Today in a post at Daring Fireball John Gruber wrote about a Daily Beast article summering a paywalled article at the Finically Times where Trump argues against COVID-19 testing because he thinks the results would spook the markets.
People can’t get their head wrapped around this because it’s so grotesque, but it doesn’t require believing in a hidden conspiracy. Trump has told us, again and again, that he’s against testing because he doesn’t want “the numbers” to go up. In Trump’s view testing for COVID-19 is a bad idea because it’s going to reveal something he doesn’t want to be true.
When I read this I think that Trump is someone who’s symptom is to believe he is justified no matter what he does, because he has zero tolerance for any touch of the real and the anxiety such a touch produces.
Or, to put it differently, Trump has a psychic structure built of fantasies he believes to be 100% true because he can’t handle the anxiety he would feel if he had an encounter yet with reality. The psychotic fantasy as reality that Trump lives in is what keeps him anxiety-free and stable… even when he probably be anxious and somewhat de-stabilized.
When neurotic people get anxious or de-stabilized frequently they think, “I’ve got to change something, maybe it’s me.” This is not the case with the psychotic.