by Kim Pederson……..
People face choices every day. Each time they likely weigh the pros and cons and come to a decision about which choice wins out over the others. Sometimes, though, they are not able to choose, hence the expression “being of two minds” about something or someone. There’s nothing out of the ordinary about these occurrences. Being of two minds becomes more of a challenge, though, when someone really is of two (or more) minds. Such individuals suffer from dissociative identity disorder (DID), often called multiple personality disorder.
This condition, like many psychological maladies, is prime fodder for the entertainment industry. Start with The Three Faces of Eve, the 1957 film adaptation of the book, which starred Joanne Woodward as Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane (she won an Oscar for this). As you might guess, Eve Black is the wild character and Eve White the submissive timid one. Jane is the “stable” third character who eventually emerges and subsumes the other two.
More recently, we have United States of Tara, the TV show in which Toni Colette’s core character, Tara Gregson, has six alternative personalities over the show’s run: flirty teenager T, 50s housewife Alice, the raucous male Buck, someone named Gimme, a therapist named Shoshana, and the infantile Chicken. (Not surprisingly, Toni won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for these portrayals.)
In both cases, at least initially, the core characters, Eve White and Tara, are aware that they have episodes when someone else is in control, but they have no recollection of what happened during those episodes. Very much like a much earlier fictional portrayal: the chemically induced DID described in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
All of these suggest an answer for a seeming conundrum associated with the current presidential election. According to many of those with “close personal” relationships with Donald Trump, you couldn’t meet a kinder, nicer, more caring individual. Mike Pence, for example, the VP running mate, said “I’ve seen this good man up close — his utter lack of pretense, his respect for the people who work for him, and his devotion to his family.” The ultra-conservative and religious Pence must have forgotten somehow that Trump has been married three times and some of his “amazing children” come from broken families. Trump’s current wife and his children all have similar lavish praise for him.
Then there’s the Donald Trump who thinks highly of Saddam Hussein, Kim Jung-on, and Vladimir Putin, even praising the North Korean dictator’s ruthlessness in wiping out his own family to preserve his power. The Donald who stiffs businessmen and workers, the one who’s business acumen seems limited to knowing how best to take personal advantage of bankruptcy laws.
So how can Trump be both of these persons? Like Eve, like Tara, Donald must be suffering from DID. Sweet homebody Mr. Rogers Donald must be having numerous episodes where Macho Man Donald takes over and runs amuck, episodes that Mr. Rogers Donald does not recall. (Nor do his family members somehow; maybe it’s an inherited trait.) Ask Mr. Rogers Donald about any of Macho Man Donald’s slurs, which are probably countless by now, and he will likely respond: “I don’t remember saying that. As good as my memory is, I don’t remember that, but I have a good memory.” What more evidence do we need?
So where does this leave us? Where should this leave everyone for that matter? In a place of one mind, one that says it’s time for the two Donalds to give themselves over to the kindness of strangers, the ones wearing the white coats with the transport van parked just outside. If there’s any way he/they can make America great again, that would be it.
*My Eyes at the Moment of the Apparitions by German artist August Natterer who had schizophrenia. Public Domain.