It’s best saying there is no there, there. Bob Woodward’s book is not a surprise. Nothing in it is surprising. We already know the President lives in a chaotic world full of dysfunction. The gossip fodder that was just released by Bob Woodward does more to weaken Woodard’s journalistic integrity than bring down Trump. The anonymous New York Times Editorial was more pragmatic and yet less courageous. But what have we gained from these two publications?
What we know is that staffers within the Trump administration considered invoking the 25th Amendment. Is this the bystander effect? Is this every psychological groupthink at work? The mere fact that it not within the realm of reasoning for these staffers to consider the best for the country over the best for their resumes or CVs is definitely not courageous. Nor is it courageous to write a scathing op-ed in the New York Times.
If this anonymous staffer’s op-ed is the Deep Throat of our generation still remains to be seen. You cannot bring someone down, if you did not actually take them down. It’s best left to teenage girls to write scathing reports about their friends because it is not courageous to say you’re a part of a resistance that you’re daily working against.
Psychologists talk about the darkness or shadow self. In the case of the anonymous writer, their shadow self may allow them to continue the work of a President whose disdain for democracy and free speech is very clear. Yet their higher self, your more integrity filled self, still gets to write scathing editorials anonymously in the New York Times. In that case it would be obvious they are not using the right self in their daily life.
While the Op-Ed in the New York Times is considerably more astute than Bob Woodard’s gossip filled book (that Democrats will buy en masse to point and laugh with derision), it also does not do anything but point and laugh at things we already know to be true.
Trump’s world is rife for psychoanalysis not only of himself but of the state of America. Yet the only service we do for the country is voting, canvassing, calling, and convincing our friends and family to vote and canvass and call. At the end of the day, no one who has written any books or editorials on Trump that has the potential to change anything. But your voice at the ballot box does.