The controversy over the mental health of President of the self-proclaimed lone superpower has just not made Donald Trump a laughing stock of the world, but has also raised a question mark over the state of mind of those Americans who had elected him in November 2016.
How can the people of a country which has a 240-year long history of democracy elect a man who is not of sound mind? Besides, it has raised another poser: if this can happen in the United States, can’t it be repeated elsewhere?
The recently published book by journalist Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury, is not the first writing which has, in a way, questioned the mental health of Trump. The author has just thrown some more light on it. Not to speak of independent journalists, writers, psychiatrists, columnists, etc. Some senators and members of the US House of Representatives belonging to both the Republican and Democratic Party have also raised suspicions over his behaviour. Several of his own partymen raised this issue during the election campaign in 2016 itself.
Yet Trump, a multi-millionaire, managed to win the election––thanks to his diehard supporters in the United States, who perhaps could not see beyond their nose.
No doubt, in thousands of years of world history we have come across many eccentric rulers. Sixteenth century Emperor Ivan the Terrible of Russia was known for his mental instability. The very nickname (Terrible) he got suggests how dreaded a man he might have been. In a rage of fury, he killed his eldest son and heir.
Henry VIII of England, the king who killed at least two (some historians say three) of his six wives, is another case in point.
The list of mad rulers may be too long. But they were all monarchs or dictators, who in a fit of anger, can go to the extent of committing any crime.
Incidentally, Hitler, a psychopath, was an elected leader who later turned to become a dictator after fire in the German Parliament in 1933. Though he accused Communists for this incident, many historians hold him responsible for it as he wanted an excuse to crush his opponents.
However, Trump’s case is entirely different. He is the duly elected President of the most mature and among the oldest democracies of the modern world.
Now, there is even talk of invoking 25th Amendment of the United States’ Constitution and thus replace him with Vice President Mike Pence. The 25th Amendment was adopted on February 10, 1967, and if Trump is really proved unfit, he would be the first President to be replaced because of the unsound mental condition.
It needs to be mentioned that Trump did not ‘suffer’ from the mental disorder after becoming the President. As mentioned above, several of his own partymen––not to speak of others––observed traces of abnormality in him during the campaign.
If this is really the case, than the whole electoral exercise would come under question. It means that elections can be won by sheer money power, media management and by raising emotive issues of religion, race, caste, nationality etc.
If the people of the country with cent per cent literacy can be hoodwinked by a particular party or candidate, then such a thing can happen in other democracies of the world.
There may be many more Trumps in the making––or they may already be ruling somewhere.