I used cocaine only a few times in my youth, and what I remember about it most is the comedown -- the all-over toxic feeling, and especially the crankiness. That was more than three decades ago for me, but it comes to mind as I read about the pouty, self-pitying president of the United States:
As he jetted to Paris last Friday, President Trump received a congratulatory phone call aboard Air Force One. British Prime Minister Theresa May was calling to celebrate the Republican Party’s wins in the midterm elections — never mind that Democrats seized control of the House — but her appeal to the American president’s vanity was met with an ornery outburst.
Trump berated May for Britain not doing enough, in his assessment, to contain Iran. He questioned her over Brexit and complained about the trade deals he sees as unfair with European countries. May has endured Trump’s churlish temper before, but still her aides were shaken by his especially foul mood, according to U.S. and European officials briefed on the conversation.
For Trump, that testy call set the tone for five days of fury....
During his 43-hour stay in Paris, Trump brooded over the Florida recounts and sulked over key races being called for Democrats in the midterm elections that he had claimed as a “big victory.” He erupted at his staff over media coverage of his decision to skip a ceremony honoring the military sacrifice of World War I.
And when he returned, "the White House called a 'lid' at 10:03 a.m. EST" on Veterans Day, "informing reporters that the president would not have any scheduled activities or public appearances for the rest of the day." He didn't go to Arlington. He's been blowing off public appearances.
Is it just a mood swing? Trump really seemed to be enjoying himself at all those campaign rallies. Under those circumstances, a normal person might have an emotional crash, although most adults would make an effort to do what's expected of them and to avoid lashing out at others.
Trump, of course, isn't a normal person. He's an overgrown adolescent -- pre-adolescent? -- who indulges his emotional whims. But is there more going on than that?
I know that Trump says he's never had a drink (I believe him) and has never done recreational drugs. But it's clear that he's taken mood-altering prescription drugs, at least in the past.
In May of this year, NBC News reported that a year earlier Trump aides raided the offices of the president's longtime personal physician, Harold Bornstein; they took all of Trump's medical records.
More recently, I've wondered why Trump took Senator Jon Tester's criticism of Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, so personally. Information unearthed by Tester and others revealed, among other things, that Jackson had quite freely distributed uppers and downers to top government officials, especially those traveling on long flights on Air Force One. The revelations compelled Jackson to withdraw from consideration for the post of secretary of veterans affairs.
Two of the biggest stars in pop music, Michael Jackson and Prince, very publicly rejected the use of drugs, then died from overdoses of prescription painkillers. Is it possible that Trump is another self-proclaimed teetotaler who thinks that if it comes off a prescription pad it doesn't count as drugs? Was he pharmacologically juiced for all those rallies, and now he's crashing?
It's quite possible that Trump is just experiencing mood swings. Or he might have been hitting the Diet Coke really hard during all those campaign trips. But I wonder if that's all it is.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog