Friday, March 24, 2023

Escalating


The New York Times reports

In an overnight social media post, former President Donald J. Trump predicted that “potential death and destruction” may result if, as expected, he was charged by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, in connection with hush-money payments to a porn star made during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Hours later, the district attorney’s office discovered a threatening letter addressed to Mr. Bragg containing white powder — later determined not to be dangerous — in its mailroom...

Around midday on Friday, a threatening letter containing a suspicious white powder was found in the mailroom for the district attorney’s office, which is in the building where the grand jury meets, a spokesman for the Police Department said.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said that Mr. Bragg had informed the office that the powder was immediately contained “and that the N.Y.P.D. Emergency Service Unit and the N.Y.C. Department of Environmental Protection determined there was no dangerous substance.” In that message, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, the office’s leadership assured prosecutors that “we are well-prepared for any possibility.”

The envelope in which it was sent was addressed to Mr. Bragg, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The person said that inside the envelope was a single piece of white paper with a brief message containing the typewritten words “ALVIN: I AM GOING TO KILL YOU” followed by 13 exclamation points.

The comments from Mr. Trump, made between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on his social media site, Truth Social, were a stark escalation in his rhetorical attacks on Mr. Bragg ahead of a likely indictment on charges that Mr. Trump said would be unfounded.

“What kind of person,” Mr. Trump wrote of Mr. Bragg, “can charge another person, in this case a former president of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting president in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a crime, when it is known by all that NO crime has been committed, & also that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our country?”

“Why & who would do such a thing? Only a degenerate psychopath that truely hates the USA!” the former president wrote.



I don't know whether Donald Trump is a psychopath, which is an informal term rather than an official clinical diagnosis and refers in psychiatry to someone with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Common symptoms which Trump exhibits are behavior which conflicts with social norms, lack of empathy and remorse, and manipulating and/or hurting others. But they include also an inability to distinguish between right and wrong and disregard for safety and responsiblity.

I don't believe the ex-President generally possesses the latter two but your mileage may vary. That illustrates the point that none of us can responsibly diagnose him without a personal examination.

Nonetheless, if we cannot prove with our limited knowledge that Trump is "a degenerate psychopath," we do know that he truly hates the USA, which indicates that at least part of his threatening tweet constitutes psychological projection. In a tweet given little attention, last October 30 Trump posted on his Truth Social

The Witch Hunt continues, and after 6 years and millions of pages of documents, they've got nothing. If I had what Hunter and Joe had, it would be the Electric Chair. Our Country is Rigged, Crooked, and Evil - We must bring it back, and FAST. Next stop, Communism!

Just as New Year's Eve is Amateur Night, so is sending white power to one's antagonist while threatening "I am going to kill you" in all caps followed by multiple exclamation points.  As Donald Trump could attest to, this is not how La Cosa Nostra and other professionals do it.

Nevertheless, somehow in some way at some time this will escalate into the kind of violence the ex-President will savor. It's tempting to say that Trump won't be satisfied until one of his acolytes murders at least one critic or opponent of his.  However, he still will not be satisfied, his bloodlust rising to a new level.





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