There’s been much clamor this week about the MyPillow CEO, Mike Lindell, visiting Trump at the White House. That’s right, the same guy might recognize from the MyPillow commercials has been in communications with the White House over the past few weeks, as Trump’s last few days as President are winding down. Today is Trump’s last full day in office.
Lindell paid a visit to Trump at the White House a few days ago, and photographers were able to snap a photo of the notes he’d written on a piece of paper which basically spelled out an idea for a possible coup. Yes. Another one.
He’s been beating the #StopTheSteal drum and claiming falsely, with no proof, that the election was stolen from Donald Trump. Fact check: it wasn’t.
Congress had confirmed Biden’s victory within hours of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. And now, even Mitch McConnell is siding with the Democrats and norms saying explicitly that Trump provoked the riot at the Capitol.
It’s not just that the rats are jumping ship, the important rats are jumping ship. The powerful rats.
But Lindell’s theories on how to replace top-level intelligence officials in a shakedown of power that smacks of autocratic regimes fell on deaf ears. Trump and his family have already packed their boxes, they’ve already delivered their stuff to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s house-resort in Florida, and they’ve already finally resigned themselves to defeat.
Lindell, who had been a supporter of Trump since 2016, had basically thought he hatched a genius plot to overthrow the top members of the intelligence and security forces as a way to keep the president in power. But at this point, the President seems fully resigned to his fate.
He’s in damage control mode, trying to minimize the threat of prosecution. Anyone in their right mind would be. When Mitch McConnell is saying that you’re complicit in inciting a riot, you’d better stop and pay attention.
All of this tells me that the President, soon-to-be-former President, has gotten the hint. He isn’t wanted. He’s lost. It’s over. And he knows it. He’s got no more fight left in him.
If it was any other week, any other month of the last grueling five years, Trump would’ve jumped onto Lindell’s proposal like a starving dog jumps at a hunk of freshly severed meat, teeth bared and salivating. But he’s resigned to his fate like a death row inmate offers up his solemn last words before his looming destiny is carried out.
In fact, Trump’s behavior throughout has been perfectly comparable to that of someone with a severe case of Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is what the DSM-V lists instead of the very outdated and old-fashioned “psychopathy” and “sociopathy.”
Full disclosure: I’m no doctor and I’m not here to diagnose or prescribe Trump, though many have tried. But I am here to observe the eerie similarities between his behavior and that of another #FloridaMan who was executed over three decades ago.
Ted Bundy’s trial began in Florida and he had a haughty disposition from the start. Representing himself at some point during the trial, Bundy, like Trump, was known for theatrical performances in the courtroom. The convicted serial killer fought tooth and nail for his survival.
He insisted on his innocence in the face of insurmountable evidence. He was so cocky in his disposition that in front of cameras, outside of the courtroom, he raised his hand and said, “I’ll plea innocent right now!” while being escorted through the Florida jail that housed him.
He fought when no one believed him and he insisted he was right and everyone else was either crazy, stupid, or lying. Just like Trump. He was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to death row where he continued to fight.
After exhausting all of his appeals, Bundy took to taking interviews to try to garner public sympathy. He launched an anti-pornography campaign saying that pornography had been the driving force in the murders he committed. He had spent years trying to convince detects who were trying to secure convictions that he could be of use to them in helping them catch serial killers who’ve yet to be caught. He offered nothing of use and spent the entire time manipulating detectives into buying him more time to stay alive. He was plotting his escape.
Ted Bundy had already escaped from incarceration twice. The third time, he wouldn’t be so lucky. It’s been said that he was kicking and screaming and pleading with the officers at the jail whose task it was to escort him to the executioner’s chamber.
This is what desperation looks like. But in the end, Bundy resigned himself to his fate and sat in the chair, solemnly using his last words to send his love to his family. And this is where we see Trump right now. He’s lost his spark, that aggression, that will-to-life that have fueled the astonishing and abhorrent behavior of both men. His fire inside that consumed so many individuals over the years has finally been extinguished.
As Trump’s years of bad behavior finally catches up with him, and his legal and financial problems envelop him, not to mention, he’s basically created a war with both of our large major political parties here in the United States (when Mitch McConnell abandons you, you really did something), his downfall seems quite striking to the downfall of Ted Bundy. And just like Bundy, he finds no exit.
Trump similarly offered video testimony, just like Bundy offered video interviews in his final days. Both men made videos that look more like a hostage video than anything else. Unenthused. Solemn. And finally attempting to make peace after years of causing chaos and conflict.
Bundy asked to be forgiven for his murders. His behavior got out of hand, the pornography possessed him like a demon from within. Trump’s videos were his covert way of begging for forgiveness by denouncing the violence. This all came weeks after the Capitol riots that kicked off 2021 with a bang.
These messages were pleas to the public to rescue them. They were the groaning pleas of desperate men reserved to their fate and their loss of power. That grandiosity that’s so characteristic of both men convinced each that they could sway the public to turn against their captors and overthrow the powers that be, all for them. That’s how much they believed they were loved. Even though their carnage, they believe they’re loved.
It’s going to take years for us to pick up the pieces of the mess Trump has left behind, just like the families of victims and the survivors of Ted Bundy are picking up the pieces of the wreckage he left behind. That’s what dangerous people do. They wreck everything, they have almost no conscience, and it only finally dawns on them that their abuses are vile to the rest of us when they’re caught and cornered.
Fortunately, America dodged the bullet, even if we were grazed by it. Let’s make sure that it never happens again.