a Republican one in that presidential contest.

A man running on the Republican side would have a harder time beating Harris.

The problem of racism in our land is viewed by most of us as a critical matter. Addressing it fully cannot be postponed without additional damage to our moral fabric.

Obama projected an image of conciliation that has gone a long way to start the process of healing in our land but it now seems clear that it will be up to an African/Asian American woman to carry the task further.

Men are more conflicted than women on matters of dominance. They are more easily wounded by it and less forgiving.

This opens the way for women, of any color, to lead us for the next few decades until we resolve our racial differences.

Overall, the feminine psyche appears more likely to evoke forgiveness and understanding in the rest of us.

The fact that women had to struggle so hard to get out from under the oppression of men has much to do with it. It has helped them develop empathy.

So what do we have to lose?

Since inception we have been governed by men and we have not settled the racial issue. Imagine a Senate, supreme court or cabinet composed mainly of women?

It is time.

Are there qualified women today, in every field of endeavor, in politics, banking, science, medicine, etc.?

Yes. Resoundingly.

Well, we need to open the doors widely for them to enter politics and let them govern. And when it happens, it will be a gigantic step toward uniting the country.

We have great women leaders in the world now. Germany and Europe have benefitted enormously from the unique leadership Angela Merkel has provided. Her courage, wisdom and even handedness have set a standard to emulate. What other world leader has governed for as long as she has with such aplomb?

Sex alone won’t make for gifted leadership, but a combination of ability and sex may work wonders in challenging long held misconceptions about race that have stood in the way of our full evolution as a nation.

Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation and other books. Available on Amazon.

The Portland Protests

Violence. Intimidation. Destruction of Property.

How’s that helping the process of combatting and eventually overcoming racial prejudice in our land?

I read that groups of masked people (mostly white), supporters of Black Lives Matter, have gone into white neighborhoods demanding to know whether residents agree with them or not. Or they go to the outside seating area of restaurants doing the same. Or they take and destroy property wantonly.

How’s that helping?

It is not.

You want quick results on the issue of race? Then you will have none.

But you will be sure to get backlash.

Racism cannot be resolved by violence.

Racism is the ugly offspring of intimidation, of disregard for the other, of people in power closing themselves to discovering what is human in those who are different from them.

It is rooted in fear of the other.

You cannot eradicate it through provoking fear.

Racism is a solvable problem but it will take commitment.

Our reluctance to not confront it has diminished us as a people. And still does. But you can’t scare people out of it.

We have to persuade. Induce people to embark in the quest for personal knowledge that will expand their minds and make room to accept those who are different from them.

No one jumps from being racist to not being racist.

It is a process and will take time.

Racism is not a matter of intelligence. People can be very smart and even make important contributions to humanity and yet be hampered by racist beliefs. Eminent people, even Nobel Prizes have been racists.

Intelligence will help a person work through their racism, but that quality alone does not preclude it.

Our nation can and should, organize a better effort to continue to reduce racism simply out of self interest, for steadily reducing racism will make us stronger, smarter, wiser and yes, more beautiful too.

Every African American in this country is entitled to affirm themselves each and every time they believe they are being treated unfairly because of the color of their skin. That needs to be supported, both at the individual and community level. Be firm, not violent.

If we sincerely wish to attenuate our racist feelings, when we encounter someone of a different race – no matter what their economic standing – let us quietly ask ourselves, ‘What gifts do they have that I don’t?’

I assure you they have gifts. We just need to look for them.

Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation and other books. Available in Amazon.