Matthew Reddin

Either Donald Trump’s Brain Is Broken, or He’s Lying … or Both?

Many are questioning the mental faculties of Donald Trump. However, finding truth in that suspicion or analyzing his behavior for symptoms is another thing entirely.


Between the jokes, the out-and-out insults, and the general madness between those who like him and those who don’t, there are suspicions expanding over the state of Donald Trump’s mental health and well-being.

We’ve reached the stage inside his term of office when you see a guy who was wrong about something (in this case, the forecast path of Hurricane Dorian) and rather than admitting he was wrong, correcting himself, and moving on, the man is doubling, tripling, quadrupling down on the error, doctoring weather maps with a felt pen and carrying on about it well beyond the point that literally everyone on the planet would have stopped caring.

So, were it not for the fact that he has shown himself pathologically incapable of admitting error, we’re in the place where some have started assuming that maybe something’s askew. Like, seriously askew. We’re at the place where at a time when nothing else makes sense because literally every other explanation has been exhausted.

As perpetual thorn in Trump’s side George Conway put it, “Essentially, the government of the United States of America is continually being co-opted to serve the demands of one man’s narcissistic personality disorder.”



It doesn’t help matters that, no matter what he says or does, Trump’s enablers will either say that it’s the fake news media just running along with whatever narrative they hope does Trump the most damage. And until such time that Trump befouls himself on national television or shows up at a press conference and starts literally clucking like a chicken will we have any definitive proof that something is actually, palpably astray.

Anything short of it, and everyone in Trump’s sanctum will defy, diffuse, distract. Everyone in his propaganda wing on Fox News and the like will do the same. Those who have gone all-in on Trump being a strategic genius will lay on some nonsense about him playing nine-dimensional chess or something.

This is a unique situation, what with the fact that everything he says can either be true, or not.

Everything, in turn, said about him can be true, or not. There has been nothing reported or written about the man in the past three-plus years where you can be 100% sure is 100% true or otherwise. In the recent death of pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, it turns out that he and Trump were once friends. Right. Fine. There’s proof, photos, videos, the lot. But did Epstein furnish Trump’s predilections for young female company? Nobody can say for sure and certain. If it turns out that he did, it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Not now, not after all this time, after everything that’s been said and done. It’s, in all honesty, a lot longer a shot that he didn’t. But Epstein’s (conveniently) dead now, so we’ll probably never find out.

But back to the story at hand. Business Insider has run a story, and you can either believe it, or not. There’s nothing about it that suggests that it’s a work of fiction, but at the same time, there’s nothing about it that makes you think, Ah, smoking gun.

Under the less-than-subtle headline, “‘He’s losing his s—’: Trump’s advisers are increasingly worried about his mental state following days of erratic behavior,” the piece includes the line, “‘No one knows what to expect from him anymore,’ one former White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations about the president, told Insider.”

Right there is enough for those who want to control the story’s narrative can latch onto as “proof” that the story is bogus. Trump himself has – since day one – easily cast all requisite doubt on stories with anonymous sources, even from journals of repute whose value and place in the discourse rely 100% on their ability to back their stories up with substance.

It needn’t matter that the history of journalism is made up of such stories, quotes from the inside made on the promise of anonymity, made because of a desire to shed light on the corridors of power, anonymous due to the need to protect themselves, their reputations, jobs, or lives. The problem here is that, even when they do go on record, the President will immediately go on Twitter or Fox and Friends and go all-out character assassin on the former loyal soul, who he apparently never really liked in the first place.


He may just be making shit up again – he does it to his own advantage all the time, has done for years. Or, he could have thought it was going to happen because that’s what his brain tells him.


There’s a case, or cause for concern, to be made here. The Telegraph posted a piece saying Ronald Reagan’s speeches showed the beginnings of Alzheimer’s before his diagnosis. His son first noted signs of the disease during Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign. There are subtle indicators in his speech patterns that point towards the ailment having made an impact long before the man left office. Which is objectively concerning, given the immense power draped over a man in such a position. Trump apparently passed a dementia test, but even the testing itself is under question.

Personally, I’m no fan of the man. But I don’t want him to have dementia, nor do I think people should be glib about it if he possibly does.

The trouble with most cases of dementia is that the person in question seldom, if ever, will acknowledge that they have a problem. And these are the normal people out there – the suburban grandparents, the average elderly citizens struck by the disease. For them, it’s just the world that’s confronting or strange, and their behavior is fine. Most people, we can safely say, don’t have a legion of devoted cult-like followers convinced that everyone who isn’t on-side is part of a massive conspiracy to undo all Dear Leader’s works.

Nor do they have access to nuclear weapons and the most powerful armed force in the history of the world.

I mean, he announced on Twitter that he’s called off “secret” Camp David peace talks with the Taliban because of how a U.S. serviceman was recently killed by them in Afghanistan. And, from anyone else, you’d likely believe such a thing transpired. And, at the same time, if Obama had made such a statement, the right-wing outrage machine would have pettifogged about him negotiating with America’s enemies the week of 9/11 commemorations, but because it’s Trump, they’re saying nothing of the sort and the rest of us have a dollar each way as to whether or not it was going to happen at all.

He may just be making shit up again – he does it to his own advantage all the time, has done for years. Or, he could have thought it was going to happen because that’s what his brain tells him.


(There is literally one of these for everything he says.)


Nobody knows. And I have nothing smarmy or sarcastic to say about it because I don’t know either. He may very well have dementia. He may very well not. And we’re nowhere near close to finding out the truth one way or another, because no matter what anyone says, nobody’s going to get everyone on board. We’re past that now.

We just have to wait and see who gets the Democratic nomination in 2020 and hope the Russians don’t get away with putting their thumb on the scales this time.


Matthew Reddin

Matt Reddin has been writing nonsense about film, TV, books, music, and live theatre for a touch over 20 years. He’s gone from the halcyon days of street press in Perth, to regional dailies, national magazines, and major metropolitan newspapers. Now, in between bouts of sporadically yelling at clouds, he vents his creative spleen at

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